Chorbo Landali

Baseline opera composer on Jafalgia

Chorbo Landali
Image from Steve Bowers

Chorbo Landali (7901 a.t - 7965 a.t) was a baseline opera composer of unusual talent. Landali was the only child of Fultas and Prann, and was born in the city of Kavv on the Metasoft reserve planet Jafalgia. As a child, Landali was somewhat arrogant, and tended to prefer the company of adults to people his own age, which made him somewhat unpopular with his peers. Landali’s parents noticed his affinity for music at an early age, and took advantage of his talents to boost their social status, often asking their son to sing and/or play different musical instruments in front of their friends.

Although he had loved music as far back as he could remember, Landali showed little interest in history until he reached adolescence. As a teenager, Landali became concerned that he could not become an acknowledged composer due to his status as a baseline human. In order to convince him otherwise, Landali’s mother, Prann, a historian, taught her son about the tragic life of Quavus Holpin, a well-known opera composer of the 71st century who had spent nearly all of his life on Jafalgia. Despite him being a "mere" baseline, Holpin's operas were still enjoyed by sophonts centuries after his death. For months, Landali studied Holpin’s life obsessively, from his birth on Jafalgia to his death on Niuearth. Eventually, Landali moved on to study the lives of other notable baseline artists. It was not until he was in his twenties that he found a method of combining both his love for music and his love for baseline history - Landali decided that the best way to honour those baseline artists that had inspired him was by preserving their experiences through the ancient art of opera.

Over the course of his life, Chorbo Landali composed and starred in seven operas, all of which were centered around the lives of different historical baseline figures that Landali had researched extensively. It should be noted that all historical persons portrayed by Landali either died young, or led long, tragic lives. Landali himself once claimed that dying young was his greatest ambition. Although he greatly respected and was inspired by Quavus Holpin, Landali never composed an opera based around Holpin’s life, believing that his own work would never be able to do Holpin’s life justice.

The first opera composed by Landali was Bavick Sagdun (7930), which revolved around the life of the 74th century baseline writer of the same name. Up until his death, Landali believed his first opera to be of his greatest achievement, although most critics would agree that Bavick Sagdun was the weakest of Landali's work. Shortly after the original performance of Punter Nevvis (7956), Landali’s fifth opera, he was approached by Raltan Sebb, a Jafalgian artist known for his arrogance. Sebb requested Landali compose an opera based around his own life, which Landali refused, and famously remarked that Sebb’s life was “too boring”.

Landali’s final opera, Daspo Kalsing (7965), is widely regarded as his best. The opera revolved around the life of the 78th century artist of the same name, and was the only opera composed by Landali to be set entirely on his homeworld of Jafalgia 1. After the original performance of Daspo Kalsing, Landali was introduced to Tila Altiss, a historian specializing in baseline history who had attended his performance with several of her friends. Landali quickly befriended Aldiss, and the two bonded over their interest in baseline history. It is known that shortly after meeting Aldiss, Landali renounced his atheism, claiming in one of his final journal entries that “only the hands of God could have crafted something so elegant”. After only a few weeks of their meeting, Landali (who had previously considered himself to be asexual) confessed that he had fallen in love with her. Aldiss, however, explained that although she regarded Landali as a friend, she was not interested in a more intimate relationship. Shortly afterwards, Landali cut off all connection with Aldiss.

On 10th Jung 7965 a.t, the body of Chorbo Landali was recovered from Lake Jorph 2. It is believed that Landali (who had not eaten or slept for several days prior to his death) took his own life in response to his rejection from Tila Aldiss. It is believed that Landali chose drowning as his method of suicide in an attempt to emulate Quavus Holpin, who had taken his own life by jumping into Lake Shandin (now known as Lake Holpin) on Niuearth. Although Aldiss did not attend Landali’s funeral service, she stated that she regretted his death 3. At the request of his family, Landali’s body was launched into the Jafalgia system’s primary.

To this day, Chorbo Landali’s story stands as a testament to the fact that great talent can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Even millennia after his death, the tragic story of Chorbo Landali continues to inspire baseline composers, writers and artists across the galaxy.


1. Although all seven operas composed by Landali were set on Metasoft baseline reserves, up until the production of Daspo Kalsing they had all been set on the reserve worlds of Niuearth, Heimat and Tullis.

2 Lake Jorph (now known as Lake Landali) is the third-largest lake on Jafalgia, and the second-largest on the Zellean continent, located just outside of Landali’s home city of Kavv.

3 It should be noted that three years after Landali’s death, Tila Aldiss decided to further her studies elsewhere, and relocated to the city of Pexing on Niuearth. It is known that Aldiss faced some harassment after Landali’s death, with many of Kavv’s citizens holding her responsible for the composer’s death. This may have acted as a catalyst in her decision to leave Jafalgia.
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Text by James Rogers
Initially published on 03 September 2015.