"A Mandarin announces the law of the land ("Popolo di Pekino: La legge e questa...)": Any man who desires to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles. If he fails, he will be beheaded. The Prince of Persia has failed and is to be beheaded at moonrise. As the crowd surges towards the gates of the palace, crying for blood, a blind old man is pushed to the ground while his slave-girl, Li?, cries for help. A young man hears her cry and recognizes the old man as his long-lost father Timur, the deposed king of Tartary. The young Prince of Tartary urges his father not to speak his name because he fears the Chinese rulers who have conquered Tartary. Timur tells his son that of all his servants, only Li? has remained faithful to him. When the Prince asks her why, she tells him that once, long ago in the palace, he smiled upon her"-Wikipedia (Sept 2006).