Theodore Chanler: The Pot of Fat
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL162     Release Date: 2010-01-01

Dixie Stewart (soprano); Arthur Burrows (baritone); Bruce Abel (baritone);
CRI Chamber Orchestra; Jorge Mester, conductor

There is a grandeur about Theodore Chanler's The Pot of Fat which makes this domestic tragedy larger than life. Yet the husband in the opera is a cat and his wife is a mouse.

The libretto is based on a Grimm fairy tale, The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership. The plot is simple. A cat and mouse live together happily while the cat cheats the mouse. When the mouse discovers the cat’s duplicity, he devours her in his rage.

Although librettist Hester Pickman has kept to the original outline of the story, she has taken the short, stark tale and changed it from a Grand Guignol horror-thriller into a philosophical drama. At the end of The Pot of Fat, one is not shocked, but saddened, as when witnessing the conclusion of a friend’s unhappy marriage. She has transformed the cat and mouse into believable human beings. Her characters are not good or bad, but like people, they are good or wrong, or even good and wrong.

This is borne out in Chanler’s own description of the cat, the mouse, and the narrator—the opera’s total cast: “. . . they are really people—Cat an attractive ruffian, Mouse a gentle, appealing little fool, perhaps, I should add appetizing.” About the Narrator he wrote, “ we think of him as representing Nature itself—or Fate, or Fortune, whatever you want to call it. . . . ”

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Full liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Dixie Stewart

Theodore Chanler: The Pot of Fat

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included.


Track Listing

The Pot of Fat: Prologue ‰ÛÒ Scene 1
Theodore Chanler
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The Pot of Fat: Scene 2
Theodore Chanler
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The Pot of Fat: Scene 3
Theodore Chanler
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The Pot of Fat: Scene 4
Theodore Chanler
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The Pot of Fat: Scene 5
Theodore Chanler
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The Pot of Fat: Scene 6
Theodore Chanler
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The Pot of Fat: Epilogue
Theodore Chanler
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