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Tosca

Tosca is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14 January 1900; the work, based on Victorien Sardou's 1887 French-language dramatic play, La Tosca, is a melodramatic piece set in Rome in June 1800, with the Kingdom of Naples's control of Rome threatened by Napoleon's invasion of Italy. It contains depictions of torture and suicide, as well as some of Puccini's best-known lyrical arias. Puccini saw Sardou's play when it was touring Italy in 1889 and, after some vacillation, obtained the rights to turn the work into an opera in 1895. Turning the wordy French play into a succinct Italian opera took four years, during which the composer argued with his librettists and publisher. Tosca premiered at a time of unrest in Rome, its first performance was delayed for a day for fear of disturbances. Despite indifferent reviews from the critics, the opera was an immediate success with the public.

Musically, Tosca is structured as a through-composed work, with arias, recitative and other elements musically woven into a seamless whole. Puccini used Wagnerian leitmotifs to identify characters and ideas. While critics have dismissed the opera as a facile melodrama with confusions of plot—musicologist Joseph Kerman famously called it a "shabby little shocker"—the power of its score and the inventiveness of its orchestration have been acknowledged; the dramatic force of Tosca and its characters continues to fascinate both performers and audiences, the work remains one of the most performed operas. Many recordings of the work have been issued, both of live performances; the French playwright Victorien Sardou wrote more than 70 plays all of them successful, none of them performed today. In the early 1880s Sardou began a collaboration with actress Sarah Bernhardt, whom he provided with a series of historical melodramas, his third Bernhardt play, La Tosca, which premiered in Paris on 24 November 1887, in which she starred throughout Europe, was an outstanding success, with more than 3,000 performances in France alone.

Puccini had seen La Tosca at least twice, in Turin. On 7 May 1889 he wrote to his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, begging him to get Sardou's permission for the work to be made into an opera: "I see in this Tosca the opera I need, with no overblown proportions, no elaborate spectacle, nor will it call for the usual excessive amount of music."Ricordi sent his agent in Paris, Emanuele Muzio, to negotiate with Sardou, who preferred that his play be adapted by a French composer. He complained about the reception La Tosca had received in Italy in Milan, warned that other composers were interested in the piece. Nonetheless, Ricordi reached terms with Sardou and assigned the librettist Luigi Illica to write a scenario for an adaptation. In 1891, Illica advised Puccini against the project, most because he felt the play could not be adapted to a musical form; when Sardou expressed his unease at entrusting his most successful work to a new composer whose music he did not like, Puccini took offence. He withdrew from the agreement, which Ricordi assigned to the composer Alberto Franchetti.

Illica wrote a libretto for Franchetti, never at ease with the assignment. When Puccini once again became interested in Tosca, Ricordi was able to get Franchetti to surrender the rights so he could recommission Puccini. One story relates that Ricordi convinced Franchetti that the work was too violent to be staged. A Franchetti family tradition holds that Franchetti gave the work back as a grand gesture, saying, "He has more talent than I do." American scholar Deborah Burton contends that Franchetti gave it up because he saw little merit in it and could not feel the music in the play. Whatever the reason, Franchetti surrendered the rights in May 1895, in August Puccini signed a contract to resume control of the project. According to the libretto, the action of Tosca occurs in Rome in June 1800. Sardou, in his play, dates it more precisely. Italy had long been divided into a number of small states, with the Pope in Rome ruling the Papal States in Central Italy. Following the French Revolution, a French army under Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796, entering Rome unopposed on 11 February 1798 and establishing a republic there.

Pope Pius VI was taken prisoner, was sent into exile on February 20, 1798. The new republic was ruled by seven consuls. In September 1799 the French, who had protected the republic, withdrew from Rome; as they left, troops of the Kingdom of Naples occupied the city. In May 1800 Napoleon, by the undisputed leader of France, brought his troops across the Alps to Italy once again. On 14 June his army met the Austrian forces at the Battle of Marengo. Austrian troops were successful, their commander, Michael von Melas, sent this news south towards Rome. However, fresh French troops arrived in late afternoon, Napoleon attacked the tired Austrians; as Melas retreated in disarray with the remains of his army, he sent a second courier south with the revised message. The Neapolitans abandoned Rome, the city spent the next fourteen years under French domin

Horse Creek, California

Horse Creek is an unincorporated community in Siskiyou County, United States. Horse Creek is located along California State Route 96 19 miles west-northwest of Yreka. On August 29, 1936, ex-convicts John and Coke Brite shot and killed Siskiyou County Deputy Martin Lange, constable Joe Clark and visitor Fred Seaborn in a drunken haze near the isolated cabin where they lived with their parents; the brothers had earlier beaten up the elderly Seaborn and his friend, Horse Creek resident Charley Baker. Seaborn, a retired naval officer and the harbor master of the port of Vallejo, California was in Horse Creek to hunt deer with Baker. After the massacre, the Brite brothers hid out in the Siskiyou Mountains for three weeks in fear of Siskiyou County's reputation for lynching murderers, they secretly gave themselves up to Siskiyou County District Attorney James G. Davis, who along with Dr. Earl Harris drove them to Folsom Prison for their safety; the Brite Brothers were convicted and sentenced to death, however appeals reduced the sentence to life in prison.

They were both paroled in 1951, but were soon back in prison, where they died

2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships – Women's pentathlon

The women's pentathlon at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships was held at the ASPIRE Dome on 13 March. Eight athletes will be invited by the IAAF in the Heptathlon and in the Pentathlon as follows: the three best athletes from the 2009 Outdoor Lists limited to a maximum of one per country and the three best athletes form the 2010 Indoor Lists during two athletes which may be invited at the discretion of the IAAFIn total no more than two male and two female athletes from any one Member will be invited. Upon refusals or cancellations, the invitations shall be extended to the next ranked athletes in the same lists respecting the above conditions. Members whose athletes are invited as above will receive additional quota places accordingly 60 metres hurdles Results High jump Results Shot put Results Long jump Results 800 metres Results Summary Results