Nessun Dorma

Album: Turandot (1926)
Charted: 2


  • This is probably the best known Italian song throughout the English speaking world, having been popularised by the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti; after it was used as a TV theme song for the 1990 soccer world cup, it reached number 2 in the UK singles chart, the highest position ever for a classical song.
  • In Pucinni's Turandot, "Nessun Dorma" is sung by Calaf (the unknown prince). The title translates as "None Shall Sleep", but although it has been recorded in English, the Italian version is always to be preferred.
    The opera, which has a libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, saw its first public performance on April 25, 1926. Pucinni did not live to see it; he died in November 1924, shortly after being diagnosed with throat cancer.
  • "Nessun Dorma" was published as a stand alone piece several times from the 1990s, including, according to the British Library catalogue, as "World Cup Italia '90 theme: as featured on TV: Puccini's Nessun dorma!" This is an easy-play version for recorder, flute, violin or clarinet/tenor saxophone and piano, arranged by Barrie Carson Turner. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

Comments: 2

  • Ross from Grand Forks, NdThanks Alexander for posting a classical song; my favourites are Italian love songs and few are listed on this site. Maybe we can change Ross, Grand Forks, ND
  • Sarah from Austin, TxI was told by my brother in law that "Nessun Dorma" was chosen as the World Cup theme because the time zones insured most of the people watching would have to stay up late (or all night) to watch the games. Now, that could be a crock, but hey it sounds good to me.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steve Morse of Deep Purple

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock Photography

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?Song Writing

A big list of musical marriages and family relations ranging from the simple to the truly dysfunctional.

Have Mercy! It's Wolfman Jack

Have Mercy! It's Wolfman JackSong Writing

The story of the legendary lupine DJ through the songs he inspired.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.