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Published on Jul 29, 2009
TIMBERBRIT is a full-length opera starring fictional versions of Britney Spears and her erstwhile lover Justin Timberlake. In an alternate pop universe, Britney's latest breakdown has propelled her into her final hours. Justin learns of her imminent demise and rushes to her side to profess his undying love. The music of TIMBERBRIT is inspired by incredibly slowed-down versions of Britney's own songs. Composer Jacob Cooper stretches the tempo to its breaking point, infusing the familiar pop structures with a deranged, nightmarish intensity. Breezy tunes about teenage crushes become statements of mortality and supreme love, much like those common in traditional opera.
This music video is for the aria "Worst Fantasy," which opens the stage production with Britney waking from a (drug-induced?) haze. Like the opera as a whole, the video transfigures popular material, particularly through alteration of tempo. Fragmented, warped, and reduced to a glacial pace, found footage of Britney is rendered strange yet oddly familiar. "Worst Fantasy" unfolds in visual and aural slow motion, while also addressing notions of voyeurism and the cult of celebrity.
Britney: Mellissa Hughes Justin: Ted Hearne Video: Switch Pictures Composer: Jacob Cooper Stage Director: Jaime Castañeda Librettist: Yuka Igarashi