Giacomo Puccini failed to finish his last opera, Turandot, which fact was no hindrance to its triumph. Many nations have a myth of a woman who examines male character with hard-to-solve-riddles, and he pays with his life if he fails to solve them. Those riddles are almost impossible to crack by plain logic, they demand superior wisdom which can be awakened by love.
Following the “Oriental” trend of his Madama Butterfly, Puccini set the plot in China stressing it with the use of gongs, xylophones, and similar stuff. A “femme fatale” as Turandot is presented in the opera can be understood in a feminist way, as a proud young woman who does her best to avoid man's power over her and at the same time avenges for her ancestress. And only Calaf's readiness to put his life in her hands not just “melts Turandot's heart” but demonstrates her that, instead of being a violator, a man can be noble and devoted.