Opera Nessun Dorma

  1. Opera Nessun Dorma
  2. Turandot Opera Nessun Dorma
  3. Opera Nessun Dorma Lyrics
  4. Nessun Dorma Meaning
  5. Opera Nessun Dorma
  6. Opera Song Nessun Dorma Lyrics

22 October 2020, 14:40 Updated: 22 October 2020, 14:53


Watch the video for Nessun dorma from Paul Potts's Kuschelrock 22 for free, and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. Potts has previously worked in unpaid opera productions from 1999 to 2003, however, illness in 2003 brought an end to his amateur opera career. A Polish opera singer moved doctors and nurses to tears when he turned up at their hospital in Warsaw and belted out a powerful rendition of the famous Puccini aria Nessun Dorma. Tenor moves frontline medical workers to tears with powerful Nessun Dorma serenade – The First News. Check out Opera Arias - Nessun Dorma - Casta Diva - O Mio Babbino Caro by Luciano Pavarotti & Dame Joan Sutherland & Renata Tebaldi on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD's and MP3s now on Amazon.com.

Yes, we all know the tune and we’ve all seen Pavarotti sing it. But why is it so, so good?

First of all, grab a tissue and have a listen:

Nice, eh? But how does has one Puccini aria, tucked away in the last act of his opera Turandot, make such a huge impact?

Opera Nessun Dorma

The music


Boy, Puccini could write a great melody. Though it's the notes at the end that stick in the mind, they come after two and a half minutes for stunning lines for the singer. The phrases wash over you in waves. Then as it grows in passion, the tenor line becomes more declamatory with repeated notes as the orchestra swells poignantly underneath with bittersweet harmonic clashes in the counter melody. You sure know how to tug at our heart with your music, Giacomo.

The set-up in the opera is absolutely ridiculous

Picture the scene: our hero, Calaf, is one of three suitors for the delightfully picky Princess Turandot. As a weird sort of challenge, Calaf says that if Turandot can correctly guess his name, she may execute him (?!) but if she can’t, then she must marry him (?!?!?!!)
In a whimsically sociopathic move, the Princess decides that ‘None shall sleep’ (the literal translation of ‘Nessun dorma’) in the entire kingdom until Calaf’s name is discovered. If none of her subjects are able to come up with the correct name, all of them (ALL OF THEM) will be executed. Which is obviously fine and not cause for concern.

Turandot Opera Nessun Dorma

The aria begins with Turandot’s proclamation that ‘None shall sleep’, and that’s where the tenor, Calaf, picks it up.

The lyrics

So with that insane set-up in place (who would want to marry this maniac?!), Calaf now quietly hopes that he will win this strange little game, and is both poetic and boastful:
“But my secret is hidden within me;
no one will know my name!
No, no! On your mouth
I will say it when the light shines!”
Then he becomes a proper show-off:
“And my kiss will dissolve
the silence that makes you mine!”
And if you were worrying that this boastfulness was in any way undermining the emotional seriousness, check out what the female chorus of Turandot’s subjects then sing:
“No one will know his name,
and we will have to, alas, die, die!”

Pretty heavy, right? Well, it gets more interesting…

The build to that incredible final note

Here’s what the score looks like:

If you’re familiar with score-reading, you’ll notice that the infamous long B natural is, in fact, not long at all. And although holding that note is perhaps the most defining aspect of the whole thing, it was never actually included in Puccini’s original score.
Here’s a great illustration of how different tenors tackle it:

Opera Nessun Dorma Lyrics

The performances

Luciano Pavarotti has perhaps done more than anyone else to popularise this aria, thanks to his performances at the 1990 World Cup and with The Three Tenors.

Nessun Dorma Meaning

But many other great tenors have made it their own, with just as much power and passion as the great Italian. Here’s one of the great tenor voices of our time, Jonas Kaufmann, giving it everything.

Opera Nessun Dorma

And do you know what ‘Vincerò’ means? It means ‘I will win’. How’s that for a declamatory ending?

Nessun dorma

Opera Song Nessun Dorma Lyrics

'Nessun dorma' (Italian: [nesˌsun ˈdɔrma]; English: 'None shall sleep') is an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot and one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. Any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded. In the aria, Calaf expresses his triumphant assurance that he will win the princess.Although 'Nessun dorma' has long been a staple of operatic recitals, Luciano Pavarotti popularized the piece beyond the opera world in the 1990s following his performance of it for the 1990 World Cup, which captivated a global audience. Both Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo released singles of the aria, with Pavarotti reaching number 2 in the UK, and it appeared on the best selling classical album of all time, The Three Tenors in Concert. The Three Tenors, which includes José Carreras, performed the aria at three subsequent World Cup Finals, in 1994 in Los Angeles, 1998 in Paris, and 2002 in Yokohama. Since 1990, many crossover artists have performed and recorded it. The aria has been sung often in movies and on television.