“None Shall Sleep”

The Story of Turandot is a beautiful, but sad story. Not your typical Romeo and Juliet (no offense intended, we all know that Romeo and Juliet is a masterpiece) not your typical Cinderella either. Turandot is very different from your regular romance stories, but one thing remains the same, the message of true love.

The first time I learned of Turandot was from a Korean manga, One Thousand and One Nights; and like the title says, it’s another version of the The Arabian Nights. The first story Shahrazad tells the king is the story of Turandot. I have not read The Arabian Nights completely, but I believe that the story of Turandot is not from the real version of  The Arabian Nights. Although it is often reported that Turandot is based on a story from The Arabian Nights, but many others disagree with that theory. In fact, Turandot is an opera, but even before it became an opera, Turandot was a fable written by Carlo Gozzi, to later become famous by Friedrich Schiller, a German playwright.

The Opera, written by the great Giacomo Puccini, was not finished; at least not by Puccini. The great master died while in the middle of writing the opera, and so the end was not complete. Arturo Toscanini, a conductor,  gave the opera to a pupil of Puccini, so that he could finish the end. However, *Toscanini was not satisfied with the ending the student wrote and so, on its opening night, the conductor stopped before the final scene and said: “Here the Opera ends, because at this point the maestro died.” Of course that Turandot was still published with the ending that was written by Puccini’s pupil.

The story goes something like this:

Turandot was the princess of China. She was so beautiful all the princes from other regions of the world wanted to marry her; but she was also arrogant, cold, and extremely cruel. The rule was she would wed he who could answer her three riddles; if the answers were not correct, he would be beheaded. One hundred heads had rolled.

A handsome young man, aids a slave and her master, recognizing the master as his long lost father, the king of Tartars. Timur, Calaf’s father, tells him he has lost the kingdom and is now escaping from his enemies with the help of the loyal slave Liu. Now Calaf, stricken by Turandot’s beauty, is next in line to try the riddles. Liu and his father try to persuade him otherwise, but Calaf’s mind is made to win over the cold princess’s heart.

The first riddle Turandot asks is: “What is born at night, and dies at dawn.” “Hope.” Calaf answers correctly.

Turandot then asks: “What is red and warm as fire, yet it is not.” “Blood.” Answers Calaf correctly once more. It was as far as nobody had ever been able to go before. Amazed, Turandot then asks an even more difficult riddle: “What is ice and yet burns.” Calaf said with confidence: “Turandot.”

Turandot could not stand defeat, and pleaded her father not to let her marry the prince.  Calaf, seeing how desperate Turandot pleads to her father, made her a proposition; If she can call him by his name  by dawn,  he would sacrifice himself and not marry her, but if she could not say his name, she would have to keep true to her promise.

Turandot orders no one should sleep until she could learn of Calaf’s name. But it was impossible for her to find out of his name as nobody knew who he was, except for an old man and a slave they had seen together with the prince that morning. Hours before dawn they bring to the palace Calaf’s father, Timur, and Liu. To save Calaf’s father, Liu asks for him to be left alone for she alone knows the prince. The slave is then torture, but never releases her prince’s name. Turandot is shaken by the slaves determination and asks what gives her such power; the slaves then answers her: “Love.” Calaf arrives at the scene and Liu afraid  he will reveal his name to the princess in order to save her, kills herself with a dagger and tells Turandot that through her sacrifice she will learn the meaning of true love.  Calaf then forces Turandot to kiss him, so passionately and violent that Turandot cries for the first time. Confident he was won her over, the prince reveals his name. Turandot then walks over to her father and announces the prince’s identity: “His name is, Love.”

The famous Opera aria “Nessun Dorma” is from this Opera by Puccini. It is sang during the third act, when the princess Turandot orders no one should sleep until she learns the prince’s name. Thus the name “Nessun Dorma” (None Shall Sleep)

I find, there are many talented tenors; but surely, no other can sing “Nessun Dorma” as the grand Luciano Pavarotti. He makes you feel the story with his expressions while singing “Nessun Dorma”


“Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma! Tu pure, o Principessa, nella tua fredda stanza, guardi le stelle che tremano d’amore, e di speranza! Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me; il nome mio nessun saprà! No, No! Sulla tua bocca lo dirò quando la luce splenderà! Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio che ti fa mia!”

English translation:

“None shall sleep! None shall sleep! Even you, O Princess, in your cold bedroom, watch the stars that tremble with love and with hope! But my secret is hidden within me; none will know my name! No, no! On your mouth I will say it when the light shines! And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!”

Verse lyrics from; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nessun_Dorma

*Toscanini’s quote; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arturo_Toscanini;

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Dana International: A legend with a Twist!

