Originally Posted at Tangent Online, May 16, 2018
“Variations On A Theme From Turandot” by Ada Hoffmann
This story is, as the title says, a series of variations on the opera Turandot. It’s a strange piece that explores the Turandot character, Liù, as she’s played nightly on the stage by a woman known only as Soprano. Liù has somehow come to realize she’s a character in an opera and spends the rest of the story tweaking and twisting the lines of the story to change the ending.
It’s a rather beautiful story and well worth a read. The piece gracefully weaves the modern-day scenes of the Soprano with the slow, purposeful manipulation of the Princess by Liù. By the end, I’m left with a sense of wonder; wonder at the meaning of art, of the reflection of our lives in the lines we write or the arias we sing. But mostly I wonder at the impact our words have on future generations; on how a central theme of one person’s life might lend to a skewed view of love and loss.