Turandot (1987) - full transcript

People of Peking!

This is the law:

Turandot the pure will be the bride of the man of royal blood,

who solves the three enigmas
that she shall ask him.

But whoever faces the trial and
is defeated

must bow to the axe
his haughty head!

The Prince of Persia had Fate against him:

when the moon rises,
at the executioner's hand he must die!

He must die!

We want
the executioner!

Quickly! Death!

The punishment!
If you don't appear, we'll waken you!Pu-Tin-Pao!

To the palace!
To the palace!

Stand back, dogs!
Ah, cruel ones!

Stop, by Heaven!

Stop cruel ones!
Be human! Don't hurt us!

Oh, my mother!

My babies!

Who can help me lift him up?

This old man has fallen!

Have pity! Pity!

Father! My Father!

Oh, Father, yes, I've found you

Look at me! It's not a dream!

My Lord!

Listen to me! Father! It is I!

And may grief itself be blessed,

for this joy given us
by a pitying God.

Oh, my son! You! Alive?


The usurper of your crown
seeks me and pursues you!

There's no hiding place for us
in the world, Father!

I sought you, my son,
and I thought you were dead!

I wept for you, Father;
now I kiss these sainted hands!

Oh, my son, found again!

Here are the executioner's men!

To the death!

When the battle was lost,
an old King without realm, fleeing,

I heard a voice saying to me:

"Come with me, I'll be your guide..."

It was Liu

Bless her!

When I fell exhausted,

she would dry my tears,
and she begged for me!

Liu, who are you'?

I'm nothing.
A slave, my Lord.

A slave, my Lord.

Why did you share such anguish?

Because, one day,in the palace,

you smiled at me.

Grind the Whetstone! Grind it!

Oil it, sharpen it, let the
blade gleam!

Splatter fire and blood!

Work is never dull for us

where Turandot reigns!

where Turandot reigns!

Oil it, sharpen it, let the
blade gleam!

Sweet lovers, come forward! Come!

With our hooks and our knives

we're ready to embroider your skins!

Whoever strikes that gong

will see her appear!

White as jade,

cold as that sword,

is the beautiful Turandot!

Sweet lovers, come forward! Come!

When the gong clangs,
the executioner is happy!

Love is in vain if luck isn't there!

The enigmas are three,
but death is one!

Why does the moon delay?
-Wan face!

Oil it, sharpen it, let the
blade gleam! Splatter fire and blood!

Oil it, sharpen it!

Work is never dull for us.
- Blood!

Where Turandot reigns!

Work is never dull for us.


Where Turandot reigns!

Why does the moon wait?

Show yourself in the sky!

Quickly! Come! Rise!

Oh, lopped off head!

Oh, mean one!




Pale lover of the dead!

How the cemeteries await your funereal light!

Come quickly!
Oh, lopped off head

Oh, lopped off head


Pale lover of the dead!

is spreading out in the sky

its deathly light!

The moon has risen! Pu-Tin-Pao!

Pu-Tin-Pao! Pu-Tin-Pao!

There, on the eastern mountains,

the stork sang

But April blossomed no more.

And that snow didn't thaw.

From the desert to the sea
can't you hear a thousand voices sighing?

"Princess, come down to me!!"

"All will blossom again!!"

Oh, the youth!
Mercy! Mercy!

How steady is his step!

How sweet is his face!

How steady is his step!

Joy is in his eyes!

Ah, mercy on him!

Have pity on him!

Pity! Princess!

Mercy! Pity!

Mercy! Pity!

Let me see you,
and curse you!

Cruel one!I curse you!



Have mercy!

Oh, divine beauty! Oh, marvel!

Oh, dream!

Oh, divine beauty! Oh, marvel!

Oh, marvel!

Oh, great Kouang-tze!

May the dying man's spirit

come to you!

My son, what are you doing?

Can't you feel it?

Her perfume is in the air!
It's in my spirit!

You're lost!

Oh, divine beauty! Oh, marvel!

I'm suffering, Father, suffering!

No! No! Let me clasp you!

Liu, you speak to him!

There's no safety here.

Take his hand in your hand!

