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Jackie Evancho in St Petersburg – first report – updated

From an anonymous observer:

Jackie Evancho appeared to have held her own today in the reasonably rich company of Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo at the  ”Bouquet of Opera” concert in Palace Square, St. Petersburg, Russia. Sarah Hicks conducted the symphony orchestra that accompanied the trio.

While at first quite reserved in his opinion regarding Jackie (and young performers in general) during interviews these past few weeks, at one point Dimitri was hugging Jackie in the wings, and literally threw her back onto the stage for a second bow after one of her performances.

When Sumi Jo and Jackie performed a duet of Con Te Partiro, it was first difficult to differentiate who was who––except that the younger voice proved to be the smoother of the two.

Each performance left a smile on this viewer, and by the applause, the
entire audience as well. In spite of high winds, chilly temperatures,
and a succession of motorcycles demonstrating the need for effective
mufflers, this was a concert to be remembered, and perhaps repeated in
more favorable locations.

UPDATE: Here is a Russian report of the concert from Ria Novosti.

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Comments

  1. More to the point: This is a “report from an anonymous Jackie Evancho fanatic.” But, good on you, Norman – more blog hits! It is, clearly, impossible to discuss since we have neither heard nor seen the concert. It is the perfect concert for her fans, as well as the perfect opportunity for them to do what they have repeatedly done here – insult singers they see as her competition.

    I have no doubt she sang well and I hope she continues to do so, but I have not and do not appreciate the attacks on other singers or opera itself from her fans. In actuality, I wonder why the fans who have posted here care that she sang in an opera event? They have stated repeatedly that opera is dying and a horrible art form. Now that she is very obviously moving toward opera as a career, it is suddenly positive.

    • I have reread my comment and believe my opening paragraph is too harsh. I truly am happy that she reportedly sang well, but remain bothered yet again by the perfunctory hit on another singer by an Evancho fan.

      • It looks like we have to depend on hearsay these days since fewer bootleg vids are available online. And if they appear are probably taken off as soon as they are spotted.
        However, part of the recent concert at the NJPAC shows the same cloying vibrato in the lower range that couldn’t have possibly improved two weeks later. I believe the crooning style will wear thinner in popularity with age . It may have been endearing and cute for a 10 year old but it gets to be tiresome in a young adult.
        I won’t even answer comparing Jackie to Sumi Jo, it is so ridiculous.

        • Bernice says:

          cabbage-
          I agree with not comparing Jackie and Sumi, as both are wonderful and only should be exalted, besides they are not competing against eachother that I know of. However you seem to be saying comparing the two is out of order because Jackie doesn’t warrant being associated with a top notch singer. Please forgive me if I misunderstood your intentions there.

          So you know, Sumi had absolutely no problem associating with Jackie, and in fact she embraced the occasion. She didn’t seem to think Jackie was unworthy.

          “Cloying vibrato”. As far as vibrato is concerned. The video posted below displays vibrato of the two in the same song, during the same time and place. Now I loved the vocals of both singers, but facts are facts.. there was less pronounced vibrato in the younger singer. It was tighter and not as noticeable. I’m going to pitch your “cloying to the curbside, thank you.

        • richard carlisle says:

          CJ,

          Don’t we all know vibrato can be controlled instantly at will– why is two weeks not long enough?

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Why can we not simply celebrate two wonderful and talented singers? I prefer Jackie’s subtle smoothness but the upper range soaring with controlled vibrato by Sumi Jo is simply the superior technique. Jackie is a great imitator and has the capacity to learn from simply close association similar to Bruce Lee’s ability to learn other discipline’s techniques simply from association and imitation. I would not be so certain that SJ did not give Jackie some singing technique thoughts as she is very charitable and certainly has nothing to fear from this young prodigy. Jackie may eventually wider overall appeal than Sumi Jo simply because she will more likely extend her repertoire towards “classical pop” .. that is pop with classical technique than SJ who is possibly the world’s greatest coloratura soprano and can well afford to be generous with her help and praise as she demonstrated in Russia. Both Sumi and Dmitri have stated admiration for Jackie’s talent, which in no way diminishes their own or any other true opera singer, so lovers of true opera should learn to be similarly generous. If Jackie’s fans are a bit “rabid” it is because JE has been attacked relatively mercilessly by the “opera crowd” more than the bellicose, at times, Jackie crowd. I can often identify a good Pinot or Cab by taste (at least region or even vineyard at times) but this educated palate actually prefers the cheaper jammy California pinots to the more elegant French Pinot Noirs.. (of course I have not had the money or pleasure to try a vintage Petrus). What I’m trying to say is that “like” is a matter of taste but it doesn’t mean that one cannot recognize the virtuosity or even the “superiority” of the other. Preference does not necessarily demean that chosen “second.” Lighten up, everyone.

      • Bernice says:

        Janey, you should have doubts about your second paragraph as well. You introduce arguments from the past into pristine civil conversation. You also say the young girl is obviously moving toward opera, so opera is being accepted more by her fans. I’m not sure where the converts to opera are. They may exist, but you haven’t showed them to us. As far as obviously moving toward opera is concerned, my understanding is that it’s exactly the opposite. Her next CD has no songs resembling opera that I’m aware of, as it consists entirely of music from the Hollywood movies.

        • I appreciate the civility and reason of your comments even if I may not agree with them.

          To discuss your point about introducing arguments from the past, I base my decisions about people and their comments on past behavior. Talk is cheap, as they say. Repeatedly here, Ms. Evancho’s most fervent fans have insulted other opera singers – in particular Ms. Fleming – and posted repeatedly their negative (and highly uninformed) views of opera. The posts about opera have often been in a condescending, taunting tone. We have read repeatedly that Ms. Evancho would save classical music from the boring singers unknown by anyone and she neither needs nor wants to be associated with any of them. She is, many of her fans here said, a much better singer than opera singers.

          Now, we see from her fans posting here that performing in an opera gala is a wonderful thing and the fact that opera singers reportedly embraced her is wonderful. What has changed? I believe my point is entirely valid.

          I will bow to your information regarding her upcoming work, although it looks from this event that she is moving toward opera.

          • Janey, this is by no means the first time she has appeared with Opera singers. Her concert at the Festival of Arts in Boca Raton, FL also featured young stars of the Metropolitan Opera. So NO she is not moving toward Opera. As for insulting Renee if she is so thin skinned that an answer to her question “we don’t know much about Opera” then she should get over it.

          • catmando says:

            Jackie was INVITED to participate and her parents thought the event was significant enough for her to go. Notice that she sang only one of the three operatic arias she knows; Nessun Dorma, Ombra Mai Fu and O Mio Babbino Caro. I had hoped she would sing ND but alas it was not to be. Maybe with the cold weather it was best she didn’t try that one. She sang OMBC. Nella Fantasia would have been a hit because the Conference was going to focus on environmental concerns as they affect the world’s economy but no…

            So far there is NO movement on Jackie’s part into opera. All she sings is three arias. When she gets older, if she wants to she will. And she will be far better at opera than Katherine Jenkins.

          • Gene:

            Again, you perpetuate what appears to be an outright lie about Fleming created here by certain Jackie Evancho fans to diminish someone they unbelievably see as her rival. You have proven my point.

            Sadly, the falsehoods seemingly created out of whole cloth here about Fleming appear to have been accepted as truth by many. If Fleming cared, I believe she would have a tremendous legal claim for slander.

          • Janey, the only thing I have read regards any insult to Ms Fleming has been the Evacnho response to her question about opera when thier reply was “we know nothing about opera”. If this is indeed the insult to Ms Fleming that I have heard then she indeed has a thin skin. I have listened too and liked Ms Fleming since she first hit the world of Music and have never said anything negative about her. It’s also my understanding that she contacted the Evancho family for reasons unknown. That from a Pittsburg news article. Although the paper did mention it may have been for the possibility of a duet in the future. I don’t know where you read in my comment that I insulted Ms Fleming of course you seem quick to mis-read much posted here in your efforts to criticize a child or her many fans who come to her defense, maybe they have a legal claim against you for slander…eh?

          • Janey, you mentioned “read here”, the comment I posted had nothing to do with anything I have read here. I read music reviews quite frequently and I am quite sure it was something mentioned by one of the critics. If I can find the specific article I will gladly provide it to you.

          • Bernice says:

            Janey, direct quote from Jackie’s St Pete interview:

            ..”when I get older I’d like to stay as a classical-crossover singer just the way I am now, because it’s something I’m really comfortable with and something that interests me and keeps me intrigued…”

          • Gene:

            Interesting, and quite unbelievable, comments.

            A poster on this thread wrote repeatedly of conversations he claimed were had between Ms. Fleming and Mrs. Evancho. Unless he was sitting beside them, he’d have no way of knowing what was said between these two women, and yet, he and then others piling on, decided that Fleming had taken offense to a statement they said was made by Mrs. Evancho. Ms. Fleming was then reported to have “had a fit,” be jealous of Jackie Evancho’s success, be snobby, elitist, and so on and so on and so on. All based on this supposed conversation.

            You clearly read – or perhaps initiated? – these earlier conversations because you repeated the comment Mrs. Evancho was reported to have said: “We don’t know anything about opera.” I have searched on this topic. No one, not the Evanchos and not Ms. Fleming, has ever discussed their conversation. This supposed conversation in which Fleming “insulted” the Evanchos following that supposed statement you quoted, was created in the mind of a fanatic here, and then joined in this fantasy by others here. The claims became so preposterous that some of your fellow fans disavowed everything being said.

            But rumors are insidious. You have now repeated it and claimed that Fleming’s imagined response to an imagined statement suggests that she has “thin skin.” All based on imagined conversations and imagined comments made by Renee Fleming created in the mind of a person who believes he knows the child and her family.

            It is very sad and a very large warning to the Evanchos. Were I to be advising Ms. Fleming, it would also spur me to avoid all contact with the Evanchos. But I am not advising her and, no doubt, she is made of tougher stuff than I.

          • malibusue says:

            Gene,

            There was a news article that appeared on the website of Jackie’s hometown newspaper The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled “Backstage Notes From Americas Got Talent Finale” in which Jackie’s mother Lisa was quoted making a remark that implied that her family were not particular fans of opera. Although other articles regarding Jackie Evancho from that time period remain accessible on the publication’s site, surprisingly, this particular article was removed soon after a link to it appeared in comments for a posting on this blog back in April. The comments made by Lisa Evancho were directed to a reporter, not to Renee Fleming, and there is nothing of record to indicate that Renee ever acknowledged or responded in any manner to Mrs. Evancho’s remarks.

            The extent of any interaction between Renee Flemming and the Evanchos, as described by Lisa Evancho on a discussion forum almost a year ago, consisted of the following :

            [***
            Posted on Jun 29, 2011 6:31:14 AM PDT
            L. Evancho says:
            "Since speculation was brought up, here's the story on Renee Flemming. jackie's manager said that she had expressed an interest in meeting jackie. They skyped in a "get to know you" fashion. Renee was curious about jackie's interest in singing, but nothing indepth was mentioned. Renee did not sit there a rave about jackie nor did she say anything negative. It is my understanding that there may be an opportunity (renee's schedule is filled for many years to come) for jackie to sing with her or at one of her engagements in the future. This was a long time ago, so I don't know where things stand right now. She is a very busy woman."
            ***]

    • Steve Huff says:

      Well Janey, I was there in Palace Square, section C, row 22, seats 1 and 2. I am in Europe for coaching purposes and traveled up to St. Petersburg to see the event.

      First Janey, I have always loved specific arias and true opera singers. As sacreligeous as it may seem, I never liked Maria Callas’ voice much. I did love Anna Moffo and Angela Gheorghiu and others who’s voice had a richer tone. So I am not as sophisticated as you. What I can say is that Jackie was very well received, and the only Russian overt enthusiasm was the shouts of “Djackeee!” She received the biggest collection of bouquets, and local enthusiasm both among the crowd and the media. Dimitri Hvorostovsky at one time attributed coming to see her as being similar to watching a drunk man laying in the streets, but his cold operatic heart was turned! He was a first class gentelman, and Sumi Jo was over-whelmed by her in her interviews and backstage interactions. And yes, I speak Russian as I have Ukrainian family in Melitopol.

      I might add that the St. Petersburg orchestra was the best I have ever heard! They played as one instrument on every note the entire concert.

      • Таким образом, вы понимаете, русский. Can you tell us please what Dmitri said as he redirected Jackie back to centre stage at the end of her performance of ‘The Prayer’? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMAdO0zMwBs).

        I took a ahh…wild guess that maybe he was saying “Who is this child? How did she get here? Get back out there and tell them who you are! Streuth! Where’s my Vodka?”. But hey I could be wrong. Is the audio audible enough for you to assist please?

        Fyi folks, I found another link to Jackie’s ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ here. The difference in audio-visual quality and videographer position should help with variable differentiation:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elpMFrKkCh8&feature=plcp

  2. Norman, will you listen to her album now? “Dream With Me”.

  3. Thank you for posting this. Your observer’s comment, “it was first difficult to differentiate who was who”, are almost the exact words I used in another forum. Whatever one thinks of this little girl in relation to classical singing, there is one thing that cannot be denied, she is remarkably, remarkably talented for a child singer, and appears to become more so with each passing month of her young life.

  4. Stephen Runnels says:

    What tremendous performances from Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo. These gifted, professional, veteran classical singers not only showed the Russian people and the world of music what they possess, but to humble themselves in the presence of a rising superstar. For someone like Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo to open the evening’s performance for Jackie Evancho showed just how professional artists can be. Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo, Sarah Hicks and the amazing orchestra showcased what every true, rational music lover knows; Classical music does indeed cross-over from opera. Jackie Evancho does it with perfection.

    It is with intense anticipation the release of the DVD made of the Bouquet of the Opera performance this 20th of June, 2012.

  5. Norman,

    I, personally was pleased with the way it all turned out. Everyone sang their best, with no holding back. Sumi Jo leaned into their duet of “Con Te Partiro”, and Jackie leaned right in there with her, note for note. The audience loved it. Dimitri Hvorostovsky, is a totally amazing Baritone, with few peers. Sumi Jo is a delight to listen to, and amazingly talented as well! The Orchestra was top notch. All in all, a great evening of music, full of respect and admiration all around! Can’t wait for the DVD!

    Best Regards,
    Russ

  6. catmando says:

    Yes, Sumi Jo’s voice has the tremble of age like Sarah Brightman now, while Jackie’s voice has the smooth bloom of youth. But it was great to see them onstage together, singing a great song. We love Sumi!

    Thank you Norm for this post. :)

    • Yes, we love Sumi Jo, even though her voice has a “tremble of age.” Preposterous in many ways.

      Almost as preposterous as Mr. Stephen Runnels comment: “For someone like Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo to open the evening’s performance for Jackie Evancho showed just how professional artists can be.” Yes, that is absolutely what occurred. Dmitri and Sumi opened for Ms. Evancho. I have little doubt.

      • Bristol says:

        Janey, from what I read here and elsewhere, those whom you call Jackie fanatics have begun to restrain themselves in their comments. Would that you would do the same. Do you have any interest in engaging in civil discourse? If you do, you might want to lower the temperature of your comments a degree or two. You read the comment from “anonymous” about his/her difficulty in distinguishing Sumi Jo from Jackie Evancho. No insult to Sumi Jo was intended, surely. Instead, “anonymous” was expressing wonderment that a 12 year old could even begin to compete with a seasoned opera professional. Whatever his motives, NL is doing everyone a favour by keeping JE in the sights of classical music lovers because, as I believe you indicate, distracting and irrelevant comparisons with opera signers aside, Jackie Evancho is a wonder to behold.

        • Bristol, the problem with having a civil discourse about Ms. Evancho is that her “fans” are totally blinded by cuteness and haven’t a clue about what constitutes a good performance, much less a good musician.

          The other thing that is irritating for those of us who DO know about these things, is how the almighty buck can turn even great artists like Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo into musical performance prostitutes as well as the unbelievably kitschy way in which Ms. Evancho is presented to the adoring masses.

          That said, I listened to one of her videos on YouTube over the weekend, “Dark Waltz,” and found moments that were actually quite beautifully done vocally and musically. Once I recovered from my shock thanks to liberal doses of liquor and xanax, I had to admit that she isn’t TOTALLY atrocious. She still has the vibrato, breathing and diction problems that have been pointed out by many, but she may just possibly have some real talent inside her. We’ll see if it blossoms or if it is destroyed by greedy impresarios.

          • Bernice says:

            Tom V, so you don’t think the nasty dollar has anything to do with Dmitri and Sumi doing the purest and most perfect of all art forms …Opera? Get hold of yourself!

          • TomV,

            You’re just a tad late on the comments. Half the world has already seen Sumi Jo and Jackie Evancho sing “Con Te Partiro” together, and it was a performance for the ages. a “Magnificently Brilliant” performance from two extremely gifted artists. Jackie showed Dmitri Hvorostovsky why she is not one of those “get talent” so called prodigies they shove at us on the TV screen, and why her voice is called “one in a billion” by learned musical scholars from all over the world. In the end she won over Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sumi Jo, and Sara Hicks. That performance earned Jackie the right to stand on that stage as an equal to two of the greatest artists in the world today! As it turned out, Jackie unleashed, is a powerful force in the world of great music. She and Sumi Jo both knew when they finally exited the stage, that they had given the performance of a lifetime, and they knew they had nailed it.

            You can say anything you want about the performance, make up any lie you feel like, but the real Opera people who really know great music, will just laugh at you! All because of a little 12 year old girl who has shown the world, that she really can sing with the best of them! She wins, you lose!

          • WestSeaDoc says:

            Tom V.
            Let’s simply state that Jackie has true talent. She was able to grace the stage and hold her own with Sumi Jo but, though I am a really big fan of Jackie, I am not blind to subtleties in her delivery that can improve. I do agree that many of her other fans are a bit “over the top” but it is nonsense for anyone to ignore that Jackie is a prodigy. It isn’t only her voice but it is her natural interpretation and phrasing (as well as her pitch and timbre) that sets her apart from other young singers. For her fans to think that SJ and DH were simply part of the contingent that introduced Jackie is ridiculous. One only has to watch the pure rapture that Jackie displayed in watching Sumi Jo sing while awaiting her turn to partake. I, personally, was quite astounded at how well Jackie stepped up her game to hold that stage. I think Sumi was a little surprised but PLEASED equally. Jackie is humble and unassuming. I have no doubt she captured both Sumi’s and Dmitri’s heart with her innocence and charm. She may be singing like a diva but she certainly is NOT one. Dmitry seemed to “wave and escort” her back to the stage center after one of her performances and seemed to take genuine delight in doing so. I’m sure that wasn’t because Jackie thought that she was “all that and a bag of chips.” Fellow singers recognize her as a colleague and a friendly competitor NOT a USURPER .. hence the warmth that is extended to her. Now if only some of her detractors could learn from these super nova stars that find it in their heart to be kind could learn a little from them… and maybe the JE crowd, too.

      • Bristol says:

        My apologies, Janey. In saying that bit about wonderment, I was expressing my own view. I can see that “anonymous” did compare JE and Sumi Jo, somewhat disparaging of the latter. I think as well that the comment about the two opera stars “opening” for Jackie, unless meant tongue-in-cheek, is unhelpful. I don’t know anything about Sumi Jo’s “tremble of age”, but I doubt that the phrase helps the cause, if the cause is to have Jackie taken seriously and on her own terms (which is that she is a child with remarkable talent and for that reason alone well worth keeping an eye on).

        On the hand, I doubt that “cloying vibrato”, the use of a word such as “preposterous”, and the sarcasm in your “I have no doubt” will convince those whom you call Jackie fanatics or lead to mutual respect between parties. But I guess engaging in civil discourse, celebrating nascent talent, or contributing to level-headed analysis is not why people contribute to forums such as this in the first place, and it’s probably not what NL hopes to encourage by drawing attention to Jackie Evancho (who, by the way, appears, if anything, to be moving further and further away from opera; her next album is a selection of songs from the cinema).

        • Bristol,

          Thank you for your comments. I do not agree that Ms. Evancho produces cloying vibrato and would not have said it, although I do have some of the same concerns about her technique as discussed by CJ.

          I truly believe she is incredibly talented and has remarkable potential. As I have said in the past, she quite obviously loves to sing. My concerns relate to whether what and how she is singing are potentially dangerous. This is not a point that can be resolved in a forum such as this.

          My posts relate entirely to those points you mentioned about comparing Ms. Evancho to opera singers in an apparent attempt to diminish the talent of the latter.

          Thank you again for your thoughts, which I appreciate.

        • It may not be a bad thing if this girl is giving her voice a bit of a break while expanding her audience. She is only 12, and my understanding is that damage can be done from pushing a developing child’s voice too far too fast. Here I defer to my friend Karla, who will probably never read this, but whose judgement of a few things is pretty spot on: but then she’s very unique herself.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Bristol,
          I suspect that the comment on “opening the stage” was meant not so much as an “opening act” but finding it in their heart to charitably open the stage to share it with the young “rookie.” They certainly have earned their accolades and I doubt they have any self doubt that they need fear Jackie. Rather, I think they were welcoming her to the “club,” and not the opera club but the club of performers on a big stage at a big event. I”m sure they would have been devastated for Jackie had she fallen flat and were both pleased to see that she did great. All top performers enjoy watching young talent come up. They enjoy the challenge and enjoy watching the rise. They were young and “upcoming” once, too, and do thrill vicariously. This is why top sports stars often mentor young players generously. It’s a “sharing of the torch before its passing.” Jack Nicklaus has genuine affection to Tiger Woods and, previously, Arnie became friends with Jack even as they competed viciously. Respect has to be earned, and I think Jackie did exactly that, with this concert. The warmth and affection given was merely Jackie’s charm and own adulation of the two masters being reflected back to her.

  7. I hope this girl gets to network with the right people to mentor her in developing her remarkable talent. The most important thing for a developing child to do is to not damage the voice, which cannot just be replaced like a violin. There are plenty of examples of people who did damage their vocal chords as youngsters, and examples of people who got it right.

    The trick for those helping this child develop is to get a handle on these examples and guide her in the direction that is right for her as a child developing into a young woman. It is her life that matters, not our fascination with her.

    I do get the impression that Jackie’s significant others are onto this, and the prospects look good so far.

  8. RICHARD E SCHARSCH says:

    Nice well written relport full of good info.

  9. Stephen Runnels says:

    From the thousands of fans and curious newcomers to Jackie Evancho pressing closely together to the final bow, this was and incredible evening for music lovers. The incredibly beautiful, angelic white dress matched the personality and performance of Jackie this evening. Dimitri Hvorostovsky embracing her, then pushing her back to center stage for another bow to the cheering crowd was definitely a highlight of the evening for both Jackie and her fans. Jackie certainly made a tremendous impression to the 50,000+ in attendance in St. Petersburg Square, including the dignitaries cloistered in the tent near the Stage, and to the worldwide audience watching, and listening to every note. Jackie Evancho is certainly becoming the voice of the 21st century.

  10. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    For Janey & others who are asking about videos, this is Time to Say Goodbye/Con Te Partirò:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie9fnU1Kw6M

    Let me make one thing clear: THIS Jackie fan very much loved the other singers. While coloratura sopranos are not always my personal favourites, Sumi Jo is very, very good at it, with magnificent control of pitch & breath, & lots of emotional expression. She loves to ham it up with her attractiveness on stage as well.

    What can you say about Dmitri Hvorostovsky? He deserves his rep as one of the very best baritones in the world. Huge range, richness all up & down, beautiful expression. He’s able to sing opera & pop with equal facility. I certainly can’t see any flaws.

    Some criticised the sound system, but Sarah Hicks did an excellent job conducting a very, very good orchestra. This WAS St Petersburg, after all.

    It was a huge honor for Jackie to be invited to sing with these singers in this setting, & she acquitted herself very well. The Russians took to her immediately, starting with her Ukrainian name. News coverage said things like “she has American citizenship, but Slavic blood flows in her veins”; they think of her as one of their own. So Jackie had a leg up before she even opened her mouth to sing, without even mentioning her politeness, charm & good looks.

    Her singing was indeed beautiful, & the Russians loved her. All in all, a very successful concert.

    • Bernice says:

      HomoSapiensLaptopicus, yes, the host country welcomed the young, Ukrainian by blood, Jackie as if she was one of her own. It seemed by their media as if the USA was just borrowing her!

      However, when it comes to her art, her hosts waited for her to deliver before they gave her due respect. Evidence of, one concert goer reported that Jackie received a moderate response from the audience after her first number. That the audience’s appreciation grew and grew as each number passed until they Jackie came out for her final bow as Belle of the Ball.

      They loved her!

      • Steve Huff says:

        Bernice, I was there, and that assesment is spot on! The first applause surprised me. It was fairly reserved, and Dimitri was getting the bigger applause. Then as the concert evolved, cries of “Djackee, Djackee” rang out, and the applause and shouts grew. By the end of her 3rd or 4th number, she was getting the biggest response, and the flowers started diverting from Dimitri to Jackie.

  11. “Con Te Partiro” succeeded in exceeding my worst expections. What a mismatch of voices, bad acoustics and sheer schmaltz. Sumi Jo may have the excuse of age for wavering tones but a young person doesn’t, unless her voice also reached its sell-by date, prematurely, that is. The two of them were shivering like it was the middle of Russian winter over there. The promoters are to blamed for this kitsch, though. If bonafide opera singers are involved, follow the money trail. “Bouquet of Opera” – yeah, right!

    • CJ:

      After reading the comments here, I have done some research. It appears Sumi Jo had some sort of abdominal operation two weeks ago. I have no further information.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Well, as usual cabbagejuice, we’ll have to agree to disagree (respectfully).

      You repeatedly insist Jackie has a wobbly vibrato, despite past & present evidence to the contrary. If you listen carefully to TTSGB/CTP, you’ll notice many times when Jackie uses no vibrato at all, & other times when it’s subtle. She clearly doesn’t have an uncontrollable wobble. At other times she was no doubt trying to match Sumi Jo’s prominent vibrato; it was a duet, after all.

      Is the song OTT & kitschy? Yes, perhaps. But did it fit with the rest of the programme? Yes it did. Duets are not always easy, but here Jackie was able to blend far better with Sumi Jo than when she sang the same song with (a very wobbly) Sarah Brightman in 2010.

      Is Sumi Jo’s vibrato excessive & wobbly? Here we may agree, but then again, IYAM, there’s far too much vibrato in a lot of opera today, even among the younger singers. You want to hear a perfect vibrato? Go back & listen to Enrico Caruso; it’s tight, fast, subtle & controlled.

      I didn’t criticise Sumi Jo’s vibrato because she clearly does other things very well, & people were complaining that all we Jackie fans did was come here & belittle other artists. Jackie’s performing partners in Russia were, in general, outstanding.

      Yes, Sumi Jo had appendicitis last month & it ruptured, spilling pus into the abdominal cavity, a serious complication. She had to cancel some shows, but was able to return for this one. She didn’t display any obvious problems with her breath support during the concert.

      In the past you alleged that Jackie’s vibrato was wobbly, just like that of Katherine Jenkins. But then i posted a vid of their duet, & it became arrantly obvious that Jackie’s controlled vibrato is NOTHING like KJenk’s wobble. You also heard mic noise & tried to allege that Jackie was developing a problem with her lower register.

      It’s well-known that Dmitri Hvorostovsky was very sceptical about Jackie befor this concert, & he made some publicly critical remarks. After the concert, however, he said that Jackie had “very rare talent”. Sumi Jo has tweeted repeatedly about how she “loves” Jackie, & can’t wait to work with her again. Sara Hicks has also been positive.

      So whose judgments should we trust? Those of two world-class opera singers & a world-class conductor? Or yours?

      • richard carlisle says:

        Lapto,

        Good to see somebody recognizing the brilliance of Caruso and thanks for a meaningful summary.

      • The issue is not the “rare talent.” This has been obvious for considerable time, has it not? The issue is how she uses it. Stating that a prodigy has rare talent is a nice compliment, but would mean far less than his suggesting that her interpretive skills were advanced, that her technique was superb, that her language was excellent, or some other comment on her actual performance.

        Being as Mr. Hvorotovsky and Ms. Jo are kind people who recognize talent and potential as well as a desire to sing, why would anyone be surprised that they embraced Ms. Evancho?

        Regretfullly, HomoSap, in the video posted, Sumi Jo is obviously in distress. She is barely supporting her voice. The inexplicable anemic pace, one which she rarely sings at, would not help. Still, Ms. Evancho is no better, and is in fact worse overall (as would be expected). Her pitch is entirely off at the beginning, she runs out of breath in numerous places, but not the longer notes confusingly, and while her vibrato does not sound wobbly it certainly does sound pushed in places.

        Having said this, I place this down to a sub-par performance from both. Weather, jet-lag, the pace, it is impossible to say what was occurring? I have heard far better performances from both singers.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          The temperature was was stated to around 18˚C but was there was also a cold wind. The Russian news commented on how “brave” it was to Sumi Jo to wear a dress that had no sleeves and little shoulder coverage, then followed it up by stating that Jackie did the same. I think Jackie was clearly nervous but gained in confidence and presentation over the course of the concern, especially, with the support of SJ and Dmitry. I don’t think we can well state much about the performance because the sound quality of the uploaded video or audio is pretty bad. I’m also sure that being chilled didn’t help. The pacing was unexpectedly slow and Sarah’s conducting was surprisingly nonadditive.

          • richard carlisle says:

            When considered are the factors of too cool/windy, the social pressure of a huge outdoor audience of fifty thousand or more, the artistic challenge of two seasoned co-performers to keep stride with, and here we have a twelve-year-old from another culture attempting to make something more than a total fool of herself…
            TO DO AS WELL AS SHE DID is virtually a historical first in any field of endeavor for someone that young… nothing in fictional writing could compare with this reality.

        • Janey,

          You do like to make excuses don’t you! Your labeling it a sub-par performance by both artists, is a slap in the face to both Sumi Jo and Jackie, and couldn’t be further from the truth. It was apparent from Sumi Jo’s opening note, that she had issued Jackie a challenge. My only question was, if Jackie even knew what a challenge was? Turns out she did, and accepted it, with her own stunning solo, that raised the bar even higher! Throughout the finale they kept going back and forth, all the way to that last glorious high note. A great moment for two brilliant artists. Whatever work that Sumi Jo put in with Jackie in rehearsal, certainly paid off in the performance! The real problem with your labeling it as a Sub-Par performance, is that it’s been heard world wide by tens of millions. No one has been saying that it was a sub par performance! The most common comment is “Brilliant”, and I agree!

          BTW! Jackie tweeted sumi Jo and told her that she wanted to sing the “Lakme – Flower Duet” with her. It turns out it’s one of Sumi Jo’s favorites, and she feels that hers and Jackie’s voices will be great together doing this piece. Watch for it to happen!

          Russ

      • Laptopicus,

        YSWUS. IMHO, IYAM, Jackie is OTT and RMNAYWLTIR makes me ROFLMAO. The FAQ is whether her IRA will outweigh her IOUs before it is 2l8 and her ATM voice becomes a DPV.

        ITM I that OTW, WALOC it all is. It gives me WBI and WRATGAS anyway.

        AMF.

      • HomoSap,

        In all truth, this must simply have been a bad night. I am surprised by the pitch issues. Despite other technical flaws, she always (mostly) has sung in tune. Her sense of pitch is one of the more advanced things about her; to me, one of the most impressive.

        A search of youtube produced the following from St. Petersburg, The Prayer. It is out of tune almost throughout, at least to my ear. Perhaps others will correct me.

        I do give her credit for performing and do believe she has real talent, but the songs I have seen here do not represent her talent in a positive light. Her voice seems tired and very heavy. In this video, she cannot reach many of the high notes and many lows are inaudible.

        I wonder if it is time for a break, or if it was just the conditions. She is singing a tremendous number of performances for a child, something which has always bothered me. As I said, the performance itself is an important accomplishment for her, but I wonder if she viewed the video if she would be pleased with it (that she dealt with difficult conditions, yes, but the singing, I am not sure).

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMAdO0zMwBs

        • Janey, The problems are not from Jackie, they are from the sound system. Some famous Maestro wrote an article about his outrage of the poor sound, in the Russian newspapers. In this piece, you can hear the battle between a couple of violins, one slightly out of tune, that didn’t get fully worked out until the 20 second mark. The Maestro even noted that Jackie struggled because of the sound.

          Either before or after her Newark concert, she visited Dr. Kessler in NYC to check her vocal cords, and she was in top shape, and given a clean bill of vocal health.

