Passion selon Sade, La (‘The Passion according to Sade’)
- Jürgen Maehder
(‘The Passion according to Sade’)
Mystère de chambre in one act by Sylvano Bussotti to his own libretto after Louise Labé; Stockholm, Kungliga Teatern (Rotunda), 1 November 1968 (partial perf., Palermo, Teatro Biondo, 5 September 1965).
Bussotti’s first stage work belongs to the genre of experimental music theatre; its title, which suggests a text by the Marquis de Sade as a basis for the vocal parts, is deliberately misleading as the entire work is in fact based on a sonnet by Louise Labé (1555). The mezzo-soprano represents Justine and Juliette at the same time; the role was written for Cathy Berberian and requires an excellent actress. The stage is filled with various fragments of sets for Traviata, Otello, Turandot, Manon Lescaut and other works from a mostly Italian repertory. Bussotti’s score is one of the most important examples of graphic notation in the realm of music theatre; it leaves a considerable amount of freedom to the performers, but meticulously prescribes effects of lighting and staging. The action on stage is sometimes interrupted by purely musical sections and by a ‘happening’ which completely interrupts the work for an indefinite time....