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Turandot, Princess of China A Chinoiserie in Three Acts   By: (1720-1806)

Book cover

First Page:

PLAYS OF TO DAY AND TO MORROW

TURANDOT PRINCESS OF CHINA

A CHINOISERIE IN THREE ACTS

BY

KARL VOLLMOELLER

AUTHORIZED ENGLISH VERSION,

BY

JETHRO BITHELL

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN

ADELPHI TERRACE

First Edition, January, 1913

(All rights reserved.)

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

TURANDOT Princess of China

ALTOUM Emperor of China, her father

ADELMA Princess of Tartary, favourite slave of Turandot

ZELIMA Another slave of Turandot

SKIRINA Zelima's mother

BARAK (Under the name of Hassan), Skirina's husband; formerly Major domo of

CALAF Prince of Astrakhan

ISHMAEL Major domo of the beheaded Prince of Samarkand

PANTALONE Prime Minister of the Emperor Altoum

TARTAGLIA Lord High Chancellor of China

BRIGELLA Captain of the Imperial pages

TRUFFALDINO Chief Eunuch of Turandot's harem

PRINCE OF SAMARKAND... (Silent)

Eight Doctors. Female Slaves and Eunuchs of the harem. A Headsman. Soldiers of the Palace Guard.

SCENE: Pekin. All the acting characters wear Chinese costume, except Adelma and Calaf, who are in Tartar dress.

Cast of the play as produced at the St. James's Theatre, London, on January 18, 1913, under the management of Sir George Alexander.

Turandot EVELYN D'Alroy

Altoum J. H. BARNES

Adelma HILDA MOORE

Zelima MAIRE O'NEILL

Skirina MARGARET YARDE

Barak ALFRED HARRIS

Calaf GODFREY TEARLE

Ishmael JAMES BERRY

Pantalone EDWARD SASS

Tartaglia E. VIVIAN REYNOLDS

Brigella FRED LEWIS

Truffadino NORMAN FORBES

Prince of Samarkand AUSTIN FEHRMAN

The action takes place outside the gates of Pekin, and inside the Emperor's Palace.

TO

MY FRIEND THAT GREAT ARTIST

FERRUCCIO BUSONI

NOTE

The very affecting history of the cruel Princess Turandot and the handsome Prince Calaf may be read in those Persian tales which are known by the name of The Thousand and One Nights.

Twice already has the story gone over the boards: in 1762 in Venice as "Turandotte," one of the fiabe of Count Carlo Gozzi; in 1804 in Weimar, as Friedrich Schiller's "Turandot." Both versions lived their passing hour, and died to the stage.

The present dramatisation of the ancient fable a modest attempt to cast good metal anew closely follows the Italian of the sardonic nobleman whose bones have been mouldering by the blue lagoons for over a hundred years.

KARL VOLLMOELLER.

THE FIRST ACT

SCENE I

One of the city gates of Pekin. Over the gate, planted on iron poles, a row of severed heads with shaven crowns and Turkish tufts.

TIME: Shortly after sunrise. When the curtain rises the gate is closed. From within the roll of drums and military commands.

BRIGELLA.

( Behind the scenes. ) Halt! Present arms!

TRUFFALDINO.

( Behind the scenes. ) Halt! Slope swords!

Open the gate! At ease! Quick march!

( The gate is thrown open. TRUFFALDINO, leading the eunuchs ; then, between PANTALONE and TARTAGLIA, the PRINCE OF SAMARKAND; behind them, at the head of his pages, BRIGELLA. The whole procession halts in front of the gate, they all draw up in one line, and gaze upwards at the bloody heads. )

PANTALONE.

( Stepping in front of the footlights. )

My name is Pantalone, and I am a native of Venice. At the moment I am the Prime Minister of the Chinese Empire. Eh, what d'ye say? What I' m doing here in Pekin? H'm. ( Puts his hand in front of his mouth. ) Venice got too hot for me. An ind indelicate affair. My wife of course, you guess my meaning. ( To the PRINCE.) This, your Royal Highness, is the place you have heard so much of. Have a good look at it, please . Make yourself quite at home. Yes, quite right, up there, please ! ( To TARTAGLIA.)

I say, my dear Lord Chancellor. Be so good as to show his Royal Highness the elevated position he will occupy in the near future. You have the information, I presume.

(TARTAGLIA turns towards the PRINCE, PANTALONE pulls his sleeve ... Continue reading book >>




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