          In the finale with Sumi Jo, Jackie more than held her own. Sumi Jo has praised her over and over since the performance. No one in their right mind would expect Jackie to be a better singer than Sumi Jo, because all those years of training do show, but Jackie can hold her head high. They were beautiful together. I’ll get you a link for that article of the Maestro, and post it here.

          Best Regards,
          Russ

          • I look forward to the link.

            I would also like a translation of what Dmitri said when he sent Jackie back to centre stage at the end of ‘The Prayer’ (link in previous post above, but easy enough to find in YouTube).

            Per Bristol below, I agree, the wind is self-evident at various points in one or two of the videos, as is the effect on the recording device/s used. Indeed the overall environmental acoustics are mostly self-evident, and are variables to be accounted for in any technical analysis. The variables attributable to the recording device/s would of course be negated for those who were actually there, so their comments are helpful.

            Below is a link to a news item on the concert. It shows Dmitri, Sumi and Jackie attending pre-concert practice.

            It also features what I assume is comment on Jackie by Dmitri at 1:15. Can someone translate please? Or is he just going on about Vodka again?

            And comment in English by Sumi Jo. Sumi’s comment “She’s just beautiful” at 1:25, and then again the word “everybody” at 1:32 is easily audible, but the tv presenter’s comments drown out most of the rest of what Sumi says. One can however distinguish Sumi’s English comments ‘behind’ the Russian commentary, so I am certain it would be possible to distill this from background ‘noise’ to foreground ‘signal’. Someone familiar with audio software would know how to do this. Or maybe someone with a better ear than me can work it out.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UcygKEV-l4

            One hopes of course that people such as Dmitri and Sumi reach out and mentor Jackie. Sumi seems delightful and genuine. A real treat would be if Jackie got somehow to meet Anna Netrebko, whose delightful personality also matches her talent.

        • Bristol says:

          Janey, I think the conditions were abysmal. It was windy, it was chilly, and, despite her obvious reserves of energy, Jackie must have been worn out by having flown back and forth across the US (to LA only the week beofre (for the taping of her PBS special), and then half way round the world to St Petersburg.

          In the square, she had to compete with the most dreadful traffic noise and, for all I know, poor stage acoustics that made it difficult for her to hear her own voice. I detected from some of the close up shots, that the unusually slow pace of the music threw her off . Especially in the presence of Sumi Jo she seemed self-conscious and ill at ease. It appeared to me that she had a hard time adjusting to the, to her, unusual situation of sharing the stage with two adult stars and being treated, I think, not as an equal but as someone who, though charming and sweet and talented and all that, they considered out of place. From what I’ve heard and from what we all know about human nature, neither adult opera singer regarded singing with a 12 year old as a highlight of their careers (irony intended). They were kind to her, may genuinely like her, and may even have been impressed by her advanced talent. But I doubt that they believe she derseved to share the stage with them. Jackie, I suspect, at some level was aware of this, which knoweldge, I imagine, would be enough to throw anyone off their game.

          • Bristol, this comment is wonderfully insightful and I had not considered some of it. Thank you.

          • Bernice says:

            Bristol, I’m not sure what you have to base that on except your imagination. I can’t stand it when someone attributes thoughts to me I don’t have. I think you are being unfair to all involved.

        • Richard Scharsch says:

          There are far better video’s out there with better sound (less wind) but you would have to join Jackie’s fan club to see them as they were shot by fans from 1 and 2 rows back with great equipment. Bad news is that there will be no DVD as the sound quality in the square was not up to DVD quality. What a great loss but from all i have seen, it is a good call.

    • Do your students read what you post on this forum… I would hope not !

    • Man, you have some serious anger issues. First you comment on Jackie’s cloying vibrato then its the promoters fault for the cold like winter conditions and you finish with sarcasm as in “bouquet of opera-yeah right”! I am sure Sumi Jo knew of the venue that she would be performing in and could have passed. And I know of no opera house or theater that can seat 50,000 people plus. And I know of no person who truly loves music who would intentionally go to anyones posts or videos who he or she finds so abhorent and disgusting just to post a negative comment. Hm! Makes me wonder if you visit rap sites as well just to post comments. Now that’s a thought.

    • catmando says:

      It was cold. Jackie was wrapped in a coat when she was backstage. I’m not surprised that the temperature took a greater toll on the sopranos than the bass-baritone…

    • cabbagejuice says:”“Con Te Partiro” succeeded in exceeding my worst expections. What a mismatch of voices, bad acoustics and sheer schmaltz. Sumi Jo may have the excuse of age for wavering tones but a young person doesn’t, unless her voice also reached its sell-by date, prematurely, that is. The two of them were shivering like it was the middle of Russian winter over there. The promoters are to blamed for this kitsch, though. If bonafide opera singers are involved, follow the money trail. “Bouquet of Opera” – yeah, right!”

      You can say anything you like, but first and foremost both Sumi Jo and Dmitri Hvorostovsky totally disagree with you, so I think you are a little outranked, or do you profess to know more about Opera than they do? Sorry, Sumi Jo and Jackie just sank your Battleship! What will you tell your students now, not to pay any attention to two of the world’s greatest stars?

      Jackie left St. Petersberg with 3 powerful new friends from the opera world, in Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sumi Jo, and conductor Sara Hicks. Others from the opera community will continue to embrace Jackie, and there’s not one darn thing you can do about it! Your claim that she is forcing her larynx down has proved false as she never could have done the Finale, with the brilliance, range and technique she showed, if she had!

      Sorry, but Jackie and the world of great music wins, and you lose!

  12. richard carlisle says:

    For me the news she made the trip safely was great news; the glowing reports are hard to believe and I listened to the YT in wonder but found a bit of dueling vibrato and it seemed Sumi Jo was imitating Sarah Brightman imitating Sumi Jo … the acoustics complete with wind buffeting made it a struggle… summing up I still prefer Hayley’s voice but Jackie’s psycho/spiritual outpouring is enough to deter anyone in any branch of show biz from any thought of competing with her.

    Why not kick back, enjoy Jackie along with all the other amazing miracles to be found in life and stop picking on Janey who won’t change and will continue contributing merit-less sarcasm that provides counterpoint that makes an otherwise meaningful discussion even better in some way or ways if you are a person of tolerance.

    Thumbs up to those sharing something at this rare level of wondrous!

  13. No doubt Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo were offered fat salaries to appear with Jackie Evancho, which is why they reportedly looked so happy during the concert.

    As for Jackie “leaning in” when Sumi Jo poured it on, all I can say is “glory be the microphone.”

    A mike can give a mouse a bigger voice than Pavarotti’s. In a real concert hall without amplification Jackie’s squeaks would be drowned out by a string quartet, let alone an orchestra.

    • What are you saying? Jackie uses a mic to her advantage? Jackie doesn’t have the power to be in an opera?

      Considering Jackie has made no statements about opera being a goal, I’m only confused by your points. I mean… so what.

      • Bernice…..*sigh*

        A microphone is always used to an artists advantage, especially when their voices have no volume to speak of, and they’re singing in an arena that rock bands take for granted using 2800 KW amplifiers.

        If little Jackie hadn’t used a mike, she woudn’t have been heard at all.

        And no, I don’t think Jackie could fill a telephone booth with the volume of her voice without using a mike.

        • @Tom:
          What does that have to do with the beauty and tonal quality of her voice ?

          • Infinitus est numerus stultorum.

          • Are you including yourself among the “stultorum numerous”? Were you referring to yourself or generalizing? Please help…I’m confused.

          • I may be many things, but stultor I definitely ain’t, Andy. Deduce from that what you will.

        • Bernice says:

          Tom.. again.. so what.

          Your point is meaningless unless power is the ultimate barometer… and to 99.9% of all music lovers.. it isn’t. .. just you.

          Your point is moot.

        • Richard Scharsch says:

          I just have to say this. I watched the sound checks in the square before the concert. I watched on a security cam with pretty bad sound. lots of wind noise and traffic noise. Demetri went first and they soon had the sound doing well, no feedback and fairley clear. Sumi went second and you could hardly hear her at first but they soon had that fixed too. Jackie took the mike and started to sing and the walls of the square started to shake. they lowered the soud as quick as the could but there were still a lot of echos in the square. Did they have the mike turned too high because they thought she didn’t have any volume or was that the volume they had set for Sumi to start with. At the distance the camera was from the stage and no video screen to watch on so i guess i will never know. Either way Jackie in one brief moment almost brought the walls down.

    • richard carlisle says:

      Tom,

      Please let me know just where you can buy THAT kind of happiness… if it had been bought it wouldn’t be as genuine as that witnessed… let’s be real.

      Also, if Jackie’s amplified voice was that weak why wasn’t Ms. Jo’s too loud during the duet… microphones are hardly talented enough to favor one voice over another with such close proximity.

      Is cynicism short-changing your enjoyment of life… I enjoy some of your skeptical comments but do you?

      • Of course Jo wouldn’t drown out Mz. Evancho even if using a mike. Mz. Jo is an excellent musician who understands how to balance volume in a duet. If not, then the soundboard mixer does.

        Otherwise,I just love being cynical for the heck of it, Richard. Cynicism isn’t short-changing my life. It is in fact prolonging it, since I laugh a hearty laugh while writing my comments. Laughter has been shown to prolong a person’s life span.

        If you were on the inside track of the classica/cross-over music business, you’d be a cynic too.

        • TomV,

          Ms. Evancho asked for no quarter, and was given none. Sumi Jo made no concession to Jackie’s voice. It was a delightful duet all around. Sumi Jo has talked about very little since, and has made many statements on facebook about Jackie’s amazing voice and degree of talent! I think Jackie has made some permanent friends!

        • richard carlisle says:

          OK Tom, just want to know you’re OK with you as much as we are…personal wealth is not to be spent foolishly you know.

          Aside from Jackie’s sometimes technical imperfections without which she’d be a total oddity and, forgivng them for the sake of argument, is there any hint of entertainment value in her better performances?

          • Russ,

            I’ll send you a microphone tech manual if you want. But let me try to explain cause and effect to you as simply as I can.

            During an outdoor concert where there are no acoustics to speak of, it doesn’t matter soundwise if Sumi Jo, Jackie Evancho or a hummingbird are singing.

            Without a microphone, nobody (well, maybe except for the ornithologist with binoculars in the first row) would be able to hear them.

            Thus for the listening pleasure of the gawking mob filming the stage with their cell phones because they can’t see diddly and wondering “what the hell is this music and where are the electric guitars, bass and drum set,” the singers are given microphones to amplify their voices.

            How loud the singers sound is not a matter of “conceeding” anything to anyone. If one singer is screaming her lungs out, her mike can be set to 60 Db, say, whereas the other singer’s mike – if she is barely breathing out her melodic line – can be set to 120 Db. The end result is that both singers sound equally loud.

            Now, admittedly, the ideal situation is if both mikes are set at an equal amplification level. However, with the size of Jackie Evancho’s lungs compared to those of Sumi Jo, I strongly doubt that was the case in St. Leningrad.

            Richard,

            Not to worry. My mordant riches are infinite.

            To answer your question: Yes. It is obvious that she has entertainment value, since she sells oodles of records and attracts huge crowds. To claim otherwise would be silly.

            On the other hand, the monkey cage in a zoo, where the primate inmates sit and scratch their scrotums, scream and throw bits of bananas and apples at each other is also highly popular and attracts large crowds of spectators.

            Entertainment is in the eyes and ears of the beholder. Oh…and in their brains too, at least a little bit.

        • catmando says:

          CC is going very well in the rest of the world, not so much here. But I think Jackie and Hannah Magnelli will change that. As to microphones, I hope Jackie never sings without one, which would mean no real opera for her. As to her weak voice, she is 4’8 and weighs MAYBE 80-lbs. Her lungs have still not developed into their adult size.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Well done cynicism is funny and cutting. It is not well done when it is simply vicious, malignant or mean. That takes little imagination or inventiveness, only venom. Be cynical and humorous; it elevates you. Crossing over only demeans you and is the province of a little mind.

    • TomV,

      That’s a bunch of nonsense, and you know it! Just nothing more than weak excuses for your own pitiful lack of knowledge and accomplishment, Sumi Jo and Jackie’s performance of “Con Te Partiro”, was a performance for the ages. A “Magnificently Brilliant” performance by two extremely gifted artists, and Jackie demonstrated that unleashed, she is capable of holding her own at a very high level, with just about anyone. There’s a reason her voice is considered one in a billion! She is that good!

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      No doubt Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo were offered fat salaries to appear with Jackie Evancho, which is why they reportedly looked so happy during the concert.
      As for Jackie “leaning in” when Sumi Jo poured it on, all I can say is “glory be the microphone.”
      In a real concert hall without amplification Jackie’s squeaks would be drowned out by a string quartet, let alone an orchestra.

      Your lack of insight is only exceeded by your lack of charity, not only to Jackie but to the two other performers. Yes, Sumi and Dmitry are pros, but they are first performers and performers perform whether they are paid well or not. This opening performance was for a very prestigious conference. No performer wants to give a bad performance and if ALL (as you implied) performed below par, it was likely either a confluence of circumstances ore our own misperception of the event based only on uploaded videos. You seem particularly gleeful in your malignant attempts to “take Jackie down a notch,” and that is beyond me. She never climbed up on any pedestal; others have elevated her. Why you think she has somehow ripped the jelly from your doughnut speaks far more to your psychologic insecurities and renders your own “logic” suspect. If you have to spew malignant spittle, perhaps it ought to be addressed to her fandom and not some 12 year old girl. I’ll bet you were bullied a lot as a youth and bear scars and frustration from the experience; hence your motivation to attack online where you can fling dung with relative anonymity and impunity. Somewhat cowardly one would have to say.

  14. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    This is O Mio Babbino Caro from Russia:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WgSR_WSoJg&feature=player_embedded

    Again, it’s astonishingly obvious how much control Jackie has over her vibrato. Occasionally, she uses none, at other times a moderate amount, but it’s never excessive or wobbly. She superbly controls the rate & amplitude of her vibrato to better express the emotion in the song. She’s not perfect, but she’s very, very good, as her fellow performers realise.

    The Russians in general think of her as their own. If she gets a bit more media exposure there, she’ll be considerably more popular there than she is here. Then maybe you’ll have Russian Jackie fans coming here to this site. Hmmm.

    ;-)

    • @HomoSapiensLaptopicus “Control of vibrato”? You again show you do not know what you are talking about at all. The fact that the approach is so uneven shows there is NO control. Crooning “O Mio Babbino” should not be in a opera concert. This was really dreadful, more chopped up words than ever. With a proper teacher this slap up performance would not be allowed out of the studio. With so many people standing by, the applause should have been louder, don’t you think? And many of them probably came not only out of curiosity but to hear their own iconic singer, the guy with the white hair. So don’t make this event into anything more outandish and blown up than it already tried to present itself.

      • Michael says:

        Cabbage Juice

        May I suggest you provide a link for all to hear, of an example that you consider proper vibrato. You can then provide substance to your criticism of Jackie, Katherine and Sarah for all to understand.

        Thanks.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBhNRba7L0M (Horne)

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MugXdU-h6UU (Bartoli)

          Ms. Evancho’s vibrato in many places is unsteady, uneven or just generally shows signs of lack of control.

          The examples above show how a voice is held in control, up on the breath, with the vibrato totally steady. Bartoli’s shows what a “controlled” vibrato really is and how it sounds when the singer can alter it for effect. The differences you are hearing in Ms. Evancho are actually, I believe, losses in abdominal support, which oddly pulse the vibrato.

          You should not notice a singers vibrato if it is done correctly. The fact that you speak about Ms. Evancho’s so often is a clear sign that something is calling your attention to it.

          • Michael says:

            Janey,

            Thank you so much for the examples.

            I have Bartoli’s “Maria” and “Rossini Heroines” albums but not “Sacrificium” and prefer her version over Horne’s version of Ombra Mai Fù. To me, the vibrato of all three singers is very noticeable and more than I would prefer (my preference/taste). I agree that Jackie’s is not as stable but quite good for a 12 year old.

            [The fact that you speak about Ms. Evancho’s so often is a clear sign that something is calling your attention to it.]

            What caught my attention is that in the last two or three years, Norman has submitted more comments on this site about her than any female classical singer. Most items presented here seem to gather few comments and limited emotional response. There is not another subject that draws more hits and emotional zeal, pro and con, than this 12 year old. I found that curious and it prompted me to look further and deeper into her background.

            She does not appear to be inclined to move toward opera/classical but rather in the direction of Streisand, Dion or Brightman. I think that for the near future, her direction musically will be mostly determined by her handlers. My impression is her mother is taking a caretakers route until her daughter can make her own decisions. So only time will provide the answer.

            There are singers that are technically good but lack the beautiful voice. To be technically good and have a beautiful voice is rare. Certainly she has technical things too learn, she is 12, but she brings a big voice and talent with her.

            I am not aware of another artist, actor, musician, singer, producer etc. that has actually worked with Jackie and have anything but positive comments. I generally respect the comments of these folks over those that have not and are on the sidelines (just me).

            Again, thank you for taking the time to find and post those links; they clarify what folks were trying to describe about music with words and hopefully, makes me a little smarter and better understand some of the technical concerns.

          • WestSeaDoc says:

            Thank you Michael for a reasoned and erudite response. Honestly, some of the pro / con comments are exhausting, especially in their emotional content. I suppose the genre of opera lends itself to more emotional bickering over singers and technique than Monday kibbitzing over Sunday’s football games and the qualities of this QB or that L Tackle, etc.

    • Richard Scharsch says:

      Hate to break this to you but Jackie already has Russian fans and Siberian fans and Scottish fans and Australian fans etc. etc. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

  15. I’m confused, by the statement that Jackie lacked breath. I just listened to both videos here, and didn’t find that to be the case in either. Her intended I think dynamics may have impressed someone of that, but I don’t think she ran out of gas anywhere.

  16. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Re: Pitchiness

    This orchestra is actually tuned sharp, whether from the cold or something else (assuming it’s not an artifact of video). Break out your tuning fork(s) & you’ll hear it. Jackie has absolute pitch, so whenever she started singing the correct pitch it sounded a bit flat compared to the orchestra; she had to repeatedly adjust her pitch to try to match the slightly sharp orchestra. Sometimes absolute pitch is more of a burden than a benefit.

    Sara Hicks kept the tempos of most of their numbers very slow. This may have been due to the open setting & the distance of the audience from the stage. She may have thought (again, speculating) that anything up-tempo would just sound muddy there. IDK.

    It was cold & windy, & obviously not the best setting. Maybe we should attempt to factor the conditions in when we judge their performances.

    Parenthetically, we should also notice that Jackie’s Italian has further improved.

    @TomV

    “Squeaks”?

    Not very nice, but since your sense of humour is usually so outstanding, we’ll let it go (LOL). Yes, Jackie is a child & can’t project yet – nor should she try. We don’t know if she’ll ever even want to learn to project her voice unamplified. She’s even small for her age. We’ll see how big her voice gets in a few years.

    In the meantime, she may have temporary difficulties as she enters adolescence (e.g. some loss of upper register), then come back stronger than ever. Time will tell.

    • HomoSap,

      I think perhaps you may have missed the part of my posts where I mentioned that weather and the conditions could have played a role and when I stated Ms. Evancho should be proud of singing through the conditions. I am not discounting that at all.

      In actuality, Ms. Evancho repeatedly was both sharp and flat to my ear in the Prayer video, but I agree that the string section was sharp with several violins out of tune in particular. To her credit, she corrected most off notes eventually.

      Given the performances that I have seen, I do not believe that Ms. Evancho possesses absolute perfect pitch, but I would, of course, have no way truly to know.

      As I said, I have heard much better performances from both singers. This was not the best performance night all ’round. All performers have off nights. It is nothing of which to be ashamed, but it is important to recognize when it occurs. Through this insight, performers may reassess and improve.

      • Janey,
        You could be right but I noticed that most of the public and media really didn’t care if Jackie was off her pitch or not. Most media reports were very complimentary to Jackie and her performance. That means she will get a lot more positive exposure and further offers to perform. Note that I say she might get further offers to perform and not that she will be performing more. That’s up to Jackie and her parents.

        • Yes, you’re probably correct. Most of those attending the concert wouldn’t mind that there was singing out of tune. The media, naturally, would provide a rave review of anything related to the conference, so their true opinions would be difficult to ascertain. Still, the majority no doubt enjoyed the concert, which was presented as more of a pop event, after all.

          This blog, however, is not a pop or general interest blog. It is a classical music blog that contains a good amount of critique of various performances throughout. In this case, the original article suggested that Ms. Evancho had outsung another singer and performed flawlessly. Whether the audience enjoyed the concert is a separate point and in actuality off the topic of the original article, which dealt with singing performance.

          • Janey
            I personally think she did out sing SJ or at least sounded better than her. No question in my mind. That doesn’t mean i didnt like SJ. This was not a competition between the two but rather a collaboration between two artists.
            I don’t think Jackie was flawless. In the close up videos of her and Sumi Jo, Jackie appeared to be somewhat confused and constantly looked to SJ to take the lead. I think it was more out of respect and deference to SJ than anything else.
            For a 12 year old, she did better than most adults and she’s only going to get better.

      • Janey,

        Here’s the link about the sound I promised before. I used Google translate, but if you have something better you can load it with that. Russian is hard to translate to english anyway.

        http://spb.kp.ru/online/news/1179973/

        Best Regards,
        Russ

      • Janet,

        Here’s the link I promised you from Maestro Yuri Temirkanov. I used Google translate to open it in English.

        http://spb.kp.ru/online/news/1179973/

        Best Regards,
        Russ

      • Janey,

        “The Prayer” was the most off tune of all the songs Jackie sunk. The worst performance of all was the French song, “Imaginer”, which was almost unbearable. I have a feeling that the sound engineer will be looking for a new job, if Putin doesn’t send him to Siberia first. What he did to that child was totally uncalled for. Thankfully, “Con Te Partiro” saved the day for both Sumi Jo and Jackie, and we were rewarded with a brilliant performance by both artists. Jackie earned her place on that stage with that performance, with her unleashed voice, hammering an exclamation mark in the finale. It was an excellent performance, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, when asked by the press about the duet, he said “Excellence”, twice in English to be sure there was no botched translation this time. Jackie’s talents won him over completely! She had already won over Sumi Jo, when she was working with Jackie on her Italian, which by the way was flawless in the performance. Truly one for the ages!

  17. richard carlisle says:

    Indebted indeed, Lapto… that was a nice improvement over the duet/duel regarding the vibrato contest with Ms. Jo… many thanks!

    The Russians had good reason to like/love her… BRAVO!

  18. Wanderer says:

    I find this cute 12 year old girl, being trained to sing like a grown up with lowered sarynx and vibrato, which she has not naturally yet but to produce artificially… who can not produce a phrase singing out naturally but needs a microphone to hide the fact that she doesn’t have the volume to stretch a phrase over it’s intended duration in a reasonable volume…
    Anyway, she has a very nice voice and obviously talent, but for me the way she is presenting/presented and marketed is a travesty. It makes me feel uncomfortable or even appalled. It’s a bit like classical music’s version of child pornography to me.

    • Wanderer,
      She isn’t being trained to sing that way… that’s just how she sings. Your thoughts are your own about child pornography. I guess what appears as class and grace in how a ten year old presents herself in the eyes of most of the public may not be your version of appropriateness but then …. you are entitled to your own opinion.

      • Wanderer says:

        Andy, citing minorities vs majorities, the famous metaphor regarding millions of flies and their love for excrements comes to mind. You probably also think that McDonalds is the epitome of culinary perfection, since the majority likes it.

        • Great metaphor but you didn’t specify what exactly in your opinion would classify as an acceptable way of marketing her talent.
          No I don’t think Mc Donald’s is the epitome of culinary perfection but you can certainly think so if you want.

    • It’s classical music scraping the bottom of the barrel to get attention and money. Almorst everything about this St. Petersburg business was a gimmick, Sarah Hicks with one bare shoulder, the choice of repertoire that one has to strain credulity to accept as opera. In fact, it gets insulting to the composers like Puccini and even to the intelligence of the audience who might actually like the classics if they were presented not in a dumbed-down form. How many times do we have to listen to O Mio Babbino before getting sick of it? Moreover, how many times do we have to hear, “oh, the Italian is improving” (after a couple hundred tries), “the breathiness and vibrato will go away” when they are actually getting worse? And as for diction, I could barely understand the English words in the “Prayer”.

      • Fortunately for Jackie you are in the minority about her talent / capabilities. Lets hope your students don’t get discouraged with this type of discourse regarding a 12 year old.

        • Only time will reveal the actual value of extravaganzas and fads after all the dust settles. Personally, I believe it will be embarrassing to watch such videos as above and people will wonder what all the excitement was about. A 12 year old boy or girl has no business singing Nessun Dorma, much less performing it in public and making mincemeat out of such an aria and others like it.
          Talent and capability are only raw material. Plenty of kids have them but thankfully are not thrust out in the public area prematurely. It’s the parents’ fault if they set up their own children for scrutiny.
          Also Russians allegedly screaming “Djackie” could have been paid opera claqueurs to get things rolling. Rent-a-crowd is not something unfamiliar to Russian history.

          • cabbagejuice,

            You have some imagination. so let me get this straight you are saying the Russians paid people of Ukrainian heritage, to scream Djackie? You would hardly have to pay them! LOL!! The ones up front and making all the noise were all Ukrainian! And who are you to decide that a 12 year old has no business singing Nessun Dorma. While you are entitled to your opinion, neither Dimitri or Sumi Jo would agree with you. Both were impressed with her voice and vocal capabilities. no one from Russia has said a bad word about her singing anything, or said she shouldn’t be doing it. I think you are slightly outranked! The reviews have been glowing. Nice to see all Opera people don’t agree with you, and these are two of the best in the world!

          • richard carlisle says:

            Thanks for an extreme OTT counterpoint… good to keep things polarized I guess, but don’t think Jackie was any more thrust than doing the thrusting– you’re looking at one willful individual– regardless of age 12.

          • Bristol says:

            NL, I recall reading a post from you some time ago in which you, quite properly, called for civility in discussions about Jackie Evancho. Why then do you permit this dross? Shame on “cabbagejuice” for making irresponsible, juvenile, ugly, morally unhealthy statements such as these.

            That this poster’s thoughts should drift to child pornography is disturbing. Just as disturbing is your allowing such thoughts to be posted. Permitting such posts degrades your fourm, calls into question your integrity and motives, and casts a pall over everyone who participates here.

            Perhaps you don’t much care, but if a post such as this appears again, I’ll neither visit nor contribute to your forum.

          • cabbage juice,
            You’re overly presumptuous in assuming she is being thrust out in the public….no evidence of that so far.
            Crowds being paid to yell out Jackie’s name? You’re joking of course, right? Of course you are! What am I thinking!

          • Paid claqueurs are a centuries old tradition in opera and Russians can be hired for a small bottle of fake Stolichnaya at local prices.

  19. Mr. Hand says:

    My compliments to the Jackie Evancho fans on keeping it civil despite some locals here obviously trying to muddy the waters.

  20. Stephen Runnels says:

    It’s always easier to disparage others from a distance. Closet-sitters have their advantage of opinion from a cultivated ignorance by proxy. From those who have attended a Jackie performance, however, I don’t think you would find one that had a hateful or disparaging remark or negative view of what they just witnessed. You cannot feel anything but joy at the exuberance from Jackie when she ends a song she knows she nailed. Such lack of guile and phoniness is apparent when she speaks to her audience. This little girl is living the dream of her life. Her fans, her family, and others who care for her do everything possible to maintain that special happiness Jackie has.

  21. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @Janey
    Actually, i believe your posts have been balanced & insightful here, & so wasn’t questioning them at all. I agree with much of what you say.

    @Wanderer
    Jackie is not “…being trained to sing like a grown up with lowered sarynx [SIC] and vibrato…” as you allege. She has developed her different timbres de novo, on her own. She’s essentially an auto-didact. She also has control of these different timbres, producing anything from a child-like sound to a “dark, adult-like” sound, with several gradations in between, as appropriate for different situations.

    And how is it that you’re so sure her vibrato is unnatural”? Have you done flexible laryngoscopy on her? If you’re concerned about her chin waggle, as you know, some children with this have problems later on, but others do not. Jackie’s has always been relatively mild, so we shouldn’t be surprised if she has no problems with it later.

    @cabbagejuice
    Well, what a surprise! We disagree! AFAIK, The Prayer link wasn’t posted here; perhaps you could supply it. I’ve been able to understand Jackie’s words reasonably well from this concert, especially considering the difficult conditions & bootleg recordings, but evidently you have a different opinion. Maybe if you posted The Prayer link, we could decide.

    You said “How many times do we have to listen to O Mio Babbino before getting sick of it?” Hmmm. It’s unfortunate that Maria Callas is no longer with us; you could have asked her about this directly.

    So, is it a “gimmick” whenever Mr Hvorostovsky sings with other non-operatic singers? Is he not “allowed” to sing with someone like Lara Fabian? Presumably you disapprove of all classical crossover artists? And you REALLY can’t stand it when Alfie Boe recommends that opera singers bring the music closer to audiences? And it was just EVIL when Sara Hicks conducted for Sting last year?

    Just because you say hundreds of times that Jackie’s “breathiness & vibrato” are getting worse, it doesn’t make it true. Other Jackie critics have gone on record predicting how long her voice will last. You seem convinced she’s terribly close to her “sold by” date, so what will it be? When will her voice be ruined? A year? Two? Five?

    And then your pièce de résistance, “paid opera claqueurs”; really? For a free outdoor concert, in the cold & wind? TomV has the concert organizers paying Hvorostovsky & Sumi Jo piles of money to sing with the unqualified, upstart American ingénue, & you have them PAYING THE CROWD? Well, evidently so many of your other false allegations have been refuted that you have to scrape & scrape & scrape the bottom of the barrel. I hope you didn’t break a nail.

    • @HomoSapiensLaptopicus I don’t “disagree” with you. I can only have an intellectual dispute with someone who knows something about the subject we are talking about. You talk about vibrato and pitch like anyone can talk about the theory of relativity (including myself) only superficially. It seems that instant armchair vocal experts have sprung up around the Jackie camp. Relative or perfect pitch is one of their latest obsessions.
      “And how is it that you’re so sure her vibrato is unnatural?
      Go and read “Bel Canto” and/or the “Free Voice” by Cornelius Reid
      “Just because you say hundreds of times that Jackie’s “breathiness & vibrato” are getting worse, it doesn’t make it true.” Except to untrained ears.
      “Jackie is a child & can’t project yet – nor should she try. We don’t know if she’ll ever even want to learn to project her voice unamplified. She’s even small for her age. We’ll see how big her voice gets in a few years.”

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        cabbagejiuce-

        You made reference to Jackie’s performance of The Prayer, which had not been posted here. Her fans had frankly been looking for videos just like that, & you apparently sought one out (of a singer you evidently strongly dislike & disrespect – which is a bit odd, don’t you think?). Did you find this video link on Amazon, or some other place where her fans frequently visit? Or perhaps you found it somewhere else? In any case, the reasonable thing would be to either post it here or mention where you found it, so that others would know what you’re talking about.

        You have said repeatedly that Jackie’s “breathiness & vibrato” (by which you presumably mean her allegedly wobbly vibrato) are steadily worsening, & she is rapidly reaching her “sell by” date. I simply asked you to go on record about when you believe her voice will be ruined (give or take). You say it is definitely deteriorating, so you should be able to predict when it will reach an unrecoverable point; or maybe you believe it is already beyond repair. Your knowledge of the late Cornelius Reid’s work, plus your experience, should allow you to make a prediction on this kind, shouldn’t it?

        FYI, i know full well the differences between relative & absolute pitch, & temperament & overtones, squillo & resonance, etc. I hear things in music that the vast majority of people do not hear. And yes, i have read some of Mr Reid’s writing, & am impressed that his work is much more scientifically accurate than the vast majority of information one can see on the web. If singing teachers have read Reid, it’s not clear they understand him – JMHO.

    • Wanderer says:

      Look, what are we arguing here actually? There are people who know a bit about classical singing and there are many more who don’t. You obviously don’t know much. That’s all fine. Many people like her singing and she is successful. To each his own, this is a free world for us.
      But nobody who knows a bit about classical singing takes this commercial entertainment sh_t serious. She doesn’t have control of her voice and timbre(s) as you allege and she can’t produce them at will. As she shouldn’t have as an 12 year old. She produces a fake wobbly and static sound, she tries to sound like something she is not. She can do all that only since she exclusively sings with a microphone for amplification, which by itself is unnatural for classical singing.
      It’s so obvious what one can see and hear, there really is no point of discussing this further.

