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Tosca is an opera based on a play by Victorien Sardou. Giacomo Puccini saw this play in Milan in 1887, after which he asked his editor, Giulio Ricordi, to buy Sardou's rights but he was not able to do so. In 1893, the rights were given to another composer named Alberto Franchetti. His libretto was written by Luigi Illica. Franchetti, Ricordi, Illica, and Giuseppe Verdi met with Sardou in October of 1894 to present the libretto.
Verdi, however, refused to write music for it unless Sardou came up with a different ending. A few months later, Franchetti announced he had not composed the music, so Ricordi endorsed the work to Puccini. Puccini had to be convinced by Verdi to accept the work because he was still offended that he was not able to buy the rights before. He did accept it, and began the work in 1896. Ricordi then asked Giuseppe Giacosa to work on the libretto with Illica. Giacosa's output did not meet their standards, and he had a few disagreements with Sardou. Puccini also had disagreements with Illica, Giacosa, and Ricordi, making it difficult to finish the opera.
Finally, in October of 1899, the opera was completed after three years. Being a story about Rome, the group decided that the prima would be in that city. The opera was to be performed in Teatro Costanzi. By this time, the opera had caught a lot of attention and aroused the people's curiosity because of the many intrigues that came with its completion. Soprano Hariclea Darclee played Tosca, tenor Emilio De Marchi was Cavaradossi, while baritone Eugenio Giraldoni played Scarpia. The opera was directed by Leopoldo Mugnone. The show was a big success. Tosca's setting is June of 1800 in Rome, which was the year that Napoleon invaded Italy. It is an opera in three acts by Puccini. The Italian libretto was done by Illica and Giacosa.