FULL PRINZESSIN TURANDOT Movie Germany 1934 Käthe von Nagy, Willy Fritsch, Paul Kemp, Willy Schaeffers
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: PRINZESSIN TURANDOT
- Composer: Franz Doelle
- Libretto: Thea von Harbou
- Venue & Opera Company: Ufa-Atelier in Neubabelsberg, Germany
- Recorded: 1934
- Type: Movie
- Singers: Käthe von Nagy, Willy Fritsch, Paul Kemp, Willy Schaeffers
- Conductor: Franz Doelle
- Stage Director: Gerhard Lamprecht
- Costume Designer:
Information about the Recording
- Date Published: 1934
- Format: Broadcast
- Quality Video: 3 Audio:3
- Subtitles: yessubs, desubs, gensubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
The Emperor of China wants his daughter, the capricious and headstrong Princess Turandot, to finally get married, especially since his quarrelsome and no less headstrong wife is giving him a hard time about it. But Turandot doesn’t even think about getting married and cites her father’s marriage as the best example against the institution of marriage. Many a suitor who could not meet her highest standards and complete three tasks became headless: his head was impaled and placed on the palace wall as a warning to all subsequent marriage candidates. The Prince of Samarkand is next to lose his head, but he is lucky because the young, brazen bird dealer Kalaf, who is very upset about this martial method of selecting a husband, stands in the way of the executioner’s cart. The stranger expresses his outrage in front of the masses of people who have gathered and do not want to miss the spectacle of beheading. Grotesquely, it is precisely the death row candidate who wants to defend Turandot’s honor when Calaf says that this princess obviously deserves to be properly thrown over the knee. In the subsequent boxing match on the executioner’s cart, Kalaf’s servant and friend Willibald, who gets caught between the two brawlers, takes the most beating.
A lackey quickly rushes to the chief judge of China and tells him about the monstrous impudence of this stranger who prevented the execution of the Samarkand prince. Even Turandot’s maid Mian Li can’t tell her boss this news quickly enough and also reports that Calaf would like to spank her, Princess Turandot, most of all. The mouthy hero is promptly presented to the princess. She expects him to kowtow, but instead the bird dealer gives her a hard time because she’s having a bunch of applicants beheaded just because of her rejection of the marriage. On top of that, he also calls her “heartless” and a “stupid goose”. Turandot is extremely upset because no one in the Empire has ever dared to talk to her like that. When the chief judge enters the room, she orders that Calaf be thrown into prison because she never wants to see him again. The emperor passes by outside the door and congratulates Kalaf profusely on having spoken so clearly to his spoiled daughter.
A little later, Willibald goes to the emperor to ask for mercy for his lord and master Calaf. They both chat like old friends about their love of birds. Meanwhile, the chief judge introduces Kalaf to his closely guarded secret: Of course, none of the applicants have been beheaded so far, the impaled heads on the palace wall are just perfect replicas. Turandot hopes that through this demonstration they will finally leave the applicants from all over the world in peace. Calaf decides to put an end to this cruel ghost and since he is not in love with the princess and certainly does not want to marry her, he will set out to solve the three riddles with a clear conscience. The chief judge quickly sets off to convey this message to Turandot. In the evening there is an audience at which Kalaf is supposed to solve the three riddles.
The first riddle, the question of which of the three cups in front of him contains a deadly poison, is solved with a smile by Kalaf with a trick in which he combines the contents of all the cups into one and points to the only cup that is now filled. In the second puzzle he has to turn a heavy statue upside down with two fingers. Calaf thinks for a moment, takes the princess’s mirror and holds it at the head end against the statue so that it appears to be turned upside down. Turandot cries desperately “no, no, no!” But then comes task number 3, supposedly the most difficult puzzle: “Mr. Kalaf,” she asks, “what did I dream about last night?” Willibald, who is standing a little to the side, desperately tries to give him clues, but Kalaf can’t really interpret them. When he uses a sleight of hand to let a small, white piece of cloth run up his arm, Kalaf replies: “From white mice”. Turandot is aghast and has to admit that this answer is also correct.
Now Turandot has to marry Calaf, but he has absolutely no desire to take such a spoiled brat as his wife. This doesn’t suit the princess either, as this strong-willed young man gradually begins to impress her. She starts to cry while outside the door Calaf explains to the emperor that he only said this so that Turandot would finally start chasing a man and not always the other way around. The emperor conveys to Turandot Calaf’s condition for a marriage: Turandot must solve a riddle from him tomorrow. Since she doesn’t have the slightest idea what mystery this could be, Turandot assigns Mian-Li to spy on the solution to the task by tomorrow. Since she is unsuccessful, she disguises herself
Quoted from Wikipedia