Ben Frost’s The Wasp Factory

Wednesday 2nd October 2013

Ben Frost who has been described by Time Out Magazine as a ‘laconic composer’ has adapted Iain Banks’ cult novel ‘The Wasp Factory’ into an opera, premiering tonight, at The Royal Opera House and showing until the 8th of October. There is much anticipation as to what the opera will be like and how this famous book will be interpreted, the Independent are confident that: ‘in all likelihood, [Banks] would have enjoyed the music.’

Ben Frost is a composer born in Australia but based in Reykjavik, Iceland, and is widely recognized for his experimental music which fuses multiple genres from post-classical electronic minimalism to dark metal. He has released a number of albums and has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Nico Muhly, and Brian Eno, by whom he was chosen to be part of the Rolex Mentor and Protegé program.

The Wasp Factory has already been performed at the Bregenz Festival in Austria and last week in Berlin, where it ‘received acclaim’ according to The Independent. With Frost’s ‘atmospheric, often presenting troubling and multilayered soundscapes’ as described by Time Out, it seems that Frost’s style is perfectly suited for the transformation of this dark novel.  In his recent interview with The Times, Frost expressed that he is ‘not interested in making works that are anything other than arresting. Good music should hit you like a suicide.’ With this approach from Ben Frost, one can imagine that The Wasp Factory is an engaging opera to experience.

To read more, pick up a copy of this week’s Time Out, and the full article from The Independent is available online, as is The Times feature on Ben Frost and The Wasp Factory. Tickets are available to buy online from the Royal Opera House.

You can also follow Ben Frost on Twitter and Facebook.

The Independent

Arifa Akbar, The Independent