My Lord, let's go far away!

Life is awaiting us there!

This is life, Father!

Life is awaiting us there!
-I'm suffering, Father, suffering!

-There's no safety here!
-Life is here, Father!



Do you want to die thus?

To conquer, Father, in her beauty!

Do you want to end thus?

To conquer gloriously in her beauty!

Wait! What are you doing?

Stop! What do you want?

Go away! This is the door
to the great butcher's shop!

Madman, go away!

They garrotte you!
They impale you!

Cut your throat! Skin you alive!

Knife and pollard you!
Saw you up and disembowel you!

Quickly, hastily,

go back to your country to die!

But not here! Go away, go away!

Madman, go away!

-Let me by!

Here the graveyards are all full!
Our madmen are enough!

We don't want any more foreign madmen!

Run off, or else your funeral
will be prepared for you!

Let me by!

For a princess?

What's that?

A female with a crown on her head!
And a cloak with some fringe!

-But if you strip her naked...She's flesh!
-She's raw flesh!

It's inedible stuff!

Ha! Ha! Ha!
-Let me by!

Give up women!
Or else take a hundred wives!

After all, the most sublime
Turandot in the world

has a face,
two arms and two legs, yes!

Lovely, imperial, yes, yes,

but still only two legs!

With a hundred wives, you fool,
you'll have a surplus of legs!

Two hundred arms,
and a hundred soft bosoms.

Scattered in a hundred beds!
In a hundred beds!

In a hundred beds! Ha! Ha!
-Let me by!

Madman, go away! Go!


Who's talking down there?

Silence! Silence!

This is the sweet hour for sleeping!

Sleep is grazing her eyes!

It's scenting the darkness around her!

Go away, chattering females!

Watch out for the gong!

It is scenting
the darkness around her!

-Look at him, Pong!
-Look at him, Ping! Look at him, Pang!

He's gone deaf!
He's dazed! He's bedazzled!

He's not listening to them, alas!

Come! Let's all three speak to him!

A night without a bit of light...
-A chimney's blackened throat...

They are still clearer
than Turandot's enigmas!

Iron, bronze, walls, rocks...
-Your obstinate hard head...

They are less hard
than Turandot's enigmas!

So then, go! Bid us all goodbye!
-Scale the mounts, ford the streams!

And stay well away
from Turandot's enigmas!

Don't hesitate!

If you call, she'll appear!

She, who makes us dream
though we are dead!

Make her speak!

Let us hear her!

No! No! I only love her!

You love her? Who?
Turandot? Ha! Ha! Ha!

Oh, mad boy!

Turandot doesn't exist!

Only the nothingness exists
in which you annihilate yourself!

Turandot doesn't exist!

Turandot! Like all those blockheads
who went before you!

Man! God! The Ego! Peoples!

-Only the Tao exists!

- I want the triumph!

I want love!

Fool! There's love!

That's how
the moon will kiss your face!

Oh, son, do you want me then,

to drag along through the world
my tortured age, all alone?


Isn't there any human voice that
can move your fierce heart?

My Lord, listen!

Liu can bear it no more!

My heart is breaking!

How long have I travelled

with your name in my soul!

With your name on my lips!

But if your fate is decided tomorrow,

we'll die on the road to exile!

And he will lose his son!

And I the shadow of a smile!

Liu can bear it no more!

Ah, have pity!

Don't weep, Liu!

If one far-off day,I smiled at you,

then for that smile,

my sweet girl, listen to me:

Your master

tomorrow will be perhaps all alone in the world!

Don't leave him!
Take him away with you!

We'll die on the road to exile!

We'll die!

Soften for him the road to exile!


Oh, my poor Liu!

This is what he who smiles no more

asks of your unfailing little heart!

Ah, for the last time!

-Overcome this horrible spell!
Life is so beautiful!

- Have pity on me!
-Have pity on Liu

Life is so beautiful!

Have pity on me!-
-Have pity on Liu!


I'm the one who asks for pity!
Nobody listens to me!

I see her radiant face!
She calls me! She is there!

The sword has struck them all!

I'm in a fever!
Don't make me die!

