The famous tale of Turandot revolves around the cold-hearted Princess of Peking, Turandot, and the young Prince of Tartary, Calaf, who falls in love with her at first sight. Having deemed all men unworthy of her hand, Turandot requires her suitors to answer three riddles correctly, and if he fails, he is beheaded. Calaf attempts the riddles against the warnings of his father Timur, his father’s servant, Liù (who is secretly in love with him), and the ministers Ping, Pang, and Pong. Successfully answering the riddles, Calaf insists that Turandot marry him for love, so tells her if she can discover his name by morning, he will die for her. Turandot locks down the kingdom, and tortures everyone to try to discover his name, including Liù, who takes her own life to save Calaf. Finally, Calaf reveals himself to Turandot, and leaves his life in her hands. As he kisses her, Turandot gives into her love for him and announces to her father that she has discovered his name; “Love!” The kingdom rejoices the couple’s union, and the melting of Turandot’s cold heart.
Turandot guide sections