BWW Interview: Betsy Wolfe Talks Toronto Symphony Debut
This is Steven's first year as the Principal Pops Conductor for the Toronto Symphony. What's it been like working with him?
I think Toront is in for a real treat. I remember when we first got together for this he talked about bringing it to Toronto as one of the first choices for the season. It's a huge honour and it shows how much he loves this program. He's immensely talented and I've fallen in love with him. He's a joy to watch conduct and a joy to work with and I think musicians really respect his talent.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Judy Garland all the way to Celine Dion and Billy Joel. I think that's part of why I love this concert so much, it's representational of music that I like and it crosses so many genres. It allows for singers to do everything within their range and makes for a great evening for the audience.
Do you think this show is good for a younger audience?
Absolutely. Steven is so careful about picking material and selecting music that is universal. I consider myself a 'young audience' and I knew every song he chose. I love the classic ones as much as the current pieces. That's why it's so appealing - you can love all of it.
I know that Steven is very fond of surprising the audience so I won't ask for details on specific songs - but is there one moment you're really looking forward to?
Mike and I have a duet that we sing that's a bit of a competitive duel and it's so much fun. We know what's going to happen in every song other than this one, so it's fun to shake it up and get to improvise. Every single time we've done it has been different and the audience loves that. It's no holds barred and we enjoy throwing each other curveballs. So I'm excited to do that one.
We've heard a lot about how this is a great 'Valentines' show, but how about those people who don't have a Valentine? Can they still come and enjoy the show.
Of course! I think this music is universal and love is one of the deepest emotions you can feel. Whether you're with someone or not these songs will touch your heart in a way. Good music is good music, and we're presenting some really unique and fun choices. If you have someone special, bring them. If not, you never know who you might meet!
When and Where?
The TSO Presents Love Will Keep Us Together
Roy Thomson Hall
Feb 19th and 20th at 8PM
Feb 20th at 2PM
Tickets range from $29 to $110 and can be purchased in person at the box office, by phone at 416.593.7769 or online.