Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Music:Giacomo Puccini
Libretto Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, based on Carlo Gozzi's fable
Premiere:Milan, April 25, 1926

Puccini's last opera was left unfinished at his death, and what he had intended to be a final, transcendent love duet was completed by a younger colleague, Franco Alfano. In Peking's Imperial Palace, the fatally beautiful Princess Turandot receives unlucky suitors from far and wide, who must answer three riddles to win her hand—or die. Calaf, son of the exiled King Timur of Tartary, is struck with Turandot's beauty, and ignoring protests from his father and Liù, the servant girl who loves him, he matches wits with the princess. Although he guesses the three riddles, Calaf offers his life to Turandot if she can discover his secret name. Searching the city in vain, the princess finally tortures faithful Liù, driving her to suicide. Faced with Liù's sacrifice and Calaf's stern devotion, Turandot crumbles, and weeping in Calaf's arms, she declares that his secret name is Love.

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