Call Answered: Conference Call: Matt Doyle & Ali Ewoldt: The New York Pops tribute to Skitch Henderson
Steven Reineke, Matt Doyle, and Ali EwoldtMatt Doyle + Ali Ewoldt + Steven Reineke and The New York Pops = One Rockin' interview!
Matt and Ali will be making their Carnegie Hall debuts alongside The New York Pops conducted by the illustrious Steven Reineke as they open The Pops' 35th Season with That’s Entertainment: From Skitch to Steven, a concert celebrating The New York Pops' founder Skitch Henderson. The concert will take place on Friday, October 27 at 8pm at Carnegie Hall (57th Street & 7th Avenue). Click here for tickets!
Ali Ewoldt1. This October, you are helping The New York Pops kick off their 35th Season with a tribute to the orchestra’s founder, Skitch Henderson. What are you both looking forward to in being part of this evening?
Ali Ewoldt: Everything! I am so thrilled to get to perform with The New York Pops for the first time and at Carnegie Hall, no less. It feels like a major professional accomplishment. And I couldn't ask for a better partner than the incredible Matt Doyle.
Matt Doyle: I mean, where do I start? Singing at Carnegie Hall is an absolute dream come true for me. The program they have put together to honor Skitch is really special. The man had quite a remarkable life and career. It gave us a wealth of material to choose from. The selections are incredible. I never imagined I'd sing any of these songs in this capacity.
Matt Doyle in "Sweeney Todd", Photo Credit: Joan Marcus2. What has been the best part about working with the New York Pops' current conductor Steven Reineke in preparation for this concert?
Ali Ewoldt: Steven is a brilliant musician with impeccable taste. We've only had one quick piano/vocal rehearsal with him so far and he's already helped me discover exciting new layers to songs I've been singing for years.
Matt Doyle: His passion and energy. He so clearly loves what he does and loves the pieces he brings to such vibrant life with The New York Pops. It's an honor.
3. Can you tell us what songs you'll be singing? If so, how did you decide on them? Were there any songs you wanted to sing, but due to the programming of the evening, they ended up on the cutting room floor?
Ali Ewoldt: I don't want to reveal too much of our actual song list, but it was the result of a great brainstorming session between all of us. Some songs are from roles I've played in the past (and am currently playing...hint, hint) and many are from dream roles of mine. I feel so fortunate to be singing some of the best soprano songs ever written for Broadway.
Matt Doyle: We can mention a couple incredible duets we're doing. We will be singing "The Balcony Scene" from West Side Story and "One Second" and a "Million Miles" from Bridges of Madison County. First off, I have heard about Ali's "Maria" for years. Getting to sing from that masterful score again is exciting enough, but to get to perform it with Ali is a real thrill. Her voice is simply phenomenal. As far as "One Second" and "A Million Miles" goes, I was over the moon when I saw the selection. The first time I heard that song, I couldn't believe what a remarkable piece it was. I never imagined I would sing it at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops. It gives me goose bumps. The entire program they chose for us is perfect.
Steven Reineke and The New York Pops4. It's not often that you get to perform with a 78-piece band. Of the songs you are performing, which one are you most excited to hear backed by the New York Pops?
Ali Ewoldt: I am so excited to sing the West Side Story "Balcony Scene" with Matt and the 78 (!!) piece band. I have been lucky to have played "Maria" many times and think the West Side Story orchestrations are the best of the best-- I cannot wait to hear The New York Pops perform them!
Matt Doyle: "The Balcony Scene" from West Side Story. Without a doubt. I had the pleasure of singing it with 20+ pieces at Paper Mill Playhouse last summer. I'm really going to have to hold back the tears when 78 pieces start playing that music.
5. Since this concert is celebrating Skitch Henderson's 100th birthday, if you were celebrating your 100th birthday, what kind of celebration would you want to have?
Ali Ewoldt: Ha! Definitely listening to The New York Pops play incredible music. What could be better?!
Matt Doyle: Oh man, I'm not sure...but, I hope it would involve dogs. I'm actually serious about that. If I'm gone by then, people should be playing with puppies in my honor. If I'm still alive, then I hope I'm an adorable old man surrounded by a bunch of puppies on my birthday. Because, that's hilarious.
Ali EwoldtMore on Ali:
Ali Ewoldt is currently starring as "Christine" in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Her other credits include: Lincoln Center’s Broadway revival of The King and I, the first Broadway revival and National Tour of Les Misérables (Cosette), The Fantasticks Off-Broadway (Luisa), West Side Story (Broadway 1st National Tour, PCLO, The MUNY, MTWichita: Maria), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (The MUNY), The King and I (Lyric Opera of Chicago: Tuptim), Carnival (Musicals Tonight: Lili), A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre: Fan), The Secret Garden (FITC: Rose) and concerts at Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall, and Feinstein's/54 Below. TV and film credits include The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield (Leviathan Lab), and DRAMA (webseries). Ali received a BA in Psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com
Matt DoyleMore on Matt:
Matt Doyle’s Broadway credits include The Book of Mormon (Elder Price), War Horse (Billy Narracott), Spring Awakening (Hanschen), and Bye Bye Birdie (Hugo Peabody). National tour credits include Spring Awakening (Melchior). Off-Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd (Anthony), Brooklynite (Trey) and Jasper in Deadland (Jasper). Regional credits include West Side Story at Paper Mill Playhouse (Tony), Jasper in Deadland at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle (Jasper), and Giant at Dallas Theater Center (Jordy Jr). Film and TV credits include a recurring role on Gossip Girl (Jonathan) and Private Romeo (Glenn). Recordings include Bare (Peter). Matt's solo EPs, Daylight and Constant (co-written by Will Van Dyke), are available on iTunes. Matt is currently appearing in the Off-Broadway production of A Clockwork Orange at New World Stages.
Steven ReinekeMore on Steven Reineke:
Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston Symphony and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the composer of symphonic and wind ensemble compositions, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide.
The New York PopsMore on The New York Pops:
The New York Pops the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall and a summer series at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun. Follow The New York Pops on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.