The Stories of Sade

The Stories of Sade
Enric Ferrer

Based on the work for the theatre of the Marquis de Sade, Dialogue entre un prêtre et un moribund, and the stories, the Cat Mews or the Unexpected Encounter, Agustine de Villeblanche ou le Stratagème de l´Amour, Le Mari Puni, Le Talion and L’Instituteur Philosophe; and a free  rendition  of text from Yukio Mishima’s Madame de Sade.

The philosophic/literary works of Donatien Alphonse FrançoisMarquis de Sade, are some of the most controversial of his time and also of the 20th century .A rebel, revolutionary, of highly charged sexuality, Sade spent part of his life in prison and in a madhouse, places where he was able to write the greater part  of his works.

The contemporary opera, The Stories of Sade, begins by introducing us to Donatien Alphonse FrançoisMarquis de Sade, descendent of one of the most ancient and noble lineages from Provence, while he is in the Bastille around the year 1789. He is fat, corpulent and middle-aged with greasy clothing. The Marquis (actor) writes to kill the boring and tedious time of his imprisonment over so many hours in a cell. While he writes, his characters (the singers) represent in his imagination the five stories that he is at that time elaborating. His imagination “transports” the action to the scene of the cell, where we see the singers perform and while he, in a corner, writes and writes. Sade not only battled against the political use of Christianity whose end was to the domination and defence of noble property, but also against deist rationalism, which was the new instrument of the emerging and all-powerful bourgeoisie for the very same ends. For this reason, Sade starts from the supposition that vice is superior to virtue because it is based on physical pleasure, an undeniable fact, while at the foundations of virtue he found only moral pleasure or the pleasure of holding an opinion. The stories narrated in this work are, moreover, very representative of the  way of understanding the art and life of the Marquis, and they are in direct relationship with his life and philosophy: “Overriding, choleric, impulsive, exaggerated in everything, with a disordered imagination as refers to custom like no one else; fanatical atheist, you see me here in two words; and one more thing: kill me or accept me just as I am because I will not change.” Simone de Beauvoir, in her important essay on the Marquis, replies to the last affirmation: “They preferred to kill him. At first on slow burn in the tedium of a dungeon and after that through calumny and oblivion.” And that is how it was.

Pau Guix

Music and musical direction: Enric Ferrer

Libretto and stage direction: Pau Guix

Length approx. 85 mi
Language: Catalan

Teatre Malic
From 27 November to 1rst of December 2002

Figure 1: ANTONI COMAS, tenor
Figure 2: ESCARLATA BLANCO, mezzosoprano
Figure 3: MONTSERRAT MELERO, soprano
Figure 4: JOSEP PIERES, bass
Marquis de Sade: ENRIC CERVERA, actor


Instrumental Ensemble:

JOSEP PAZOS, Violoncellist



Scenography and Costume: JORDI BERNAUS

Correction of style and of Catalan: BENJAMÍ COMPANY

Assistant Director: MARTA TIMÓN

Executive Producer: PAU GUIX

Delegate Producer, VOX 21: ANTONI COMAS

A co-production between the FESTIVAL OF POCKET OPERA,