Kurt Cobain’s final days to be played out in an opera

Kurt Cobain
(Image credit: Frank Micelotta)

Kurt Cobain's final days before his 1994 death are to be played out in an opera.

The production will be hosted by the Royal Opera House in London and titled Last Days.

Based upon Gus Van Sant’s 2005 film of the same name, which loosely explores Cobain’s last days under the guise of a young musician called Blake, Last Days will follow the character as he is “haunted by objects, visitors and memories distracting him from his true purpose – self-destruction”.

A description from the Royal Opera House also reveals that the opera “plunges into the torment that created a modern myth”.

Directed by Copson and Anna Morrissey, Last Days has been composed by Oliver Leith, who is the Royal Opera House’s composer-in-residence. The production is scheduled to take to the stage this October at the venue’s Linbury Theatre.

“Massive” Nirvana fan/composer Leith explains that their "music soundtracked my teens. It’s some of the first music I learned to play on the guitar.

“I owe a lot of how I now make music to the sound of grunge from that time – I had never really thought about where my experimental mess and repetitions had come from.”

The composer additionally adds that he does not believe the production, like Van Sant's film, to be sensationalising the frontman's death.

“We know it is coming. It is used as a lens through which we see everyday somnambulistic life heightened" he explains. "For example, telling a delivery person to ‘come back another day’ is loaded with tragedy. I think opera also raises the stakes of the quotidian".

Kurt Cobain died by suicide in April 1994 aged 27.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.