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Oliver Leith will premiere “Last Days”, an opera about Kurt Cobain’s death, at the ROH next fall.

London’s Royal Opera House has announced the premiere this autumn of Last Days, an opera composed by Oliver Leith – composer-in-residence at the London institution and winner of a 2020 Ivors Award – which is based on the 2005 film of the same title directed by Gus Van Sant, a fictional account of the last fifteen days of Blake’s life, a character inspired by Kurt Cobain, the frontman of the rock band Nirvana who commited suicide in 1994.

Last Days has a libretto written by Matt Copson, who is also co-director, along with Anna Morrissey, of the staging of the opera, which will be performed from 7 to 11 October 2022 at the Linbury Theatre, one of the venues belonging to the ROH. Leith, who was four years old when Cobain died, told the British newspaper The Guardian that his 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”.

Leith told the newspaper that he hoped “the opera will appeal to a wide range of people, not just Nirvana fans”, as it deals with the “death of a celebrity, It could be any star now”.

© Photograph downloaded from Oliver Leith’s website.