Clarges the Musical

Clarges - the Opera

'Clarges - the Opera' takes its story and characters from the 1956 novel 'To Live Forever' by Jack Vance (1916 -2013), acclaimed Grand Master of Science Fiction. In some far future the nation of Clarges is an island of civilization in a world of primitive barbarism. The civilization has been hard won from the chaos and savagery of overpopulation: caused by the discovery of techniques that conquered the aging process and allowed people to live forever.

Population is regulated by the rules of the 'Fair Play Act' and the Actuarian computer. Signing up to gain the benefits of anti-aging techniques is a voluntary act that carries with it a surrender to the decision of the computer as to one's time of death. The benefits of longer life are doled out according to meritorious service for the community. The most worthy become 'Amaranth' and are given immortality. Society is a meritocracy par excellence, which produces mental illness for many who fail to succeed.

Joe St.Johanser has produced an opera libretto from the novel, eliminating much detail but leaving the gripping plot intact.


Clarges - the Opera is a 2 CD package which can be downloaded from the website immediately after purchase. The package also contains the CD cover, a libretto for reading along, the vocal score and the full musical score, all in PDF-format.

CD 1
Track Act Scene Music Incipit
1 1 1 The Spaceport 1 Prologue 'I am an old woman'
2 2 The House of Life at Carnevale 2a Carnevale 'Carnevale'
2b Upslope Chorus 'Our brains clogged by work'
2c Duet 'Drift on the current'
3 3 A bar at Carnevalle 3a Bar table quintet 'Gavin tells me very little'
3b Entracte
4 2 1 Morning - Esterhazy Square 4 Cafe Dalmatia and Actuarian 'I... I...It's about my husband'
5 2 Later that evening 5a Cage of Shame 'Quite a sight isn't it?'
5b Aria 'So how simple it was'
5c Cage of Shame Chorus 'The cage of shame for those who aim to steal our lives'
5d Entracte
6 3 1 The Balliasse Palliatory 6a Balliasse Palliatory 'Perhaps I can help you?'
2 Later 6b 'I'd like to see Mr. Basil Thinkoup please'
3 Some days later 6c 'Sara it's a hard thing to say'
4 Later that evening 6d 'I am to read this message'
CD 2
Track Act Scene Music Incipit
1 5 The Mind Read Facility 7 The Mind Read 'Gavin Waylock, you are to be questioned'
6 Later in the Balliasse Palliatory 8 Balliasse Wingding 'There's a rumour going round the palliatory'
2 4 1 The Pan-Arts Union Hall 9 Acqua sculpture Recit. Chorus and Dance 'After the shambles'
10 Aria and Duet 'The crime is abstract and fundamental'
11 Performance of The Anastasia Fancourt 'There is a world I seldom speak of'
3 2 Anastasia's dressing room 12 Dressing room Duet and Scena 'Renata Biebursson, I am honoured'
4 5 1 The Prytaneon 13 Prytaneon Scena and Chorus 'I will waste no time'
5 6 1 Street scene 14 Street scene 'Of course that was not the end'
2 Esterhazy Square, Actuarian and Spaceport 15 Finale 'Give us our lives'


Act 6, Scene 1 and 2

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Clarges - the Opera can be purchased from the Music Shop.

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