      • Wanderer,
        I pity your auditory limitations. My sympathies. You’re missing out on a lot !!

  22. Bristol says:

    In my last post I mistook “cabbagejuice” for “Wanderer”.

  23. @Russ Here we go again with projecting one’s thoughts on others:
    “And who are you to decide that a 12 year old has no business singing Nessun Dorma. While you are entitled to your opinion, neither Dimitri or Sumi Jo would agree with you.”
    Oh really? Where did they say that? There is a less than 1% chance that they as teachers would allow untrained voices to do heavy operatic arias. Neither one said they approve of Jackie’s technique.
    @HomoSapiensLaptopicus “You said ‘How many times do we have to listen to O Mio Babbino before getting sick of it?’ Hmmm. It’s unfortunate that Maria Callas is no longer with us; you could have asked her about this directly.” Did Maria Callas sing “O mio babbino” at EVERY concert or was it just a footnote here and there?
    “So, is it a “gimmick” whenever Mr Hvorostovsky sings with other non-operatic singers? Is he not “allowed” to sing with someone like Lara Fabian? Presumably you disapprove of all classical crossover artists?”
    This is the same old tired argument, is this crossover or a BOUQUET OF OPERA? Let’s just be honest for once. .

    • cabbagejuice,

      I don’t have any idea why you are saying I was projecting my thoughts on others. Sumi Jo and Dimitri were both interviewed several times, and were continually asked about Jackie’s vocal abilities. Dimitri used the English word “Excellence” twice, when asked about Jackie’s duet with Sumi Jo, to remove any doubts as to his meaning. Sumi Jo was literally glowing from the experience. I said it, back when Jackie announced that she was going to Russia. “The Russians will not be prepared for Jackie live, because they’ve never heard anything like Jackie before”, even though they have their own child star in 10 year old Ukrainian born, Anastasia Petrick. Ms. Petrik started out 5 years ago singing American 50′s rock and roll. Two years ago she found an extraordinary talented vocal coach, who has taught her how to use her diaphragm properly, instead of belting out the notes from the back of her throat. He/she (unknown) has taught her unbelievable breath control, for someone so tiny. Her technique is flawless. Still, the Russians were not prepared for Jackie’s talents. No one ever is! People, even those who love her voice, and follow her aren’t prepared for beauty of her art, when hearing her for the first time live!

      I know the first question Sumi Jo asked when she came down from the high of the performance was, “OMG, How did she do that!” Both artists pulled out all the stops for the finale, and it was a memorable performance. It was an extremely etherical moment for two very gifted and talented artists. With that performance she earned the right to stand on that stage, with two of the worlds greatest opera stars, as an equal! It was an incredible performance from both artists!, surely one that neither of them will ever forget.

  24. Janey,

    My apologies for the typo in your name. I caught the “t” instead of the “y”.

    Here’s a little present for you. http://minus.com/mbiHDdialj/10 “The Prayer” from very close up. It clearly demonstrates the difficulties the Orchestra had with the sound system, and the chilly weather affecting their tune.

    Enjoy,
    Russ

  25. Janey,

    Another little present for you. Jackie and Sumi Jo, singing “Con Te Partiro”. Best audio yet. It just goes to show how important the sound system really is for an event like this. Quite beautiful!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie9fnU1Kw6M

    Warmest Regards,
    Russ

  26. Romann Brechelt says:

    To say the least, it’s clear that cabbagejuice’s comments about Jackie should be taken with a grain of salt, since cabbagejuice obviously is totally obsessed with the young singer. May be time to take a step back cabbagejuice.

  27. Stephen Runnels says:

    There really is no point of discussing this further. Jackie Evancho is at the beginning of a very long and distinguished career. The explosion of interest and sales are also just beginning. Those who dislike her music will just have to learn to endure. Jackie’s fan-base is growing day by day, and these are fans she will have for the rest of her life.

  28. @Bristol
    I didn’t really really read all the comments and in particular the one directed to me since these threads get to be really longwinded.
    “cabbage- I agree with not comparing Jackie and Sumi, as both are wonderful and only should be exalted, besides they are not competing against each other that I know of. However you seem to be saying comparing the two is out of order because Jackie doesn’t warrant being associated with a top notch singer. Please forgive me if I misunderstood your intentions there.”
    You didn’t misunderstand my intentions. First of all, I don’t think that Jackie should be “exalted” let alone taken seriously. The more I listen to her, the artifice of the tonal production becomes a virtual red flag. Fans say this and that are improving which would be possible and probable if she sang in a normal child’s voice. Sometimes she floats a high note (that a lot of kids can do anyway) freed from the contrived lowering of the larynx in the middle range. In such cases she doesn’t have to gasp for a breath immediately afterwards. Unfortunately, these free, clear moments get fewer as time goes on.
    I believe despite the considerably amount of dough Sumi Jo may have received from this production, she made a tactical mistake. A singer like DIetrich Fischer-Diskau never appeared in public when he was not in 100% top form. Odious comparisons in this case could just have been expected when Sumi Jo two weeks before had an appendix operation. The result was “look at that opera singer with all her training, career, etc., she is not louder than, or even better than a 12 year old.”
    Jackie can sing popular and crossover music but not opera. Many opera singers can sing classical music and crossover. Therefore, only in her range of possibilities just now, no, not at all, does she deserve to be compared with as you say, a “top notch singer”.

  29. @Bernice Sorry I confounded Bristol with you in my above post. But while I’m here:
    “As far as vibrato is concerned. The video posted below displays vibrato of the two in the same song, during the same time and place. Now I loved the vocals of both singers, but facts are facts.. there was less pronounced vibrato in the younger singer. It was tighter and not as noticeable. I’m going to pitch your “cloying to the curbside, thank you.”
    There shouldn’t have been any noticeable vibrato from either of them. The concept was applied to violin technique by Leopold Mozart who said it was derived from nature, meaning the natural vibrations of a healthy, free, human voice. But as in string playing, a warm tone produced by vibrato doesn’t have audible pitch oscillations.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      cabbagejuice-

      I see you lack the courage to answer my questions. But that is not unexpected. The fact that you sought out Jackie’s video when it wasn’t posted here tells us all that Romann Brechelt may have hit the nail on the head.

      You said this:
      “There shouldn’t have been any noticeable vibrato from either of them. The concept was applied to violin technique by Leopold Mozart who said it was derived from nature, meaning the natural vibrations of a healthy, free, human voice. But as in string playing, a warm tone produced by vibrato doesn’t have audible pitch oscillations.”

      Let’s look at the definition of vibrato from Wiki:

      “Vibrato is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch. It is used to add expression to vocal and instrumental music. Vibrato is typically characterised in terms of two factors: the amount of pitch variation (“extent of vibrato”) and the speed with which the pitch is varied (“rate of vibrato”).[1]

      The footnote refers to this article:
      Sundberg, Johan. “Acoustic and psychoacoustic aspects of vocal vibrato”. Retrieved 4 October 2010.

      Then if you google “Cornelius Reid vibrato” you get a docx file, “Vibrato Defined”. It begins thusly:

      The term vibrato is defined acoustically by William Vennard as a fluctuation in pitch, tempo and timbre caused by tremor in the muscles involved in breathing and resonating. The PITCH MAY VARY BY A SEMI-TONE, adding richness and overtones to the singing voice (EMPHASIS added).

      So OF COURSE there are variations in pitch & OF COURSE they are audible – at least to anyone with a half-musical ear. That’s the very definition of vibrato, as opposed to tremolo, where only the volume varies. I pity your students.

      And oh yeah: Jackie has 100.00% control over both the extent & rate of her vibrato, as is made arrantly obvious by listening to her vids from Russia – assuming you have at least a half-musical ear, of course. Other singers often do not have this degree of control.

      • Wanderer says:

        Please give it a break. She doesn’t have nearly 100% control. You don’t even know what that is. Please step aside and let those talk who have a clue. Enough with this nonsense.

      • HomoSap,

        I posted The Prayer in a message to you after looking for it on Youtube to determine whether the drop in quality I mentioned was because of a song or an occasion. I wanted to be fair and base my thoughts on more than one song.

        CJ responded to me and also your post. You responded to my post with the video.

  30. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Post concert comments on Jackie from Dmitri Hvorostovsky are here:

    http://www.newsfiber.com/p/s/h?v=EKJY%2FR8AGA8g%3D+tSVrmgkBGh0%3D

    Please forgive the Google auto translate:

    “It is surprising, of course, surprise – says Dmitri Hvorostovsky. – I’m so, of course, heard of, but this is rare. Jackie – it is very rare.”

    For any Russian speakers, this is the original (i think):

    “Удивляет, конечно, удивляет, — признается Дмитрий Хворостовский. — Я такое, конечно, слышал, но это редкость. Джеки – это большая редкость”.

    • Thank you for posting the link.

      All praise to Gargoyle auto translate! I’ve used it myself on a few occasions.

      One of the tricks is to back-translate. That is, paste the translation back into the field for translation, and re-translate this into the language from which you were translating originally.

      Sometimes the return is verbatim. Sometimes it is similar. Sometimes quite different. This practice – of ‘back translation’ (if I have the term right: it’s years since I perused literature on the matter, and then only as a byproduct of other readings) is standard practice for literature translation. For general purposes, it matters only that one gets the gist of the translation. Some works, in some languages, are notoriously difficult to make sense of. It was said of the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, that some English anthropologists weren’t sure whether their difficulty with some of his writings was due to translation difficulty, or whether he was just having them on.

      • ‘Reply’ to my own comment: I forgot to elaborate – although probably need not – that having back-translated to the original language from which one is translating, one then does the translation exercise again, and sees if the English translation is the same, or something quite different. Sometimes you find repeating the exercise a few times improves the outcome. Sometimes it makes no difference or makes it worse.

  31. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Another point: Amelita Galli-Curci, as many of you probably know, became perhaps the top coloratura soprano of her era (the early 20th century) without ever having taken a single singing lesson in her life. She had a very musical background & was an excellent pianist, but vocally she was self-trained.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelita_Galli-Curci

    We’ll see what happens to Jackie as she grows up.

    BTW – the initial promotional material for the Bouquet of Opera billed Hvorostovsky, Sumi Jo & Jackie as “international stars of the opera stage”. Since Jackie isn’t an opera singer & has never claimed to be, her representatives no doubt contacted the organizers, & very quickly, all references to Jackie & opera were removed.

    Her father has pointed out that just because she sang at an event with “opera” in the title, that doesn’t make her an opera singer. She also sang with “The Young (Opera) Stars of the Met” in Boca Raton, Florida last year. She has also sung at several pop concerts hosted by David Foster, like his David Foster & Friends concerts, but that doesn’t make her a pop singer.

    She remains a classical crossover singer, neither an opera singer nor a pop singer.

    • Wanderer says:

      But she remains a “microphone only” singer. I wonder if anyone has ever heard her without a microphone for amplification. That fact alone would eliminate the word “classical” from her categorization. She is a singer, not classical.

      • Michael says:

        Well duh… Most of her fans have said that. Aren’t you the very same folks that are saying she should not project like a classical singer because she is too young and now you turn around and complain because she doesn’t? She is not an opera singer…How tough is that?

        The only reason she is even mentioned on this site is because she get hits. No one cares about the articles presented. They get on average of less the three comments per article. Many get zero comments. Jackie gets attention, makes money and is not dependent on the taxpayer to subsidize them.

        I have always found it interesting that opera and classical folks can be so obnoxious to folks of other genres when it is you folks that want their money to subsidize your music.

      • catmando says:

        Well there you have it; a complete downgrade from opera singer to Classical Crossover singer to Classical singer to finally…just a plain old singer. The mind boggles at such foolishness. :rolleyes:

      • wanderer says:”But she remains a “microphone only” singer. I wonder if anyone has ever heard her without a microphone for amplification. That fact alone would eliminate the word “classical” from her categorization. She is a singer, not classical.”

        She managed to earn the respect of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sumi Jo, and Sara Hicks with her compelling Duet with Sumi Jo. Jackie showed the world that she is not some “got talent” so called prodigy, but a real prodigy with enormous talents, showcased beautifully in the Finale. She proved that she can sing with the very best! A “Magnificently Brilliant” performance from Sumi Jo and Jackie Evancho. Bravo!

        BTW, Opera is un-amplified always. Classical is not! If you don’t like her classification, I would strongly advise you to take that up with Billboard!

  32. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus
    “cabbagejuice-I see you lack the courage to answer my questions. But that is not unexpected. The fact that you sought out Jackie’s video when it wasn’t posted here tells us all that Romann Brechelt may have hit the nail on the head.” What I have to get up in the middle of the night to check the blog and answer your questions? I seem to remember clicking on a link next to one of the vids. Are you the youtube police, or something?

    @Romann Brechelt
    “To say the least, it’s clear that cabbagejuice’s comments about Jackie should be taken with a grain of salt, since cabbagejuice obviously is totally obsessed with the young singer. May be time to take a step back cabbagejuice.” WHO are obsessed, those who think she should be “EXALTED” or that she has 100.00% control over her vibrato? Or who follow her from country to country like crazed, ageing groupies?

    @HomoSapiensLaptopicus
    Someone here mentioned the “groupthink” of JE supporters. For one, they get their “knowledge” from Wikipedia. Before you (singular or plural) were going on about Jenny Lind allegedly being an autodidact.
    “Another point: Amelita Galli-Curci, as many of you probably know, became perhaps the top coloratura soprano of her era (the early 20th century) without ever having taken a single singing lesson in her life.”
    That’s not true at all. I grew up listening to the clear bell sounds of Amelita, no perceptible vibrato.

    “So OF COURSE there are variations in pitch & OF COURSE they are audible.”
    What nonsense. If you want to be pedantic, Jackie’s middle and lower notes are not so much pitch oscillations but puffs of air. I used the term’ vibrato’ picking up the thread from others here and the word anyway in common usage can substitute for tremolo.

    What Hvorostovky said was the essence of political ambiguity. Sure, she is rare. How many kids by the age of 12 already made a career in a contrived voice?

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      @cabbagejuice-

      Nobody said you had to get up in the middle of the night. What i asked for was a PREDICTION about how long Jackie’s voice will last, since you are so certain she’s going downhill.

      How about this? I’d never heard Adele before our Grammys this year. It took me about a hundred milliseconds to realise (1) she has a beautiful, powerful pop voice; & (2) she sings so unhealthily that her voice will never last – UNLESS she completely alters the way she sings. Indeed, she’s already had major vocal issues.

      So my prediction: Adele’s voice won’t last another 2 years before she’s back in the otolaryngologist’s office, or taking months off or whatever (assuming she doesn’t change her singing style). Cigarettes or no cigarettes. OK, she MIGHT last 4 or 5 years, but no more.

      So how about it? Put your prediction about how long Jackie’s voice will last in writing, since you’re so convinced you’re right. I had the courage to put my prediction in writing. Do you?

      The point about Amelita Galli-Curci had NOTHING to do with vibrato. The point is that you can be self-taught, with no lessons at all, & be fantastic. You are very, very good at missing the point.

      I used Wiki because it’s easy & clear, but went to your idol, Cornelius Reid, as well. Vibrato varies as much as a full half-tone in PITCH. You ought to be able to hear that. I can. It’s not the same as tremolo. These are not difficult things if you understand a BIT about music.

      And Jackie’s vibrato is NOT false vibrato. Duh. No “puffs of air” like you would see with false vibrato. If you hear that from her now, it’s mic artifact. She has control in the sense that she can sing with zero vibrato, a little bit or a lot. She can vary the rate as well. As is done in pop singing (as opposed to opera, where it’s relatively steady), she uses vibrato to express emotion. Most singers just can’t do those things. Period.

      Reid describes 3 different methods of producing vibrato, but the main way still is rhythmic contractions of the hypopharynx especially (& other parts of the respiratory tract – has very little to do with the cords). Just look at the flexible laryngoscopies on YT. Maria Ocampos:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5esV8aoE1M

      A bit wobbly IYAM, but the contractions sure are obvious. BTW, the larynx itself is not moving up & down, that’s the scope.

      I’ve never mentioned Jenny Lind as an auto-didact. Perhaps you’re confusing me with someone else (ahem)?

      And yes, you most certainly ARE obsessed with a young singer you evidently hold in disdain. Bizarre. Yes, FANS of all kinds of singers follow them, often to excess; “fan” is short for “fanatic”, after all. But why obsess about, & review vids, of singers you dislike? Anti-fans like you are the truly bizarre puzzle.

      One last thing: Jackie doesn’t get her multiple timbres, some “dark” & “adult-like”, others completely child-like, from laryngeal position alone. She gets them from hypopharyngeal dilatation as well.

      @wanderer
      No, classical singing CAN be done with a mic. It’s OPERATIC singing that is unamplfied. You should get your terms straight.

      • Mr. Hand says:

        @HomoSapiensLaptopicus

        You make an interesting point to the concept of “anti-fan” in general. However as to cabbagejuice, and others here – an article about Jackie is posted in this blog which she and the others are regular participants, and some of us Jackie fans are coming here to their backyard, so to speak, and making assertions about Jackie and music styles and capabilities. So, it doesn’t seem to me obsessive or out of sorts in any way for them to provide responses and make efforts such as looking up videos and so forth in aiding the points they are contributing; and let’s face it, if they abstained from responding altogether, many from the Jackie camp would be quite disappointed. As I’ve noticed in other Jackie related article here, when the discussion winds down it ‘s always a Jackie fan (ahem, Richard C.) that persists in keeping it alive.

        For the most part I find the exchanges here interesting and informative and I believe it reflects more positively on the phenom of Jackie when her fans avoid being antagonistic with personal and other hostile tones in expressing their disagreements.

        That’s my $.02. :-)

      • Wanderer says:

        “…No, classical singing CAN be done with a mic. It’s OPERATIC singing that is unamplfied. You should get your terms straight.”

        Sure, and a bird CAN also walk. But a bird who can only walk and not fly, what is that? (an ostrich?;)

        A singer who practically can not sing without a microphone, who can only produce his/her specific sound with a mike, is not a classical singer. period.

        As for the “vibrato” discussion. It’s obvious to anyone who has undergone serious voice training as a kid (as I did) that she produces a fake pseudo vibrato, conditioning her anatomy in a potentially harmful way. Any good singing teacher would strongly discourage such practice. The difference between a natural and a pseudo vibrato is, that the natural vibrato develops in an adult anatomy by the right pneumatic impedance, based mostly on the right breathing technique with the diaphragm and several other parameters.

    • Hey cabbagepatch,

      Wrong again! Vibrato is a small shift in frequency, while Tremolo is a shift in amplitude, based on the Doppler effect!!

      Sure, Dimitri was just being a good guy. That’s why he was out there rooting Sumi Jo and Jackie on. He called the duet, Excellence, in English twice, so there would be no mistake in translation! Sumi Jo was so pumped up knowing they had nailed it. I can tell you the first thing she said when that high finally wore off, “OMG! How did she do that”! Learned music scholars would love to know that, because they haven’t got a clue. All singers notes show up on an audio scan with three components, The Principal. the Fundamental, and the harmonic . All singers except Jackie, that is. Her audio scans show 5 components. This is technology I helped develop, back in the day, and I can’t tell you what the other two components are, because I’ve never seen scans like this before, and I’ve looked at many thousands of them. Some Learned music scholars believe that she may have invented/discovered a new way of singing, but is not mature enough to be able to explain what it is that she’s doing yet. Jackie likes to say that she is living proof, that miracles do happen! She proved that Wednesday night! Jackie earned the right to step onto that stage with Dimitri and Sumi Jo, as equals, because of that performance! You can say you hated it all you want, but Dimitri and Sumi Jo loved it. It’s probably the first time Jackie has ever sung like that in her life. She seemed to trust in her voice more, and just let it go! Jackie made believers out of Dimitri, Sumi Jo, and Sara Hicks, not to mention most of the orchestra. I suspect that this performance will be talked about for a long time to come, and I doubt that there will be any interviews where these three aren’t asked about Jackie, in the foreseeable future. She proved once and for all that she is not forcing her larynx lower, because she would have destroyed her voice singing like that if she had! It also proves that Jackie does indeed control her timbre and tone to make her voice anything from a little girl, to a full grown woman.

      Here’s the link!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5NJG2HZbpc

      • Evanchoysics 101 says:

        Uhhm Professor Russ,

        Doppler Effect is shift in frequency.

        Other than that, good to see you back in top form. :)

        • The doppler effect is not a shift in frequency, it’s a shift in how you perceive that frequency. There is a difference. the sound itself never changes frequency. The doppler effect fools into believing that it does, much like a train blowing it’s whistle as it passes, higher first, and then lower. The source note does not change!

  33. richard carlisle says:

    A group gathered to taste-test a new brand of chocolates and proceeded to spend hours arguing over the quality of the cardboard used to make the box holding them…

    HELLO– CHOCOLATES ANYONE?

    Why isn’t a discussion of why she IS a show-biz phenom better than a discussion of why she shouldn’t be ?

    • Richard, probably because thier are those in the group who insist on comparing her to an opera singer which she is NOT and has never claimed to be. Then those who claim only opera singers can sing the classics and others who would want to hear her sing without a mic. Here is a link to her singin without mic or music with Cody Carey backstage. Scroll to near the end of the clip but the whole clip is fun to watch and she is only 9.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLijmcVeR2Q. As for thier comments on classical crossover if I’m not
      mistaken Rene Fleming sings jazz and classics, by definition doesn’t that make her also a classical crossover singer?

    • Mmmmmm, cardboard….

  34. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @cabbagejuice
    Mea culpa, BTW, since Janey says she’d posted the vid of The Prayer. I’d missed that. Still doesn’t change my basic points, though.

  35. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus
    This is downright silly: “What i asked for was a PREDICTION about how long Jackie’s voice will last, since you are so certain she’s going downhill.” I am not certain about anything except what I hear and it’s not good.
    “So how about it? Put your prediction about how long Jackie’s voice will last in writing, since you’re so convinced you’re right. I had the courage to put my prediction in writing. Do you?” Serious voice teachers would not have the temerity to make bets or predictions, so what gives you the nerve to do so?
    “The point about Amelita Galli-Curci had NOTHING to do with vibrato. The point is that you can be self-taught, with no lessons at all, & be fantastic. You are very, very good at missing the point.”
    Galli-Curci studied piano for years, so knew music, imitated the best sopranos in Milan, studied the exercises of Garcia, probably had very good coaches in the opera houses she sang in, so she didn’t spring fully formed out of nowhere from the head of Jove.
    There DOES come a point though in the development in any singer as Jenny Tourel said to her students, “you have to find your own voice”. A person has to make the synthesis himself or herself of all the words and explanations. This is a holistic process.
    I don’t know WHY you are going on about “laryngoscopies” and pompously throwing around terms like hypopharyngeal dilatation. Before the laryngoscope singers did just fine, in fact, some believe that the attempt to put singing into a scientific box was actually counter-productive. People can talk, walk, sing and dance without knowledge of anatomy and have been doing so for millennia.
    “And yes, you most certainly ARE obsessed with a young singer you evidently hold in disdain .”
    To be honest, I don’t care one bit about her or you.

    • This is getting close to the red line. Please keep it polite and respectful.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        Thank you Mr Lebrecht. But when someone tries to say that vibrato doesn’t involve changing pitch when that’s the very definition, it’s a bit odd.

        • Who says that vibrato doesn’t involve changing pitch? I gave the example of string players who obviously oscillate the tones, but of course, not as much as to be a perceptible change of pitch.

          But more to the point, here are “ad hominem’ or more precisely “ad mulier” remarks directed against me: “cabbagejuice obviously is totally obsessed with the young singer.” Romann Brechelt

          “You are very, very good at missing the point.” “And yes, you most certainly ARE obsessed with a young singer you evidently hold in disdain. Bizarre… But why obsess about, & review vids, of singers you dislike? Anti-fans like you are the truly bizarre puzzle.”“cabbagejuice-I see you lack the courage to answer my questions. But that is not unexpected.” HomoSapiensLaptopicus

          Andy: “Lets hope your students don’t get discouraged with this type of discourse regarding a 12 year old.” Yes, I agree that some people are close to, and even crossing a red line.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            @cabbagejuice

            You said vibrato doesn’t involve changing pitch:

            “There shouldn’t have been any noticeable vibrato from either of them [Sumi Jo & Jackie]….. But as in string playing, a warm tone produced by vibrato doesn’t have audible pitch oscillations.”

            So “…vibrato doesn’t have pitch oscillations”.

          • No HomoSap,

            He said vibrato does not have “AUDIBLE pitch oscillations” and that is exactly correct. The pitch heard is the center of the top and bottom pitches. The human ear does not process the pitches of vibrato, if it is being done correctly. Listen to the videos I left in response to Michael’s request. No pitch shifts at all, even tiny shifts that would be barely perceptible. None. What you are hearing are losses of support and abdominal muscle thrusts that alter Ms. Evancho’s pitch and interrupt the steady vibrato, giving the suggestion of pitch changes. This is a sign of technique that is weak in that area.

          • CJ,
            I think you missed the point. The comment was meant for you. I’m appallad at the level of vindictiveness that comes from you, justified or unjustified, about a 12 year old under the guise of proffessional opinion / advise.
            I guess to each his own and I am entitled to my opinion as you are to your own.

  36. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @cabbagejuice
    I already mentioned the confusion about The Prayer vid, & said mea culpa; it WAS posted here after all.
    I’m not the only one who’s being pompous, BTW.
    You sure are posting a lot about a singer you don’t care about, & a few fans you don’t care about either.
    I’m aware of Galli-Curci’s story. Very remarkable.
    I believe in modern science. It has contributed a great deal to the modern world, & SHOULD be used in music & singing today.

  37. I hope Mr. Hand doesn’t mind my quoting him:
    “So, it doesn’t seem to me obsessive or out of sorts in any way for them to provide responses and make efforts such as looking up videos and so forth in aiding the points they are contributing; and let’s face it, if they abstained from responding altogether, many from the Jackie camp would be quite disappointed.”
    “Response” and “responding” are the important words here. What I have posted were reactions to what was being said here about a concert and also what was subsequently directed towards me. That’s all.

  38. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus
    “You said vibrato doesn’t involve changing pitch.” No, I didn’t.
    “There shouldn’t have been any noticeable vibrato from either of them [Sumi Jo & Jackie]….. But as in string playing, a warm tone produced by vibrato doesn’t have audible pitch oscillations.”
    The key word here is AUDIBLE.
    So “…vibrato doesn’t have pitch oscillations”. Wrong again.
    Quote from Janey:
    You should not notice a singers vibrato if it is done correctly. The fact that you speak about Ms. Evancho’s so often is a clear sign that something is calling your attention to it.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      @cabbagejuice
      Well, I ALWAYS hear pitch oscillations listening to vibrato, from Caruso to Bjorling to Pavarotti, Ponzillo (Ponselle) to Callas to… Jackie. Sorry. It’s the truth.

      • I believe you are mistaking the normal vibrato pulses around a pitch for oscillating pitch. This is not an issue that is debated or has any confusion among practitioners, like some other technical points. This is an issue where there is universal agreement. There simply should not be any audible pitch change in a vibrato and if there is it is a sign of something technically in error.

        The fact is this: Ms. Evancho has a beautiful timbre that her fans love. She has obviously touched them in some way with her singing. Nevertheless, it is technically flawed singing. Is it not enough to simply say you love her voice? Why must you insist she is flawless or using technique she simply is not, and cannot?

        Why must Ms. Evancho be presented as perfect?

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          @Janey
          I hear plenty of flaws in Jackie’s singing. I also hear lots of good things. I’ve disagreed publicly (respectfully) with some of the things the Evanchos have done with her as well.

          I’ve always been willing to have an honest discussion with someone who approaches her with reasonable balance. But there are people here who seem to only want to deliver broadsides, to massacre everything she sings, & to predict absolutely certain doom for her. Admittedly, i don’t react well to that. To paraphrase our baseball icon Yogi Berra, predictions are difficult, especially when you’re talking about the future.

          Recently it seems you’ve acknowledged she has considerable talent, which is much appreciated. Yes, you’re right, we should be able to say we enjoy her voice, but she isn’t perfect technically. Perhaps not all her fans are willing to say that, IDK.

          As Jackie enters adolescence, she may have trouble with pitch control & lose some of her upper register, only to have them come back stronger than ever in a year or two. I’m very hopeful, & frankly expect, that she’ll do well eventually.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            One more point: if the pitch isn’t changing AT ALL, it by definition isn’t vibrato; it’s tremolo or something else. In a wobbly vibrato you sometimes hear in older singers (& sometimes in younger singers, e.g. Katherine Jenkins at times), the pitch change is exaggeratied. I still always hear pitch changes in vibrato.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            BTW – to prevent the misunderstanding that will inevitably arise here….

            Using “tremolo” to describe a wobbly vibrato is the TERTIARY definition of the word. The primary & secondary definitions refer to rapidly repeated notes, or the rapid alteration in volume one can achieve with an organ or similar instrument.

            Again, whether you look at the dictionary or look up Cornelius Reid, vibrato means rapid variation in pitch. No change in pitch, no vibrato.

    • Bernice says:

      Cabage, why would someone use vibrato if it shouldn’t be noticed? Truely confused here.

  39. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @cabbagejuice
    Sometimes Jackie sings with no vibrato at all, sometimes a little bit, sometimes more. Sometimes it’s faster, sometimes slower. Anyone listening closely to her singing can hear that. Those are all the features one CAN control.

  40. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @cabbagejuice, Janey et al

    In fact, listening to Pavarotti here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW1w1ryYQDw

    I hear pitch oscillations throughout. I also hear the central pitch around which he is oscillating. In fact, at the end, when he sings the 3rd vincerò, i can easily hear that the pitches around which he is oscillating, B4 & A4, are slightly sharp.

    But you know what? They SHOULD be sharp! It sounds perfect because that’s exactly where the high notes at the end should be. He does an absolutely fantastic job. All you have to do is listen closely, which is what i do with Jackie.

    • richard carlisle says:

      Wikipedia says TREMELO is fluctuating volume, VIBRATO is fluctuating pitch; if that’s wrong let’s get it corrected… and would someone have any explanation for Jackie’s world-record success at age ten– is it her flaws that attract the flies of fame… her smile? her words? inexplicable magic?

      If thousands of words have to be wasted on vibrato debates why not offer a few more to explain something this interesting?

    • Heavier and lower voices have slower vibrato and wider oscillations as the lower string instruments compared to the smaller and higher ones. High and light voices, especially those of children should not have any perceptible shaking at all. The typical “choir boy” white sound is good and proper for children’s voices.
      On page 125 of “Bel Canto – Principles and Practices” by Cornelius Reid:
      “Control of the vibrato … is maintained by the singer indirectly and is accomplished by regulating the intensity…it cannot be regulated or controlled without injurious effect except by an indirect approach. The vibrato must never be trained or cultivated.”
      To play games with vibrato before the voice has matured is a very dangerous and foolish one. That is, if JE’s “vibrato” is not just erratic and out of control that seems to me the most plausible explanation. Why would she or anyone want to shake on the lower notes? I think if she had a choice, she would prefer not to.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        @cabbagejuice
        I still think you’re hearing a lot of mic artifact with Jackie because she typically holds it too close. Many times her vibrato IS very good.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        Also cabbagejuice, Jackie is now 4′ 10″ tall – approaching adult size.

        • “Many times her vibrato IS very good.”
          What do you know about good vibrato? Would you recognize it if you saw it in the street?
          “Also cabbagejuice, Jackie is now 4′ 10″ tall – approaching adult size.”
          So what? I don’t care. This information has weighted critical importance only for Evanchelists.

      • geneticoman says:

        Not regulated or controlled? excuse me? I know quite a few opera singers and I know for a fact that they can not only choose whether to sing with vibrato or not, but they can choose the speed of the vibrato. In fact, many voice instructors help to develop a vibrato by staring with a tremolo and increasing the speed. From a historic standpoint, there is evidence that singing with vibrato started to develop after the 1800s.

  41. Romann Brechelt says:

    It is not ad hominem to state facts. I simply observed that cabbagejuice is totally obsessed with Jackie Evancho, a clearly apparent fact, and suggested that cabbagejuice should consider dialing it back a bit.

  42. Since having an emergency appendectomy is an automatic “out of physical education excuse note” for even the healthiest young high school student . I’m left to wonder just how much Sumi Jo and the others were being paid for this event? No singer in her/his right mind would even attempt such a thing two weeks or a month after an abdominal operation of that sort- you simply can’t support your breath adequately. It must have been a pile of cash ( and the aid of several pairs of Spanx to help with support) for Ms Jo to have taken such a risk…

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      OC
      Sumi Jo’s appe was ~6 weeks before this concert, perhaps 7. Plenty to heal; only question is re: abdominal musculature.

