The Unknown Prince
in the opera Turandot
. The son of the exiled Timur
, King of Tartary
, he sees the cruel Princess
Turandot having another suitor behead
ed in Beijing
, and naturally falls in love with her instantly.
Despite the dissuasions of the Chinese ministers Ping, Pang, and Pong, and his father's faithful slave girl Liù, he strikes the gong indicating he wishes to try his life against Turandot riddles.
Naturally he gets them right, and the princess is furious. He offers to let her off her oath if she can guess his name. In the end of course love triumphs, though I suspect happily ever after is pushing it a bit, as he's a bozo and she's a termagant.
Anyway, his big songs are Non piangere Liù in Act One, the Riddle Scene in Act Two, and Nessun dorma in Act Three.