The Three Fat Women of Antibes
Instrumentation: 1 Piccolo/Flute,1 Flute,1 Oboe, 2 Clarinet (B-flat and A required), 1 Bassoon, 2 Horn in F, 2 Trumpet in C, 1 Trombone, 2 Percussion, Harp, Strings
Voices: Coloratura Soprano, Lyric Soprano, Mezzo or Alto, Baritone, Chorus (optional)
Libretto, Thomas Hassing
Publisher: Reese & Hassing Music
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Three wealthy middle aged women (Beatrice, Frank, and Arrow) take a house in Antibes, to pursue a weight reduction regimen. The women are not plump or chubby, but decidedly fat. The youngest of the women (Arrow) hopes to find an attractive and wealthy young man for her third husband. The women, keen and enthusiastic bridge players, are the best of friends. They support each other in their diets and enjoy their time together. The only thing they really need is a fourth for bridge.
Frank invites her recently widowed cousin and an excellent bridge player, Lena, to join them for several weeks. Lena’s doctor told her she should eat simple foods—bread, butter, potatoes, and cream—to help her over her husband’s death. Lena has never had a weight problem, she can eat anything she pleases, and does. She wins a lot of their money, puts butter on everything, and has wine with meals. Lena’s diet and her ability to win at bridge strains the three fat women’s friendship to the bursting point.
Based on a short story of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham. Used with permission.