Here is an example of a Part 2 speaking topic question from the IELTS test.
IELTS Speaking Test Part 2 Cue card Topic Question
IELTS Speaking Answer | A song you like
The name means “None shall sleep” in English. It’s a song from the opera Turandot, written by Giacomo Puccini. It’s sung by the character Calaf (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with a beautiful Princess, Turandot.
However, according to the story, any man who wants to marry the princess must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded, in other words he will have his head chopped off.
Once Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles she is reluctant to marry him, so Calaf offers her another chance, by challenging her to guess his name by dawn – remember he’s the ‘unknown prince’. If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him.
She then orders all the people in her kingdom to find out what his name is before the morning, or they will all die – hence the name “None shall sleep”; nobody will sleep that night until they know his name.
It’s a very emotional song, usually sung in Italian, the original language of the opera. The first time I heard it – it moved me – and I didn’t even understand the words the first time I heard it. That’s part of its charm for me – the fact that just the sound of it is so powerful and emotive, even in an unknown language. Shortly after hearing it for the first time I tried to translate it into English myself; I was so interested to know what it meant.
I can still remember exactly when I first heard it – it was part of the movie soundtrack of The killing Fields which was released in 1984. The movie was about Cambodia. Anyway, the music from Nessun Dorma was used during the movie and that’s when I first heard it.
As I said, it made a big impression on me because it’s so full of emotion and power and since then I’ve listened to various versions and listened to various famous singers and their versions of it. One of the most popular worldwide was Luciano Pavarotti’s version. In fact, it was used as the theme music by the BBC during the 1990 FIFA World Cup and also at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Toronto. I guess it must be one of the best known ‘opera songs’ in the world now.
My favorite time to listen to it is in the evening as the sun is going down and the day turns
into night – it has haunting melody and I can easily listen to it several times.
IELTS talk about a song you like
- How would you answer this IELTS speaking test question about a song you like?
- How does it make you feel when you listen to your favorite song?
- How did you discover the song you like?