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'Enough Is Enough': Cobain Estate Issues Scathing Statement Over 'Unauthorised Exploitation'

20 October 2022 | 2:09 pm | Mary Varvaris

"Last Days has been created and written without permission."

(Source: Supplied)

It seems like Kurt Cobain can't simply rest in peace.

Kurt Cobain's estate has slammed an adaptation of Gus Van Zant's film, Last Days, by the London Royal Opera House for continuing to exploit the Nirvana vocalist's final hours.

"Last Days has been created and written without permission," the estate wrote. "This show, just like the movie, is an unauthorised 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 representative for the Royal Opera House issued the following response in a statement: "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 fictionalised account, and was produced with the permissions of Gus Van Sant and HBO." 

The opera features the protagonist, Blake, who stands in for Cobain. Oliver Leith composed the opera and is the composer-in-residence for the ROH and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The official synopsis for the production reads, "Blake, a musician, has recently escaped rehab to return home. But he is haunted by objects, visitors and memories distracting him from his true purpose – self-destruction."

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Last month, photographer and lawyer Alper Yesiltas shared his photo-realistic portraits of Cobain, Freddie Mercury, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Tupac, and Elvis Presley created using AI Technology. Yesiltas also provided updated portraits of late Aussie actor Heath Ledger and martial arts icon Bruce Lee. 

In August, The Powerhouse art gallery unveiled its latest exhibition, entitled UNPOPULAR, packed with the unseen archives of music entrepreneur Stephen 'Pav' Pavlovic. The exhibition will explore Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Fugazi and many other bands, their impact on the alternative music scene, and Pavlovic's role in documenting their rise.

The exhibition opens next Thursday, 27 October. More information is here.