Published on May 22nd, 2023 | by Andrew Bistak

Jessica Gethin Interview: Frozen in Concert @MelbSymphony #Frozen @Disney

Welcome to Impulse Gamer Jessica! 2023 is a very exciting year for Disney fans with Disney celebrating 100 years and Frozen, its 10th So what does Disney personally mean to you?

We instantly think of Disney as exciting for kids, however I have found it’s just as enjoyable for adults as it brings back a lot of childhood nostalgia and brings a little bit of escape to our hectic lives! To have such an iconic brand that I grew up watching and then my kids grew up with also is pretty special.  I’ve been really lucky as I conducted the Australian Tour of Disney 100: the Concert this year, which we premiered at the Opera House with SSO in February, so feel like I am well and truly warmed up for Frozen in Concert with the MSO.

Who is your favourite character in Frozen any why?

I’ve always loved Anna, because she is kind, loyal and optimistic, but also determined and courageous and will do anything for her sister. This probably resonates with me because I have three sisters and we are all very close. I must say that Olaf does make me laugh so he would come a close second!

As the conductor of Frozen in Concert, what have been some of the challenges and more importantly the rewards of preparing this live performance?

I’ve been conducting lots of different film scores over the past five years and they each have their own challenges. Working to screen and a click track to make sure the orchestra stays in sync with the footage is key, but being able to work around those restraints and make it musical as well is a challenge I really enjoy to see come together between the rehearsal to the performance.

How do you think the audience will react to the blockbuster song “Let it Go” with the amazing MSO bring it to new heights?

‘Let it Go’ is just one of those tunes that everyone instantly recognises, so to hear it played live by the full strength of the MSO just brings that extra dimension and I think it will be a really magical moment in the show. I am sure there will be a few singing along in the audience!

With Frozen in Concert, how many people are part of the orchestra?

MSO For this performance we have the full symphony of * musicians plus a * piece chorus so it will sound really lush and full with lots of moments that feature the different sections of the orchestra.

While the MSO is no stranger to “in concerts”, can you walk us through some of the preparation needed for your orchestra?

With any concert that myself or MSO prepares, there are always a few different steps to bringing a concert to life on performance day. I can spend weeks or sometimes months preparing a score by myself, and the musicians all have to come with their own individual parts learned before the first orchestra rehearsal. Together, we work through the music and all the technical demands it brings, then we start to see where we can add a little magic to the interpretation or character of the work. It’s a very refined process that we do in a relatively short amount of time before the concert, no matter if it’s symphonic, opera, film, ballet or contemporary; this concert paired with film will be no different.

Besides Let it Go, what scene or song in Frozen are you most looking forward to in bringing to life with the orchestra?

The score brings a few different genres so it’s a lot of fun being able to play with this and see how we can really compliment the characters or scene musically. I think Olaf singing ‘In Summer’ will be great as it will feature the jazzy side of the MSO!

As a conductor, how do you manage the music, timing and members of your orchestra? I’m picturing you as an air traffic controller but with music around you instead of planes?

I haven’t heard that analogy before but yes that would come close! There are a lot of different things we are juggling as a conductor, from the overall vision and architecture of the work, interpretation, the technical demands that come in to play within each different section and also things like balance, direction and storytelling. The key thing for working with film of course, is that we must be completely in sync with the screen footage using a click or special indicators on the conductor’s screen, so that becomes a bit of a priority for these concerts.

What is your favourite instrument?

Well, I am probably a bit biased because I was a violinist for many years before I started conducting! I actually enjoy all the different timbres and sounds that each instrument can make though, the beauty of the orchestra lies in the diversity and range of sound it offers.

Lastly, how do you think the audience will react to Frozen in Concert?

I think they will absolutely love it! It’s the perfect way for all ages to experience a live symphony and film score whether it’s your first ever concert or a regular concert goer, we promise you will have a wonderful time!

For more information on Frozen in Concert (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra), please visit


Saturday 17 June 2023: 1:00pm at The Plenary, MCEC

Saturday 17 June 2023: 7:00pm at The Plenary, MCEC

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

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