Love Notes

Serenading your sweetheart with a romantic ballad might score you some relationship points. But if your crooning sounds more like squawking, you might just want to have someone else do it for you. Enter nationally recognized soprano Margo Watson and baritone Michael Lackey — the duo joins the Cleveland Pops Orchestra on Feb. 13 at Severance Hall for An Old-fashioned Valentine. Accompanied by the Pops Orchestra, Watson and Lackey cover timeless classics from stage and film, includingGone With the Wind,Titanic andMy Fair Lady. We spoke with the vocalists about some of their favorite songs and how these selections say, “I love you.”

“Music of the Night”
The Phantom of the Opera
What’s love got to do with it? The Phantom of the Opera is the “tale of the perfect love triangle,” says Lackey, who has played the role of the phantom in four different theater productions. Christine is caught between what every man thinks he is supposed to be (young, rich and attractive) and what man really is (unattractive and angry). “About 30 seconds into the song, I get lost in it.”
"Hello, Young Lovers”
The King and I
What’s love got to do with it?
Anna sings this song to the king’s wives and children, explaining that she is not part of the king’s harem, but “had a love of her own,” her deceased husband. “It’s a nurturing song for people who have lost loved ones, but they are sustained by memories,” says Watson.
“Where is the Life That Late I Led?”
Kiss Me Kate
What’s love got to do with it? “
This song is about the other side of romance,” says Lackey.Kiss Me Kate is a play within a play about a theater troupe performing a musical production ofThe Taming of the Shrew. This isn’t the typical sappy love song: Sung by the character Petruchio after his marriage to Katherine, this song is mourning the loss of his former love life. “Anyone can fill a show with ballads, but by the third one, the audience is falling asleep,” says Lackey. That is why the show includes humorous songs such as this one. “You have to make the audience laugh a little.”
“Where in the World” and “How Could I Ever Know?”
The Secret Garden
What’s love go to do with it?
Uncle Archibald is mourning and blaming himself for the death of his wife, Lily. Lily’s apparition visits him, reassuring him that her death was no one’s fault and encouraging him to return to the garden to heal. The show illustrates how the most important things in life, such as the love of a parent or memories of home, aren’t tangible, says Watson. “It’s a beautiful, romantic and inspiring piece that reminds people of the priorities of family and relationships.”
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