"With a libretto written by... first-time opera makers, the show has Rousselle largely mumbling, rather than singing. Her mumbles are then translated..."
"... for the audience using supertitles.... Despite the opera’s central character being named Blake, 'the only reason people are going to see this is because of Kurt Cobain’s celebrity,' [said a Cobain biographer].... The idea for making 'Last Days' also had little to do with Cobain as a person, said [Oliver] Leith, the Royal Opera House’s composer-in-residence.... [Agathe Rousselle, who plays the Cobain character] best known for starring in the horror movie 'Titane' as a woman sexually attracted to cars, said... [s]he was bullied at school and one day one of the school’s popular girls threw a CD of Nirvana’s 'Nevermind' at her, sneering, 'That’s the kind of thing you weirdo would listen to,' Rousselle recalled. When she got home, she immediately played it. 'I lost my mind to it,' she said.... [Rousselle] said the opera was not about Cobain, but bigger issues like how 'becoming a myth will kill you' and 'the absurdity of being famous and wanting to disappear when you’re recognizable to pretty much everyone.' The opera could have been made about Amy Winehouse or Janis Joplin and still made the same points, she added."
From "A Kurt Cobain Opera Examines the Myth, Not the Man/The creators of 'Last Days,' an eagerly anticipated opera about a grunge star’s final days, insist it’s really about how society treats its icons" (NYT).
The opera is "based on Gus Van Sant’s largely wordless and plot-free 2005 movie 'Last Days,' in which a Cobain-like character roams around a country house falling asleep, listening to music and trying to avoid his housemates, manager, a Yellow Pages salesman and two members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
This is making me think about that Netflix movie "Blonde," which is about Marilyn Monroe (as envisioned by the novelist Joyce Carol Oates). I actually watched that movie. I've blogged about it a couple times, but not since actually seeing it. The words "could have been made about Amy Winehouse or Janis Joplin and still made the same points" resonated. When a work isn't trying to give a factual account of a famous person's life but to adopt the famous persona and present evocative scenes, you can either focus on the facts about the famous person or accept the work of art on its own terms. I thought "Blonde" was quite good at doing what it tried to do, but it's an immense pain to anybody obsessing over factual accuracy. It's like "Citizen Kane." Either get into that spirit or don't subject yourself to it.