Have pity!

Let's carry him away!

Leave me! I've suffered enough!

Glory awaits me there!

Nobody has ever won, nobody!

I'm following my destiny!

We're already digging your grave,
you who would challenge love!

Let him go! There's no use shouting
in Sanskrit, Chinese or Mongolian!

Every fibre of my soul
has a voice that shouts:



In the darkness, alas, your destiny is written!

When the gong clangs, death is happy!

Hey, Pang! Hey, Pong!

Since the fatal gong is waking
the palace and waking the city,

let's be ready for any event!

If the stranger wins, for the wedding,
and if he loses:

for the burial.

I'll prepare the wedding!
-And I, the funeral!

Si eu ?ngroparea.

The red holiday lanterns!

The white mourning lanterns!

Incense and sacrifices...

-Gilded coins of paper!
-Tea, sugar, nutmeg!

- The fine scarlet palanquin!
-The great, well-made bier!

And singing priests!

-And moaning priests!

And all the rest,
as the ceremony requires...

in its infinity of details!

Oh, China! Oh, China!
You who now starts and leaps restlessly.

How happily you used to sleep,
filled with your seventy thousand centuries!

Everything was going along
according to the world's ancient law.

Then Turandot was born...

And for years now our holidays
have become joys of this order:

Three strokes of the gong...

-Three enigmas...

And off with their heads!

The Year of the Mouse, six!

-The Year of the Dog, eight.

And during the current year
the terrible year of the Tiger

we have reached thirteen already!

Counting the one about to go!

What work!

What boredom! What work!

What work!
What boredom!

What have we become?
We're the executioner's ministers!

The executioner's ministers!

I have a house in Honan,

with a little lake of blue,

all surrounded with bamboo.

And here I am, wasting my life,

wearing out my brain
over the sacred books

Over the sacred books!

When I could go back there

to my little blue lake

all surrounded with bamboo!

I have forests, near Tsiang,
than which none are lovelier.

I have a garden near Kin, that I left, to come here!

When I could go back there...
-I have forests, near Tsiang...

- ...with a little lake of blue,
...than which none are lovelier!

...all surrounded with bamboo!

And here I am, wasting my life,

wearing out my brain
over the sacred books

And I could go back to Tsiang...

And I could go back to Kiu.

- Tsiang.
- Kiu.


...all surrounded with bamboo!
And I could go back...

O world,

filled with mad lovers!

Do you remember
the regal Prince of Samarkand?

He made his application, and with joy
she sent him to the executioner!

Oil and sharpen the blade

-Till it splatters fire and blood!

-And the bejewelled Indian Sagarka,

..with earrings like little bells?

He sought love, and was beheaded!

- And the Burmese?
-And the Prince of the Kirhiz?

Killed! Killed!

And the tartar whose bow was six cubits high?
Who wore rich skins?



Farewell to love!
Farewell to our race!

Farewell, divine lineage!

And China comes to an end!

Farewell, divine lineage!

Should the night of surrender come,

I will shake up for her the soft feathers!

I want to perfume her chamber!

I'll lead the bridal pair, holding the lamp!

And then
the three of us in the garden

will sing of love until morning.

Like this:

No longer is there in China,
luckily for us,

a woman who refuses love!

There was only one

and she who was ice
is now flame and ardour!

Princess, your empire extends

from the Tse-Kiang to the Yangtze!

But there, within the filmy hangings,

there is a husband
who reigns over you.

You smell already
the aroma of kisses.

Already you're a woman
filled with languor!

Everything whispers in the garden,

and golden bells tinkle.

They whisper amorous words

as the flowers are pearled with dew!

Glory to the lovely, exposed body that now knows
the mystery it ignored!

Glory to their ecstasy and to love
which has conquered,

and which has given
peace to China again!

We're dreaming while the palace
is swarming with lanterns, soldiers!

You hear the great drum
of the green temple!

Already the infinite clogs
of Peking are clattering!

You hear the trumpets!
Peace, indeed!

The ceremony is beginning!

Let's go and enjoy
this umpteenth torture!

Grave, enormous and imposing,

with the sealed mystery
of the enigmas,

the sages already come forward.