      • “Sumi Jo’s appe was ~6 weeks before this concert, perhaps 7. Plenty to heal;”
        Sez you, I had personal experience with something similar and it took 3 months to get the vocal support under control. Even the loss of weight over a year as in Callas’ case, changed her basic setup so much that it was probably one of the factors, if not the main one, for her vocal decline.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          Yes, cabbagejuice. That’s why i said “the only question is re: abdominal musculature” – obviously a very important thing for a singer. I’m happy you got your vocal support under control in 3 months. Callas had a gorgeous voice when she was younger, before her weight loss.

        • Janey,

          You might well ask Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo about how good they think Jackie is, because Jackie has won them over completely with her duet performance with Sumi Jo.

          Every singer has some flaws and mistakes in their performances. Jackie does too, she just makes less mistakes than most singers

  43. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @Janey

    I found your postings of OMF by Bartoli & Horne; of course, they are both very good. Sorry, but i hear their vibrato as changing pitch throughout. I hear their trills. They are both excellent at dynamic control & depth (amount) of vibrato, but at least on these recordings, Horne changes the rate of her vibrato quite a lot as well, using it for emotional expression, while Bartoli changes her rate very little.

    I also hear Enrico Caruso’s vibrato (my personal favourite, as you know), which is subtle & well-controlled, as changes in pitch – even on his Neopolitan songs, which are deliberately sung with less vibrato. Vibrato = rapid variations (oscillations) in pitch.

    In one of your posts you appeared to be saying Jackie uses false vibrato (essentially when the pulses come from repeated contractions of the diaphragm). I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but do not believe that’s what she is doing. As you know, children have higher pressures in their lungs when they speak or sing than adults do, so as the lungs grow, the young singer needs to maintain high pressures as lung volumes rise (i.e., to maintain excellent breath support).

    Jackie’s most obvious vibrato problem is her chin waggle. Her hypopharyngeal contractions are appropriate, but they spread forward to the mouth & jaw. Unless she learns to relax this, long periods of singing will cause fatigue & other problems. Her chin waggle is considerably milder than many singers. She controls whether vibrato is present, how deep it is & its rate as part of her emotional expression (more typical of pop rather than operatic vibrato).

    These hypopharyngeal muscles are not normally under conscious control, so a singer can’t just “tell” them to contract rhythmically. Sometimes on the web, you read nonsense like “vibration comes naturally from the vibration of the vocal cords” on singing sites, presumably because of this. Arabic speakers use these muscles in a different way to pronounce the letter ‘ain (also Romanised/Romanized ʿain, cain or xain, or variations spelled with -ayn, -ein or -eyn), so some control can be learned, however.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Correction on the next to last sentence: it should say “…VIBRATO comes naturally from the vibration of the vocal cords…” I shouldn’t have let the proofreading department go – evidently.

    • Interesting dialogues going on here. I’m getting plenty of bases from which to launch into various musical inquiries. Among these inquiries, I see commentary that the normal rate of vibrato has generally slowed since the early twentieth century, with for example, Caruso’s vibrato rate at nearly 7.0 cycles per second, while Pavarotti’s was near 5.5. This has of course been attributed to shifts in cultural preferences.

  44. @ Bernice “Cabage, why would someone use vibrato if it shouldn’t be noticed? Truely confused here.” Please see my above post where I quote Cornelius Reid. One doesn’t USE vibrato. It happens naturally in a correct setup. Richard Miller writes in The Structure of Singing: “World class singers’ voices generate vibratos at approximately 6-6.5 cycles per second”. I may add that male voices are generally slower while higher voices have slightly faster vibration. However, this should be imperceptible, unless one wants to pay attention to that aspect and nothing else. Tremolos (fast) and wobbles (slow) are considered signs of bad vocal technique.

    @Russ Ridiculous again! The tertiary meaning of tremolo as quoted by Laptopicus is the common usage in vocal parlance is too rapid oscillation of tone. Even in music words have different meanings, like “phrase”. Tremolo in piano as in the Pathetique Sonata is the oscillations of the octaves in the bass. Sorry you don’t frequent such circles.
    @HomoSapiensLaptopicus It’s difficult to communicate with you since you evidently don’t have any real knowledge of what you are talking about except superficially throwing around quotes, let alone have any experience singing. Sure, the vibratos of Horne and Bartoli are different. So what?
    I’ve taught voice development to Arabic speakers, so what are you going on about ‘ain and ‘ghain? Speech is very different from singing in any language so the general idea is to bring all, if not most, of the consonants forward. You can’t bring a glottal stop forward although you can hear it in singers of the past like Amelita Galli-Curci. What is involved in a dropping of the larynx and Fischer-Dieskau spoke about although this is a very specialized technique and should be done with care and not force.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      cabbagejuice,

      As i said, what Arabic speakers do is completely different. The glottal stop is completely different from the letter ‘ain; they are 2 different sounds in Arabic. The point is that the hypopharyngeal musculature is normally involuntary, so singers have to “allow vibrato to happen naturally” – still, SOME degrees & types of muscular control in that area can be learned.

      And yes, i do know a good vibrato when i hear it – e.g. Enrico Caruso’s. As i mentioned, i hear things in music that most others do not. I still believe when you think you are hearing faltering breath support in Jackie’s vibrato, you are actually hearing mic artifact. You may not want to listen to more of her singing, but if you do, you’ll hear a lot of outstanding vibrato.

      The 3rd definition of tremolo is poorly controlled or excessive vibrato; the 1st 2 refer to varying volume without changing pitch. This may confuse some, especially instrumental musicians, who are used to the primary definitions.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        Another fine vibrato is that of Marilyn Horne in the link Janey posted in this thread some time ago.

      • Laptop,

        You use Caruso as an example of a singer with a good vibrato in accordance to contemporary tastes?

        Mandoti a fare in culo perche mi fai cagare con qual’ palle!

        If Caruso went to an audition today, he would only be cast in the role of the goat in Janaček’s “Příhody lišky Bystroušky.”

        • Just in case anyone wonders, the line above is in the Neapolitan dialect and is a famous quote from Caruso’s youth.

      • Don’t trouble yourself – instrumental musicians are not confused about the term tremolo.
        The difference between string players and singers is the former actively make or don’t make ‘vibrato’ according to training and design and with the latter it is an indirect process contingent on proper setup of the rest of the bodily components. In fact, this is a vital part of individual timbre that cannot be changed although improved up to the limits of what is possible with proper voice training.
        So one can admire a beautiful Stradivarius as one can a fine voice but it’s fairly absurd to compare vibratos in singers unless it’s for some scientific purpose.
        Also, there are admittedly fads in singing. Singers that were wildly popular 60 years ago like Bidú Sayão whose timbre comprised a rather fast vibrato would probably not turn heads today. A contrived tone is suspect when there are gimiicks or an exploitation of a certain timbre even in adult singers.

  45. richard carlisle says:

    @CJ

    In your last paragraph would you rather say “most if not all” and further on “what is involved is”

    • No, I meant all, if not most b/c one can try to put all the consonants forward but in the end have to be satisfied with only partial success. L’s and r’s are hard to get out of the back of the mouth especially for English speakers. What is involved has a typo, n should be s. Thank you for your invaluable comments.

      • richard carlisle says:

        CJ

        It’s befuddling unless you say “all — or hopefully most– of the consonants” (the dashes are not essential, just make it a bit clearer).

        Invaluable?

        • richard carlisle says:

          @CJ and Laptop

          How can you resolve a matter so complex and subtle when you lean hopelessly on unclear textbook definitions and/or multiple definitions from anyone anywhere … give us a break, all we’re getting is a whirlpool of confusion like hogwash on its way down a floor drain.

        • I suppose we can use commas or dashes as a springboard for a discussion OT which would be a extraneous subset of yet another derivative discussion about ‘cultural preferences’ of what should be normal rate of vibrato, and a chin waggle, although ‘milder than other singers’ which derives from hypopharyngeal contractions spreading to the mouth and jaw’.
          Re; ‘cultural preferences for vibrato’ if Pav lived in the beginning of the 20th century and switched with Caruso, they would have only been waiters or construction workers???
          To return to the original premise about a child’s voice – there should NOT be any perceptible oscillations in pitch or puffs of air. If something else is appearing in the voice profile, it is not from outerspace but a flaw in production. That’s all.

          • Good question re cultural preferences for vibrato. Both singers obviously fall within the range of what humans perceive as pleasant, and since any biological basis for such preferences will not have changed in such a short time (being an eyeblink in evolutionary timescales), their perceived talent would surely be the same, barring opportunities and audiences at the time – the “fads in singing” as you say.

            Interesting your comment re Bidú Sayão’s vibrato, also from the earlier part of the twentieth century. Do you have any particular recordings in mind?

            One thing I note is recording devices, which have changed significantly since the early twentieth century, and I wonder to what degree they are a confound.

  46. @Andy “CJ, I think you missed the point. The comment was meant for you. I’m appallad at the level of vindictiveness that comes from you, justified or unjustified, about a 12 year old under the guise of proffessional opinion / advise. I guess to each his own and I am entitled to my opinion as you are to your own.”
    I am appalled at the amount of stupidity masquerading under the guise of pseudo-science and obsession operating under the guise of fan loyalty. Go ahead and enjoy the singing that you like but please don’t try to justify your own choices with ridiculous armchair pontifications about subjects that professionals spend years studying. It’s appalling that not only little upstarts are now supposed to be the equal of seasoned artists, her fans have become instant experts in a field that has taken others decades to master – NOT!!!

  47. Stephen Runnels says:

    The need to pick apart something you cannot comprehend is understandable in the abstract, but to trying so hard to make ugly something so incredibly beautiful is incomprehensible.

    Open yourself to the beauty of this voice.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jX7p8_z7rjc

    • This kind of repertoire is suited for Jackie. Kids should sing this type of music. She is nowhere near ready for opera. To be on topic, the ‘O mio Babbino’ in Petersburg was a disaster.

      • catmando says:
        • Yes Addison says:

          What I hear there, although there are some pretty vocal effects, is inappropriate style, a weird neither-here-nor-there musical arrangement, and a peculiar interpretation which she’s getting away with because most of the people who listen won’t know what the words mean, what Lauretta is asking her father to do for her, or that Lauretta is engaging in emotional manipulation and has a melodramatic streak…in other words, a well-crafted aria trivialized into something about which the only response is supposed to be “Oh, how beautiful!” There’s another level that isn’t coming across at all.

          But I will admit, I don’t care much to hear that piece — even in the right key, with Puccini’s scoring, by a real opera singer — out of the context of GIANNI SCHICCHI, where it works brilliantly. A lot of its effectiveness comes from the contrast to what’s going on around it in SCHICCHI.

  48. Norman, perhaps you can change the home page of your website just to list on the right hand side which story has been updated, not all the posts. It’s getting pretty boring all these people commenting on this story.

  49. @Steve To answer your question about recordings of Bidú Sayão, here is the eponymous “o Mio Babbino”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNHf26uNfok
    The fact that a vibration is noticeable disturbs my listening. Here’s Musetta:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHxrRBL5lFQ
    Anna Moffo is much better for instance, shows how it should be done.
    But back then Sayão was the “belle of the ball” who could do no wrong. Listening to her, for me is like hearing a nail scrape a chalkboard. The point is the sweetness of the tone was overemphasized to the detriment of other colors. This happens more frequently in singing more than what would be expected, especially in pop.
    It seems that a trend towards whiter voices became increasingly popular. Emma Kirkby might be a good example of purity of sound, also countertenors. This kind of production is favored for early and Baroque music.

    • Thank you cabbagejuice. Your reply is much appreciated. I will view these when I get a chance later. What are your thoughts on Joan Sutherland by the way?

  50. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @TomV
    You are sarcastically funny in more than one language. In culo indeed.
    I only mentioned Caruso because I PERSONALLY like that style of vibrato more than the current one. It’s just a personal preference, not necessarily “better”. Good question about Pavarotti & Caruso switching places, & what would happen. From what’s written, it seems Caruso’s voice was so big he’d have been a star in any era – JMHO.

    @cabbagejuice
    It’s not “pseudoscience” BTW. I learned about the anatomy & physiology in medical school, the subsequent practice of medicine & research. I have played many instruments during my life, though admittedly most of them not extremely well. Still, I was paid for playing when I was younger & studied music theory in college. I’ve had a lifelong interest in all kinds of music & have a very good ear, even now.

    Just because my background is in instrumental music & I’m not the world’s greatest singer doesn’t mean I know nothing about singing. There is no reason for your condescending attitude; it isn’t necessary to call me an idiot, as you repeatedly imply.

    • For a person who admits he is not an expert in singing, you sure make a lot of strange pronouncements ” Jackie’s most obvious vibrato problem is her chin waggle. Her hypopharyngeal contractions are appropriate, but they spread forward to the mouth & jaw. Unless she learns to relax this, long periods of singing will cause fatigue & other problems. Her chin waggle is considerably milder than many singers.”

      First off, who else has a “chin waggle”? But I will try not to be longwinded and go back to basics: the SOUND is the measure of good vocal health or not. This is how teachers of singing approach the problem and have been doing so for at least 400 years without mechanical instruments. Sorry, but a singer even by the age of 12 should already be able to sing O mio Babbino without gasping for breath every other syllable. Please look up what Julie Andrews was doing at the same age. She had a technique already, no audible vibrato, either.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        @cj
        MANY non-operatic, “untrained” singers have chin waggles. Among the many whose chin waggles are a lot worse than Jackie’s are Charlotte Church, the late Whitney Houston & Nina Hagen, though the latter’s seems most apparent when she is trying to parody/pay tribute to (yes, both) the Swedish singer Zarah Leander, popular in Germany during World War 2.

        Are you denying that a chin waggle is a sign of increased tension in the jaw, & that it will lead to fatigue & other problems? Would you say it’s never a problem, it’s always a problem or something in between?

        Flexible laryngoscopies & other instruments have helped elucidate what is happening when singers sing, regardless of the vast experience gained over several centuries without modern scientific tools.

        If we consider the sound ONLY, the the Bidú Sayão links you posted show her excellent technique, but her lower register timbre is so unpleasant it’s downright irritating (especially on Musetta’s Waltz); her upper register is only a little better – JMO.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          Re: Bidú Sayão
          BTW that is only a PERSONAL opinion, not meant to imply anything for anyone else. It’s only natural for a person to like one singer but not another, for no other reason than subjective personal preference.

        • Hi Laptop, I am not denying anything, much less a chin waggle being the result of jaw tension. Where did I say otherwise? Singing teachers may disagree on a lot of points but one that practically unites them is having a dropped jaw. Having a troublesome jaw is a BIG issue. Changing jaw position all the time means having to make constant adjustments in the mouth cavity to keep the sound and vowels steady. It must be so unpleasant to have to fight that on top of everything else a singer is bound to do.
          A student should not be let out of the studio until major problems like that are cleared up. Muscle memory even when the bad habits seem to have been erased has a way of bringing past tensions to the fore. Former habits have a way of coming out of the woodwork when one is in the stressful state of performance.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            @cj
            OK, it appears you agree with me about Sayão’s unpleasant timbre (or not?).

            I’m utterly flummoxed, however, when you say Julie Andrews

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2-YGGn0y4

            had “no audible vibrato”. I hear lots of intermittent vibrato, just as with Jackie. And yes, it is characterised by variations in pitch. She does very well with the coloratura & hits a clear, though thin, F6. Her pitch control is very, very good, & this is a difficult piece of music. She was very impressive at age 12.

            Just out of curiosity, would you say that Caruso on O Sole Mio had “no audible vibrato”?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wer9lqOImI

            I would agree with you that the sooner bad habits are addressed, the better. Even the most naturally talented among us benefit from teaching & coaching.

      • Bernice says:

        Yes Julie Andrews had technical down.. but she was not in Jackie’s league.. a league where technical is not all there is.. You can wrap yourself around technical all you want if it makes you feel cozy// may as well be a machine.

  51. @Laptop, whatever is the problem? It has already been explained that a healthy vibrato is part of a holistic timbre of a voice, all the formants, etc., not that it isn’t there. If you are looking for it when you hear a singer, then you will find it. When it disturbs the line by being too fast (tremolo) or too slow (wobble), then it is perceived as being unpleasant. I myself listen to the music and if something sticks out like a too persistent or irregular vibrato, then it takes away from the pleasure of listening. I don’t really care about the rate of vibrato of Caruso, Pavarotti, Horne, Bartoli and Andrews. Being literal minded is also a stumbling block to musical perception. In other words,” the whole is more than the sum of its parts”.

  52. Stephen Runnels says:

    To be on topic of this report from Ria Novosti is to discuss the overall experience this person had, and why such an emotional response was and more often is drawn out by the voice of a little girl. Self-imagined technical issues are not part of the report. Neither is the tangent-laced fishing expedition attempt to justify berating a little girl by incongruous comparisions to other singers.

    Jackie Evancho leaves a smile on just about everybody. Her performance in Russia (as related by those who were actually there) built a wondrous tension of awe and disbelief throughout the evening’s performance from a usually very stoic crowd. Despite the sub par sound system and exigent wind and street noise, Jackie’s tenderness and clarity of voice, and empathy within the songs translated to the audience. Once again Jackie delivered.

    No reports from any of the 100.000+ in attendance disparaging her performance.

    • Charlotte Church brought a smile to anyone who heard her before she lost her voice through bad vocal habits compounded by performing in spite of them. These were not self-imagined but had anyone warned her parents or promoters they would not have been listened to as the idea was to take advantage of the early exposure and the heck with the future. The off topic discussions had to do with other posters who were determined to make a case “if other great singers had a vibrato, chin waggle, or other vocal flaws” why can’t Jackie be excused? Sorry, the O Mio Babbino was not only substandard even for her age but shows an entrenched vocal misuse that it may never be possible to entangle.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        cabbagejuice,

        Actually, it’s wise to remember that Charlotte Church started drinking & smoking, changed genres & had children, several of which could have affected her voice as least as much as her poor technique. In fact, if you listen to her recordings over time, you’ll hear that her worst problems (breathiness, etc) corresponded temporally to her pregnancies – not to say pregnancy was the ONLY cause of her troubles, but when it comes to pregnancy & the voice, maybe we should ask Anna Netrebko, no?

        Charlotte has partially recovered since then; IYAM she has a fine pop voice now that is far above average. She may have had a B+ voice when she was younger & has a B voice now. The 1st link is a duet of Somewhere (L Bernstein) with Josh Groban, probably in 2011.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hENxz8Vgx_Q

        The next is from a 2012 radio programme where she introduced some of her new music cued up to her 1st song. Parts 2 & 3 are linked if you are interested.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=HYgQ4gh2rlA&NR=1#t=3m21s

  53. Homo, thanks for posting that link to Julie Andrews singing at 12. It is highly interesting to listen to.

    Julie seems to have had many of the vocal flaws of Jackie at at age 12, wobbly vibrato and lack of breath control in particular, though her diction is better than Jackie’s whereas Jackie actually sings more in tune than Julie did at that age. Where Jackie gets music that goes too low, Julie tried to go too high at that age.

    Considering that Julie Andrews turned into one of my favorite non-operatic voices, that is a bit of an eye-opener. The movie moguls of that period got many of their child stars addicted to various prescription drugs, so I guess it was lucky that Julie didn’t land a major role in Hollywood until The Sound of Music.

    I don’t think listening to the recording of Julie Andrews will make me less critical of Jachie Evancho’s public performances – let’s face it; once you put yourself into the public arena, you’re subject to criticism no matter what your age is – but I will no longer predict that Jackie’s voice will necessarily end up in the gutter through misuse.

    Every now and then wunderkinder do come along. Jackie Evancho isn’t quite in the league of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Korngold or even Shirley Temple yet, but who knows. She could become Julie Andrews’ successor some day. That would be a good thing. I hope it works out that way.

    • There seems to be a pattern here the need to pull down others in order to raise someone else. After all, didn’t the initial report say that “Jackie’s voice was the smoother of the two”? And then we have instant experts who never really used vibrato, breath control or diction in their everyday parlance, but yet they are throwing around the terms as though they actually know something about them, although it is obvious to professionals they don’t.
      This is total nonsense: “Jackie actually sings more in tune than Julie did at that age. Where Jackie gets music that goes too low, Julie tried to go too high at that age.”
      Jackie can sing pop music especially on recordings where defects can be covered up. She is NOT the equal or anywhere near Sumi Jo or Julie Andrews at her age.
      I will try to restrain myself from posting on this thread anymore since the attitude is clearly: “Don’t bother us (Jackie fans) with facts and we will twist anything inside out to make her look and sound better than anyone else on the planet. in human vocal history.”

      • richard carlisle says:

        WHEW! And when you tire of robots you’ll have this blog to thank for redirection..

    • The difference in the two voices is that Andrews sang with a healthy pure head voice, neutral larynx and low breath as evidenced by her agility, diction, and long vocal lines. Ms. Evancho’s voice is very bottom-heavy with a depressed larynx and limited breath control, as evidenced by the covered sound, muddy diction and gasps for air. Hopefully, these issues will improve over time, because as you said above and as I have always believed, she has real talent. She also clearly loves to sing and has a beautiful timbre.

  54. Stephen Runnels says:

    The off-topic remonstrations against Jackie are as productive as peeling apart a beautiful Rose to find out what holds it together. Enjoy Jackie’s music for what it is. Be happy for her. She is living her dream.

    • richard carlisle says:

      And even if she’s far beyond her dream at the outset it sttll hasn’t in any way seemed to affect her– an example of handling success that applies to us all… BRAVO JACKIE!!

      • Stephen Runnels says:

        Richard, I hope you get to meet Jackie sometime. She really is a little Angel.

        • richard carlisle says:

          Stephen,

          Interesting how revealing her interviews are, how complimentary to her performances…it’s her extreme humanity that touches us– not just her voice that can be debated endlessly while no slurs have been for good reason directed against her person.

          Interesting also how Jackie comes from a happy background and isn’t looking for public acclaim to provide something lacking in her past — the sad case with many performers in all areas of the “biz”… if not one of a kind she is at least the standout in performers who are not looking for acceptance and acclaim as a primary motivator.

          Extreme love for what she does is so infectious — a lesson in what motivation can and should be.

          • Stephen Runnels says:

            Richard, in all my years I have never witnessed anyone draw a crowd together like Jackie does. That infectious enthusiasm combined with her amazingly beautiful voice touches a part of something that brings awe to some, tears to others, and a combination of emotion no other performer can match. Every singer has their special qualities, of course; but Jackie presents something so incredibly special. Like us, Millions of people listen and love the music of Jackie Evancho. More and more people are falling under Jackie’s spell every day. A few are disappointed Jackie doesn’t live up to their personal expectations. Even fewer people disparage Jackie because of that. 2 or 3 of those attempt debates to try to find someone who yearn to disparage Jackie along with them. I find these people both sad and amusing.

    • No, the off-topic remonstrations against other singers. Success is sweeter to her fans if they can sling mud at others. Her parents must also be living in a dream, all that moola!

      • richard carlisle says:

        CJ, are you sure it was slung or was it a ricochet?

      • richard carlisle says:

        CJ,

        How dare you accuse her parents of money motivation when obviously Jackie is absolutely motivated to share her love of life and song with everyone possible… you don’t see that because money is more important perhaps than it should be in your motivation spectrum… do you even know that money in excess can be as much a life-pollutant as other evil forces — quite doubtful.apparently — the more the better, right?

        I’ll admit you waste a bit of time here for no profit but that gives you no right to ascribe profit motivation to anyone else… “all that moola” indeed… keep your blows above the belt and you’ll keep a semblance of credibility.

  55. This webpage is actually quite productive in many ways, and is reasonably information dense.

    The dialectic/s is/are informative and interesting in many ways. One could revisit this page several times over an extended period and continue to find material to launch inquiries, from several different directions. A far better outcome than for much of the noise to be found on the internet.

    Indeed music, like humour, is more than the sum of the parts. The paradox is that when we try to analyse what it is that makes it enjoyable for an individual or group of individuals, we can get lost in the deconstruction, and lose the signal that caught our attention in the first place. Humour is the same. I spent years working on a friend who grew up in post-war Germany, and who experienced punishment whenever she displayed humour. I finally broke through with common-or-garden misuse of her own language, and she’s never looked back. She’s brilliant anyway, so she only needed to be released from her own shackles.

    Humour, and music (I guess like lots of things) are ways of thinking. Having been told that the late Georg Tintner didn’t use music scores because he remembered the material, I once asked him about this. His reply was that it wasn’t that he remembered the music: “I understand it”. In other words, he could THINK in the language of music. This is elaborated on (not my dialogue: I met him a handful of times and am not mentioned, nor should I be) in a recent biography on him (‘Out of Time: The vexed life of Georg Tintner’).

    Studies of consciousness have the same problem, as we find from the works of say, Daniel C. Dennett, and others (i.e. it is more than the sum of the parts, yet our understanding requires gestalt shifts from detail to overview – a bit like painting. Remarkable really). So it is no surprise to find some of the disagreements on music and music perception. But it is nonetheless enlightening. Perhaps it is enlightening BECAUSE of this.

    Perhaps an answer to how to handle singers who are not preferred us is supplied by John Cage’s 4’33. My understanding is that this can be modified for any instrument, and I presume this applies to the voice.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

    So then, we take our non-preferred singer, and give him/her some genre therapy, courtesy of Cage. We can then commend their performance, and tell them we’d like them to be outstanding in the field: “you see that field over there?…” If we collect enough of these people in the same field, and dress them attractively, they can be both scene AND herd!

  56. If Mr. Cabbage writes:

    “And then we have instant experts who never really used vibrato, breath control or diction in their everyday parlance, but yet they are throwing around the terms as though they actually know something about them, although it is obvious to professionals they don’t. This is total nonsense: “Jackie actually sings more in tune than Julie did at that age. Where Jackie gets music that goes too low, Julie tried to go too high at that age.”

    I do believe I have the right to reply that he needs to get a grip on his verbiage. I am not an “instant expert” – I was married to an opera singer for 12 years and have observed numerous vocal coachings and master classes.

    For this reason, I do not find the deletion of my reply warranted. I merely suggested that Mr. Cabbage was going over the top and perhaps needed to take a break from his Jackie comments as they started to give me the impression of becoming obsessively compulsive.

    Thank you.

    • @TomV You seem to have made a 180 degree aboutface. Fortunately, there are still records of what you wrote not too long ago: “A mike can give a mouse a bigger voice than Pavarotti’s. In a real concert hall without amplification Jackie’s squeaks would be drowned out by a string quartet, let alone an orchestra.”
      I never said anything approaching that level of disdain. My previous posts are proof of that.
      I am also married to an architect but that doesn’t make me an expert in drafting terminology.
      There was no problem resulting from Julie Andrews singing high D’s, so what is your point?
      In the “Je suis Titania” sung by Andrews at the age of 12, she negotiates tricky chromatic coloratura, in other words close half steps (in case this needs to be explained) in the upper range that usually takes a lot of practice and expertise to do. What you wrote is still nonsense.

    • richard carlisle says:

      CJ,

      Your mind is like a room full of clutter, grasping detail after more of same– multiplying and dividing detail until it becomes a sandstorm of contradictions… please simplify and make your points so all can get it if that’s what you want instead of pretending to talk over everyone’s head and insinuating no matter how intelligent commenters may be they lack perception because they haven’t known a few facts as long as you’ve known them……..rubbish incorporated, CJ………. SIMPLIFY AND CLARIFY PLEASE.

      • @richard carlisle It’s not enough that some people like Jackie’s singing, she has to be acknowledged as the equal of seasoned opera singers. It’s not enough that the Evancho’s are most probably making plenty of money, they are also supposed to be regarded as disinterested beneficators of humanity. If they really did care, maybe they would stop for a year or so and get their daughter a proper teacher.

        • HoosierDaddy says:

          “If they really did care, maybe they would stop for a year or so and get their daughter a proper teacher.”

          Are you available?

        • richard carlisle says:

          CJ, keeping you on topic is equal to a toddler attempting to grasp an eel with a thumb and forefinger…

          you’ve now boomeranged all the way back to voice lessons when I mentioned Jackie’s motivation, and you still mention the money motive without any sort of documentation such as “we can’t wait to buy a mansion and have a chauffeured Rolls Royce”… all I’ve heard so far is Jackie’s hope for a kitten and when you can produce evidence they plan to live like snobs I’ll be more than willing to agree with you what their motivation is all about.

          Now… just exactly WHAT means “disinterested beneficators of humanity”— a new term you concocted with your expressive capacity that has earned the supposed reputation you recently claim?

          You don’t get the fact Jackie’s style of singing is what it is — what she is comfortable with, what millions are comfortable with, what serves her well and is unlikely to harm her or anyone else but critics like you (keep in mind critics in this blog have not criticized opera performers as you claim, except rarely and not in keeping with those of us recognizing opera for what it is– something not to be compared with Jackie–something wonderful as it is profoundly different… no comparisons needed, none relevant.

          And maybe, just an outside chance without actually being aware of it, it’s possible you’re using this blog for your advantage: a sounding board to test your words condemning Jackie’s style of singing so you’ll have an effective answer ready for the mother bringing a ten-year-old daughter to you for voice lessons… emphasizing the “Jackie technique”… could you stay on topic long enough to answer a question like: just what would you say to someone with such a request?

          We do have at least one important commonality with our hat fondness.and I’m glad to know your skin is more akin to a rhino than a hummingbird– most admirable and appreciated.

          c

      • @richard carlisle I don’t communicate with those who call my mind a room full of clutter. I have a good reputation for clarity and expertise in my field. If you don’t like what I say or how I say it, just pass over it.
        I really won’t mind.

        • richard carlisle says:

          Your mind is not a room full of clutter (how would you ever buy a hat to fit?) … don’t misquote… I said
          LIKE — a simile– that’s all.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          I glean that you have considerable expertise in your field and that should be respected. However, you have a tendency to exhibit the hubris that knowledge automatically confers accuracy of conclusion. Your tone and tenor is condescending and disdainful and serves you poorly. Even if one were to accept all of your observations as true, there is still little evidence that your presumptions and/or conclusions (as the outgrowth of your observations) are such or naturally follow.

    • richard carlisle says:

      Tom,

      A bit of correction here for the record– Mr. is a Mrs., revealed recently and in the past..

  57. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus Children (not only human) have an engaging spontaneity than endears them to older folks. In the song from the “Student Prince” it is the “gaiety that has no sting”. Put that together with musical talent (and a lot of encouragement) you have the talented but impish Wolfgang Mozart, bubbly Shirley Temple and her later counterpart, Aileen Quinn in “Annie”. Who could not but love these kids pouring their hearts out and living their dream that only a few get to do?

    The transition to adulthood though is difficult and often disastrous. Mendelssohn was cited here. Probably his upbringing didn’t foster an unrealistic view of himself so he didn’t go through the severe crises that Mozart and other prodigies did upon leaving the world of constant adulation and admiration. Someone here mentioned getting carried away by cuteness and when that is an essential part of the package, growing out of it is a disaster. A large part of the chemistry between a performer and the audience is the expectation and living up to it. When a singer like Maria Callas lost the support (not only physical) of her husband (self-inflicted) her built-up self confidence which after all is a castle in the air, began to crumble. A person has to believe he is good and the feedback from others reflects that back and encourages him to bigger and better things.

    This has been shown in the classroom where teachers who expected their good students to do well, who responded by being consistently good and the those who were supposed to be under-achievers did just that.

    Getting back to Charlotte Church, it is not so much a matter of voice but the chemistry is gone, or the brand of undiluted honesty that one gets from kids who perform. Adult performers and actors have to WORK on projecting true feelings. This is called technique. Control, however, is the hard earned advantage of maturity.

    @Steve I don’t know what you are getting at with “non-preferred singer” but I can relate to humour as a product of a spontaneous reaction to the world and most endearing when it comes from the “inner child”.

    • Some good points here. The social milieu, and things like self-fulfilling prophesy at both the individual and social level – which is essentially a type of positive feedback cycle (A causes or facilitates B, which in turn causes or facilitates more of A, etc): these are significant factors in social salience and individual development and careers. More food for thought, thanks.

      I confess that having noted preferences for one singer or type of singer over another in dialogues on this page, I simply used this as a vehicle for a bit of fun with word-play. No sting in the tail with my humour. Sometimes insightful, occasionally profound perhaps (but only those who know me have encountered this). But never a sting: or so seldom it’s safe to assume the absence of in any given example from me.

