Turandot

English’s Docs Beginner Turandot

Turandot

An opera by Puccini

Once upon a time there was a princess. The princess was named Turandot. The princess was extremely beautiful. She had a romantic and tender heart.  She was Chinese. His father was the king of China.  But her father was distant; his heart was cold.

– “Turandot, you will get married immediately!” said her father.

– “But Father, I do not want to get married. Eventually, I get married, but I do not want to be forced. I desire real love,” said Turandot.

– “Love? No, love is not real. Not for princesses. Turandot, obey me!” the king said.

– “Yes, Father,” said Turandot sadly.

The King invited the princes to meet the princess.  The princes of all the regions arrived in China.  When the princes arrived, Turandot was forced to say “hello.”  The princes saw Turandot’s beauty and they were impressed!  But more importantly: the princes saw the riches of China.  The palace of his father was enormous with splendid architecture!  The prince who marries Turandot would be the future king!

All the princes formed a group. Together they said, “Turandot, Turandot! What a beauty !”  Prince after prince tried to talk to Turandot, “Turandot, come talk to me!”  The princes competed for  Turandot’s attention.

– “Beautiful Turandot, come and speak to me!” said the Prince of Japan.

– “No, Turandot, come and speak to me!” said the Prince of Cygon.

– “No, Turandot, ignore these stupid princes. Come and talk to me!” said the Prince of Persia.

The competition between the princes was intense!   The more princes competing for her attention, the more the princes wanted the prestige of winning the competition.  Most of the princes were arrogant.  They just wanted to win. It was not real love.

Turandot was sad. She said to the king, “Father, these princes are arrogant.  They consider me a prize. They do not love me.  It is not real love.  I do not want to marry them,” said Turandot.

But her father insisted, “Choose a prince!  I order you to marry!”  The princes yelled “Choose me! Choose me!”  But a future without real love was terrible for Turandot.  His tender heart was broken. Turandot remembered the conversation with her father:

“Love? No, love is not real.”

Turandot cried and cried.  Princess Turandot’s heart changed.  It was no longer tender and romantic.  Her heart was cold.

– ”A competition ? The princes want a competition?” said Turandot with a cold, cruel voice.

– “Yes, yes!  We want a competition!” said the arrogant princes.

 

“Then I accept,” she said. “Here is the competition: if a prince answers three questions, I will marry him.”

– “Me! I’m intelligent!” said the Prince of Japan.

– “No, I’m more intelligent!” said the Prince of Cygon.

– “No, you are stupid. I am the smartest!” insisted the Prince of Persia.

 

Turandot hated the stupid competition and the arrogant princes.  She said coldy, “But if you answer incorrectly, you will be executed.”

– “Execution? That’s cruel!” said the princes.

– “My decision was final!” said Turandot.  Her voice was cold.

With this element of danger, the princes hesitated.  Finally, the majority of princes returned home.  Turandot was happy!  But one or two princes persisted. One by one, the princes said, “I love you Turandot! I will answer the questions.”

To each she said, “Are you stupid? You will be executed!” But a small group of princes accepted the risk.  So Turandot presented the questions.

Turandot presented question number 1:

“What is cold like ice and hot like fire?”

But the princes were stupefied. Cold as ice? Warm as the fire? They did not have the correct answer. Therefore, they were executed!

Many princes answered. But they all answered incorrectly. The question was so difficult!

There were many executions!  In all of China, Japan, Cygon, and every region, a rumor started.  The rumor was that Turandot was cruel. Her reputation was terrible.

The execution of the princes shocked the other princes! Finally, the princes abandoned the competition.

One day a prince arrived in China. His name was Prince Calaf. He traveled with his father. His father has warned him, “Calaf, do not look at Princess Turandot. She is beautiful, but she has a cold, cruel heart.  She has a terrible reputation. She executes the princes who answer incorrectly in a competition.”

At that moment Turandot arrived.  She came to observe the execution of a prince.  She had a cruel smile on her face, but Calaf was stunned by her beauty!  Calaf adored the beautiful princess. He decided to marry her.

Calaf said, “Turandot, marry me. I will compete.  I will face the risk.  But I must marry you or I will die. ”

“No, Calaf!” said his father. But it was impossible! Calaf was determined. He would marry Princess Turandot. The risk of execution was serious. But for Calaf, the important thing was Turandot.  She was the most beautiful princess he had ever seen.

Again, Turandot presented question number 1:

What is cold like ice and hot like fire?

But this prince, Prince Calaf was different. He was a real romantic. He answered, “Love. Love is cold as your beautiful face, Princess. Love is also as warm as my heart. ”

Turandot was amazed!  A prince who has the correct answer?  She had not imagined a prince would have the answer.  Calaf had a romantic heart. Was it possible that Calaf loved her … with real love?

Turandot presented two more questions. Question number 2 … was correct. Question number 3 was correct. Prince Calaf answered all three questions correctly.  He won the competition and he would marry Turandot.

Turandot was very sad.  Her father would force her to marry Calaf. She respected Calaf. He was smart, and he had a romantic heart. But Turandot was not in love, not real love.  Turandot cried and cried.

Calaf noticed that Turandot was sad. He was sad too. Turandot was her love and she was very important to him. He decided to make a sacrifice. He said, “Turandot, do not be sad. If you are sad, I am sad. If marrying me makes you cry, you do not have to marry me.  I will not force you.”

Turandot was so touched! Turandot said to herself, “Calaf is sincere; he loves me. The risk of execution is not important for Calaf. Winning a competition and prestige is not important to Calaf.  Even the risk of execution is not important to Calaf.  The important thing for Calaf and ME!  He loves me…and it’s real love. ”

Princess Turandot’s heart changed. It was tender again.  She did not cry.  She smiled.  Finally, she found real love. Turandot found Calaf. Turandot and Calaf were married. And they were happy for the rest of their lives.

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