Turandot

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Turandot (Italian pronunciation: [turan ˈdɔt]) is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. Though Puccini's first interest in the subject was based on his reading of Friedrich Schiller's[1] adaptation of the play, his work is most nearly based on the earlier text Turandot by Carlo Gozzi. Turandot was unfinished at the time of Puccini's death and was later completed by Franco Alfano. The first performance was held at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on April 25, 1926 and conducted by Arturo Toscanini. This performance included only Puccini's music and not Alfano's additions. The first performance of the opera, as completed by Alfano, was the following night.

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Origin of the name

Turandot is a Persian word and name meaning "the daughter of Turan", Turan being a region of Central Asia which used to be part of the Persian Empire.

In Persian, the fairy tale is known as Turandokht, with "dokht" being a contraction for dokhtar (meaning daughter), and both the "kh" and "t" are clearly pronounced. However, according to Puccini scholar Patrick Vincent Casali, the final "t" should not be sounded in the pronunciation of the opera's name or when referring to the title character. Puccini never pronounced the final "t", according to soprano Rosa Raisa, who was the first singer to interpret the title role. Furthermore, Dame Eva Turner, the most renowned Turandot of the inter-war period, insisted on pronouncing the word as "Turan-do" (i.e. without the final "t"), as television interviews with her attest. As Casali notes, too, the musical setting of many of Calaf's utterances of the name makes sounding the final "t" all but impossible.[2] However Simonetta Puccini, Puccini's granddaughter and keeper of the Villa Puccini and Mausoleum, has stated that the final "t" must be pronounced.[citation needed]

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