  58. Dear Ms. Juice,

    I have in no way made a volte face. As I wrote above, I will still remain critical of Jackie Evancho if her performances do not live up to the high standards expected by anyone performing in public.

    The Evancholists can complain all they want about criticism of Jackie Evancho, but the fact is that once someone enters the public arena as a performer – or any other function for that matter – they will be judged according to the highest standards of their field by people who are knowledgeable about it.

    Thus I still wouldn’t want to attend a Jackie Evancho concert at present even if it pardoned me from a death sentence, I still find her arm gestures unbearable to watch, her vibrato wobbly especially in the lower parts of her tessitura, her breath control as bad as her diction and her intonation off key at times and her “packaging” nausea-inducingly kitschy. There ain’t no debating facts.

    All I have said above was that the recording with Julie Andrews was an eye-opener for me. Intelligent people can revise their views based on factual evidence and logical thinking. Julie’s recording at age 12 is quite horrendous, worse than what Jackie is putting out now, at the same age, yet she developed into what I consider the finest musical singer there ever was or currently is. To me this proves that if Jackie’s voice isn’t ruined by over-use and bad coaching, she has a chance of becoming quite a fine singer.

    Admittedly, that is still a long shot, and we won’t know the end result for another 7-8 years. And I’d stil like to hear the volume of her voice without a mike. As often as she is singing now, I’d say the odds are against her. To my knowledge, Julie Andrews didn’t perform in public nearly as often until she was past her adolescence as Jackie currently does. Hence the fact that Julie Andrews was able to screech her way through the high D’s and rattle off stodgy coloratura, which was way beyond her capability in Je suis Titania – being painfully flat in the process – and still emerge with a gorgeous voice 5 years later proves my point.

    Honi soit qui mal y pense.

    Furthermore, Ms. Cabbage, your comparison to being married to an architect not making you knowledgeable in that field and comparing that to me, a trained musician, being married to an opera singer and not getting anything about voice production is what constitutes complete nonsense.

    Last I heard, architecture is in no way connected to performance practices in music. That you weren’t capable of comprehending anything about your husband’s work is quite understandable. That I shouldn’t learn something about my wife’s vocal technique, even though I was an intrumentalist, is a ludicrous suggestion. If that isn’t enough for you, I also translated a book on how to treat vocal problems into English.

    No, I am not an expert on the subject as a vocally trained musician would be in spite of having enjoyed listening to debates about the subject over dinner with Richard Miller, but I know enough to form a fairly sound opinion.

    So spare me the “she negotiates tricky chromatic coloratura, in other words close half steps (in case this needs to be explained) ” sarcasm, or I’ll start asking you if you understand sonata form – maybe you picked up something about musical architecture from your husband as I did other things from my wife – and double stopping (no, the latter has nothing with two cars parking beside each other in an illegal way in case this needs to be explained). People who enter sarcasm contests with me do so at their own peril.

    Baise la main, ma’mselle.

    PS Thanks for the correcton, Richard.

    • richard carlisle says:

      Welcome, Tom; I would add sarcasm is something I’m trying to curb… sits rather badly in the disrespect spectrum seems to me.

  59. @TomV I actually taught music history and piano literature so I know more than something about sonata form. I can prove my credentials but I will not bother with a person who can write such deprecations: “If Caruso went to an audition today, he would only be cast in the role of the goat in Janaček’s ‘Příhody lišky Bystroušky.’”
    I agree with Andy: “You should stick to you tube forums for your brand of criticism. That’s where all the drama that you cater to.” And by the way, when you actually DO something, then you can gage how difficult or easy it may be. You want to pick over Julie Andrews’ coloratura but it is still MUCH harder than doing O mio Babbino several hundred times. Caruso as a goat, sez you!!!!

    • My dearest and most worthy Ms. Cabbage,

      Who the heck is saying that Je suis Titania isn’t more difficult than O mio babbino caro? Maybe you need to point that out for reasons of self-realization, but I don’t need to read stuff I already know.

      As I wrote to Andy, the style of my comments is what it is. When the subject is serious, so am I. When not, I reserve the right to be sarcastic. And I don’t need your help to decide where to comment or what style to use. I want to get people laughing; I don’t want to offend anybody (well, not on this blog at least).

      That the comments of some people make it much too easy for me to write sarcastic replies isn’t my fault or problem (except if the blog owner judges my witticism inappropriate after he is done laughing and my bon mots get deleted). A lot of truth is said in jest.

      I salute your musical knowledge. If your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within your own compass, believe that it is also within the powers and province of man.

      Sorry if your musical toes felt stepped upon by my tongue-in-cheek reference to Caruso. Do you not see with your own eyes the chrysalis fact assume by degrees the wings of fiction? If you get nettled by my deprecations, which are no worse than yours, I suggest you follow the sage advice of Epictetus:

      When you are offended at any man’s fault,
      turn to yourself and study your own failings.
      Then you will forget your anger.

      Addio, o mia mammina cara.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        TomV,
        I, for one, very much enjoy your sarcastic witticisms, even though they’ve apparently been directed at me on more than one occasion. Keep them up, by all means.
        Pax cvm vobis.

    • richard carlisle says:

      Let’s keep in mind Tom’s humor incorporates a bit of exaggeration… better than slipping off topic.

      Encouraging me not to ramble entitles you to sentence structure:geared for three-year-olds:

      MOM HAS DAUGHTER.
      DAUGHTER IS TEN.
      MOM WANTS DAUGHTER TO LEARN.
      MOM WANTS YOU TO TEACH.
      SUBJECT IS JACKIE TECHNIQUE.
      WILL YOU TEACH IT?
      (for plenty of moola)

  60. Steve Huff says:

    I have been a like-mind with Stephen Runnels since the beginning of this journey. But it seems we are in the trenches of Verdun popping shots without target or effect. I would like to ask a simple question which might reveal some perspective for us Jackie fans. Most Jackie fans are also big fans of other, exceptional, child singers, even of pop. One of these exceptional kids is 13 year old Patricia Janeckova, of Bratislava, Slovakia, who lives in the Czech Republic. She wants to sing opera. Most Jackie fans are rather supportive and enthusiastic about her. I am curious of your opinion of her?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zwzixxvtH4

    • @Steve Huff “Mi piace bello, è bello.” Slovakia’s Got Talent! (What a difference a year makes…)

    • richard carlisle says:

      Thanks Steve; it’s interesting to see someone so nicely trained with refined vibrato, etc. but judging from audience reaction and mine I’d rank her about one fourth as exciting as Jackie… perhaps something Jackie would become with “training”… hoping we won’t see that happen.

    • @Steve Huff I restrained myself from comparisons until a few minutes ago but reallyJaneckova is so much better. First of all this is a aria sung by an adolescent to begin with, so no need for melodramatics that even operatic singers sometimes slip into. So she is really into the part, so to speak, and projects well the feelings of the girl in the opera. She doesn’t distort the line with hanging on the high notes which actually blend seamlessly from her lower range. Her diction was good, not chopping up syllables to breathe in between. It is not clear how many people were in the audience so the sound of clapping louder or fainter, should not in any way impinge objectively on this very fine performance. The level of excitement from those who need to be moved that way is not a very good judge of quality.

      • Stephen Runnels says:

        I am pleased to see you have found a singer you find appealing and worthy of your musical judgments. I’m sure you will find it more pleasing and productive of your time and efforts to promote and enjoy someone you approve, instead of spending time and effort degrading the abilities, intentions, and aspirations of Jackie Evancho and her family, and the fans that truly love and appreciate our little superstar.

      • richard carlisle says:

        CJ, The number of people standing up in response is a good indicator of appreciation… or are you saying a standing ovation is no judge of quality — just an excited response that shouldn’t exist in a hoped-for robot performance for a robot audience?

      • Yes Addison says:

        Agreed; that’s considerably better than the Evancho one linked earlier, not just in terms of technique but style. One performance is a kitschy-pretty stunt; the other is musically secure.

    • catmando says:

      She has a beautiful voice. Vibrato is a bit shaky at times but she will get better. I detected very little emotion from her, which shows she hasn’t done much in that area compared to Jackie.

      I predict she’ll stay in opera.

  61. I guess this page is nearing the end of its dialectical journey. It’s been educational, and for someone like me, warrants revisiting to launch into different directions of inquiry.

    I would be grateful if someone could tell me what this song is that Sumi Jo sang.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4e5JarBUl4

    I was able to work out the other song posted by that YouTube user as being Voices of Spring [Frühlingstimmen], from Johann Strauss II Op.410. But I’ve not had success yet with this one. I’m guessing it’s a Latin American tune, but hey I don’t know these things.

    • @ Steve I couldn’t yet place it either but the song sure didn’t suit her. Why this concert was called a “Bouquet of Opera” is a mystery to me. “Mixed Florals” might have been more appropriate.

      • Cheers cabbagejuice. We, or someone, will work it out.
        Is there any Sumi Jo performces that you find particularly enjoyable from your perspective?

        I find myself smitten with her voice, although of course I will turn out to have preferences for what and how she sings. But this will be retrospective, and it is too soon for me to know.

        This is where forums like this, can prove invaluable, with contributions from people who do have a greater breadth and depth of experience over time (individually and collectively), and from this have filtered out various preferences. Given this, a piece of work favoured by one or more such individuals is likely to be profoundly enjoyable to an individual such as me (not 100% probability of course, but in practice, better than chance).

        • Yes Addison says:

          Steve: Check out Sumi Jo as Oscar in Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA on a DVD from Salzburg 1989, with a generally high-quality cast for that period (Domingo the lead), conducted by Sir Georg Solti. That would be a good place to start if you want to see her in her prime in one of her complete roles. A very fine stage production too.

          She made a lot of recordings, of course. One that comes to mind is her Queen of the Night (Solti/Decca, his second).

          • Yo Yes Addison! Thanks for that. I found this:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhKHHIiNt4s

            Which I’m guessing is from said opera, if not exact same 1989 performance. I’ll keep an eye out for the DVD.

          • Yes Addison says:

            Steve: That is the one. This production debuted in 1989, but the YouTube uploader’s date is correct — the taping for broadcast was in the summer of 1990. Hope you enjoy if you try it. (I see Amazon has it starting at $10, new!)

      • CJ,

        It was called a “Bouquet of Opera”, because that’s what they wanted to call it. Do you think for one minute they give a rat’s behind what you think? What are you going to do, sue them for false advertising? ROFLMAO!! Are you an Idiot savant, by any chance?

        BTW, Patricia Janeckova lacks any sort of warmth in her technically perfect singing. There’s no emotional outreach of any kind! That’s just one of many things this piece lacks. No way she is a better overall singer than Jackie!

    • I am a step closer to establishing the name of the other song. Following discussion here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iszbmGc-TE&feature=plcp, the title of that video has been updated, and the names of some songs posted. The unknown song appears to be “Tango” (I. Krutoy, L.Vinogradova), and the title of the related video has been updated accordingly.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4e5JarBUl4&feature=plcp

      For my purposes, I would now need to find one or more unambiguous examples of the song and title to pass the confirmation threshold.

  62. Friday Bridge says:

    There is huge difference in the interests of Jackie fans and Opera aficionados.

    Opera is pursuit of beauty and perfection in a performance. As such, any performer that bobbles the ball will be called on it. Any performer who does not pursue a serious and effective course of training is suspect. When a person walks out on stage, that person is not an opera singer until they actually sing. Then the performance can and will be critiqued, no matter who it is. .

    IF Jackie were to pursue opera, she would not start serious training for a least a year, and she would learn many techniques she knows nothing about – yet. She would train for years. She would train for all kinds of things, beauty, power, agility, range, intonation, stagecraft, and more. Many people don’t know how hard it is to sing with beauty power and agility all at once without a mic to 2-3,000 people.Hitting the balance of all these goals – THAT’s the operatic art form.

    The operatic art form is what opera aficionados appear to pursue. Their allegiance is to the art form. Singers are only the instruments of the art form.

    Jackie fans, on the other hand, have found (what they believe) to be the most beautiful voice they’ve ever heard. Their allegiance is therefore to Jackie. As Jackie first came to the public’s attention when she was 10, many who listen to her are parents and grandparents. Most all of her fans who have children or grandchildren have practically adopted her into their extended family and are incredibly protective of any perceived threat, and swarm like angry bees when provoked. Again, their allegiance is to Jackie.

    I see a serious incompatibility with the interests of the two groups. “Less Filling! Tastes Great!” sort of a deal. Perfection Vs. Beautiful. I know that some are 100% in one camp and others are 100% in the other camp. By the way, I hope everyone realizes that most of the world is somewhere in the middle, and that people who pursue perfection can rightfully call THAT beauty to themselves, but really, the interests of the two groups are quite different.

    As this is an opera aficionado’s site, if anyone wants to comment on Jackie’s techniques, this is the place to do it. Jackie fans should recognize that her technique is open to debate if she wants to pursue opera. So far, that’s not likely. That fact alone should take Jackie out of the line of fire on opera blogs.

    She will likely seek out coaching/training over the years, but it’s nobody’s business but her parents so long as she’s singing such a light schedule and no apparent harm is coming. Things she does may be faults in opera, but not as big a problem so long as she sings with a mic. Are the opera aficionados right when they predict problems? Could be. It’s not my business or anybody else’s yet. Each year her voice gets stronger and more beautiful to me. As Jackie is not opera-bound, and should not be a topic here.

    Jackie fans should consider the “Less Filling! Tastes Great!” argument and realize that they are missing the aficionados’ point of view of opera as an art form, and that therefore, Jackie fans should not try to either “bring them into the fold” or defend her technique unless they themselves understand the inner details of operatic training and its goals. . It’s not going to happen. Jackie fans have other places to be.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Well-said, Friday B.

    • Why link me here? says:

      If this is a pure opera aficionado’s site Than please explain why articles with Jackie Evancho is even posted here? I thought she was classical crossover? Or why this site uses Jackie Evancho’s name tagged to other articles not even Jackie Evancho related?

      I find it a mystery that on a pure opera aficionado’s site that no one posted a Dimitri Hvorostovsky or Sumi Jo first report from St Petersburg? I would think that being a opera site that there would be some type of article on their performance since they were there too.

      If Jackie Evancho fans are not welcomed here than please have the admin delete Jackie’s articles and remove Jackie’s name from the search engines that is linking us fans here. Its just as easy to delete as it was to create this article. I hope my next search does not lead me here again.

      • Friday Bridge says:

        As it happens, this whole thread was started by a Jackie fan who, by the way, is a nice guy. He wrote to NL directly. He did not use Jackie’s name, but rather, a tongue-in-cheek expression “she who must not be named”. NL published it after making the necessary substitution.

        NL may have had his own reasons for publishing it, but as often happen, “once the train leaves the station…..” Oh, well, at least this thread has received lots of attention. In my opinion, though, the conversation would have been better around Sumi Jo’s beautiful Bel Canto style, and the huge power and great voice of Dmitri.

      • It would be a shame to delete this webpage. While for some it contains ‘noise’, it also contains ‘signal’, and is in fact reasonably information dense relative to other blogs of this kind. Indeed relative to blogs of many kinds.

        We cannot know who will learn what from what, or when, or how. Just from following this post, I have, as indicated elsewhere, identified a few lines of inquiry. Someone truly dedicated to the promotion of intellectual growth should never seek to shut down the intellectual growth of others, completely regardless of whether they agree or not. What is that saying? “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

        The late great Stephen Jay Gould for example, was a staunch defender of evolutionary theory, but would not promote the shutting down of anti-evolutionists, nor would he countenance them shutting down education about evolutionary theory, going to the intellectual front-lines when it mattered.

        I speak as one who has spent 30 years pursuing all sorts of intellectual inquiries (but with a few common threads here and there), and has waded through considerable material (Indeed, it took me 18 months to cull a massive library that I accumulated, of books, journals, hundreds of reams of abstract printouts, and thousands of individual files I created). This was typically against the odds in terms of all resources, including simply breaking free from the restraints of others aimed at containing my growth to that which they could cope with. I regret to say that I have since realised that while my own approach to intellectual growth is uncommon, the problem of people’s intellectual growth being contained is extremely common (just not always obvious. Mostly subtle socialisation and enculturation constraints, both at the individual and societal levels). Indeed, it may be the norm, which is one reason why those who break out tend to stand out.

        I myself, having a standard bungled and botched upbringing, have had to bootstrap my own intellectual development (there are now fields where I can hold my own against the best – as a byproduct of effort, not goal – but not this field. Nor is that the goal, or likely to be a byproduct, given the finiteness of life itself, necessitating as it does, targeted inquiries), none of which entailed the ability to explore classical music or opera. This is a late development for me.

        I became aware of Sumi Jo only via this post. it matters not if she is not a favourite to some, no single person is the favourite to everyone anyway. It’s called varation, or heterogeneity, which is everywhere in nature: homogeneity being often associated with stasis and decline. The trick is to learn from those whose understanding is different to ours.

        In a field where I once worked, I sought out a supervisor. The person I settled on had an approach very different to mine. She noted this, and speculated as to whether we were a good match. My reply was that I didn’t need a supervisor whose approach matched mine. I had those strengths already: I could for example, research far better than many. No, I needed someone whose approach was different to mine, so I could develop in unexpected ways.

        On the subject of classical crossover, I note that Sumi Jo – who after 30 years, commencing against prejudicial odds, is clearly committed to her craft – herself thinks there is a place for classical crossover. In the link below, she says at 2:14

        “If someone is used to listen only to pop music, it would be very difficult to, to show (unclear) to Rachmaninov, or Tchaikovsky or Debussy. There must be some, middle section, you know. Or someone has to, ah, listen, to go, you know, to go to that kind of, you know, you know, high prepared classics”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9xLXj-H9eE&feature=related

        • richard carlisle says:

          Ah Steve,

          Such a major chord you’ve struck: variation in nature for sure– no two things alike anywhere– at least on a microscopic level… the most profound example of this is the magical snowflake– no two alike since time began– fascinating enough with the reason for it even more so

          Ready? Here we go….THE REASON (assuming most of our group is unaware), based on the fact there are two kinds of hydrogen and two different oxygens: H one and two and O 14 and 16, and the way they mix is the heavier versions are a tiny percentage of the whole and every drop of water that forms a snowflake has different mixtures of the various atoms, which in turn causes different freezing patterns… it’s statistically even more impossible to result in two-of -a-kind than all the complexity of DNA can ensure.

          And the MOST interesting fact is that no other role for these atom variations in all natural processes where water is instrumental has been discovered– they were apparently Designed exclusively to offer up a complete variation in snowflake formation … and if every snowflake has been differently structured doesn’t it offer a possibility that NO TWO THINGS ALIKE is a primary condition throughout the Universe?

          It even supports your policy that it is far better to have a colleage who can offer opinions in variance to yours rather than be a “yes man”.

          Yes, VIVA LA DIFFERENCE … be it material or ethereal.

          • richard carlisle says:

            Vive (sp)

          • Indeed Richard. Without heterogeneity, and indeed contingency (per Stephen Jay Gould), we ourselves would likely not be here. Yet the underlying algorithms to some essential phenomena are disarmingly simple at some levels (although there are paradoxes within, like The Groucho Marx Effect, which I gather is similar to – if I have it right, per Michael J Smithson – Zaleny’s tradeoff). Pretty neat eh!

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      REALLY WELL SAID, FB.
      I think because music is not only an ART form, but it is a physical endeavor that requires a specific set of skills to generate a tone that is experienced in more than one way opens it up to a lot more criticism about the technical specifics rather than the overall impression of the art as promulgated. Opera afficionados rightly enjoy opera in its purest form whereas others may simply like the way something sounds and its overall impression than the simple purity of the technique delivered. Classical purists chased Stravinsky down the street and Classical painters viewed Cezanne and Van Gogh (not to mention Seurat, Pollock and Warhol) as heretics in much the same fashion. Different things resonate differently in different people .. cliche but accurate. Perhaps, that is a really good note to end further commentary. Thanks!

  63. @richard carlisle I will not answer any questions by posters here when are crudely insulting: “Your mind is like a room full of clutter…rubbish incorporated…keeping you on topic is equal to a toddler attempting to grasp an eel with a thumb and forefinger…your skin is more akin to a rhino than a hummingbird… entitles you to sentence structure:geared for three-year-olds.”
    You don’t like the vocal technique of a 12 year old being critiqued but you bring out the big guns for a 13 year old: “Thanks Steve; it’s interesting to see someone so nicely trained with refined vibrato, etc. but judging from audience reaction and mine I’d rank her about one fourth as exciting as Jackie.”
    The technical part first: vibrato is only part of the overall package of timbre that taken together is a by-product of a good setup. No teachers in their right minds especially at such an age “train” a vibrato, anymore than they would train formants. Such silly pronouncements could only come from Jackie fans who have to defend her unnatural and unhealthy vibrato in her lower and middle ranges. Everyone else is wrong.
    I will not answer you anymore, so don’t bother to post to me.
    You can take TomV’s adivce directed to me, which is more applicable to the two of you: “When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings.Then you will forget your anger.”

  64. @TomV I don’t have musical toes and I am not nettled nor am I impressed by your deprecations:
    “Sorry if your musical toes felt stepped upon by my tongue-in-cheek reference to Caruso. Do you not see with your own eyes the chrysalis fact assume by degrees the wings of fiction? If you get nettled by my deprecations, which are no worse than yours.”
    I don’t have the urge to draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa just for fun or bring down one of the greatest singers over the past century just to amuse myself. Certo, not everyone is laughing with you, but at you.

    • Mia carissima cabbage,

      With me or at me, it’s all the same to me. Laughter has been shown to prolong life and help cure illnesses.

      There’s a difference between breaking into the Louvre (as difficult that would be) to paint a moustache on the original Mona Lisa and downloading a jpeg of the painting and photoshopping a moustache onto it. The latter has actually been done in poster format, and I found the result quite hilarious. Some frumpy people might, nonetheless, become indignant even at such a relatively innoncent act, which pokes fun at a sacred idol.

      Maybe you need to read a book on humor, or, even better, play one of Caruso’s recordings at double speed so he sounds like one of Alwin’s chipmunks. That might teach you to crack a smile once in a while. Classical music has a rotten reputation today because some people take it wayyyyyy too seriously.

      I think being laughed at is better than having people roll their eyes and shaking their head at you – or your writings – and think “oh brother” while releasing a sigh of compassionate condolence for the thousands of words of idle prattle that have become mere prattle for prattle’s own sake long after the final conclusion of a reductio ad absurdum has been reached..

      NB I’m using “you” in its impersonal sense.

      Please do continue regaling us with your interesting comments. They are most informative and highly enjoyable to read.

      I do most sincerely & humbly beg milady’s pardon if I have seemed overly deprecative towards your most sweet and pulchritudinous self.

    • PS If your toes aren’t musical, how do you know when to use the pedals on a piano??!!?

  65. @Steve “Cheers cabbagejuice…Is there any Sumi Jo performances that you find particularly enjoyable from your perspective?” I don’t really follow her career so I can’t answer you. I am attracted to singers with depth and the ability to take on roles or songs and make them uniquely theirs. Maybe I have been spoiled by the likes of singers in the recent past.

    • Cheers cabbagejuice.

      Doubtless the singers to whom you have been exposed, and your particular experiential/life-development trajectory, have predisposed your preferences, and your benchmark. My friend Karla for example, can appreciate a wide variety of music, including in opera. But her benchmark is Joan Sutherland. Who has become your benchmark, or is that difficult to say?

      I do have a vague recollection of Karla mentioning Sumi Jo in a telephone conversation in late 2009 (in context of her pointing out the difference between say, Gracie Fields, whose singing, I became enamoured of courtesy of the Jane Horrocks movie – so I can pinpoint the time period) and I will have to test this now.

  66. @Russ Why are Jackie fans like you so angry? This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel to get all worked up about: “It was called a “Bouquet of Opera”, because that’s what they wanted to call it. Do you think for one minute they give a rat’s behind what you think? What are you going to do, sue them for false advertising? ROFLMAO!! Are you an Idiot savant, by any chance?”
    Roll on the floor all you want… As Friday Bridge explained about opera, and I will go one further – Opera is NOT about exciting listeners on a visceral level.
    “BTW, Patricia Janeckova lacks any sort of warmth in her technically perfect singing. There’s no emotional outreach of any kind! That’s just one of many things this piece lacks. No way she is a better overall singer than Jackie!”
    I hope Jackie will actually see Patty’s vid so she can learn something from her slightly older colleague.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      As Friday Bridge explained about opera, and I will go one further – Opera is NOT about exciting listeners on a visceral level.

      Whereas that may be true for you and hence, your obsession with technique over visceral sensate response (this is NOT a criticism of that … merely stating what seems to be factual), there are other lovers of opera who might take umbrage with that statement; though it certainly may be so for you.

      … and yes, I agree with you, Jackie can learn from any good performance and even more from a great performance. She would be foolish not to do so. As an auto-didact, it is one way to learn semi-painlessly. Phil Mickelson learned golf by imitating his father (who was right handed so he learned left handed!), a good golfer in his own right. True he did acquire other teaching along the way but imitation of a great swing is not a bad way to learn to golf. Other skills can be similarly so, though eventually, you have to advance beyond that. Time can lend this perspective.

    • catmando says:

      I hope Jackie attends an opera school someday just to see how fast she can learn the craft. I’m betting she would be the quickest ever to go through it. She soaks up music like a sponge.

  67. @Steve “Who has become your benchmark, or is that difficult to say?” I listened to a lot of Sutherland, in fact heard her in Traviata back in 1971. Back then my listening skills were far from developed. Classical singing is an acquired taste and I did have a good introduction to Bel Canto as an adolescent with windfall from a great-uncle’s collection of 78 records of singers from the 1920′s like Galli-Curci and Lucrezia Bori.
    Bel Canto is better experienced than described. If anything, this type of production has become the benchmark for me, Maria Callas being high on the list. The struggle of trying to reproduce such sounds in my own “instrument” (some people have it easier than others) also furthered and refined my listening.
    At first I didn’t know what my teachers (the good ones, not the bad – and I had plenty of the latter) were going on about: “this is a free sound, no, you didn’t cut it this time”. I couldn’t hear the difference at first but when the right production happened, I wanted to repeat it ad infinitum, but this was easier said than done.
    What I am saying in relation to your other post, or resonating with it, education might start out in a spotty manner (mine sure was) but desire and will move those to find the missing parts of the puzzle. In education as in nature, plants will turn to the light. So by all means, continue your quest.

    • Cheers cabbagejuice. Thanks for sharing that. Your own journey sounds as if it has been an interesting one to date – and may it continue so. In fact there’s a few interesting journeys through life per several of the posts from others here.

      And some things, as you say, are better experienced than described. Indeed, life itself is to be experienced, all the while that we try to understand it, or aspects of it. To date I have concluded that the key issues in life boil down to existential issues, and the ephemeral existential journey that each of us must travel for him or herself.

  68. Steve,

    I agree it would be a pity to delete this thread, and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I, for one, have gained insights from this debate and revised some of my opinions about Ms. Evancho.

    As Sir Alan Patrick Herbert wrote, “Nothing is wasted, nothing is in vain: The seas roll over but the rocks remain.”

    Compared to cabbagejuice, I am merely the spillunking sea water that washes over the rock of her righteous convictions.

  69. @TomV “I think being laughed at is better than having people roll their eyes and shaking their head at you – or your writings – and think “oh brother” while releasing a sigh of compassionate condolence for the thousands of words of idle prattle that have become mere prattle for prattle’s own sake long after the final conclusion of a reductio ad absurdum has been reached. NB I’m using “you” in its impersonal sense.”
    Oh sure, all of the above prattle and “you” doesn’t mean “you”. Nice try, but no cigar, or even cigarette.
    “That might teach you to crack a smile once in a while. Classical music has a rotten reputation today because some people take it wayyyyyy too seriously.”
    I guess you never heard of PDQ Bach (one of my favorites) or even Haydn.
    SInce when do pianists pedal with “their toes”?
    Why don’t you take the advice of another poster here and return your brand of drama or sarcasm to a place like youtube? chou-chou

    • Oh dear – you must be a descendant of Hadrianus Junius, author of the famous De coma commentarium.

      Yes, I have often listened to PDQ Bach, Victor Borge, Jack Benny, Spike Jones Harpo and Chico Marx, and I own the complete works of Haydn on CDs. I’m quite honestly amazed that you understand any of them at all.

      Sorry, cherie, I don’t smoke. Just send me a bottle of Château Haut-Brion ’75 instead, thank you.

      • @TomV Just to remind, you are way off topic. This thread prompted by the concert in St. Petersburg is mainly about singing. Maybe you can find some other place to throw around Vulgate or Pig Latin phrases where people might be impressed by them.

        • I was thinking of starting a separate strand in Latin, Syriac and Aramaic.

        • Cabbage,

          I stand reminded. The Tanakh is full of references to music, if you aren’t aware. Regardless of whether I refer to biblical events or otherwise i doubt you’d get the reference.

          ז הַגִּידָה לִּי, שֶׁאָהֲבָה נַפְשִׁי, אֵיכָה תִרְעֶה, אֵיכָה תַּרְבִּיץ בַּצָּהֳרָיִם; שַׁלָּמָה אֶהְיֶה כְּעֹטְיָה, עַל עֶדְרֵי חֲבֵרֶיךָ. Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon; for why should I be as one that veileth herself beside the flocks of thy companions?

          Therefore I bid you a shalom even though it’s a Tuesday and hope that it will last you all the way to your Shabbas celebration. The horns blewn down the walls of Jericho, and so shall the psalms of David bring music unto his people.

          Sing thou the psalms of the lord and rejoice, oh Cabbage, and find peace in his word.

          • PS I’m sorry, but I REALLY don’t know how to translate “O mio babbino caro into Latin, Syriac,, Aramaic or Hebrew. I’ll leave that one to Mr Lebrecht, since he no doubt has more resources than I’.

          • @TomV Shir HaShirim. Just put a lid on it, will ya? My Shabbat is on Sunday.

  70. Well there is an opera in Latin – Oedipus Rex. Operas have been performed in Hebrew by the New Israel Opera, but if they are not the audience can read the projected subtitles. So there is probably an extant translation of O mio Babbino. I sort of remember that Così fan tutte was attempted in Arabic at the Cairo Opera, but turned out to be a disaster.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Google translate give this for a Hebrew translation of O Mio Babbino Caro:

      הו אבא יקר שלי

      Perhaps others could help here….

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        Starting with the English, “O my dear father” gives a similar, but slightly different, Hebrew translation:

        הו אבי היקר

        Hebrew speakers???

    • An opera about empowered women sung in Arabic succeeding in a muslim country? That’s a foregone conclusion.

  71. richard carlisle says:

    Dear one-of-a-kind cj:

    With your commitment not to answer posts directed to you I would request you not answer my posts to others, for example Steve.

    Having already done so in your inimitable style of misinterpreting and responding to the misinterpretation in a style ordinarily reserved for law school dropouts I must point out in self-fairness that I did not say her vibrato was trained but rather SHE was and her vibrato (separatelyand for no specific reason) was refined… and you called that “big guns”?

    And when I gave you a compliment regarding the lack of thin skin if you don’t like rhino then pick an animal of your choice, although perhaps now the compliment is misplaced.

    Room full of clutter was inspired by comments like vibrato involving or not pitch changes and if it does they shouldn’t be audible (?????????????) and tremelo belongs to strings or does it apply to voice according to the fourth or fifth definition by whatever reference book— blah blah rubbish and you defend that kind of rhetoric?

    Any disharmony regarding any of our exchanges was stimulated by your bludgeoning of Jackie’s performances without even crediting her with some raw talent at least — as other critics have admitted.

    When I asked a direct question — what do you say to a mother who wants her daughter trained in the “Jackie technique” you avoided answering rather curiously.

    Please live up to your commitment regarding my posts (including this)– especially those addressed to others… thanks in advance.

  72. @richard carlisle I can do anything I please and if I don’t want to answer inane questions about a hypothetical mother of a 10 year old who wants to learn the Jackie technique, then I will not stoop to the gutter and answer. I never bludgeoned Jackie’s performances and the proof is here and other threads where I did admit she had talent, but really so what? You can’t admit that you are wrong about Miss Perfect. No one talks about “refined vibrato”, in fact this is a subject that hardly comes up except when it is sticking out (like a slip under a dress) in the case of JE. I don’t think anyone would regard “having the skin of a rhino” as a compliment but since I don’t know you except by your hysterical ramblings, I have not the slightest interest in what you say.
    Some people use forums to strut their facile wit and others to discharge their anger. You seem like a very angry person.

