I am taking my entire family to see Turandot, an opera composed by Giacomo Puccini, today. This is my first time seeing this magnificent opera. I have heard arias from this opera many times, and I remember how I was captivated by its most famous aria, “Nessun Dorma,” when it was sung by Luciano Pavarotti at the Three Tenors World Cup performance in 1994.
My nine-year-old daughter, Mia Sarah, loves going to classical music concerts and operas. Jonah and Hannah had to be bribed with sugar to go to the concerts, but not Mia Sarah. Mia Sarah was supposed to be my third child who would accompany me skiing when her older siblings went to college. Unlike her brother and sister, she has more interest in classical music than in skiing.
Puccini died in 1924 and did not finish this opera; he fully completed two acts and part of the third act. It was completed after his death by Italian composer Franco Alfano. At its first performance in 1926, which was conducted by Arturo Toscanini, in the middle of Act 3, Toscanini stopped the music and announced, “Here the opera ends, because at this point the maestro died.”