Belwade Stables, Aberdeenshire
Ben’s first opera was a huge success, using the Belwade farm stables near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire which were animated by counter-tenor and soprano voices and cello.
Ben wrote the libretto as a comical act of revenge on his first girlfriend who had an unusually strong relationship with her horse.
A bizarre triangle between two fourteen year olds and the horse is played out in reality and fantasy, exploring the murderousness of adolescent desire as well as its vulnerability.
Pippa Murphy’s score was grand, macabre and intimate by turns, involving a cinematic pre-recorded score as well as the cello (which represented the horse) and two voices.
Bolted was a very effective collaboration with sound festival Aberdeen and the staff of Belwade who even provided a horse who took a starring role in the final scene.
On the morning of the world premiere Aboyne had the distinction of being the coldest location in the UK, at -6 degrees.