    • cabbage,

      How amusing! You tell me where I should comment and then you become convulsively irate when someone else suggests how you should comment.

      This thread is a source of priceless amusement, and I hope Mr. Lebrecht lets it continue, off topic or not, since it would be a prime candidate for a Pulitzer prize if he publishes it in book form.

      Alas that you use this forum to demonstrate your lack of wit and to discharge your own anger through the hysterical ramblings you accuse others of, who – regardless of their opinions – aren’t the least bit hysterical at all.

      Personally, I think you and richard should go out on a date. I think you’d both have fun.

  73. richard carlisle says:

    In exiting this thread as I must to excise a prevailing cloud of intellectual pollution I MUST also thank Steve for wisdom, Tom for wit, Russ for loyalty, Laptop for thoroughness, along with contributors of exquisitely expressive brilliance including Janey, Bristol, Friday to name three standouts and above all to Norman Lebrecht for streaming an incredible bouquet of culture to desperately appreciative readers.

    Extreme thanks,

    RC

  74. Cheers Richard. The irony of (some/all?) dialectics is that it is the antithetical positions which provide the framework for syntheses, from whatever direction, and from whomever, they come.

    In a field I became fascinated with (in which I am not a specialist but to some extent can think in, analogous to the way Georg Tintner could think in music – although I’m nowhere near to that level), namely evolution and evolutionary theory, I became familiar with a famous – or infamous, I don’t know – dialectic: that of the ‘Dawkins’ and ‘Gould’ camps.

    Comments from the proponents of each camp were often scathing of each other’s perspectives. I side with Gould in many ways, not the least for his display of humanity and tolerance, quite apart from his paradoxes: here was loyal evolutionist of Jewish heritage, who called himself an agnostic, preached intellectual tolerance, and sang in a choir (on the other hand, I’ve been aghast at Dawkins apparent intolerance at times. Dennett is showing his mettle though, seeking of late to understand a key issue which Dawkins rails against. But hey, I could be wrong). The paradoxes of Gould seemed to perplex Dawkins no end. Yet the dialectic would not have existed without both antagonists: and they improved their own perspectives from this dialectic. Dawkins – as I knew he would – has said that he misses Gould.

    By far the best overview I’ve found, for both content and compactness, is “Dawkins vs Gould”, by Kim Sterelny. Ironically, he notes that there is far more common ground between the two camps than at first appearance. Like much of life I guess. I guess it’s the old gestalt switch again: what we notice depends on the perspective from which we approach at the time.

    • richard carlisle says:

      Steve,

      Would love a chance to spar (off topic) on the nature of evolution, seemingly dear to both our hearts… I’ll start with quick mention of Dawkins and Gould (as per Wikipedia) who seem to have used the same pasta maker to reshape natural selection that music theorists used to do what they did to vibrato, but that’s not important as I’ll explain.

      In roadie fashion allow me to set the stage:

      For centuries a debate has raged over Creationism and Evolution aimed at determining HOW we got here essentially.

      For decades a conviction has surged in my head that it simply doesn’t matter since we, after all, ARE here– for better or worse… and if someone some day has a eureka moment and discovers an incontrovertible theory of how we got here and everybody in every branch of science and every skid row bum chime in perfect chorus “YES THAT IS EXACTLY HOW WE GOT HERE”!!!!!!!

      Well then, do you know what difference that will make in how we steer our future– how we plan our cities, utiilize our resources, control our tendency to go to the stupidity of war…. I could go on mentioning such items all to no avail because after all the talk and wasted thought units on how we got here it won’t matter a rat’s whisker… all that effort for nothing –nada– as wasteful as going to war for the wrong reason.

      To say it doesn’t matter HOW is not in any way saying it doesn’t matter WHY– the debate that SHOULD HAVE raged unfettered all this time and then we might have developed some meaningful paths for out future– much more likely than the waste of determing HOW.

      Having lived with this disappointing assessment of humankind’s wasted effort I would like to offer my thoughts on WHY:

      1) Was it because of a Decision to have the good earth populated with living entities that for the first time would understand and appreciate a much greater portion of the wonders of the Universe, including appreciation of God’s great artworks like sunrises and sunsets, beauty of bird plummages, flowers of all designs and on and on … perhaps the chimpanzee was the first attempt and came up lacking and God tried again and finally came up with the desired result.

      2) And considering the effort made to modify a couple of atoms to ensure every snowflake would be an individual work of sculpture and modifying DNA so as to create millions of insect species and countless plants, and all the other life forms… wouldn’t it make sense to create humans not only to appreciate what all has been accomplished but to proceed with actually helping to maintain the condition of life’s diversity … not to the extent of keeping every snowflake frozen and in its original condition but at least to help maintain as many profound species on their way now to the permanent exit door — work on our part already in progress for many years and for apparently good reason.

      3) What about the great mind experiments we are living out in the form of love of people we’ve never met (Jackie for example — there you go — a topic link), the ability to plan on a grand scale for the future, the capacity to take a learned tidbit from our childhood and apply it decades later to the betterment of others, the capacity to create artforms using all manner of shapes God didn’t bother with and left for us to develop, including all things the chimp can’t do and maybe that’s partly WHY we’re here.

      Steve, say all you want about HOW … for me it’s all Mutationism rather than Creationism, evolutionism, ismismism or any other process than simple manipulation of DNA in a way parallel to the modification of two atoms to create individualism in snowflakes.

      Of course natural selection takes over when the new improved DNA has brought forth the first breedable entities competent to out-compete the predecessors — no way to argue that– but why put it through the vibrato syndrome in an effort to make it incomprehensible when it’s such a straight forward reason for the successful to become the numerous.

      Steve, thanks if you’ve had the patience for this and please prove me full of flaws like Jackie (there– another link).

      Thanks in advance, Richard

      • @richard carlisle. Far be it for me try to prove flaws in anyone: I’m too busy working on my own. Nor would I want to hijack this webpage via another topic which, by its very nature, entails endless dialectic.

        That would be an injustice to others, being quite different from simply inserting off-topic comments and threading them back into the dialogue – or riding off madly in all directions (I like that. I should check that novel out).

        But perhaps I could note that the question of WHY appears inextricably linked to HOW. Humans naturally tend towards anthropocentrism (of which John Barrow, for example, describes ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ forms, in his book “The World Within The World” – but it’s discussed elsewhere, especially in some anthropology works. In that book you’ll also find Barrow’s description of ‘The Groucho Marx Effect’. Michael J Smithson’s mention of Zaleny’s Tradeoff is to be found in his book ‘Ignorance and Uncertainty: Emerging Paradigms’). So we humans, being naturally anthropocentric, bring everything back to us. IF we’re here (as we are) WHY are we here? Surely there must be a reason.

        Why Daniel C Dennett entitled one book “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”, was that he says the idea of natural selection, with the deceptively simple algorithm that it entails, is a ‘universal acid’ that eats through most if not all of our preconceptions, themselves derived long ago when our ancestors simply had to make sense of the world as they found it with the data as it appeared to present itself. So (pre-Copernican) the sun revolves around the earth: it’s self-evident, etc. So Dennett and others would say there does not have to BE a ‘why’.

        The question of ‘why’ is inherently existential, so it is no surprise that existentialism encompasses both theistic (e.g. Kierkegaarde) and atheistic (e.g. Sartre) philosophers. I can’t claim to have read this literature extensively, especially not the theistic perspectives. But as I understand it, the essence is that we – individuals, and humans as a sentient species – find ourselves here, have to make the best we can of the situation as we find it, and create our own meaning in the process. My conclusion to date is that most crises of significance are existential (the world abounds with crises of course, but some – perhaps many – are artificial, and not truly significant).

        Apart from watching one or two people die miserable deaths after living miserable lives, I’ve dealt with areas where people conclude life is not worthwhile and kill themselves, all of which takes the whole thing from academic to real life. Indeed some of the seminal writings on existentialism arose from the suffering of individuals, or the witnessing thereof. I will not be alone in observing life, death, suffering, and tragedy in general. Every contributor to this page will have some experience of that: the longer they’ve lived, the more they’ll have had. I realise too that opera deals with this, and that’s another area for me to explore if I’m around long enough.

        As far as I can tell, one of the reasons so many people became so smitten with Jackie Evancho is that at some of her performances she exudes happiness at a level that is beautiful to behold. Of course, the day will come – if it has not already – when some bubble or other will burst. This I think is what some of the critics fear. I don’t get from their comments deriding of this child herself (I’d bet they’re as smitten as anyone else, and are really saying “what are you doing to this beautiful child’ – but not in those words), but concern for her wellbeing as she develops, and criticism of some of her adult fans for what they project onto a growing child – that can be helpful, but it can also be dangerous. But she presents as well-adjusted to date, and I like to think her parents are onto this: all credit to them for their efforts in raising their children.

        • richard carlisle says:

          Steve,

          For now I thank you; hoping to come back with something soon that will include Jacke.

          • Cheers Richard,

            I must make a self-correction re the Smithson reference, for no other reason than that it is difficult enough to find online without being confounded by a spelling error. Smithson refers to Zeleny’s Tradeoff (not Zaleny as I misspelt – it’s been a long time since I read the book). I found the following link:
            http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22zeleny's+tradeoff%22&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=pw&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1024&bih=677#hl=en&q=%22zeleny’s+tradeoff%22&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbo=u&tbm=bks&source=og&sa=N&tab=wp&ei=FrP1T6LKAoWYiAeV1JD1Bg&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=7eda32fcde6a3ce1&biw=1024&bih=677

            It’s also mentioned here: http://www.structuremag.org/archives/2006/dec-2006/D-Inbox-Dec06.pdf, in more succinct form: “When dealing with (describing) complex issues you can either be vague or wrong”.

            Smithson studies ignorance and uncertainty from a multidisciplinary perspective. His book contained a taxonomy of ignorance which I liked. While searching for his mention of Zeleny’s Tradeoff, I found a couple of seminar presentations where his taxonomy is replicated, like here:
            http://adl.brs.gov.au/brsShop/data/seminar_051007.pdf (p.7)

            Reference to John Barrow’s Groucho Marx Effect is easier to find. Barrow quotes Marx: “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member”. As applied to cosmology, Barrow says: “A universe simple enough to be understood is too simple to produce a mind capable of understanding it”. Thus, the better we understand a problem, the more likely it is to be oversimplified to the point that it does not represent reality. Conversely, the closer we get to a description of reality, the more complex and incomprehensible the description becomes.

            Which brings us back to Zeleny’s Tradeoff: we have a choice between being vague and wrong.

            I first quoted The Groucho Marx Effect in a 1992 essay. I’ve never found a discipline where it does not apply. Pondering on it over the years, I think that while Zeleny’s Tradeoff may not be exactly the same animal (because as I write this, I recognise that oversimplification CAN be also vague, but not necessarily), but it’s the same species.

            It’s everywhere in human knowledge, including for example, the famous tradeoff between experimental and ecological validity, which has generated quite a bit of discussion in various literature.

            If I recall correctly, Douglas Hofstadter refers to a similar paradox or paradoxes in his book ‘Gödel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden braid’. So music is not immune to such ponderings, as some contributors here probably know way better than me.

  75. Addendum: A thought just occurred to me, which in hindsight is probably obvious – but then aren’t most things? One of the fascinating things about humour, or perhaps some styles of humour, is that they can catalyse perceptual gestalt switches. Methinks its time for coffee

    • richard carlisle says:

      Steve,

      First I might have to get a tad assertive regarding the Groucho Marx Effect, which in reality was just a joke initially and to be picked up and given any pervasive significance is quite disastrous simply because it is such a grand negatizer– something like shorting stocks… the positive opposite of the GM Effect is to say “Hey I’ll join any organization at least for a while, enough to get to know it and see how it can be improved” … sure, label it the Pollyanna Effect if you want but why not become much more intrigued and fascinated with positivism… isn’t that at least partly what we derive from Jackie?

      All that of course not our topic even if somewhat on the Jackie thread … so here goes with the HOW, WHY(inextricably linked or not) and where it applies to Jackie in the evolutionary scheme of things (all absolute fantasy designed only to illustrate a point):

      The stage is set back in time at least 500 generations to the first group of hunter-gatherers near Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa who for the first time as a group awakened one fine morn to view a most glorious sunrise also simultaneously viewed by the One responsible for the eventful art work– a sort of first showing with a very proud Artist right there ready to meet the rapt admirers.

      A meeting was then called by God to assemble on a high plateau overlooking the mountain (of course there isn’t any plateau but there might have been one then– geologic shifts); the group proceeded to the plateau and stood respectfully, were lectured about the ordeal of tweaking the chimp DNA to come up from 98% to the new full 100 and how at last there was someone to share important wonders that the chimp had been ignoring, and how in future generations there would be more tweaking in the unborn to develop ever-smarter individuals able to invent things like microscopes to study miniature wonders like snowflakes, germs and other things of interest and before that there are great things of beauty including the mountain right there– just look — and now you may go forth enriching your lives with all the wonders around you, that’s all you need to know… and before adjourning perhaps there are questions which may now be presented and sure enough from so far back in the crowd the view ot the mountain, now closer, was enhanced and a hand shot up and was recognized and what would you guess the question was?

      “Whatchu gonna do widdem chimps”?

      Somehow the answer passing through the murmering crowd became distorted and by the time it reached the questioner all he heard was CHEETAH which was then passed through oh-so-many generations and due to a series of coincidences turned into a rather appropriate name for a furry celebrity.

      Steve, you can draw any moral from the story you’d like, but for me if a chimp can be appreciated through a misunderstanding why not appreciate someone like Jackie who is completely misunderstood as an opera singer?

      .

  76. Just because some people say someone is convulsively irate doesn’t make it so. Unlike unrecorded verbal conversations, all the proof is here for anyone to judge – no bludgeonings either by me of a poor little 12 year old. In fact, there is no dialectic. There are objective standards in singing. All the major music schools in the world subscribe to them.
    I couldn’t help thinking that if Jackie were allowed to be influenced by Patricia from Slovakia and changed her “interpretation” (read: correct the faults), then the whole house of cards would come crashing down.
    She can’t improve over what has been served up to the general public for more than two years as “genius” because the comparisons to her past performances of “crossover opera” would be blindingly clear. In other words, she can’t sing Ombra mai fu or O mio Babbino in the proper way without making all the past performances seem ridiculous. The inescapable conclusion would be: “well, what was all the fuss about?”
    So to sum up, I don’t need to be dragged down to a shouting match when I do have something relevant to say or be accused of not having humor or any other allegatiions by airheads who have no objective information to contribute and can only try to derail a discussion into a ditch of their own making.

    • Yes Addison says:

      “The Jackie technique” — it reminds me a bit of the impression of Louis Armstrong that Ella Fitzgerald used to do. Ella Fitzgerald sounded as much like Louis Armstrong as a clear high bell sounds like a pneumatic drill, but she could artificially darken, lower, and roughen her sound and do a very amusing and convincing impression. Her fans loved it. But she limited this well-turned trick to a few lines of a song once in a while, maybe a verse at most. She didn’t record whole albums trying to sound like Louis Armstrong, or perform for entire evenings that way.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      There are objective standards in singing. All the major music schools in the world subscribe to them.
      “changed her “interpretation” (read: correct the faults)”

      Again, you are conflating the technique of making a note with a vocal cord with “singing,” not unlike stating that one cannot play poker or win at it anyway, without knowing the odds accurately; neither is completely congruent however it may approach such.

      She can’t improve over what has been served up to the general public for more than two years as “genius” because the comparisons to her past performances of “crossover opera” would be blindingly clear. In other words, she can’t sing Ombra mai fu or O mio Babbino in the proper way without making all the past performances seem ridiculous. The inescapable conclusion would be: “well, what was all the fuss about?”

      Of course, the latter is a ridiculous commentary. It makes the unjustified conclusion that Jackie (or any performer for that matter) care more about their past performances than improving the performance to be. Performers and artists are always restlessly remaking themselves to stay fresh as well as relevant. Jackie is entering adolescence. What adolescent does not become a different version of themselves? Once again you are so determined to prove a conclusion or you vision of the ordained future, that you undermine your basic tenets, much of which are unarguable or difficult to refute were you not making their flaws so determinable.

  77. Stephen Runnels says:

    If you ever have the chance to see Jackie Perform in person you will see women, men, and even children with tears in their eyes when experiencing “The Jackie Effect”. Such surreal talent and emotion emanating from such a young girl has a profound result on her audience. Attending a performance forces you to leave any jaundiced view at home and allows you to witness first-hand exactly why Jackie Evancho enraptures so many.

    A few here seriously underestimate Jackie Evancho. Her singing and personality motivates our passions for Jackie and her style of music just as other artists motivate others in their style. We are happy to have the opportunity to support the career of someone who brings that special something to our lives. What on Earth motivates a person to want Jackie to alter her voice, style, and presentation to fit their model, when they don’t like Jackie or what they hear in the first place?

    Jackie inspires so many to travel hundreds, or even thousands of miles just to experience a Jackie live performance. Some fans made the pilgrimage to St. Petersburg Russia just to experience Jackie in a live performance. Is this exceptional? Not any longer. Her fan-base is growing day by day, and these are fans Jackie will have for the rest of her life. We know just how special this little girl really is. Whatever the future holds for her, we will be there.

    • Yes Addison says:

      I don’t doubt what you say, but what it demonstrates to me is that she has a devoted cult following. This is fine, but it is not unique to her. There were people who traveled great distances to attend Grateful Dead concerts. There are people who have seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show 100 or more times in various cities. Closer to home for Slipped Disc, there are Wagner buffs who travel all over the world to see every staging of Wagner’s Ring that they can see.

      As of people crying at her performances…people cry at everything from Pixar movies to romance novels to daytime soaps. And, yes, at operas. I’m not knocking Jackie Evancho, really. I just think that to come to a full understanding of what she has or doesn’t have to offer artistically, I will decide based on what I hear and know, not on how emotional some of her fans get.

      • richard carlisle says:

        Yes but if you picture golden waves of wheat then transpose the gold to gray and then picture Jackie’s audience can you say when this age group has been this enthused about ANYTHING before now?

  78. Charles Hoff says:

    “Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”
    Stephen Leacock, “Nonsense Novels”,1911

    Nowhere in my wildest imagination could I have envisioned the resulting cascade and scope of comments resulting from Mr. Lebrecht’s posting my privately-submitted, short comments about my impression of “Bouquet of Opera”, which I had just finished viewing via live-stream from Palace Square. After much prior ado (mostly negative) over Jackie Evancho’s inclusion in this event, my immediate impression was that she had acquitted herself quite nicely while performing with two of opera’s superstars, an extremely competent orchestra and conductor, in front of an audience estimated at the minimum to be 50,000 (with other estimates 100,000) — while performing under decidedly miserable conditions. The personal videos that have been posted by numerous individuals have reinforced that opinion.

    My comments made no comparisons between Jackie, Sumi Jo, and Dimitri. During the final duet portion of Con Te Partiro, when Jackie and Sumi Jo were singing together, mic’d, it WAS difficult to differentiate between the two (listen for yourself!) until Sumi Jo pushed a little harder and stood-out. Her voice is different from Jackie’s. Jackie’s is smoother. That’s all I wrote. The two of them were on-key, and remarkably in-sync. Where is the argument in this? Unless one is so steeped in one’s own conviction that this cannot possibly be so (with fingers firmly inserted in ears while mumbling “nah, nah, nah, nah”), it’s obvious.

    There was a published interview of Dimitri Hvorostovsky prior to the concert, where he stated that his impression regarding child singers in general (with a couple of specific examples) was not good. He also stated that there was also some difficulty with Evancho’s representatives (not her directly) regarding how the concert would be presented, which was unacceptable to him (and Sumi Jo), but was resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all. My take on his subsequent comments were that he was reserving judgement about Jackie.

    Whatever negative impression his comments may have caused evaporated completely when Jackie finished her performance of “O Mio Babbino Caro”, exited stage left, only to be met and hugged tightly by Dimitri, and led back on-stage to take a second bow, while Dimitri applauded vigorously. It’s there to see for all with their eyes open and focused.

    Does this mean that Jackie is now an equal to these two opera greats, and is ready for the opera stage? NO! She is NOT an opera singer, and has NEVER claimed to be. But in this type of setting, with the material that she presented, she earned her place on the stage as well as the respect of and obvious appreciation by the other performers, the orchestra and conductor, and the audience. For anyone to deny this is at best, laughable.

    I hope that Mr. Lebrecht preserves this thread, for it truly is worthy material for those studying the human psyche.

    • The thread finally broke 300 comments, the one getting us over the hump being from the thread’s originator, even. Sicut erat in principio….

      To celebrate, I opened up a bottle of Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill ’99 of which I have a couple of crates in my wine cellar. It is fitting accompaniment to such a momentous occasion.

      Charles, as I sit here sipping these finest of Bacchus’ drops, I am wondering how you can write “She [Jackie Evancho] is NOT an opera singer, and has NEVER claimed to be” when she sings opera repertoire. Do you have to learn an entire role and perform it on stage (without a mike) to be an “opera singer?”

      But perhaps Jackie isn’t singing opera when launching into O mio babbino caro (I’m starting to hate reading the name of that aria) or Nessun dorma. I’m sure Puccini intended them to be pop songs which any mediocre celebrity could butcher at will before throngs of clueless fans. No doubt, were he alive today, Puccini would have composed songs for the Eurovision Melody Grand Prix instead of writing stuff that can’t even be called “opera” because it is sung by kids who don’t sing opera.

      • catmando says:

        “…Charles, as I sit here sipping these finest of Bacchus’ drops, I am wondering how you can write “She [Sarah Brightman] is NOT an opera singer, and has NEVER claimed to be” when she sings opera repertoire. Do you have to learn an entire role and perform it on stage (without a mike) to be an “opera singer?”

        “But perhaps SARAH isn’t singing opera when launching into O mio babbino caro (I’m starting to hate reading the name of that aria) or Nessun dorma. I’m sure Puccini intended them to be pop songs which any mediocre celebrity could butcher at will before throngs of clueless fans. No doubt, were he alive today, Puccini would have composed songs for the Eurovision Melody Grand Prix instead of writing stuff that can’t even be called “opera” because it is sung by people who don’t sing opera.”

        See what I did there? I think if you had your way, non-opera singers would be banned from singing opera arias.

        • Diabolus in Musicae says:

          cat,

          No I don’t think I can see what you did there. Do explain.

          I have absolutely no desire to forbid anyone anything so long as it is legal. People are welcome to singing opera arias and any other song or music as much as they want in my opinion. Just so long I don’t have to listen to all of it.

          The point wasn’t who was singing what, but what they were calling themselves or not. It seems to me there is a bit of confusion out there about what to call someone at the moment they are singing an opera aria and what that piece should be called if they are not opera singers at the moment when they are singing opera arias.

          It really is a profound issue in existentialist philosophy.

      • Charles Hoff says:

        TomV says:
        July 5, 2012 at 12:53 am
        •The thread finally broke 300 comments, the one getting us over the hump being from the thread’s originator, even. Sicut erat in principio….

        I did not start this thread. Mr. Lebrecht did. I sent my comments privately to him. They were not anonymous, either.

        •To celebrate, I opened up a bottle of Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill ’99 of which I have a couple of crates in my wine cellar. It is fitting accompaniment to such a momentous occasion.

        That’s one of the most reasonable things I’ve read in this entire thread. Skol!

        •Charles, as I sit here sipping these finest of Bacchus’ drops, I am wondering how you can write “She [Jackie Evancho] is NOT an opera singer, and has NEVER claimed to be” when she sings opera repertoire. Do you have to learn an entire role and perform it on stage (without a mike) to be an “opera singer?”

        That seems to be the general consensus of the learned participants in this thread. I would agree. But does it preclude someone who is not an “opera singer” (and singing with a mic) from singing portions (arias, if you will) in front of an ignorant, but appreciative audience? Perhaps you could show me the rule-book prohibiting such a spectacle?

        •But perhaps Jackie isn’t singing opera when launching into O mio babbino caro (I’m starting to hate reading the name of that aria) or Nessun dorma. I’m sure Puccini intended them to be pop songs which any mediocre celebrity could butcher at will before throngs of clueless fans. No doubt, were he alive today, Puccini would have composed songs for the Eurovision Melody Grand Prix instead of writing stuff that can’t even be called “opera” because it is sung by kids who don’t sing opera.

        It’s funny you should write that. David Foster said of Puccini that he was the greatest writer of pop songs of his time, and that OBMC is one of Foster’s favorites. But what does he know about music? Just selling albums, earning Grammy’s, and making money. In other words, pleasing the “clueless” fans. How awful!

        An audience of 7,000+ paid good money to see just him and the young singer that you choose to ridicule perform last December. There was great applause for both. Perhaps that was just to mask the collective embarrassment of being fooled into spending so much for the tickets. In St. Petersburg, an audience of well over 50,000 standing in the cold wind repeatedly gave that same young girl the same applause given to the two opera superstars also performing. Perhaps that clueless throng was just being polite.

        I’m not sure of what Puccini intended, but to be sure his songs have been butchered almost continuously by a parade of mediocre celebrities…some of whom have trained for decades and still can’t get them right.

        The thing about clueless fans…there are usually many more of them than the “clued” ones. And they like what they like rather than being bound and limited in their enjoyment by rigid rules and narrow definitions about what is “proper” and “good”.

        Have another glass before the “Bouquet” diminishes.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        TomV asks:
        “Do you have to learn an entire role and perform it on stage (without a mike) to be an ‘opera singer’?”

        Actually, YES.

        Hence Katherine Jenkins is not an opera singer (despite her protestations, & her role as a judge on Popstar to Operastar). Jackie Evancho is not an opera singer. Andrea Bocelli is almost an opera singer. All the thousands & thousands of other singers who sing operatic arias with amplification, or outside the context of an opera, are not opera singers (unless they have truly sung opera at other times, of course).

        Hoc est non difficile.

        • Yes Addison says:

          I agree, HSL. Singing or having sung an opera, somewhere, is the criterion for me, and I can’t permit any wiggle room. It is no guarantee of greatness, of course. There are people who have never sung an opera whom I’d rather hear than — oh, to pick a name out at random, Hans Hopf. But Hans Hopf was an opera singer.

          I don’t really get the popularization of “Nessun dorma” as something for non-tenors to sing, although I know this has been going on for a long time and is not likely to stop any time soon. But I wonder, if Jackie Evancho (and other female performers) must sing an aria from TURANDOT, why they don’t choose Liu’s “Signore, ascolta”? It’s lovely and more appropriate.

  79. “Does this mean that Jackie is now an equal to these two opera greats, and is ready for the opera stage? NO! She is NOT an opera singer, and has NEVER claimed to be. But in this type of setting, with the material that she presented, she earned her place on the stage as well as the respect of and obvious appreciation by the other performers, the orchestra and conductor, and the audience. For anyone to deny this is at best, laughable.”
    Oh really? If it weren’t for powerful money considerations, wheeling and dealings behind the scenes a girl who wasn’t ready for opera would not have been sharing the stage with two already established opera stars who must have also received plenty of financial encouragement to keep their real opinions to themselves. Her O mio babbino was awful. If it were someone else in a different context like an audition to the St. Petersburg Conservatory, she wouldn’t have gotten past the first door.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      But in this type of setting, with the material that she presented, she earned her place on the stage as well as the respect of and obvious appreciation by the other performers, the orchestra and conductor, and the audience.

      You REALLY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS, don’t you. The fact that the audience enjoyed the performance and the other performers did not feel diminished but enhanced seems adquate criteria for “earning a place on the stage.” Something about Jackie being accorded recognition as singer really sizzles your pantaloons.

      If you allow for some flaws in technique, then the criteria for a performer is whether the target audience enjoyed the performance presented. One can certainly only practice a performing art purely for their own pleasure and its expression, but that has to at least be self indulgent since IMHO art is meant to be a shared experience with the population and culture at large. If Jackie has a large audience and fandom, then she has at least reached one target outcome.

  80. Is this from a person who accused someone else of a mind like a ‘room full of clutter’? And moreover, WHY is it cluttering up this thread? (Just asking…)
    “Was it because of a Decision to have the good earth populated with living entities that for the first time would understand and appreciate a much greater portion of the wonders of the Universe, including appreciation of God’s great artworks like sunrises and sunsets, beauty of bird plummages, flowers of all designs and on and on … perhaps the chimpanzee was the first attempt and came up lacking and God tried again and finally came up with the desired result.”

  81. Charles Hoff says:

    CJ,
    I’m so glad that you’ve made things clear for everyone. As far as clutter goes, I’ve made two posts. What is your count up to now?

    “Her O mio babbino” was awful”. Really? The audience approved. And you’re convinced that Dimitri was bought-off to play nice to the little girl, that again is just your rather practiced opinion. You have so little faith in the backbone of one of today’s most highly-acclaimed operatic performers. But being “nice” didn’t make Dimitri scoop-up Jackie for a hug, and lead her back onto the stage for a second bow in front of a still-applauding and cheering audience after a performance that you state was “awful”.

    And surely the orchestra must also have been compelled to smile and stare at Jackie, the strings made to tap their bows after her performances, and the violinist made to kiss his instrument in rehearsal as Jackie sang “The Lord’s Prayer”.

    Ah, yes, the money. Money is what it is. It pays the rent and for most other things. Perhaps your talents haven’t rewarded you as well as you’d like considering your repeated disdain for it. But it doesn’t buy a citizen audience standing in the miserable cold and wind. And there weren’t guns pointed at them to incite the raucous extended applause and cheers. In the end, that is what matters.

    Let me also wax poetic in your honor:

    TRADITIONAL USES OF CABBAGE:
    “CONSTIPATION”
    The juice of cabbages is often used to relieve constipation. The downside to cabbage juice is that it can cause gas, as the juice breaks down putrefying matter in the intestines!

    http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/cabbage.html

  82. @Charles Hoff Yeah, millions of people go gaga over Lady Gaga, so what? Con te Partro was sheer kitsch.
    Cabbage juice is good for health. Dmitri is a nice guy and you are a non-entity.

  83. @Charles Hoff Oh boy, did you say a mouthful: “The thing about clueless fans…there are usually many more of them than the “clued” ones. And they like what they like rather than being bound and limited in their enjoyment by rigid rules and narrow definitions about what is “proper” and “good”. ”
    The outpouring of mob emotion should be called the “Roman Colisseum Effect”. People “get religion” as much as they “get” opera or culture when participating in mass extravaganzas. Take away the sound and light, the projectors, the built up publicity, the changes of costume, the hugging, kissing and last but not least, our little friend the microphone, and what is left???
    When the hype is taken away, the result is painful to watch and hear even it is accompanied by a city orchestra desperate for funds or the one and only David Foster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU5wwmlsgYs
    The nature and quality of the vindictiveness of the fans really are not surprising when the source is considered. Their raw gut emotion has been tapped just like it was in the days of lions and gladiators.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      cabbagejuice,

      You’re so easy. I throw a few “dangle” words out there, and you’re on them like a hungry trout on a helgramite.

      “The outpouring of mob emotion should be called the “Roman Colisseum [sic] Effect”.

      Do you mean the crowd’s reaction to the gestures of the highest ranking member sitting in the Imperial Box? Thumbs-up or thumbs-down? Are you implying that this is what happened at Palace Square that prompted the crowd to applaud and cheer for Jackie? Um, you have the sequence a little backwards. And there was no Imperial Box. You’re truly reaching to make a point(?) now. Just what is your learned delineation point between sincere audience applause, or mindless crowd reaction? I’m sure that others are curious as well.

      “Take away the sound and light, the projectors, the built up publicity, the changes of costume, the hugging, kissing and last but not least, our little friend the microphone, and what is left???”

      An orchestra rehearsal without the performers? I’m really trying to understand you here.

      “When the hype is taken away, the result is painful to watch and hear even it is accompanied by a city orchestra desperate for funds or the one and only David Foster:”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU5wwmlsgYs

      Okay, now you’ve lost me. There is no desperate orchestra in this clip. You’ve posted a link to Jackie’s appearance on NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert”, where she was accompanied by opera and recital pianist Michael Baitzer, on staff with the Washington (D.C.) National Opera, and the Julliard School. Thank you for that link. Mr. Baitzer and the rest of NPR’s classical music staff seemed to really enjoy Jackie’s performance. Or was that also just the…?

      Um, never mind.

