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  • What unites the Italian composer

  • Puccini's last opera "Turandot"- known to many

  • thanks to the eponymous ariaNessun Dorma

  • - and a poem written by the philosopher and romantic poet

  • Nizami Ganjavi born in 12th century in Ganja,

  • currently the second biggest town in Azerbaijan?

  • The plot!

  • While Puccini's inspiration from Friedrich von Schiller and Carlo Gozzi's plays has been numerously mentioned in literature

  • the original source at the Opera story coming from 1197

  • Nizami's "Haft-Peykar" poem is not widely known.

  • Haft-Peykar”, originally translated from Farsi asSeven Beauties”,

  • is also known asBahram-Nameh”, after the name of the protagonist,

  • the Sasanian Persian empire ruler Bahram V

  • and Nizami himself was inspired by Ferdowsi’s “Shahnamehor theBook of Kings”.

  • However, in Nizami’s work, the focus is on King Bahram’s personal life rather than his military success.

  • The poet depicts Bahram as a hedonistic ruler who dedicates most of his time

  • to his favourite activity, hunting.

  • One day, he wanders off on his own into the forest and gets lost.

  • All of a sudden he finds himself next to the ruins of a big castle and the entrance to a cave.

  • While walking through the cave,

  • his gaze is captured by portraits of Seven Beauties,

  • each of them being unique and luring.

  • Bahram everything in the world and becomes obsessed with the idea of

  • possessing all the seven ladies' love.

  • His decision on finding and marrying them is unflinching

  • as he discovers his own portrait in the middle.

  • This is an omen: he will build each one of them a castle as unique as their respective beauty.

  • Are you still wondering the link with the Turandot?

  • We are almost there!

  • After successfully making allSeven Beauties

  • theKing’s Wives”, he forgets everything including ruling his own kingdom

  • and instead spends his time in the company of the ladies.

  • He dedicates each day of the week to visit each wife’s personal castle

  • to listen to a luring love story before falling asleep in a Beauty’s embrace.

  • Not only that the Seven Beauties were from various parts of the world,

  • but also they had different idea of what love is

  • and which colour it is associated with.

  • For instance, the love story of the Slavic Princess that she narrated to King Bahram

  • on Tuesday is about the colour red

  • the symbol of the blood shed by many great men aspiring for the attention

  • and love of a princess, the most beautiful and wise princess in the world,

  • cruel and demanding to her future husband.

  • So demanding was she, that if one did not know the answers to her riddles, she would take his life.

  • Because of all those men dying for the Princesslove,

  • the colour red had been associated with cruelty

  • until a young Pehlevan decided to seek revenge for all those good and brave men.

  • Dressed in red - representing his bravery - he was the first to solve her tricks and thus win her heart

  • and save his own life!

  • To celebrate their love

  • the couple chose red as their lucky colour to wear all the time.

  • Red is the color of the burning blood in veins,

  • the blush on one's cheeks.

  • In red one finds happiness.

  • "Only red roses are truly beautiful", concludes Slavic Princess in her fable.

  • Most probably, this story was included by Françoistis de la Croix

  • to his "Thousand and One Day".

  • later an italian writer Gozzi took it as an inspiration for a comedy play, “Turandot”,

  • which in turns induced Schiller to come up with his own interpretation of the story, “Turandot, the Princess of China”, in 1801.

  • The latter triggered Puccini’s interest in working on the opera in 1920.

  • The libretto was written by Renato Simoni and Giuseppe Adami, who referred to Gozzi’s play.

  • Puccini passed away before finishing the opera,

  • which was premiered posthumously on the night of 25th of April 1926 in Milan’s La Scala theatre.

  • Almost a century after its premiere, Puccini’s Turandot

  • is still performed in the world’s leading opera houses.

  • Yet, the genius of Nizami, to whom the origins of the story should be attributed,

  • is still to be discovered by many opera and literature lovers.

  • Seven Beautiesis only one of many works by Nizami Ganjavi,

  • whose Persian writings made him known way beyond his hometown of Ganja.

  • Unprecedented for that period, Nizami attributes a central role to women in most of his work.

  • Nizami’s women inspired men to great deeds and personal growth;

  • they were wise and influential and had strong personalities.

  • Leyli, fromLeyli and Majnunlove story, exemplifies this image in Eastern literature;

  • whereas inKhosrow and ShirinNizami narrates the rise and fall of a man,

  • inconsistency in the deeds of the ruler Khosrow,

  • opposed to Shirin’s wisdom and spiritual purity.

  • Treasury of Mysteriesis full of eloquent metaphors and similes that had never been used before;

  • and inIskander-NamehNizami introduces the idea of a utopian society,

  • centuries before Thomas More and Campanella did.

  • Nizami Genjevi is one of the symbols of Eastern wisdom and poetic eloquence,

  • one of the rare examples of early multiculturalism in the history of humankind,

  • whose timeless and geographical reach has influenced countless generations.

What unites the Italian composer

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連続性の物語:ニザミからプッチーニまで (The Story of Continuity: from Nizami to Puccini)

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    Li-an Chen に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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