Welcome to Wednesday Writing Essentials. Today, November 7: is OPEN for Featuring.Â
Schedule:ÂNovember 14: Fiction, Poetry, Memoir will be Featured.
Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest feast - so I would be interested in articles about Harvest Feast, Harvest Holidays - that could even be Oktoberfest - articles about your culture's festivals or holidays that involve food.
Thanksgiving Features, Giving Thanks, Articles about Food.
* Â Â Â Â * Â Â Â Â Â Â * Â
ÂAnd now for a little surprise.
Have you heard ofÂ Paul Potts?
He was the winner of Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent contest and was signed for an album. Paul is a shy cell-phone salesman whose CDÂ "One Chance" shot to the top of the European billboards in July.
Here is the link for a link to Paul's audition. I really urge you to listen. You will be moved by this man's incredible voice. The audience was moved to tears, as was I. The judges were nearly moved to tears.Â
The judges, even Simon, were in awe.
Paul is singing the aria "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot. You will remember having heard this haunting, stirringly beautiful aria before.
Â *Â Â Â Â Â Â Â *Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â *
The Story of Puccini's Turandot:
Giacomo Puccini, (1958 - 1924). This was published before 1923 and is in the public domain.Â
Peking, legendary times, in front of the imperial palace.
Turandot is a Persian princess, but the Mandarins now rule this area. The law of the land is thatany man who wishes to wed Princess TurandotÂ must successfully answer her three riddles. If he fails, he will be beheaded.
The Prince of Persia has failed and is to be beheaded at moonrise. In the crowd, a blind old man, one of the crowd who gathers for the beheading, is pushed to the ground. A young man recognizes this man as his long-lost father, Timur, the deposed King of Tartary.Â (The King ruled this land before the Mandarins and this King and his descendants are now the enemy of the Princess Turandot and her father, the Emperor.)
The young Prince of TartaryÂ urges his father not to cry out name in public because he is in fear of his life. The doomed Prince of Persia is led before the crowd on his way to execution. The Persian Prince is very handsome - so handsome, in fact, that the Prince of Tartary asks Turandot to spare the Persian Prince's life.Â Â
But Princess Turandot orders the execution to continue. The Prince of Tartary has never seen Turandot before and falls in love with her. The Persian Prince is beheaded.
The Prince of Tartary then declares himself a suitor of Turandot and she issues the challenge to which he must successfully answer or be beheaded.
Princess Turandot's father, the Emperor Altoum, requests that the Prince of Tartary withdraw his challenge, but the Prince refuses.
Princess Turandot herself tells the Prince of Tartary that an ancestor of hers was murdered by a foreign man and that she has sworn not to let anyÂ one possess her. She requests that the Prince of Tartary withdraw his challenge, but, again he refuses.Â
Princess Turandot issues her first riddle: What is born each night and dies each dawn?
The Prince of Tartary replies: Hope. He is correct and the Princess is unnerved.
Princess Turandot issues her second challenge: What flickers red and warm like flame, but is not fire?
The Prince of Tartary pauses before replying: Blood. Again, the Prince has answered correctly.
Princess Turandot is shaken but the crowd is pleased with the Prince's performance. This provokes the Princess' anger.
The Princess issues her final challenge: What is like ice, but burns like fire?
The Princess Turandot taunts the Prince of Tartary and he blurts out his answer: Turandot!
The Prince is victorious and the crowd cheeers for the Prince. But Princess Turandot throws herself at her father's feet and pleads with him not to honor the challenge. the Princess does not want to marry.
The Emperor insists that the challenge has been successfully met and that she must marry the Prince of Tartary.Â
There is yet another twist to the plot. As Turandot cries in anger, The Prince says this to her:
You do not know my name. If you learn my name before sunrise, and at sunrise, I will die.