Here's Ping!
Here's Pong! Here's Pang!

Ten thousand years of life

to our Emperor!

Glory to you!

A ghastly oath forces me

to keep faith with the horrid pact.

And the holy sceptre I clasp

is steeped in blood!

Enough of this blood!
Young man, go!

Son of Heaven!
I ask to undergo the trial!

Let me die without bearing
the burden of your young life!

Son of Heaven!
I ask to undergo the trial!

I don't want!

Don't fill with horror again the palace, the world!

Son of Heaven!
I ask to undergo the trial!

Stranger, intoxicated with death!

So be it!

Let your destiny be fulfilled!

Ten thousand years of life to our Emperor!

People of Peking!

This is the law:

Turandot, the pure, will be the bride
of the man of royal blood,

who solves the enigmas

But whoever faces the trial
and is defeated

must bow to the axe
his haughty head!

From the desert to the sea

can't you hear a thousand voices sigh?

"Princess, come to me!"

"And all will be radiant!"

In this palace,
thousands of years ago,

a desperate cry rang out.

And that cry,after many generations,

took shelter in my spirit!

Princess Lou-Ling

Sweet, serene ancestress,

who ruled in your dark silence,in pure joy,

and challenged, sure and unyielding,

the harsh mastery of others,
you live in me today!

It was when the King of the Tartars
unfurled his seven flags!

Still in the time all can recall, there was alarm, terror,

the rumble of arms!

The kingdom defeated! Defeated!

Si Lou-Ling, my ancestress, dragged off,

by a man like you!

Like you, stranger!

There in the horrid night,

where her sweet voice was stilled!

She's slept for centuries in her huge tomb!

Oh, you princes,
with your long caravans

from every part of the world,
who come

to try your fate:

In you I avenge,

I avenge that purity,that cry and that death!

No one will ever possess me!

The horror of her assassin

is still vivid in my heart!

No one will possess me!

Ah, in me is reborn

the pride of such purity!

Stranger, do not tempt Fate!

The enigmas are three,
but death is one!

No, no!

The enigmas are three,but life is one!


The enigmas are three

- ..but life is one!
...But death is one!

Offer the supreme test!

Offer the supreme test
to the foreign Prince, oh, Turandot!

Stranger, listen!:

"In the gloomy night an iridescent phantom flies.

It spreads its wings and rises
over infinite, black humanity!

Everybody invokes it!

Everybody implores it!

But the phantom disappears at dawn,

to be reborn in the heart!

And every night it's born,

and every day it dies!"

Yes, it's reborn!

It's reborn and exulting,

it carries me with it.

It is Hope!


Yes! Hope which always deludes!

"It flickers like a flame,

and is not flame!

Sometimes it rages!

It's feverish, impetuous, burning!

But idleness changes it to languor!

If you're defeated or lost,
it grows cold!

If you dream of winning, it flames!

Its voice is faint, but if you listen,

it gleams as bright as the sunset!

Don't destroy yourself, stranger!

Your life is at stake! Speak!

Don't destroy yourself, stranger!

Your love is at stake!

Yes, Princess!

It flames and languishes, too!

If you look at me,
in my veins:

It's blood!


Courage, solver of enigmas!

Lash those wretches!

"Ice that sets you on fire

and from your fire is more frosty!

White, and dark!

If she sets you free
she makes you a slave!

If she accepts you as a slave
she will make you a King!"

Come, stranger!
You're pale with fright!

Si te simti pierdut!

And you know you are lost!

What is the frost that gives off fire?

My victory now

has given you to me!

My fire will thaw you:



Glory, Victor!

May life smile on you!

May love smile on you!

Ten thousand years to our Emperor!

The Light, the King of the World!

Son of Heaven!

August father!

Don't cast your daughter into the stranger's arms!

The oath is sacred!

No, don't say it!
Your daughter is sacred!

You cannot give me to him!

To him like a slave, ah no!

Your daughter is sacred!

You cannot give me to him!

To him like a slave, ah no!
To die of shame!

Don't look at me like that!

You, who mock my pride!

Don't look at me like that!

