Kurtag's first-ever opera makes long-awaited world debut

Kurtag's first-ever opera makes long-awaited world debut
In this photo taken on Nov. 11, 2018 Leigh Melrose and Frode Olsen, left, perform during rehearsals of Gyoergy Kurtag's opera 'Fin de Partie' at the Milan La Scala opera house, Italy. The long-awaited premiere of composer Georgy Kurtag's first-ever opera at Milan's La Scala opera house, based on a Beckett play, ''Fin de Partie'' is being billed as the most important opera premiere of the last 50 years and it is scheduled to go on stage Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. (Ruth Walz via AP)

MILAN (AP) — Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag’s long-awaited, first-ever opera has made its world debut at the famed La Scala opera house, winning over Italian opera goers with eight minutes of applause.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was in the royal box for Thursday’s premiere of “Fin de Partie,” based on the play by Samuel Beckett. Orban’s comment as he left the theater: “Astonishing.”

The 92-year-old Kurtag spent more than eight years writing the opera.

La Scala General Manager Alexander Pereira has been waiting since his days at the Zurich Opera House and then the Salzburg Festival to stage it.

Backstage, Pereira said it was the most important opera in the last 30 years. He said “it’s a masterpiece.”