Timberbrit gives pop star Britney Spears the extra push she needs to enter the fictional realm, imagining an ultimate twist in her well-known saga: a new downswing has triggered her to stage a final concert, and her ex-lover Justin Timberlake rushes to her side to express his undying love and try to win her back.
Composer Jacob Cooper slowed the pop stars’ original songs down to a
fraction of their usual speed and wrote new music based on the
resulting characteristics. Slurs between notes, for example, are tossed
out in favor of extravagant glissandos; vibrato is stretched into
repeated awkward pitch bends; simple backing interjections surrender to
prolonged wails. All in all, songs about teenage crushes become
statements of mortality and supreme love, much like those common in
traditional opera. Live video projections accompany the actors onstage,
creating a markedly public performance out of their intimate actions.
An examination of voyeurism and an exploration of musical
transformation, Timberbrit is
sometimes beautiful, sometimes haunting, and always a bit deranged.
The opera premiered in semi-staged form at The Tank in New York in March, 2008. The same production followed at Yale University in April, and excerpts were performed in concert version at the East River Music Project Festival (New York) in August. A fully-staged production will run at the Incubator Arts Project in November, 2010.
[Please Note: Timberbrit is purely fictional. It uses the names of celebrity figures for purposes of satire and social commentary. The characters and events portrayed in this work should in no way be construed as factual.]