I shall not be yours!

No, I will not!

The oath is sacred!

The oath is sacred!

No, don't look at me like that!
I'll not be yours!

He won, Princess!

He offered his life for you!

I'll not be yours!

He offered his life for you!
The oath is sacred!

Would you have me
in your arms by force?

Reluctant and enraged?

No, haughty Princess!

I want you ardent...with love!

Bold, courageous man! Strong one!

You asked me three riddles,
and I solved all three!

I will propose only one to you:

You do not know my name!

Tell me my name!

Before dawn!

And at dawn,I will die!

May Heaven will

that as the sun rises you will be my Son!

We prostrate ourselves at your feet,

The Light, the King of all the World!

For your wisdom, for your goodness,

we give ourselves to you,

happy in our humility!

May our love rise to you!

Ten thousand years

to our Emperor!

To you, heir of Hien Wang, we cry:

Ten thousand years life

To our Emperor!

Hold high, high, the banners!

Turandot commands thus:

no one must sleep in Peking!"

No one must sleep!

"Under the pain of death,
the name of the stranger

must be revealed before morning!"

Under pain of death!

"Tonight no one must sleep in Peking!"

No one must sleep!

No one must sleep!

You too, Princess,in your cold room,

look at the stars,

which tremble with love,
and with hope!

But my mystery is shut within me.

No one shall know my name!

No, no!

I shall say it it on your mouth

when the daylight shines!

And my kiss will break the silence

that makes you mine!

No one will know his name...

and alas we must die!

Vanish, night!
Set, you stars!

At dawn I will win!

I will win!

You who look at the stars!
-Our life is in your power!

Did you hear the proclamation?

In the streets of Peking, at every door.

Death knocks and cries:
His name!

- His name or his blood!

What do you want of me?

You say what you want!

Is it love you seek?

Well, take it!

Look! They're beautiful

in their shimmering veils!

Their lithe bodies...

All ecstasy and promises
of stupendous passion!

No! No!

What do you want? Wealth?
All these treasures are for you!

They shatter the night!
-Blue fires!

-These gleaming gems!
-Pale hyacinths!

The red flames of the rubies!
Tear-drops of the stars!

- They're yours!
-Red flames!

No! No riches! No!

Do you seek glory?
We will have you flee...

And you'll follow the stars afar
towards fabulous empires!

Flee! Flee! Go far away!
And we will all be saved!

Come, dawn! Dissolve this nightmare!

Stranger, you don't know.

what the cruel one is capable of.

You don't know the horrible tortures China will invent

if you stay and do not reveal your name.

The sleepless one does not forgive.

We are lost!

It will be a horrible torture!

Death, little by little!
Don't make us die!

Your prayers are in vain!
Your threats are in vain!

If the world should collapse,
I want Turandot!

You won't have her.
You will die before we do!

A curse on you!


Here's the name!

They don't know it!

You were talking to the old man
and the girl last night.

Let them go!
-They know the secret!

Where did you catch them?
-Near the walls!


Divine Princess!

The stranger's name

is closed within these silent mouths.

But we have instruments
to wrench out those teeth.

And we have pincers
to drag out that name!

You are pale, stranger!

Your fear
sees the pallor of dawn on my face!

Those two don't know me.
-We shall see!

Come, speak, old man!

I want him to speak!

The name!

The name you seek only I know!

Our lives are saved!

You know nothing, slave!

I know his name...

My supreme pleasure is to keep it secret
and to have it for myself alone.

Have her tortured!
Until she speaks! Until she dies!

You will pay for her tears!
You will pay for her torments!

Seize him!

Lord, I won't speak!

- His name!

His name!

-Your servant asks your pardon,
but she cannot obey!

Why are you crying?

-Let her go!

I'm not crying now!
They aren't hurting me!

Nobody's touching me!


But shut my mouth
so he can't hear me!

I can bear it no longer!

Speak! The name!

Let her go now!

I'd rather die!

Who gave your heart such strength?

Love, Princess!

Such love, secret

and unconfessed,

so great that these torments

are sweet for me,

because I make a gift of them for my Lord.

