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Turandot is a play by Carlo Gozzi, best known today in various musical adaptations. Carl Maria von Weber wrote incidental music to accompany it, and Ferruccio Busoni wrote an orchestral suite based on it, incidental music for a production of it, and an opera based on it (premiered in 1917). The best known version is an opera by Giacomo Puccini, which was left unfinished by Puccini at his death, and completed by Franco Alfano. It was first performed at La Scala, Milan, April 25, 1926.


The story is founded on one of the theatrical fables of Carlo Gozzi, the well-known eighteenth-century playwright of Venice, the rival of Goldoni. It is a story of a Chinese Princess whose hand is to be given to the suitor who solves three riddles put to him, faiure to be punished by death. Three unlucky wooers have already been put to death by the cruel Princess, when Calif comes and guesses all three answers successfully. But his generous nature refuses to take the prize on such terms, and he declares he will follow the other suitors to the block if the Princess can guess his name. His father and a loving hand-maiden Come seeking him, and are tortured unsuccessfully by the Princessís command in order to extort the youthís name. However, his generosity does not lead to a tragic end; for his wooing melts the ice in the Princessís heart and she surrenders to him, who chose the word "Love" for his name.

References and external links: Plot taken from The Opera Goer's Complete Guide by Leo Melitz, 1921 version.