Kurt Cobain’s Final Days Leading Up To His Suicide Are Being Turned Into A Nirvana Opera

Nearly 29 years ago to the day, Kurt Cobain committed suicide, rattling the music world and bringing his band Nirvana to an end. Cobain’s legacy has undoubtedly stood the test of time, as Nirvana continues to influence artists in many mediums and the band’s final album, Nevermind, has gone on to sell over 30 million copies. But the tragic way in which Cobain’s life ended, left an indelible mark on the effects of celebrity, drugs, and society. Now London’s Royal Opera House will be presenting a new opera, entitled Last Days, which depicts Cobain’s descent in a manner that is unique to the drama of an opera.

Based on Gus Van Sant’s 2005 film of the same name (which itself is loosely based on Cobain’s death), Last Days is set to begin as part of the Royal Opera House’s 2022-2023 season in October at the Linbury Theatre. The opera has been composed by composer-in-residence Oliver Leith, who tells The Guardian that he is a “massive” Nirvana fan. “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,” he says, adding that the opera is ultimately about the “inevitable death of a celebrity. It could be any star now.”

A statement from the Royal Opera House captured by The Guardian adds that Last Days “…plunges into the torment that created a modern myth” And that the main character “…is haunted by objects, visitors and memories distracting him from his true purpose – self-destruction.”

Check out the Royal Opera House’s 2022-2023 season announcement here.