  84. This 11 year old singer recently was brought to my attention. To my ear, she has some of the healthiest technique I have heard in any one of her age. It sounds as if she is being trained well. I hope this continues and she does not push her voice. Her name is Tayla Alexander.

    http:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo7dycnsUmc
    http:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lZgCn-v6KI&feature=relmfu

    • @Janey Thanks, very beautiful, comme il faut. The “appoggio” is especially nice, whether it is learned or natural. Hopefully her teachers will keep the “sound on the breath”.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Janey,

      Thanks for those links. Tayla has a very pretty, almost bell-like voice. She’s off to a good start.

      Here’s an abbreviated version of Danny Boy by the girl you love to hate accompanied by Chris Botti:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvuMA_YsoA8

      And “O Holy Night” performed at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Dec, 2010. It was -4°C:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Q7AFys6bA

      • I strongly object to you saying I “love to hate” Ms. Evancho. I invite you to read my previous posts. Two examples for you. I wrote:

        “I truly believe she is incredibly talented and has remarkable potential. As I have said in the past, she quite obviously loves to sing. My concerns relate to whether what and how she is singing are potentially dangerous. This is not a point that can be resolved in a forum such as this.”

        This was my single post with any criticism of her actual singing:

        “The difference in the two voices is that Andrews sang with a healthy pure head voice, neutral larynx and low breath as evidenced by her agility, diction, and long vocal lines. Ms. Evancho’s voice is very bottom-heavy with a depressed larynx and limited breath control, as evidenced by the covered sound, muddy diction and gasps for air. Hopefully, these issues will improve over time, because as you said above and as I have always believed, she has real talent. She also clearly loves to sing and has a beautiful timbre.”

        This is called critique. It is the sort done here, on this blog, every day regarding numerous singers, including many of the best in this business, none of whom are perfect.

        Your obsessiveness blinds you to understanding. The problem for Ms. Evancho is not her singing, it is those of her fans who represent her so badly. Luckily for her, there have been several of her fans that have done the opposite here and I am pleased to have been able to discuss this topic with them.

        • Charles Hoff says:

          Janey,

          It was truly meant tongue-in-cheek. I’m sorry if your perceived it as being negative. I apologize.

          • Charles Hoff says:

            spelling correction: I’m sorry if you perceived it as being negative. I apologize.

  85. @Charles Hoff I stand corrected due to an over hasty reading below the Ombra Mai Fu clip. Such a mistake doesn’t invalidate the fact of the singing not being good at all, say compared to Aled Jones at the same age.
    As for the arena in Rome, the prototype of mob entertainment, there are various spellings for it.:
    http://www.italyguides.it/us/roma/colosseum.htm
    The difference between sincere audience applause and mindless crowd reaction, that’s a good question, if indeed there is, or rather a continuum of individual responses. You can go to North Korea and ask the folks over there if they are “sincere” when they clap for their great leader in unison.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Well, CJ, your opinion is what it is. I commend you for standing fast in your smug convictions even though a continuously growing number of both the “clueless masses” (my words) and very knowledgeable people in the music and entertainment industry (classical and otherwise) find Jackie’s singing quite the opposite. Hang in there, though! Someone (and there is a small, determined contingent here on this blog) has to speak the “truth” in the face of all of this madness! I can’t help but be reminded of the “Black Knight” from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.

      Aled Jones is another unique talent who I agree was quite amazing as a boy, and now as an adult. So many of his early recordings were done in a cathedral setting (organ, excessive natural or added reverberation) which I find tiring to the ears after a short time…much as those of Isabel Suckling, whom I believe Aled is now managing. Both have beautiful voices that I would have loved to have heard (or now hear) in the NPR “Tiny Desk Concert” setting. No strange acoustics or processing. Just a mic and a keyboard.

      I do own “The Best of Aled Jones” and “The Choir Girl Isabel” albums among many other choir recordings. My daughter was in choir from age 7 until 20, and we explored a number of different singers and groups during that time. When Isabel’s album was released, I was interested in a comparison between her and Jackie’s styles. You already know my favorite.

      I like Aled’s adult baritone(?) voice much better. I particularly like his Panis Angelicus, from “The Classical Album 2011″, as well as his duet with Bryn Terfel on Bryn’s “Simple Gifts” album. You do realize that both of them sang with (hold breath please!) Katherine Jenkins! They’re all Welch, and it was for charity, so I guess that a pass is in order.

      “You can go to North Korea and ask the folks…” You’ve now reached about as far as one can go on this planet, however the point that you’re trying to make is…nowhere in sight.

      Take care! Have another glass of ‘juice. It’s good for you!

  86. Charles Hoff says:

    Since there seems to be some interest here about what Ms. Evancho is up to, July is time for a break, but August sees her performing in a number of interesting places:

    •First of all, her 2nd PBS Great Performances concert special (recorded at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles on June 13th) begins to air on PBS affiliate stations nationwide starting August 1st. Here are some press-release pictures of her performance:

    http://www.thirteen.org/13pressroom/press-release/great-performances-jackie-evancho-music-of-the-movies/#pressgallery

    •August 4th, the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s “So The World May Hear” Annual Awards Gala in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    http://www.looktothestars.org/news/8533-stars-to-perform-so-the-world-may-hear

    •August 18th, Hiroshima Japan, Peace For World 2012 concert at the Peace Arch Memorial.

    http://www.peace-arch-hiroshima.net/

    •August 19th, Tokyo, Japan, Solo concert at Bunkamura Orchard Hall. Accompanied by the Tokyo Symphony.

    http://metropolis.co.jp/listings/venues/locations/shibuya/bunkamura-orchard-hall/

    •August 24th, Philadelphia, PA. Solo concert at the Mann Center. Accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

    http://manncenter.org/events/2012-08-25/jackie-evancho-symphony-orchestra.

    •August 31st, Murphys, California, In concert with Tony Bennett at Ironstone Amphitheater. Accompanied by the Stockton Symphony.

    http://yosemitegoldcountry.com/event/ironstone-amphitheatre-concert-tony-bennett-with-jackie-evancho/

    • Charles Hoff says:

      I made an error. At Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Jackie will be accompanied by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

      • richard carlisle says:

        @ Charles Hoff

        A brief summation of the past 300-plus comments: Jackie Evancho is a remarkably flawed singer and a remarkably gifted entertainer… has anything else been said– oh yes: other young singers are better singers but lacking apparently in entertainment potential (judging by audience reaction).

        Are there more ways to state these facts?

  87. @Charles Hoff You don’t know what my “convictions” are , so bug off. You like Jackie’s singing, fine! Those who know anything about classical singing do not accept her watered down versions of “opera”. I just cringe with the thought that O mio babbino ad nauseam will be trotted out the month of August to clueless fans.
    She does OK in popular music where she can sing high and light as a young girl should. Her enthusiasm is infectious and more than covers up the lack of technique for them. But this will work for only a short time when already there are other young singers in the wings who can sing better than her like Patty and Tayla.

  88. Charles Hoff says:

    In the OBMC video above, notice the face of the Concertmaster at the end of the song.

    And here isthe performance of “Con Te Partiro” with Sumi Jo that was the subject of my e-mail to Mr. Lebrecht that started this thread:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hccFqONiJc8&feature=related

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Oops! Paste error! Please delete and substitute:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StR98Eq4Tfk&feature=relmfu

      • richard carlisle says:

        Much better audio on both clips– great treat, thanks– very indebted!

      • Has it become tradition in crossover to sing in bungled Italian? I’m a bit taken aback by SJ’s diction, not to mention her wobble. This duet worse than awful, topped by a double screech at the end out of tune with one another. What is being dumped on the public these days?

    • richard carlisle says:

      @ Charles Hoff

      The CM shows expressive support at points during as well; that was some performance as all in attendance agreed… absolutely superb in spite of its “awfulness”.

      • The only “performance” here is “look how cute I am”. In another year, that will become boring, so it may be well to 1) sing the aria in the right key 2) not breathe between every syllable and 3) go to a proper teacher to learn diction and voice placement. I didn’t notice overwhelming support from the audience considering the number of people there or from Dmitri either. Why don’t you two groupies just pack it in and move on?

  89. @Charles Hoff Not content with just reporting the news, the fact that JE was not the only singer in the Petersburg event, but that she “had the smoother voice” compared to Sumi Jo. If people don’t agree with the likes of you, then they are also targets for nasty criticism.
    Strange, the voice of an angel who should make her fans more peaceful and virtuous somehow turn some of them into obsessive-compulsives who can’t leave off just liking her singing and be done with it. Instead, there is constant in-your-face nagging and unasked for promotion and a rather adolescent crusade by adults who really should have better things to do than to be SO concerned about defending a young girl singer.

    • Calm down, everyone. This is getting out of hand again.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        Thank you Mr Lebrecht – AGAIN – for reminding us to maintain civility. Surely we can all try to avoid being disagreeable when we disagree. A lot of us (yours truly included) sometimes need reminding to keep our comments respectful.

  90. @WestSeaDoc The point is not celebrating singers for what they can do but when they are put into a genre in which they are lacking development. There have been a lot of kid singers over the years but no one would have asked Shirley Temple to sing opera. When Deanna Durbin sang Ave Maria, for instance, she did it with the proper approach and technique. There is a real danger with premature opera singing or pushing the voice beyond what is can handle easily.
    Half-baked items should not be served up to the public either as an example of “opera” in order to spark some interest in it. or with the intent of making them feel “cultured”. I personally do not think the public is stupid. If you give them quality, they will recognize it. The above cited event, in my opinion, panders to the lowest denominator of so-called popular culture.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      There simply should not be any audible pitch change in a vibrato and if there is it is a sign of something technically in error.
      The fact is this: Ms. Evancho has a beautiful timbre that her fans love. She has obviously touched them in some way with her singing. Nevertheless, it is technically flawed singing. Is it not enough to simply say you love her voice? Why must you insist she is flawless or using technique she simply is not, and cannot?

      A certain presumption is being made in that every critic presumes that Jackie’s singing is different because it is “technically flawed.” It may be sacrilege for the purist but one cannot presume that Jackie sounds the way she does because she the sound production is “technically flawed.” In point of fact, it may be that she sounds exactly how she wants to sound, for better or for worse. As alluded, her fans like her sound. If she sings more with a tremolo than a true vibrato, but everyone prefers that sound, what business is it then for others to “correct” the sound. Country singers sing with a country twang because that is how they want it to sound. There may be technical issues with the sound production but if it sounds how the performer wishes and his/her fans like it that way, the that’s the way it is. We could wax infinitum about the sound that Taylor Swift generates but she has been Entertainer of the Year, etc. among other awards, etc. The fact that she occasionally goes off key and needs auto tune hasn’t hurt her physically or financially. Sometimes “it is what it is.” Deal.

      • Steve Huff says:

        I agree with almost everything you say. I was there in row 22 center stage. I heard the problems, but did not notice the slow tempo until I heard my recordings. Sometimes is seems painfully slow to listen too, and even could have tripped up Jackie a couple of times. Dimitri was the star of the show. Jackie was the novel and adorable young surprise! I didn’t like Hrovostovsky until after this performance because of comments attributed to him. But he was not only dynamic, but a class act. I enjoyed Sumi because of her personality. However, her rendition in the duet was almost as painful as Sarah Brightman in AGT. But, I still like her. I hope Jackie will get more professional singing lessons in the future. I love her, but one her health and long term success to prove her artistic worth!

      • Yes Addison says:

        Bad technique can complicate or foreshorten a career, in which case it isn’t the critics of a singer who ultimately have to “deal” — it’s the fans and the singer. A correlation between fundamental matters of production/placement/emission and a superficial affectation like twang doesn’t withstand scrutiny. To bring it around to opera singers, there were fans of Giuseppe di Stefano and Elena Souliotis who “like(d) it that way” in terms of the reckless ways in which those singers flung out their voices (see also José Carreras, and more recently Rolando Villazon). These people started out with awesome natural vocal resources, but they were not responsible guardians of their endowments. For a handful of years, they were able to give performances that had a certain visceral excitement. But then the bills came due.

        When I heard about Adele’s vocal crisis and her need to cancel part of a tour, the first thing I said was (not snidely) “Maybe she’ll learn how to sing.” And of course, the person to whom I was talking, a pop/rock fan, immediately went into the defensive posture about how Adele is raw and honest and authentic and has to sing the way she has always sung, and she’s not about technical perfection, and he would never want her to sound like an opera singer with cold precision etc.– but it’s never about that. No matter what kind of singer you are, if you want your voice to last, a secure technique is the foundation of that.

  91. @WestSeaDoc “Is it not enough to simply say you love her voice?” Indeed, so why do her fans pummel everyone else who don’t agree with them?
    “Why must you insist she is flawless or using technique she simply is not, and cannot?” There is no singer who is flawless. Nevertheless, there are objective standards in singing. Jackie is not ready for opera. Putting young dancers on pointe before they are ready is just about the same thing. They will have to wait patiently with their talent and potential audience appeal until they have the built up muscles. It is wrong to exploit a young talent in this way just because ‘fans like it”. Sorry, but she was really struggling in the “O mio babbino”. Vocally, she could not have been comfortable, even if you say she “wants to sound that way”. Somehow, I think the preference would be not to have to gasp between almost every syllable and to float the sound on the breath. I can tell you right now that a good technique feels good too and a bad one feels VERY unsettling.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Mia cabbagejuice carissima,

      Despite your posted criticisms of Sumi Jo (about which we might actually agree, BTW), I presume you’d agree that she is (or at least was) a very fine coloratura soprano. She really is (or was) a world-class opera singer, no?Even if she’s declining now, she should still have a pretty darn good ear for singers, wouldn’t you agree?

      It’s a bit odd, then, that Sumi Jo evidently thinks so little of Jackie that she posts Jackie’s videos to her Twitter account, isn’t it?. She also posts multiple pictures of herself with Jackie. Isn’t that odd?

      Maybe you think she needs the money? Or needs the exposure? LOL. Isn’t she a world-famous & successful opera singer, booked far in advance? So why on earth would she seem to strongly support a young singer like Jackie, who has such horrible singing technique? Hmmm. It truly is odd, wouldn’t you say?

  92. Steve Huff says:

    When traveling through various university campuses I am often reminded of “righteousness” by the frequent 1993 Subaru’s sporting 4 dozen bumper stickers of various causes. I asked myself what they represent? What does “Free Tibet” mean if the advertiser isn’t willing to do something about it?

    In truth, they are fashion labels on display. The bearer doesn’t have to participate in their cause like a Che Guevara or George Orwell, they declare their membership in the exclusive club, and receive exoneration from any participation; like Al Gore in regards to “man-made global warming”. It is elitism of the first class. And I think I see similarities here. With exclusivity to a club, with professed almost unobtainable standards, the fashion label provides elite membership. These members don’t participate in the cause or endeavor, but they vicariously espouse their righteous position as a door-keeper of the most exclusive club, looking down on the unwashed masses.

    I like opera! Some of it! I am no expert, but I regretfully plead for the opportunity to participate in its pleasures. I agree that it is the vocal talents highest art form. I also agree it requires a life-time of practice, training, and refinement. Jackie Evancho doesn’t qualify at any of these levels, though she doesn’t claim to. Some may acquire near perfect technique, yet leave me wanting. I wouldn’t know; except for the wanting! Like wine tasting, which often takes on similar regrettable social posture, I know the red and white varieties. Beyond that I don’t care except I know that unfortunately I also like Joseph Stalin’s favorite. In contrast, I like learning about Opera, when not offended or shut out. I feel the same about Ballet. I don’t enjoy anything to demonstrate my “cultured nature”. I am not an observer for fashions sake! In other words, I lack the fashion labels of the totally righteous “opera” dude! You have told me so. And Jackie! We admit it.

    What I would ask is if you are so righteous, then why must you resort to hyperbole, sometimes slander, irrational fallacy, and personal denigration to make a point. An example would be, “….. not to have to gasp between almost every syllable”. I enjoy opera singers, and I enjoy Jackie Evancho. They are two different apples, both far from the ground in my opinion. Might I add cabbagejuice, that the unwashed masses rarely put on a tie to feel cultured. “The above cited event, in my opinion, panders to the lowest denominator of so-called popular culture.” Instead they gravitate toward that which pleases them, often on the simplest, least cultured level. You do not have to fear! There are fewer of us than Lady Gaga fans. We won’t be sitting next to you in the box. We will be reveling in the innocence of a child, with a talented vocal expression, making us feel good, and making us feel like the world may make it after-all. And hopefully she won’t be alone.

  93. @Steve Huff Read ALL of my posts above and there is NONE of the following:
    “What I would ask is if you are so righteous, then why must you resort to hyperbole, sometimes slander, irrational fallacy, and personal denigration to make a point?
    I am not being “righteous” except in the sense that I don’t agree with parents and promoters placing before the public a precocious product just because they all “like it”. (The fact that it makes loads of money is supposed to be beside the point for the fans who believe in the Holy Family doing it to benefit humanity.)
    “An example would be, ‘… not to have to gasp between almost every syllable’.
    This is a more than fair description of the painfully labored attempt to sing a rather simple operatic aria. After a few hundred tries, it should be getting better, not worse, which is more than proof that the approach and technique are not good at all.

    • Steve Huff says:

      @cabbagejuice, Well to the point about “The fact that it makes loads of money is supposed to be beside the point for the fans who believe in the Holy Family doing it to benefit humanity”, thanks for proving once again my point! The Evancho’s might be religious, but I don’t recall them ever placing themselves on an exalted throne. And the assumption of money is a reach as well; assumptions for the sole purpose of demeaning the family values.

      First if you go back into the chronology of Jackie’s videos, you will see an 8, then 9, then 10 year old sitting in front of a computer singing. Gestures would insinuate that she turned on the camera, tuned up her pipes, and voluntarily began sharing her love for specific music, usually of a theatre nature. No where was therer the helping hand or a vicarious parent, a marshalling adult voice, or lurking shadows of greed.

      The Evancho’s still live to my knowledge in the same neighborhood, in the same less than upper middle class house, with the same ducks and lizards composing their suburban zoo, for what reason? That is a direct question? Millions of bucks are either in the bank, or destined to be so. What I have not seen destined are fur coats, the Rolls Royce, and lavish life-style of the rich and famous. Why? Now I can’t judge intent, I can only see evidence and have a sense of one’s right and wrong. My sense and inkling is that the malfeasance you imply is without merit. There are parents in this world of think less of themselves and more of their children. It might be less common among the elite, but odds are that even in this community, it can be happenstance. So perhaps on a rare occasion you have seen it? My personal view is that some “belief” system above and beyond the understanding of “humanists” may contribute to such love and integrity.

      Lastly might I say that the parents, Mike and Lisa, have never shown evidence of pushing Jackie onto the stage for purposes of exploitation, either for monetary or social benefit. I have yet to see Lisa or Mike jump on the stage to share a bow. In fact, the opposite is true, through a catalog of videos and events, testimony and photos! I have personally been at two of her events, including Dallas and St. Petersburg, and I have yet to get a glimpse of the family. Please understand that I am not “canonizing” them; I am not Catholic. I am just saying I see hyperbole and denigration for hyperbole’s sake, and none other.

      For some well grounded people, happiness is a pretty simple and easy consequence. It seems to me that graciousness as well as happiness can be left wanting in the lives of the Elites, which is why they must bring down the masses of the unwashed to their level of malcontent, embracing them in purported “caring” deed and words, for their perceived collective salvation. I think you would be best served worrying about the “pop” world of music. There, help might be well needed and deserved.

  94. “If you don’t like the news, hang the messenger.” The problem with the Evancholists is ANY criticism, however rational, is really an affront to their own belief system.
    “If I like it, it must be good.” They will even make ridiculous lèse majesté accusations, like “slander and bludgeoning a 12 year old girl” when the technique FOR OPERA is under scrutiny.
    “If X likes it, it must be good.” Sumi Jo hasn’t to my knowledge endorsed Jackie’s technique and neither did Dmitri. However, as celebrities know, are aware “bad publicity is better than none”. I’m willing to accept that the dreadful Con te Partiro was not representative of what SJ can still do and instead, happens to have been an “off day”. But if not, then something is seriously wrong with a “pretty darn good ear for singers”.

    • Steve Huff says:

      @cabbagejuice prick a nerve? Well in part I agree with you. Sumi Jo’s Con te Partiro was less than mediocre. But I still like her. I like who she is. I like her “style”. Even my uneducated ears can hear it. And I am not searching for vindication of my taste. I am not searching for flaws in the veneer of the artist. I like or dislike. I don’t mind the technique criticism, though some might. I think I, the lesser of those who are invested, after her parents, want her best future. I simply refrain from ridicule as a means of maintaining my membership.

      I might offer a more palatable scenario. “Jackie Evancho, the precocious young “Classical Crossover” singer has a beautiful voice and charm that connects her easily to an audience that feeds on her talents and innocence. I can only hope that technical issues might be resolved (list) so that she might continue a promising career!”

      That is beyond criticism and might even garner a curious question or too. An opportunity to educate the unwashed masses perhaps!

      I may not like the technique, but I love the child first, the voice second, my gratification third, and the gratification of others ….. fourth! I would never trade my satisfaction for her well being, and I doubt that anyone else would either. We simply don’t wish her failure. Will her success undermine your status? She is NOT pounding at your gates, but ye protest too much! You deny her entry.

  95. Further notes about the duet “Con te Partirò”, when I first heard it, I thought it was strange to have two voices of the same type, especially if one voice was more developed than the other. One would expect the contrast of a tenor or baritone with a soprano and perhaps this was the original plan. This could have been proposed to Dmitri and conceivably countered with a “Nyet”. Maybe that is the reason the duet sounded like it was slapped up at the last minute.

  96. @Steve Huff “Will her success undermine your status? She is NOT pounding at your gates, but ye protest too much! You deny her entry.” This kind of silliness reminds me of a rather long exchange I had with someone having much to do with the career of a prodigy pianist. Now she has passed into a rather uneventful adulthood as I predicted back then who has to compete with musicians who approach music also from an analytic point of view, not instinctive, which worked for her as a kid.
    You have to be a “believer” with these sorts of fans. They demand nothing less!

    • Steve Huff says:

      @cabbagejuice – It happens, can’t deny it! Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. This event will not determine Jackie’s, and neither will we! Your personal success in this prophecy had nothing to do with the prodigy’s failure. Jackie and her family could care less who I am, or who you are, neither should they! In fact, I trust them more than either of us! Jackie will find her own fate, and my good wishes and your “otherwise” will have no impact. It doesn’t matter to me one “quark”! That was a pun. Does it bother you? Again, why is her success such an issue for you? I think it is because it is out of your control.

  97. Yes Addison says:

    Sumi Jo in the late 1980s and 1990s was — within strictures imposed by a smallish voice — a very impressive Queen of the Night and Olympia, a charming Oscar and Gilda, and of course had success in various bel canto roles and some well-chosen Strauss (the Falcon in FRAU, Sophie). I had kind of lost sight of her over the last decade, although I knew she concertized, was a celebrity demigoddess in her homeland, and still made recordings. But nowadays, in the roles in which she would have been appearing in the days of Karajan and Solti (her early champions), major houses are more apt to engage Diana Damrau, Anna Netrebko, Kathleen Kim, Natalie Dessay (although she my be flaming out), Joyce DiDonato (a mezzo, but they both do/did BARBER)…when was the last time Jo appeared at the Met, the Royal Opera House of Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, Salzburg, the Paris Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, et cetera?

    I hope that doesn’t sound as though I’m putting Jo down. I just wanted to bring some perspective, because I’ve seen her referred to by Jackie partisans elsewhere as one of the world’s leading singers, the greatest living soprano of her kind, one of the five most famous and celebrated opera singers…in fact, a poll of Slipped Disc or Parterre Box readers for the first five active singers whose names come to mind would surely net some combination of Fleming, Netrebko, Domingo, Gheorghiu, Alagna, Hvorostovsky, Terfel, DiDonato, Kaufmann, Garanca, Florez, Pape, Alagna…I’d be shocked if Jo made *anyone’s* list.

    Again, she has nothing of which to be ashamed. She was in demand in her prime as a talented lyric soprano who could sing coloratura, she pleased a lot of people with her best singing, she got to make some good records (I love that DVD of BALLO which I recommended earlier in the thread), and now her career has entered a different phase as she enters her fifties. There are a lot of smaller venues on her schedule, and I’m sure her voice carries better in them.

    Dmitri Hvorostovksy, on the other hand, is about as big a star in the opera world as one can be without having achieved living-legend status a la Domingo. For the Evancho fans who would like to see *him* in his element, I highly recommend the Met’s EUGENE ONEGIN DVD with him in the title role, Fleming as his Tatyana. Beautiful production, and the role might as well have been written for him.

  98. Charles Hoff says:

    Another link of Jackie singing a-capella. Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEkFUhC9Bds

  99. Bob Burns says:

    I don’t get all this fol-de-rol about 12 year old kids who everyone thinks is some kind of vocal prodigy. I’m not saying Jackie Evancho isn’t musically talented. Frankly, I don’t know. But I can say that her voice is immature and “not ready for prime time” by a long shot..

    All one has to do is listen to her voice and compare it to just about any acknowledged opera singer with a fully developed voice and one can see immediately the difference.

    What I see here is a hell of a lot of public relations nonsense going on by her parents. They’re trying to cash in on their kid. They should let her be a young girl and not some kind of ATM.

    • Steve Huff says:

      Yeah, so did Wayne Newton’s family, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Judy Garland. None of them compared to opera singers. Wait a minute! I don’t remember any of them comparing them to opera singers! Wat are you trying to say Bob Burns? Her parents? What do you know about her parents or family? You see boys and girls, this is what I mean by vitriol and destruction of character, usually perpetrated by liberal elites who want to manage social tastes, behavior, and the exclusive door to the cultural and social bourgeoisie. If you read my recent posts Bob, you will not that she is not knocking at your door, sitting in your theatre box, or asking for your approval.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        @Steve Huff
        Many observations of Jackie’s family show they are *nothing* like “pushy stage parents” – in fact, they’re the opposite. They constantly hold Jackie back, making sure she’s grounded & she has a chance at a normal childhood. They’re hardly money-grubbing, deliberately choosing a schedule with lots of “down time” for Jackie & her family. It’s always been Jackie who’s wanted to perform more, not her parents. These are easily verifiable observations if you just look.

        • Steve Huff says:

          @HomoSapiensLaptopicus, I think you have the wrong guy! I agree with you 100% about her parents and family issues. I am just proposing questions or throwing back their premises.

      • Steve Huff says:

        Sorry about my computer keys and spelling issues.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      •I don’t get all this fol-de-rol about 12 year old kids who everyone thinks is some kind of vocal prodigy.

      The impetus for this thread stems from the announcement by Mr. Lebrecht that a certain 12 year old would be performing in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 20th in a program titled “Bouquet of Opera” along with opera superstars Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo. The posting

      This is not about “12 year old kids”. This is about a particular young singer who happens to be 12 years old. But I’m there with you, Bob. I don’t understand it, either. There is a certain small knot of posters on this blog who have made it their mission in life to denigrate, demean, and attempt to minimize the performances of this young lady into oblivion. In spite of the spite displayed here, her popularity continues to grow nationally and internationally, invitations to appear at prestigious events exceeds the time available, and her solo concerts (with full orchestra accompanying) play at full or nearly-full venues. Her albums have achieved platinum and gold status. She has completed her second PBS “Great Performances” concert special, which will begin airing in the U.S. around August 11th. In August she will return to Japan for a third time to perform at the Peace Arch Memorial in Hiroshima, followed by a solo concert the next day with the Tokyo Philharmonic at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya. Shortly thereafter she will perform with with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, followed a few days later by a joint concert with singer (and music icon) Tony Bennett. Her next album will be released sometime in September or October, and her first effort on the big screen (having been cast by Robert Redford to play his character’s daughter in “The Company You Keep”) will be released in early 2013. She’s been named an official spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States. She has performed on two separate occasions for President Obama at events of national and international interest..

      •I’m not saying Jackie Evancho isn’t musically talented. Frankly, I don’t know.

      Only you can correct that. There is, however, a growing list of the cream-of-the-crop of the music and entertainment industries that think that she is. A few posters on this blog have positioned themselves to assert the opposite. Most even hide behind monikers rather than using their real names lest their vitriolic and far-reaching comments be connected personally.

      •But I can say that her voice is immature and “not ready for prime time” by a long shot..

      Please define what you mean “prime time”. If you’re intimating that she is not ready to sing in a staged opera, you would be correct. She is NOT an opera singer. She doesn’t sing un-mic’d. She does, however, sing a selection of opera arias (and other classical pieces) with a voice and presentation that millions of people find compelling and wonderful.

      Note: You will be seeing her new Great Performance concert presented in prime time, as was her first.

      •All one has to do is listen to her voice and compare it to just about any acknowledged opera singer with a fully developed voice and one can see immediately the difference.

      No argument there. She is different. Again, she’s not an opera singer, and has never claimed to be. Others who should know better, have hung that label on her. Her

      •What I see here is a hell of a lot of public relations nonsense going on by her parents.

      Where? Post your source. Post an example. Just one. Your credibility is taking a nosedive.

      •They’re trying to cash in on their kid. They should let her be a young girl and not some kind of ATM.

      And now you’ve crash-landed. I would be curious to know what your concept of “let her be a young girl” entails. No, I really wouldn’t.

      “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
      Winston Churchill

      • Charles Hoff says:

        Something happened to the text when I posted. I’ll try again:

        The impetus for this thread stems from the announcement by Mr. Lebrecht that a certain 12 year old would be performing in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 20th in a program titled “Bouquet of Opera” along with opera superstars Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo. The posting (continuing) intimated that this was folly. My subsequent e-mail to Mr. Lebrecht following the program was to convey my opinion that this young lady had held her own. This became the leader story for this thread.

      • Yes Addison says:

        :::There is a certain small knot of posters on this blog who have made it their mission in life to denigrate, demean, and attempt to minimize the performances of this young lady into oblivion.:::

        This kind of hyperbole doesn’t do anyone any good; it just inflames. The people who write about not being impressed with Jackie Evancho’s singing aren’t on any mission. If that description applies to anyone, surely it applies to those who evangelize on her behalf, seek out every negative word about her on any blog or site for rebuttal (even when the negative word occurs within a not-unfavorable piece), and have a thread going at Amazon wherein debating techniques for “dealing with” her critics can be shared and workshopped.

        For those who aren’t knocked out by her singing or presentation, have doubts about her ability to sustain what she’s doing, think her arrangements are kitschy, et cetera, posting about Jackie Evancho is just one of many things they may or may not do during the course of a day. If the topic comes up on a site I already follow, such as this one, and I have something to add, I do so.

        :::A few posters on this blog have positioned themselves to assert the opposite. Most even hide behind monikers rather than using their real names lest their vitriolic and far-reaching comments be connected personally.:::

        Anonymity and monikers, of course, being unique to Slipped Disc, and not characteristic of internet discussion boards for decades. Some of her most fervent admirers here (and elsewhere) also post under monikers. What does it matter, really? The content of a post tells me more of its worth than whether the name at the top is Bob Brown (which could be a pseudonym, for all I know) or The Brown Bunny.

  100. Stephen Runnels says:

    The French opera jury blind test taken last year on Jackie Evancho http://www.operadou.info/index_files/jackieevancho.htm provides a excellent example of several things; First and foremost was their high regard in their opinion of the quality of Jackie’s singing. Second was the wide range of impressions as to the owner of such a voice. Third, when they had the opportunity to see who was singing still held their favorable opinion. Although the tangential and unsolicited opinions of the venue were typical of a opera critic, the overall response from this group aligns with the opinions of almost every person that hears Jackie: “Extraordinary, Unique, Fantastic”.
    It is unknown what the critics of Jackie’s beautiful instrument actually hear. It is also unknown as to what motivates her detractors to deliver unkind and often vicious and maligning opinions regarding the nature of what they hear from this little girl. What benefit does expressing such opinion provide to themselves and others? I can only hope they can defer to the much more wizened and seasoned opinion of an artist like Sumi Jo regarding Jackie and realize they just might not have the ear for Jackie Evancho, and go on to a style and artist they can appreciate.

  101. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Hmmm. Jackie tweeted to Sumi Jo that she’d love to sing the Flowers duet from Lakme.

    https://twitter.com/jackieevancho/status/223354273117904896

    Here is Sumi’s reply:

    sumi Jo‏@sumijo2011@jackieevancho YES!! This is my fav. duet and it would match our voices perfectly! Can’t wait, Sweetheart!

    Hmmm. Must be a publicity stunt. Aging star grasping at straws. Youngster exploiting oldster right back, in turn being exploited by money-grubbing parents. Obviously that’s what’s happening. Obviously.

    Hmmm.

    @Bob Burns
    Yup, good point. I’m shocked – SHOCKED – that fully trained opera singers have more developed voices than a 12 year old girl. What’s next, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow?

