Show History



Passion is adapted from the 1981 Italian film, Passione d'Amore directed by Ettore Scola. The film, in turn, is adapted from the nineteenth-century novel, Fosca by the experimental Italian writer, Iginio Ugo Tarchetti. The novel was a fictionalized recounting of an affair that Tarchetti had once had with an epileptic woman when he was a soldier.

Sondheim first came up with the idea of writing a musical when he saw the Italian film in 1983:

"As Fosca started to speak and the camera cut back to her, I had my epiphany. I realized that the story was not about how she is going to fall in love with him, but about how he is going to fall in love with her... at the same time thinking, 'They're never going to convince me of that, they're never going to pull that off,' all the while knowing they would, that Scola wouldn't have taken on such a ripely melodramatic story unless he was convinced that he could make it plausible. By the end of the movie, the unwritten songs in my head were brimming and I was certain of two things. First, I wanted to make it into a musical, the problem being that it couldn't be a musical, not even in my nontraditional style, because the characters were so outsized. Second, I wanted James Lapine to write it; he was a romantic, he had a feel for different centuries and different cultures, and he was enthusiastically attracted to weirdness."