A “Super Star” in her own right, this talented singer from Israel has captivated the world with her authenticity, her uniqueness and undeniable sexy creativeness.  I first discovered Dana back in 98′ when she won the Eurovision Contest with a song called “Diva” (a must-have, may I say so) and since that day she only grew stronger both in my heart and in my Ipod’s Playlist.  Now let’s bring it up a notch – Dana was born a man “Yaron Cohen” and later had sex-change operation to become a full woman at the age of 18. Now that I got that big fish out-of-the-way I have to tell you she is one of the most successful and famous transgenders in the world and although various conservative groups like the orthodox Jews, members of the catholic church , etc. have been completely opposed to her music and have launched several attacks against her career, she has managed to survive and become  one of the biggest celebrities in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.  Originally discovered by famous DJ Offer Nissim, she has also worked with many other famous celebrities around the world like Idan Yaniv, Ne Angely, Famous Israeli rapper “Subliminal” Etc. Off course she is huge in the gay community all over the world and strongly supports gay rights, most of all she is an example of how a person can change the world despite growing up in an extremely conservative country like Israel. She inspires hope in all of us!

This is her latest video with Subliminal – is called “Alay” which means “Look at me”

Here are both Lyrics in Hebrew and In English

Hebrew

Ani koreh la vehi lo megivah
Ani la ba lehene lechapes ahavah
Sorek et hashetach mi omed mitzdadaii
Vepitom hi omeret tistakel rak alaii

Alaii – Alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alii
Alaii – Alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii

Why, walli alaii o tirdi mimeni o sheta’ali alii
Im me’achoraii milifnei o mitzdadaii
Mabatim alaii hopa tinanaii
Walla mi lochemet, zoremet, chosemet mi she’zomemet
Lo merachemet, mitkademet, kol milah mekayemet al emet…

Levi’ah chosefet, shinayim no’etzet
Ba’orek harashi hatkafah mitparetzet
Mi yachol alaya, mi? Ad mataii
Ani estakel alaya vehi tistakel alaii…

Alaii – Alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – Alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii

Ani koreh la vehi lo megivah
Ani lo ba lehene lechapes ahavah
Sorek et hashetach mi omed mitzdadaii
Vepitom hi omeret tistakel rak alaii

Alaii – Alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – Alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii

Levi’ah chosefet, shinayim no’etzet
Ba’orek harashi hatkafah mitparetzet
Mi yachol alaya, mi? Ad mataii
Ani estakel alaya vehi tistakel alaii…

Alaii – Alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii,
Lehistakel, lehistakel alaii
Alaii – alaii

Translation into English

Im calling her and she doesn’t respond
I didn’t came here to search for love
Looking around, checking who’s by my sides
Now she says just look at me

At me, at me
Look at me, look at me
At me, at me
Look at me, look at me

Wow, “Wally, All’ay” Get off my back or get on me
If all around me, Throwing looks at me “Hopa Tinanay”
“Walla” Who’s a fighter, who’s a flewer, blocking anyone who’s planning
Not forgiving, moving forward, fullfiling her promises

A lioness showing her teeth, embedding her teeth
at the main Vein – there’s a blowing attack
Who can go on her, who ? till then
I’ll look at her and she will at me

At me, at me
Look at me, look at me
At me, at me
Look at me, look at me

Im calling her and she doesn’t respond
I didn’t came here to search for love
Looking around, checking who’s by my sides
Now she says just look at me

At me, at me
Look at me, look at me
At me, at me
Look at me, look at me

A lioness showing her teeth, embedding her teeth
at the main Vein – there’s a blowing attack
Who can go on her, who ? till then
I’ll look at her and she will at me

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The Girl Who Listens To Cinema Paradiso

There is nothing I can think to write of tonight. I think I’m burnt out with all the Dragon Tattoo Girl and Ninja Assassins going around. I have had a pretty busy week and now, now I can’t think of nothing to write about.  There are so many things I wish to share, Spike, Faye, Nina Simone, My So-Called Life; where to start? I keep thinking of Lisbeth Salander and her taser gun. I think I’m going to get one if its possible.

After much thinking, nothing is clear, however there is one thing that is certain; I need to go to sleep! But before I do that, let me leave you with a wonderful interpretation of “Cinema Paradiso”.

Chris Botti and Yo-Yo Ma:

Is it normal to become a character’s fan? I don’t know. Where can I get a signed picture?

“It” is The Dragon Tattoo, Not Twilight

Everybody is talking about the book with the tattooed girl Lisbeth Salander (who I keep calling Slander… don’t ask me why) and the fascinating lady’s man Mikael Blomkvist, A.K.A “Kalle Blomkvist”… hilarious! I’m more than proud to say I have read all the books already, and still North America is waiting for the third book coming out tomorrow. Bang! But I’m not writing to brag about my accomplishment, the pressing matter now is saving the honor of my hero; Stieg Larsson.

