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Kurt Cobain’s Estate Slams “Unauthorized” Opera Adapting Gus Van Sant’s Last Days

Claiming it continues to exploit a "brief meeting" between Cobain and the filmmaker

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kurt cobain estate royal opera house gus van sant opera last days
Kurt Cobain, photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

    Kurt Cobain’s estate has slammed an adaptation of Gus Van Sant’s dramatized film Last Days by London’s Royal Opera House, saying the production is an “unauthorized attempt” to continue exploiting the fictionalized story of the late singer’s final days.

    Last Days has been created and written without permission,” the estate said in a statement. “This show, just like the movie, is an unauthorized attempt to benefit from the brief meeting set up with Kurt and Gus Van Sant. This one meeting has been exploited for profit for thirty years now and enough is enough.”

    A spokesperson for the Royal Opera House issued the following response: “The Royal Opera’s production of Last Days is adapted from Gus Van Sant’s cult film of the same name, released in 2005. It is a fictionalized account, and was produced with the permissions of Gus Van Sant and HBO.”

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    The opera was composed by Oliver Leith, the composer-in-residence for the ROH and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with the libretto by Matt Copson. Copson co-directed it with Anna Morrisey. It centers around a musician named Blake, who serves as Cobain’s stand-in.

    “Blake, a musician, has recently escaped rehab to return home,” reads the official logline. “But he is haunted by objects, visitors and memories distracting him from his true purpose — self-destruction.”

    Royal Opera House’s production of Last Days recently concluded its premiere run from October 7th through October 11th at Linbury Theatre.

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