Tosca (Italian: Tosca) is an opera by Giacomo Puccini in three acts to a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa based on the drama of the same name by Victorien Sardou (1887). The premiere took place at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on January 14, 1900.
History of creation
The play "Tosca" was written by V. Sardu especially for Sarah Bernhardt, and the actress was a huge success in it. The premiere took place on November 24, 1887 at the Paris theater of the Porte Saint-Martin. Puccini saw the play at the Filodrammatico in Milan. In a letter dated May 7, 1889, the composer instructs his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, to conduct all the necessary negotiations in order to obtain Sardou's permission to write an opera based on his work. The play aroused interest as a source for the libretto also from Verdi and Franchetti. The latter received the rights to write the opera and even began work. However, thanks to Ricordi, these rights eventually passed to Puccini. The composer turned to the new project for the first time in 1895 during a short break in work on the score of La bohème. L. Illika (1859-1919), who wrote the libretto for Franchetti, was joined by G. Giacosa (1847-1906). On January 13, 1899, in Paris, Puccini met with Sardou and obtained his consent to use the play. Later, the composer agreed with the author of the drama and some changes in the plot. Puccini insisted that all secondary details be removed, the plot was extremely simplified, and the action was accelerated as much as possible. The image of the main character has also undergone changes: from a diva who considered her love for a freethinker artist a sin, Floria Tosca turned into a talented actress and patriot of Italy.
The premiere took place at Rome's Teatro Costanzi on January 14, 1900. The parts were performed by: Hariclea Darkle (Tosca), Emilio de Marchi (Cavaradossi), Eugenio Giraldoni (Scarpia), Ruggero Galli (Angelotti), conducted by Leopoldo Mugnone. Present in the hall: Queen Margherita, President of the Italian Council of Ministers Luigi Pell, Minister of Culture Baccelli, Pietro Mascagni, Francesco Cilea, Franchetti, Giovanni Sgambatti. At first, the opera was received without enthusiasm. She was reproached for the unoriginality of melodic ideas, repeating Puccini's previous discoveries, for naturalism, the scene of torture was especially criticized.