Because, keeping silent,

I give him your love.

I give you to him, Princess,
and I lose everything!

Even my impossible hope!

Bind me! Torture me!

Give me torments and pain!

The supreme gift of my love!

Wrest the secret from her!

Call Pu-Tin-Pao!

-No, curse you! Curse you!

The executioner!

Put her to torture!

The executioner! Make her speak!

I can bear it no longer!
I'm afraid of myself!

Let me by!


Yes, Princess, listen to me!

You, who are enclosed in ice,

conquered by such a flame,

you will love him too!

Before the dawn,

I will wearily close my eyes,

so he can win again.

And I'll never see him more!

Before the dawn,

I will wearily close my eyes,
so he can win again.

And I'll never see him more!

Speak. Speak!

His name! His name!

Ah, you are dead!
Dead, my little Liu!

Liu, Liu, get up!

It is the bright hour
for all awakening!

It's dawn, my Liu!

Open your eyes, my dove!

Get up, old man! She's dead!

Horrible crime!
We will all pay for it!

The offended spirit

The offended spirit will take revenge!

Grieving shame, don't harm us!

Forgive us!



We are walking together again!

Like this, your hand in mine!

I know well where you're going.

I will follow you

to rest near you

in the night that has no morning.

It has wakened inside me,

that old machine, my heart,
and is tormenting me!

Liu, goodness, forgive!

Liu, goodness!

Liu, sweetness!

Sleep! Forget!

Liu, poetic spirit!

Princess of death!

Princess of ice!

From your tragic heaven,
come down to earth!

Raise that veil!

Look, cruel one,

at that purest blood
that was shed for you!

How dare you, stranger!

I am not human!

I am the daughter of Heaven!
Free and pure!

You clasp my cold veil,

but my spirit is there, aloft!

Your spirit is on high!

But your body is near!

And with burning hands

I'll clasp the gold border
of your starry cloak!

My trembling mouth
will be pressed on yours!

-Don't profane me!
-To feel you alive!

- Stand back!
-To feel you alive!

Do not profane me!

-Your iciness is a lie!

- Stand back!

No one will ever possess me!

I want you to be mine!

My ancestress's torment
will not be repeated!

I want you to be mine!

Touch me not, stranger!

It's sacrilege!

Your kiss gives me eternity!

It's sacrilege!

What has become of me?

I'm lost!

My flower!

My morning flower!

My flower, I breath you in!

Your lily breasts!

They tremble against my chest!

Already I feel you
faint with sweetness,

all white in your silver cloak!

How did you win?

You weep?

It's the dawn!

Dawn! Light and life!

- Turandot's sun has set!
-It's dawn!

It's dawn!

And love is born with the sun!

No one must see me!

My glory...is ended!

No! It has begun!

-I am ashamed!

A miracle!

Your glory is radiant in
the magic of a first kiss,

of your first tears.

My first tears...ah!

My first tears, yes,

Yes, stranger, when you arrived,

with anguish I felt
the fatal shudder of this great illness.

How many I?ve seen die for me!

And I scorned them;

but you, I feared!

In your eyes there was
the light of heroes!

In your eyes there was
haughty certainty...

And for that I hated you...

And I loved you for that,

tormented and torn
between two equal fears:

to defeat you or be defeated...

And I am defeated...


Defeated, not so much by the trial

as by his fever
that comes to me from you!

You?re mine! Mine!

This, this is what you sought.

Now you know.

Don?t seek a greater victory..

Go, stranger..

with your mystery!

My mystery?

I no longer have one! You are mine!

You who tremble if I touch you,

who pales if I kiss you!
Destroy me if you will.

My name and my life
I give you together!

I am Calaf, son of Timur!

I know your name!

My glory is your embrace!

Listen! The trumpets blare!

My life is your kiss!

Lo, the hour has come!

It's the hour of the trial!

I don't fear it!


Come with me before the people!

You have won!

Ten thousand years
to our Emperor!

August father,

I know the name of the stranger!

And his name is...



O Sun! Life! Eternity!

Love is the light of the world!

Our infinite happiness
laughs and sings in the sun!

Glory to you!