• Stephen Oliver
  • A Man of Feeling (1980)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • pf
  • Soprano, Baritone
  • 20 min
  • Stephen Oliver
  • Stephen Oliver, based on short story by by Arthur Schnitzler
  • English

Programme Note


The soprano plays the part of an opera singer while the baritone takes all the other roles in the operatic sketch about the relationship between the sensitive Fritz and the soprano. Much of the action is reported by Fritz’s friend following the former’s suicide. He reads a letter from the soprano explaining why she has had to leave him so suddenly and the events that led to her taking him as a lover originally.


As pianist and soprano rehearse a new waltz-song, a baritone enters and shoots himself. The rehearsal continues uninterrupted, and the baritone rises to explain to the audience the reason for the suicide. Pianist, soprano and baritone then recreate, in a series of flashbacks, the tale of the soprano who loses her voice. She goes to several specialists and quacks (all played by the baritone), who recommend a variety of cures – ultimately persuading her that she cannot sing because she is a virgin. On the doctor’s advice she sets out to find a lover, Fritz, and through him, regains her voice. Some months later she abandons him, leaving behind a letter that explains the reasons for their affair. Fritz shoots himself in despair.