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

MILAN — 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."

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