Kurt Cobain's Final Days Will Be Dramatized in New Opera 'Last Days'

The opera, put on by the Royal Opera House, is based on Gus Van Sant's 2005 film of the same name

BY Kaelen BellPublished Apr 6, 2022

The dramatized story of Kurt Cobain's final days is being adapted into an opera by the Royal Opera House called Last Days, based on Gus Van Sant's 2005 film of the same name.

The opera was composed by Oliver Leith, the ROH's 31-year-old (meaning he was only four when Cobain died by suicide) composer-in-residence, and the libretto was written by Matt Copson. It was directed by Copson and Anna Morrissey, and will be staged in October at the ROH's Linbury Theatre. 

Leith is said to be a "massive" Nirvana fan, telling The Guardian that Cobain's narrative is "an archetypal story — operas deal well in those." The opera "plunges into the torment that created a modern myth," says the ROH. 

Just like in Van Sant's film, the opera's main character is a Cobain stand-in named Blake, a young musician who has recently returned home after a spell in rehab but "is haunted by objects, visitors and memories distracting him from his true purpose – self-destruction."

A less dramatized narrative about Cobain's life was previously the subject of Brett Morgan's 2015 documentary Montage of Hate


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