Let me present you with some facts about the book; It was written by Stieg Larsson, my new favorite writer. When I told my dad (also a writer) that I wanted to start writing, and him knowing how little skills I have –but there is some talent for plotting nonetheless- said I needed to become a good researcher; “You must know what you write about, always inform yourself.” This is what happens with Larsson, he is not only one good researcher, but he has some awesome writing skills. No surprise the series has become a best seller in the entire world. To think I bought the book from a pharmacy stand with the purpose of killing my boredom. It did more than just entertain; it has become a part of my life. Oh Lisbeth, what have you done to me?

Larsson is a hidden jewel, a master of thriller. Mystery has a new synonym; Stieg Larsson. And he was more than just a good writer. He was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo in Sweden. He was a leading expert on Nazi, right-wing and antidemocratic organizations. And now he is dead. He is dead people!!! He died in 2004 after finishing the manuscripts. I’m totally heartbroken, I won’t be able to read anything more from him, and the world just lost another good writer and story teller. This is sad indeed. It needs to be talked about for months to come. People should realize what we have missed with the death of this writer. I need to calm down.

A Swedish film has already been made; I have not seen it yet. Although it has not been a hit here in North America, it made $88 millions in other countries. The book has been mentioned on TV. Every other person I meet is reading it. They write about it in Entertainment magazine. And, after reading what terrible mistake they have made, I feel I have to save Larsson’s honor.

So some Hollywood actresses are killing themselves to be Lisbeth? Who wouldn’t? Sign me up please! The article talks about the new Hollywood film for which some actresses are already lining up. It brings out concerns about which actors should play the parts. As the contenders there is; Knightley, Page, Mulligan, Portman, Bella… I mean, Kristen Stewart, also Mia Wasikowska, and somebody who they have not mentioned. I do not know how much of this is true, because I don’t trust magazines that much, but I’m already rooting for Portman, although I would preferred a less pretty Lisbeth, since she is not beautiful but attractive, and way-down-super cool. Brad Pitt is said to be considering the male lead, and here is something that seemed funny to me. In the article, written by Adam Markovitz, he talks about Pitt being too handsome to play Kalle Blomkvist. Who said Blomkvist was an “everyguy”? Read the book, please! Our intrepid Kalle Blomkvist is a handsome forty-something. Brad would be fine in physical terms. My question is; would he be good in the interpretation of who Blomkvist is? That I don’t know. However, after thinking if there is somebody else more suited for the role, I have nothing to say but to think: Have I idolized these two characters too much? Maybe. To this point, everything was fine. Then I read the comment Paul Bogaards made (and I’m quoting Markovitz who quoted Bogaards): “Larsson has become a global brand on par with authors like Stephenie Meyer, John Grisham, James Patterson” WHAT?! I have nothing against Meyer, but please do not, DO NOT, pair my Larsson up with her. I understand he meant brand, as in becoming totally famous, but still, Larsson and Meyer? I can’t think of them in the same level.

I won’t lie, I don’t care for the Twilight series, but I recognize that Meyer has the ability to make people follow, and that’s good. However, she is nowhere near Larsson. Meyer wrote nothing new; A vampire who falls in love with a human girl… and? Oh! He can walk during daylight? I see… and? Oh, oh! I get it, he sparkles. Now Larsson, he has written something totally mind blowing, and the best thing is, he didn’t need vampires, a weird and troubled girl was enough. So please people, refrain from turning my dragon tattooed Lisbeth into a Bella.


Other Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) related posts:

Leon The Professional

Graffiti: Legal Urban Art?

Apparently the Miami, Windwood area doesn’t seem to mind the new adopted decorations, despite the fact that it’s streets are constantly patrolled by cops on a daily basis, the graffiti just keeps on popping.  In my opinion I think authorities are starting to enjoy it and view it as another art form as well as the members of the industrial artsy community.(Many which I suspect are behind all this) On my way back home from work I usually cut through North Miami Ave heading towards the Design District and I have been enjoying the variety in color, style, and texture of some of these works of art for months already and they keep coming, very impressive indeed.  Funny, Graffiti has been around since the cave man era, some of it dating back to 30,000 BCE in the form of prehistoric drawings on caves, rocks, animal bones, etc. It seems to be a necessary form of expression for humanity, especially in densely populated neighborhoods where the majority of the families make very low income. Some think of graffiti as being part of the hip Hop genre style and although it may have started that way I believe it has grown into a culture for the Urban Youth of all backgrounds and is receiving huge acceptance from the new generation of Yuppies roaming the Miami Soho Spots.

Re-Birth of an Industrial Wasteland