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.
Britney and Justin: The opera - Toronto Star 8/11/2009