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What unites the Italian composer
Puccini's last opera "Turandot"- known to many
thanks to the eponymous aria “Nessun 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 as “Seven Beauties”,
is also known as “Bahram-Nameh”, after the name of the protagonist,
the Sasanian Persian empire ruler Bahram V
and Nizami himself was inspired by Ferdowsi’s “Shahnameh” or the “Book 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 all “Seven Beauties”
the “King’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 Princess’ love,
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 François Pétis 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 Beauties” is 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, from “Leyli and Majnun” love story, exemplifies this image in Eastern literature;
whereas in “Khosrow and Shirin” Nizami 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 Mysteries” is full of eloquent metaphors and similes that had never been used before;
and in “Iskander-Nameh” Nizami 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.
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

The Story of Continuity: from Nizami to Puccini

2414 タグ追加 保存
Li-an Chen 2015 年 11 月 18 日 に公開
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