Fettle-Bottom Whiskers

a chamber opera in one act for young voices

Fettle-Bottom Whiskers really needs some friends.


Mr. Fettle-Bottom Whiskers
Slimy Lizard
Smelly Gecko

scored for treble voices and piano (13 pages)

Libretto adapted by the composer from a work created in the Active Learning through Opera Program as sponsored by the Santa Fe Opera Company(For more information, read performance notes below.)

Synopsis: Fettle-Bottom Whiskers, a fine cat with golden eyes, lives in a great castle with servants who tend to his every need. He has a favorite toy which occupies him constantly. The head butler has decided that his charge needs some friends. Surely a mere toy cannot take their place. One day, Fettle-Bottom Whiskers encounters a creature in the midst of his castle that he hadn’t seen before. It appears that this character has emerged from a great painting of the desert which hangs in the banquet hall. A confidence is gained, the toy is snatched, a chase ensues, and a discovery of the nature of real relationship comes to pass.

Performance duration: circa 10″

Read the libretto

See sample pages of the score

Buy a PDF of the complete piano/vocal score

Download a sample performance license

Performance materials

Piano-vocal score: $25 to print as needed for local use
Rehearsal libretto: $10 to print as needed for local use
Rehearsal recordings (solo voice and piano, not for public performance) $50 upon request
Performance License: $250 for up to 5 performances in a 12 month period

With documentation, public or private schools may apply for a substantial discount on the performance license. Please contact us for additional information.

20% of any proceeds will be returned to the Santa Fe Opera Company in support of their Community Development and Education programs.

Performance Notes

The initial concept of these little operas came out of works created in class sessions in the ‘Active Learning Through Opera’ program of the Santa Fe Opera Company with the Rio Rancho School District in Northern New Mexico, USA.

The main characters, storyline, libretto, and melodies are developed in weekly sessions as guided by Teaching Artists (typically a dramaturg and a composer). Accompaniments and performing editions are then prepared by the resident composer with considerable discretion in refining the pieces for presentation.

For these newly prepared editions, the scores have been adapted, expanded, and developed significantly beyond that of their original performing versions. This includes changes to the libretti, dramatic structure and melodic material intended to attain a sense of overall refinement for better storytelling.

The operas may be sung by adults or youth ad libitum and the rôles should be considered as gender flexible. Accompaniments are designed somewhat simply for piano solo and may be ‘filled in’ at the performers discretion. Additional performance directions, specifically regarding the use of ‘soundscapes’ are indicated in the individual scores.