Turandot accepts this challenge. The Emperor declares that he hopes to call the Prince his son come sunrise. (Princess Turandot is hoping she will learn the name of the Prince so she will not have to marry a foreigner.) That night in the Palace gardens, Princess Turandot issues the command that none shall sleep this night - because everyone must work hard to learn the Prince's nameÂ by morning.Â
The Prince is certain he will win and anticipates his victory by singing the aria, Nessun Dorma -Â none shall sleep, not even you, my princess. Â
(The Prince of Tartary is a political enemy of the regime of which Princess Turandot is a part. The Prince knows this.)
The guards bring in the Prince's father, Timur and Liu, the Chinese slave girl, both of whom were seen talking to the Prince. They are questioned as to the Prince's name but Liu remains faithful to her employer and will only say: The Prince's name is Love, which Liu only reveals after she has been tortured.Â
Liu tells Princess Turandot that the hard-hearted Princess, too, will learn of love, and then she grabs a dagger and stabs herself. Her beloved employer, the blind Timur, learns of her death and warns Princess Turandot that the Gods will be greatly offended by this cruelty.
The Prince of Tartary takes the Princess Turandot and kisses her, against her wishes. The Princess tries not to love the Prince, but she began to feel stirrings when he kissed her.Â
The Prince reveals himself as "Calaf, son of Timur," and places his life in the hands of Princess Turandot.
The Princess Turandot declares that she has learned the meaning of the Prince's name, and this is what she says to the crod: The name of the Prince is this: His name means: The Prince is love.Â
The crowd cheers and proclaims the two are now lovers and the opera ends.
Â * Â Â * Â Â Â *
Calaf's Aria from Puccini's Turandot - ItalianNessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o, Principessa,
nella tua fredda stanza,
guardi le stelle
che tremano d'amore
e di speranza.
Ma il mio mistero Ã¨ chiuso in me,
il nome mio nessun saprÃ !
No, no, sulla tua bocca lo dirÃ²
quando la luce splenderÃ !
Ed il mio bacio scioglierÃ il silenzio
che ti fa mia!
(Il nome suo nessun saprÃ !...
e noi dovrem, ahime, morir!)
Dilegua, o notte!
EnglishÂNobody shall sleep!...
Nobody shall sleep!
Even you, o Princess,
in your cold room,
watch the stars,
that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
my name no one shall know...
So, use your heart, your eyes, your ears, use all your humanity,
* Â Â Â * Â Â Â * Â
PreviousÂ Wednesday's Writing Essentials, author bio/lit reviews:
*Â Â Â Â Â Â *Â Â Â Â Â Â Â *Â Â Â Â Â Â
To learn more about Gather's Writing Essential channel, please view these articles:
Writing Essentials by Pam Johnston VP Community Engagement
Meet the Writing Editors by Pam JohnstonÂ Â
Official Description of Writing Essentials by Jennifer Hodge, Gather Editorial Team
To join Writing Essentials, clickÂ Â HERE
* Â Â * Â Â *Â
Kathryn Esplin Oleski kathryneo.gather.com
Kathryn Esplin-Oleski was raised in Salt Lake City, but moved to Montreal with her family, where she finished high school and college. Kathryn has a BA in English Literature from McGill University and a Master of Science in Journalism (MSJ) from the Medill School of Journalism, at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill.
Kathryn's articles have appeared in The Montreal Gazette, The Globe and Mail, and Kathryn covered Utah politics at Medill from Washington, D.C. for The Ogden Standard-Examiner. She has also written on business, computers, health, living, education, arts, travel and books.Â
She freelanced for numerous computer/business publications, including a stringer story for Newsweek magazine on graft in the music industry.
Kathryn worked as a news/feature reporter, and Features Editor for International Data Group (IDG) for several years, and then continued to writing freelance computer/business articles.
Kathryn copyedited a technical book, Raggett on HTML 4.0, Second Edition, published by Addison-Wesley Longman, New York and London, 1998.
Kathryn's fiction, The Quill Speaks, was published in Pieceworks, in 2003.Â
Kathryn was a finalist in the Gather-Borders-Mitch Albom contest:"Times My Mom Stood Up for Me:" My Mom Stood Up for Me During the Last Days of My Childhood.Â