A CHINESE FAIRYTALE
ABOUT THE VICTORY OF LOVE

"Listen, people of Peking
The call says:
Turandot, woman of purity,
bride of he of Royal blood
who solves the three riddles
of her challenge"

Act One
A Persian Prince who has attempted to solve Princess Turandot's three riddles and has failed, is executed.

By chance, Prince Calaf meets his father, Timur, (who is the dethroned King of the Tartars) in this enemy country. Timur's servant, the slave Liù, expresses her secret love for Calaf.

Upon seeing Turandot for the first time, Calaf is blinded by her beauty. In his fascination he announces that he too, will attempt to solve the riddles.

Act Two
Even the Emperor of China considers the ruthless executions ordered by his daughter to be too severe - but he is bound by his word.

Turandot challenges the stranger with her three questions. He answers them correctly. The populace rejoices.

The Princess' pride is hurt - she abhors the idea of belonging to a stranger. Calaf risks everything to prove his love: If she can find out his name (which has not been mentioned up to now) by dawn the following morning, she will be released from her promise and he will die.

Act Three
Turandot uses all her power and cruelty to find out Calaf's identity. Timur and Liù, who have been seen together with the Prince are bound and tortured.

Turandot witnesses Liù's determination not to betray Calaf even under torture - after proclaiming that only she knows Calaf's name but will not say it out of love for him, she stabs herself. Her death shocks all, including the Princess.

Turandot still fights her feelings of love. The stranger kisses her passionately and she realizes that, in fact,she loved him from their first encounter.

Calaf tells her his name, placing his fate in her hands. She announces that she has the answer she has been looking for "His name is Love".

Liù's death was not in vain - the people of China celebrate!


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