SO 1

Watch the workshop reading recorded at the National Opera Center in 2019!

An Incident in Sutton Square

A short opera for tenor


Bb clarinet


Duration: approx. 26 minutes


Libretto by Stephen Kitsakos



The living room of an apartment in the swanky Sutton Place neighborhood of Manhattan.


Danny (sung by a tenor) is an eccentric, boyish man in his mid-30's, dressed in pajamas and a robe.


From a large, draped window Danny turns to tell us a story, an incident that occurred on the street below. It's clear to us that we are listening to someone who has an affliction, a tendency towards strict order, routine and compulsion which undermines the most ordinary and quotidian of actions. He describes tenants in his building's elevator, he mourns his late dog, Cooper, and relates an encounter he believes he had, with the actress, Yvonne DeCarlo.

As he describes a recent afternoon walk, he explains offhandedly that he is a "counter," someone afflicted with arithmomania, a form of OCD. For a brief moment he becomes an insightful and conversant tour guide. Suddenly, he observes a dog-walker with five leashes approaching, and catches the eye of a little beagle who reminds him of his late dog. Absorbed with the dog-walker's activity, he stops to watch and witnesses the walker physically abuse one of the dogs. Danny is spellbound, then visibly shaken, then emotionally outraged. He wants to intercede but he is crippled by his OCD. His routine has been interrupted and his compulsion to move on in order not to disturb the
uncontrollable pattern of his behavior, overwhelms him. Ultimately, he comes to the realization that he is on a leash too.

Please contact the composer via the Contact Page to purchase a full score and parts and/or the PV score.


Image courtesy of Michele Byrne