  102. @Bob Burns Thanks, what the non-obsessives here are essentially saying is that JE is NOT ready for opera.

    • Bob Burns says:

      I understand. But (at last counting) 384 comments???? Holy Cow!

      Let’s talk about John Cage, for criminy sakes. ;)

  103. Re: OperaDouDou, These ppl can judge singing??? ” FORMER dancer from the Maurice Béjart troupe, a FORMER first violinist in the Opera de Paris orchestra and the Orchestra de Paris who has played under (various conductors) season ticket holders to the Glyndebourne Festival and the New York Metropolitan Opera, organisers of the Nimes British Screen Film Festival, a FILM producer for the BBC.”
    Even in the Conservatory we don’t have pianists judging violinists and vice versa.
    Frankly, I don’t believe this was a totally blind test seeing how much PR they give to JE.

  104. Re: Flower Duet from Lakme – this gets curiouser and curioser. Who will sing the mezzo part, that is REALLY unsuited for Jackie’s voice? And surely JE cannot reach the high B’s in the soprano part…
    “YES!! This is my fav. duet and it would match our voices perfectly! Can’t wait, Sweetheart!”
    Obviously we will be waiting a long time for this to happen, unless it will be a third or fourth lower, done in the same slap-up manner of Con Te Partirò.
    And incidentally the Latin American song in this concert didn’t suit SJ either. There should be a good helping of chest voice in this type of music and there wasn’t. This is a main problem with opera singers who “cross over”.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Here are Sumi Jo and Lara Fabian singing a C-C duet, enjoying and having fun with the music:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-mXWj3Pk8A

      And the two plus Dimitri Hvorostovsky:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZCjenmXr68

      • Charles Hoff says:

        By the way, Lara Fabian rewrote the lyrics for her song “Imaginer (aka Broken Vow)” especially for jackie Evancho to sing in her “Dream With Me” concert and album.

        • That’s not exactly correct… Lara Fabian did NOT re-write any lyrics for Jackie Evancho. A long time ago (1998 most likely) Lara Fabian and Walter Afanasieff wrote the song “Broken Vow”; it was only in English then. And not so long ago – Lara Fabian wrote the French lyrics for that same music, and the song was called “Imaginer”. It was first released on Jackie Evancho’s album. So, there is only ONE French version, and Jackie is singing it. Not two French versions or whatever…

          • Charles Hoff says:

            Thanks, Daina for your contribution.

            My wording was not clear. I was just recalling the wording I heard in a David Foster interview (producer of the “Dream With Me” album). Lara Fabian rewrote the English lyrics for broken vow into French for Jackie Evancho to sing for the album. If you translate the French lyrics into English, they will differ from the English lyrics for “Broken Vow”. Here’s the tracking of the versions:

            http://www.secondhandsongs.com/performance/162930

            Whatever.

          • Charles Hoff says:

            “Broken Vow”

            Tell me her name
            I want to know
            The way she looks
            And where you go
            I need to see her face
            I need to understand
            Why you and I came to an end
            Tell me again
            I want to hear
            Who broke my faith in all these years
            Who lays with you at night
            When I’m here all alone
            Remembering when I was your own
            [Chorus:]
            I’ll let you go
            I’ll let you fly
            Why do I keep asking why
            I’ll let you go
            Now that I found
            A way to keep somehow
            More than a broken vow
            Tell me the words I never said
            Show me the tears you never shed
            Give me the touch
            That one you promised to be mine
            Or has it vanished for all time
            [Chorus]
            I close my eyes
            And dream of you and I
            And then I realize
            There’s more to life than only bitterness and lies
            I close my eyes
            I’d give away my soul
            To hold you once again
            And never let this promise end
            [Chorus]

            “Imaginer”
            Seated on the edge of my big heart
            I speak of peace shamelessly
            Of a millennium tree telling me the story
            That here below we have trouble to believe
            Long before the Tower of Babel
            The iPhones and diesel engines
            There was a garden
            As big as our old Earth
            Where people would protect their brothers.
            Open your eyes
            And launch yourself from the top of your craziest dream
            The secret is to believe it still
            And despite everything
            Open your eyes.

            To imagine a solar world
            Where our old wars would desolve
            To imagine a hungerless world
            Where the sky of one God
            Would extinguish all fires’.

            If that isn’t a total re-write of lyrics, I’d like to know your definition.

          • Charles Hoff says:

            And from the wiki:

            Fabian rewrote the song with French lyrics for Jackie Evancho, who included it in her 2011 album, Dream With Me, under the name “Imaginer”. The original meaning of the song, about a sad love, is completely changed in the French version to describe a dream of a peaceful world.[1]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_Vow

            Isn’t that what my post essentially stated? Why the nit-picking?

          • I now know who Lara Fabian is (never heard of her till now), the origin of “Imaginer”, and have heard a Fabian rendition
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4ebCOFGZ_s&feature=fvsr

            Perhaps I should join the Fabian Society. I like her rendition, but I note something about myself from the exercise. I like the song and the rendition, but because I understand the English version of the rendition, my brain processes some sadness. Conversely, sung in a language I don’t know – bar vital terms and phrases from Peter Sellers (per e.g. below), I can enjoy simply the beauty of the song.

            This was particularly salient for me some 30 years ago when I gave up listening to popular radio, and even some singers who I liked (but who I can handle now). And while we move on in life, it’s interesting to note what it is that lasts.

            I do think there’s an advantage – at times – in listening to songs in languages that we don’t know, since we can’t get hooked on the lyrics (the brain being a language processing machine – which is why we can at times cope with random sounds not breaking our concentration, but not people talking), and are ‘forced’ to simply listen to the musicality. Although I don’t know if I’m in the minority on that one. Maybe not in some aspects, given the dynamic we see with some of the popularised renditions of operatic arias that are naturally difficult for those more steeped in the fullness of such music to bear, (having heard them at their best, and in full context, and which we cannot begrudge. My friend Karla falls into this camp for example).
            e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHFE6WZK71s

            So this thread, blog, webpage, whatever the term is, continues to be educational. Thanks folks.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Mia cabbagejuice carissima (di nuovo),

      You’re wondering about Jackie’s reaching “high B’s” in the soprano part of the Flowers duet? By “high B” I presume you mean B5??

      Firstly, Jackie would more likely sing the mezzo part in a duet with Sumi Jo. Secondly, Jackie did fine singing C6 in her duet with Barbra Streisand on Somewhere. It’s at the 3:05-3:06 mark of this vid (which should start some 15 seconds before that note). She is able to go to G6 in practice. She would have no difficulty whatsoever with B5.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PdiRVERxLI#t=2m50s

  105. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Mr Lebrecht,

    Perhaps you know a way to make videos posted here go directly to a particular time marker. I have clearly failed at this, spectacularly, despite multiple tries.:-( I don’t mean to clog up your discussion thread; perhaps you could delete the excess videos & posts. Thank you.

  106. There are a few systems to describe pitch outside notation but one of them is Middle C as C4. In the Barbra Streisand clip Jackie does a very short echo effect on Ab5 and Bb5 (not that high for a soprano). To lightly touch a high note is not the same thing as sustaining one and O mio Babbino has about 4 longer Ab5′s if done in the right key and not lowered as in the Petersburg Concert.
    It is very difficult to discuss technical vocal matters with emotional fans who seize upon musical terms they know little to nothing about like vibrato and pitch matters. Nevertheless, if others can see how ridiculous some of their claims are, I won’t be completely wasting my time,
    If a soprano can’t sustain a Ab5 how will she do B5 in full voice? Oh, she would “more likely sing the mezzo part”! Oh, right! The kind of sustaining power for that range is even more out of Jackie’s ballpark.
    I still can’t believe that grown men are the vanguards of this cutesie-pie festival. I was a 12 year old girl and tall for my age, but that time I didn’t need to tell everyone I “want a kitten”, etc. If you are 12 and look 10, then you can still get that kind of saccharine attention from the likes of Sumi Jo who says “I can’t wait Sweetheart (to do a duet that will probably take you 10 years to learn the soprano part if you give up your present technique).”
    As I wrote before regarding SJ and the other currently off the radar singers like Bennett and Streisand, ANY publicitiy is better than none. So they will happily ride the coattails of the sweety-bubbie festival to remind the public of their existence.

    • Hey Cabbage patch,

      How much would you like to bet that Jackie has already learned it? More importantly, Sumi Jo thinks she can do it! I think, once again you have been out classed and out ranked by one of the very best voices in all of opera! Horrors! What will you tell your students? What are you telling them now, that you’ve all but lost this fight! You seem to make more excuses than anybody!

      There’s no such thing as a piece of music that will take Jackie 10 years to learn how to sing! It must kill you to know that after the duet in St. Petersberg, and it’s effect on music, Jackie can attend just about any major school or conservatory of her choosing, because they all want her! Don’t expect it to take much more than 3 years either. With Jackie, you have to think, days instead of weeks, weeks instead of months, and months instead of years! She already has the tools, so it’s just a question of learning how to use them properly!

      Russ

      • I mean no ill will toward Ms. Jo, but at this point in her life she is not “one of the very best voices in all of opera.” She has been one of the greatest coloraturas and deserves significant respect for her career. Yet, today, she has moved on to a different part of her career. She can and will maintain a good concertizing career for a certain length of time and her voice remains impressive. To her enormous credit, she will considerably outlast her peer, Ms. Dessay. Perhaps of import, she has very few current contacts in the United States.

        This may or may not have any relevance to her support of Ms. Evancho. I suspect she is a very kind woman who would like to keep contact open with the child. She likely found her to be talented, but I doubt we will ever hear any Delibes from the two together. On a most practical level, the two voices are entirely unmatched, one coloratura and one lyric, and no producer, coach or recording engineer associated with Sumi Jo would allow that duet. Ms. Evancho could sing the soprano part, however, with significant practice.

        CJ,

        I concur with your opinion that Ms. Evancho is an extremely young 12 and appears overly childlike when not singing.

        I have not seen a recent interview of any length but would be interested in her thoughts on the music. I wonder if her verbal presentation would be more developed than her presence when presenting the music. She is clearly bright. She may simply have learned, as most child stars instinctively do, that a “cute, childlike” manner elicits far more cheers and produces far better results than acting her age, particularly if your career depends on your youth.

        • There’s a few interviews out there now, of varying length and insight quality.

          In some, Jackie gives some self commentary. For example, in this npr interview, http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=136576081&m=136590893 she says something her persona as a performer, and as a young girl, and about growing up. There’s some insight there. She’s still a kid, but she shows more insight than lots of kids that age or older, and indeed more insight than some adults.

          In this interview, with Wall Street Journal, she gives some insight into attempts by her and her family to keep her grounded (“you’re being a diva”; trying “not to be a jerk”, and self-awareness at moments of being a ‘diva’, or ‘jerk’).
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOXFgrjqp68

          I think the girl is genuine in her cuteness, and I think she is genuinely flattered by the kind way in which individuals and audiences respond to her. I think her genuineness is part of what hooks people. However her life pans out, she’s enjoying the moment, and her parents are doing their best to give her and their other children opportunities in life (that’s how I perceive it). And good luck to them.

          • Steve,

            Thank you sincerely for the links. I listened to a few moments of the first and she is, indeed, an insightful, intelligent girl. The interview has a bit of a sadness, nevertheless. She is so very aware that her current success is largely attributable to having a voice that is advanced for her age, and worries obviously about what could happen.

            I rather would like to hear her talk about the music and how and why she makes the choices she (allegedly) makes, what she thinks about different genres and why, and so on. This interview was very well done, and I suspect a second would focus more on the music. I believe she would garner much more respect were she to be more open about her musical thoughts and process.

            I agree that the more juvenile behavior on stage is “genuine” in so far as she does not plan it. I simply suspect, and have had underscored by this interview, that she instinctively knows she will receive a better response by acting younger on stage. It is the way of the child star.

            Yes Addison,

            Thank you for your comment. I concur with much of what you say. I do not understand the name calling and combative behavior. I also have now gone back and read your own comment about Sumi Jo, which I missed earlier. You will not be surprised to know that I also agree with that post.

        • Yes Addison says:

          :::I mean no ill will toward Ms. Jo, but at this point in her life she is not “one of the very best voices in all of opera.” She has been one of the greatest coloraturas and deserves significant respect for her career. Yet, today, she has moved on to a different part of her career. She can and will maintain a good concertizing career for a certain length of time and her voice remains impressive. To her enormous credit, she will considerably outlast her peer, Ms. Dessay. Perhaps of import, she has very few current contacts in the United States.:::

          Thanks, Janey. I tried to say something similar upthread, and it was hard to get the point across without sounding as though I were dismissing Sumi Jo, who has had a great career on stage and record, and excited the kingpin maestros of her time (Karajan and Solti) right out of the gate. But she is not, in 2012, one of the biggest stars in the operatic firmament.

          I actually like to communicate with some of the Jackie Evancho fans who have found this site, but I want to be both fair and factual, not giving anyone under discussion more or less credit than due. I sometimes read the Evancho threads on Amazon (occasionally with mounting horror), and I saw there a nice post from someone who had discovered Montserrat Caballé and thought she was wonderful. I’m glad of this, because this is how the “crossover” process would work in the best of all possible words, and the “gateway” concept is one of which I have been dubious. (Much of what is described as classical crossover makes me wonder what the performer is crossing over from and what s/he has crossed in*to*. A lot of it just seems to be pop with orchestral pretensions and a few tracks in a foreign language.)

          The communication only breaks down when people are rigid and combative about things they don’t fully understand, and start generalizing and assigning impure motives — and I suppose both sides are guilty of the latter, at worst. But when I read that I don’t “get” Jackie Evancho because I’m unequipped to deal with a beautiful sound and emotional maturity, I really don’t know how to proceed. I can’t tell whether it’s meant in earnest by someone who hasn’t heard a lot of singers, or it’s a tongue-in-cheek prank. Mirella Freni didn’t have a beautiful sound and emotional maturity? Gundula Janowitz? Elisabeth Schwarzkopf? Leontyne Price? Christa Ludwig? Joyce DiDonato? Regular visitors to this site (i.e., those who read items not about Jackie) have been listening for years to people who have those qualities. We’ve heard our share of prettily sung Puccini arias.

          • richard carlisle says:

            @Yes A.

            The term classical crossover confused me and in reading up on the matter it turns out the term applies ONLY to the music rather than the performer… Jackie sang “classical crossover” even though she had never crossed from one genre to any other (until recently) … it’s another good intention gone semantically disastrous– the word crossover is being forced into an adjective role rather the verb it wants to be but can’t be since music cannot get up and substantially move (or crossover) from place A to place B… it rather just gets created and can only sit still wherever anybody chooses to place it.

            The term makes partial sense perhaps when Jackie sings a classical aria in her less formal than originally written way since then it is an original classic crossed over/processed to something else by Jackie’s treatment of it.

            It would have been simpler just to leave the term semi-classic in place seems to me.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      O mia cabbagejuice carissima,

      Well, as usual, someone doesn’t hear music & singing NEARLY as well as she THINKS she does! What a surprise! I’m shocked!

      Yes, there are several different methods for naming notes in print, but IMHO scientific pitch notation is the easiest, given that it’s based on the piano keyboard. You are correct that Jackie echoes “somewhere” twice, the 1st time in the key of Db, when the echo is Ab5-Db5, the 2nd time after the key change to Eb, when the echo is Bb5-Eb5.

      But immediately after that, there is a turnaround back into the key of Db. They sing “there’s a-a-a place for us…” & the 3rd “a” Jackie sings is indeed a C6, right where I said it was, at 3:05-3:06. If you listen repeatedly, perhaps you might be able to hear it too. It’s the major 7th going back into the original key of Db, just as one would expect heading back to the tonic chord, Db major.

      It’s not sustained but it’s plenty strong, not shrieking or faltering as you hear in some CC singers (who will remain nameless) who struggle with the Flowers duet. Jackie would have no trouble with B5.

      The other issue is that any duet with Sumi Jo is not likely to happen right away, since she’s busy. Given how fast Jackie’s voice is changing, by a year or so from now it’s very likely she will be able produce a full mezzo timbre whenever she wants; she’s fully capable now of changing her timbre across a broad range at will, of course.

      So have no fear mi succo di cavolo, Jackie will be able to produce a B5 for the soprano part if necessary, or a full mezzo timbre for the mezzo part if necessary. And by all means keep trying; practising will improve your listening skills.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      O mia testa di cavolo carissima,

      Yes, Tony Bennett is SO “off the radar” that he achieved the very first #1 album of his iconic, distinguished career with Duets II, at the age of 85, in 2011.

      http://www.billboard.com/news/tony-bennett-85-achieves-first-no-1-album-1005373552.story#

      Yup, sure sounds like he’s “off the radar” to me! I bet it’ll be a really BIG boost to his career to sing with Jackie!
      ;)

      • Yes folks, the truth can now be told! The real story behind the Bennett-Evancho duet:

        Person 1: …yes, well, Tony is getting a bit wobbly on his feet these days. Should we provide a walking frame?

        Person 2: No, No!! Streuth! That won’t do for his image. We need something else. Something less obvious.

        Person 3: What about that Jackie girl. You know, the one who sings O Mio Mai The Rainbow or something. She’s about the right height. No one would suspect a thing.

        Person 4: Where’s my Vodka?

        Person 1: Dmitri! What are you doing here?…

        • @ Richard Carlisle. Yes, language usage can be confusing, and indeed can result in semantic nonsense.

          This was the very essence of much of the approach of Spike Milligan (and others of course). For example, in this 1988 interview with Bernard Braden, at about 3:30, he talks about a book he was writing, in which William McGonagall meets George Gershwin and The Great Ziegfeld. In it, he tried to “use these characters, and take hold of the English grammar, and find out the pitfalls…used very carefully the grammar, you can make a man be perfectly serious, but actually talk like an idiot”. He illustrates this briefly with his version of a Christie’s auction.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TZQ9RS8CnQ

          So he played with syntax (structure) and semantics (meaning). Now this is interesting, as music certainly has syntax, and I guess it also has semantics – the semantics of any language being socioculturally contextual, dynamic, and I guess even ephemeral in parts. Hmmm

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      O mi succo di cavolo carissimo,

      Odd that you would think Jackie “can’t sustain an Ab5″ – laughable even. On July 7th, ON THIS VERY THREAD, a video of Jackie singing O Holy Night (at the Christmas tree lighting, in the freezing cold) was posted. If you LISTEN, you will hear that the song is in Db, & Jackie sings a high, sustained Ab5 near the end.

      Other songs where Ab5 (= G#5) is Jackie’s highest note include Pie Jesu & Ave Maria on AGT, Pie Jesu & O Mio Babbino Caro on the AGT tour, O Holy Night, The Lord’s Prayer (which she of course sang recently, in St Petersburg), Nessun Dorma, Music of the Night (which will be on her new album) & many others. She has no difficulty sustaining it, or notes considerably higher.

      Really, if you practise enough, I bet someday your listening skills will improve.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      O Mia Cabbagejuice Carissima,

      I must say it’s a bid odd – & frankly humourous – that you somehow think Jackie can’t sustain an Ab5. In fact, ON THIS VERY THREAD, there is a post of a video of her singing O Holy Night at the Christmas tree lighting (in the freezing cold). It’s in the key of Db, & near the end she sustains Ab5 very well. If you listen carefully enough, you may also hear it, starting at ~2:29; Jackie holds it for ~4 seconds.

      Actually, Ab5 (= G#5) is the high note of quite a few of her songs, including Time to Say Goodbye/Con Te Partirò, Pie Jesu & Ave Maria on AGT; Pie Jesu & OMBC on the AGT tour, OHN, The Lord’s Prayer (which she sang recently in Russia), Nessun Dorma (when she was still singing it), Music of the Night (which will be on her upcoming album) & many others.

      Just for you, here’s Jackie singing O Mio Babbino Caro in Ab:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F7k_xjtHfE

      There are videos of Jackie singing it in F, Gb, G & Ab on YouTube; I’d happily link them if you want. Yes, her lungs are small, so she needs to breathe where she shouldn’t; yes, this is before she corrected some of her pronunciation mistakes.

      Outside the context of the opera, there is no absolute need to sing a particular aria in one key or another. I trust you’re aware that Ombra Mai Fu, for example, is sung in multiple different keys in concerts & recitals. Jackie is perfectly capable of singing Ab5, or much higher, whenever she chooses to do so (as has been demonstrated above & elsewhere). The way she usually sings it now, OMBC is markedly abbreviated & is in G. For most instrumental musicians, it’d be easier to play in G than in Ab. It’s possible that the musicians she plays with (who are different at every concert) are grateful for the simplification (assuming they don’t already know the piece well in the original key). I wouldn’t at all be surprised.

      For multiple reasons, those around Jackie deliberately choose to have her avoid her highest notes, but that doesn’t mean she is unable to sing them. Also, if you listen carefully you’ll hear that the high note of Con Te Partirò, which of course was the duet with Sumi Jo, was A5, a half tone higher than Ab5. That video is posted HERE ON THIS THREAD as well. Jackie has no trouble sustaining the note. If you practise, your listening skills will improve.

  107. @Russ Why don’t you share the name of the ‘bacca you must be smoking? To live in such a high must be really wonderful. You just make up stories about Fleming, Sumi Jo and last but not least, the “voice in a billion”. OK, WHERE is that G6 you keep going on about? If a young soprano cannot sing O mio Babbino in the right key without breathing in between syllables, how in tarnation is she supposed to negotiate the high sustained tessitura of the Lakme duet in BOTH parts? Also SJ’s recent disappointing performance in Petersburg doesn’t exactly befit one of the “world’s best voices in opera”. But as always with preachy Evancholists: “Don’t bother us with facts”.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      O mia cabbagejuice carissima,

      Just for you, Jackie Evancho singing O Mio Babbino Caro in Ab:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F7k_xjtHfE

      There are videos of Jackie singing it in F, Gb, G & Ab on YouTube; I’d happily link them if you want. Yes, her lungs are small, so she needs to breathe where she shouldn’t; yes, this is before she corrected some of her pronunciation mistakes.

      Outside the context of the opera, there is no absolute need to sing a particular aria in one key or another. I trust you’re aware that Ombra Mai Fu, for example, is sung in multiple different keys in concerts & recitals. Jackie is perfectly capable of singing Ab5 or higher whenever she wants it (as was demonstrated in my previous posts). The way she usually sings it now, OMBC is markedly abbreviated & in G. Personally, as an instrumental musician, I’d much rather play it in G than Ab. It’s possible that the musicians she plays with (who are different at every concert) are grateful for the simplification (assuming they don’t already know the piece well in the original key). I frankly would be.

    • cabbagejuice,

      Apparently you are the only idiot who thinks that Sumi Jo’s performance in St. Petersberg was disappointing. It was totally contradicted by Maestro Yuri Temirkanov, who was the conductor who complained about the sound quality. You have no understanding about facts, so why do you bother to bring them up. You accuse me of making up stories about Fleming, when every thing I said was prefaced by my saying it was all rumor and speculation, before the fact! I can’t help it if you are that stupid, as to not understand that! Then again I know you are smart enough to deliberately not understand what rumor and speculation meant. That conveniently allowed you to attack me for going after Fleming. I didn’t make anything up about Sumi Jo either! In other words, you lied!

      Where is the G6? You’ll have to ask Ms. Lorraine Nubar of Juilliard. She’s the one who tested Jackie, well over a year and a half ago.

      You do like to play with words though! “Don’t bother us with facts”? Every Jackie fan on this thread has screamed to you for facts and links, and now you tell us, “Don’t bother us with facts”? You deny the fact that Sumi Jo and Jackie Evancho gave a magnificently brilliant performance of “Con Te Partiro” together, and unfortunately for you, half the world has seen it already, without the benefit of your “fairy dust” theory! Most think it was a brilliant performance by two exquisitely talented artists. Most of them are right!

      It also loses you your argument about her forcing her larynx lower, because she would have literally torn up her voice in the finale trying, if she had been doing that! You can’t turn that on and off, like a light switch, either! Jackie has said all along that she has no tricks in warming up for a performance. Nice to know she was telling the truth all along!

  108. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus I don’t know where you get your weird music theory, maybe in the same place you get ideas about “vibrato”, but the piece doesn’t really stray from the key of Db that is established from the beginning. Bernstein has some clever modulations at the peak of the song, that is, going to the lowered VI which moves to the minor IV and minor tonic very well, a beautiful coloristic effect. At the end of that part where it returns to the original statement and tonality, that is where Jackie sings a short Bb (the dominant of the dominant in this case) on Somewhere and again she has the SAME note a little later on. Maybe YOU are hearing violins or angels but C6 is “Nowhere”.
    Again, just to be able to lightly touch high notes is FAR from being able to sustain them. And it DOES take years to train the muscles. But you all live in fairyland anyway. “Just sprinkle a little fairy dust…”

  109. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus Just for the record: in the repeat of “There’s a place for us” the chords are Ab, Ab7, Db7, Gb; “A -a – time and place for us” Ebm7, Ab7, Db, Gb. The basic melody of the latter phrase (they both do a nice improvisation on it) is Bb, Ab, Gb, F, Db and Bb. Where the heck anyone is singing a C6 that is supposed to resolve to Db which is upward motion (contrary to the basic line) and doesn’t happen anyway?
    Really, you shouldn’t argue with professionals on their own turf. You can like what you want, but don’t try to justify it with weird theories.

  110. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus Just to be exact about notes above the staff, Bb5 occurs at 2:56 and Ab5 is at 3:22. The two of them pass C5 upon the reprise, right in the middle of the range and appropriate for this repetoire – C6 would have been a fish out of water!
    BTW, this was a nice arrangement, well thought out and executed, not like the above Con Te Partiro. The fact that the voices were somewhat different in quality also made for a better combination.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Mia cabbagejuice carissima,

      We agree about the lovely arrangement & chord structure. Bernstein (& presumably Foster) are very good at what they do. I shouldn’t have said it was in the KEY of Eb, but it was an Eb major chord (II maj in the key of Db), followed immediately by C minor (VII min). The C is the 3rd of the Ab7 chord, which is the clear turnaround to the Db major tonic, happens all the time & makes perfect sense..

      The first “somewhere” echo, Ab5-Db5, is at 1:23, the second “somewhere” echo, Bb5-Eb5, at 2:57. Jackie hits a later Ab5, as you point out, at 3:22.

      The point is that you don’t hear Jackie singing higher notes because she CHOOSES not to sing them, not because she is unable to sing them. She would have no trouble sustaining a B5, while not sounding screechy or laboured.

      BTW, as I already pointed out above, I got my “crazy ideas about vibrato” involving oscillating changes in PITCH from regular dictionaries, musical dictionaries & from the writings of Cornelius Reid (among many other sources). But please, go right ahead & bring it up again & again, as much as you’d like.

  111. richard carlisle says:

    To supplement the musicological jargon frequently jettisoned from the clutter room it’s important to note if you divide the speed of light by the speed of sound a differential is established to readily determine the difference in time required for light from a photographer’s flash bulb to reach Jackie during a performance and that required for a sound wave from her “gasping breath” to reach the photographer.

    • Anything is “jargon” if you don’t understand it. And what is your remark, if not “clutter”?

      • richard carlisle says:

        The musicology discussions are undeniably of value and interest to a good portion of the readers… informative even and need not be overly ridiculed by anyone; what needs some adjustment is the excess negativity toward artists like Tony Bennett (a phenomenon at 85 as Jackie is at 12–and since 10– thus an interesting matchup) as well as Sumi Jo who had more than sufficient health reasons for any musical deficiency… a little kindness goes a long way — even to the extent of supporting credibility on the part of well-known commenters.

        And isn’t the exact frequency of the achieved notes secondary to the intensely soulful delivery?

  112. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus Spare me your patronizing remarks like “carissima” and bug off. It’s difficult for me to be civil when having to answer such buffoonery. You start out with “dearest” and then proceed to knock down my rational and professional assesments because with very limited knowledge you thought you found a flaw in them. (Ha, ha, I’ll get her now!) You “heard” a C6, or thought a C5 was above Bb5, so wrote a whole screed about my needing to improve my “listening skills”. So WHERE is it??? What bloody nerve!

    I REPEAT that barely touching a note as Jackie did in the Somewhere duet a YEAR AGO, is not the same as sustaining one. Sumi Jo may have been able to sing F6 in the Queen of the Night but judging by her and JE’s miserable A5′s, It is doubtful she can do it NOW. It happens that in the course of a long career, the higher notes of singers become weaker and they develop unhealthy vibratos in the lower range. But this should NOT happen for a young girl just starting out. Her high notes should be getting higher and stronger and not the opposite. So all your postings of her previous performances really don’t matter at all. It is what a singer is able to do NOW that counts. (Actually, in singing a B5 for tenors and sopranos is a rather different approach as it is the gateway to the what is called the 4th register but I will not sprinkle terminology around that will be seized upon and distorted by those who never read Pope’s “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. )

  113. This is really priceless and shows what lengths nutty JE fans would go to defend their OWN ideas about her singing. Bear in mind the person saying this heard a non-existent C above the staff in the Somewhere duet: “The point is that you don’t hear Jackie singing higher notes because she CHOOSES not to sing them, not because she is unable to sing them. She would have no trouble sustaining a B5, while not sounding screechy or laboured.” All I can say is “Bring them on!!”

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      cabbagejuice,

      I know perfectly well what happens in the 4th register, & how some men can use it; only the anterior ~halves of the mucosal edges of the vocal folds vibrate. Sopranos may use it above C6. Obviously, tenors (perhaps you meant “counter-tenors” here, since B5 is outside the usual tenor range – or perhaps you meant B4 for men & B5 for women – IDK) & sopranos use different techniques to produce the same note.

      During the transition to adolescence, females may temporarily have trouble with the upper register & pitch control in general, but they usually come back stronger than ever soon thereafter. Jackie will be fine, though it may take a year or 2.

      Let me remind you that you insisted Jackie couldn’t sustain an Ab5 until I pointed out that a video ON THIS VERY THREAD showed her holding one for 4 seconds, & and there was another video (also here) of her holding A5 as well. Yes, the Ab5 was a year ago (“A YEAR AGO” since you capitalised it), but the A5 was A MONTH AGO. So now you resort to saying her A5 is “lousy” – & get in a gratuitous dig at Sumi Jo (about which we may agree, as I said, but was it necessary?). Whatever.

      You said her “inability to hold Ab5″ was prima facie evidence that there was no way she could sing B5. Yes, we shall see what happens in future.

  114. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus I usually charge money for harmony lessons but nevertheless, just so others may not get sidetracked. You wrote: “The C is the 3rd of the Ab7 chord, which is the clear turnaround to the Db major tonic, happens all the time & makes perfect sense.”
    The special quality of this song happens to be precisely the plagal-like (but not actual) progression. So instead of C leading to Db, there is Cb. The lowered 6th can be considered the root of a German6/5 but Bernstein doesn’t resolve the chord that way, The flat leading tone actually comes from the lowered third in the dominant, not what you say. The singers at the end also add a third higher which is a nice effect.
    The C that you mention (in musically educated circles) is only a passing note or lower neighbor if it doesn’t fulfil some significant harmonic movement which in this case it doesn’t. Not every leading tone resolves to a chord. Read some Schenker after you complete four semesters in basic harmony.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Ms Cabbage,

      We’ll have to agree to disagree about the harmonies. It’s boring to everyone to argue about it, so perhaps we should drop it, OK?

      Jackie’s range is indeed expanding upward & downward, be assured. Ultimately i submit she’ll be fine, though of course time will tell.

      • Dunno about boring (to some perhaps), but certainly information dense.

        I’m learning a bit here, although my learning curve is quite steep and I daresay I’ll slip down it a few times. Perhaps I need to insert a Spike.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB3i8Wftv6g

        Pardon my slightly off-topic insertion. But I noted earlier some reference to the use of humour in music – or is it music in humour? – above (Borge, Spike Jones, who I’m familiar with, and others). I wonder what you would say of the Q5 Piano Tune. I ask not to derail the thread (that won’t happen, the overall focus has remained consistent), but because I realise some of the participants here are able to think in the language of music, are familiar with music-play, including humorous play, so these are the people to ask a question of.

  115. Stephen Runnels says:

    It is understandable that a few find the need to deconstruct, muddle, dilute, and autopsy what they hear from a little girl they simply cannot comprehend. For those who pride themselves on their knowledge of music, to be hit full face with a voice that carries not only beautiful and captivating sound but an emotional maturity they have never experienced before has to be overwhelming. No one likes finding gaps in the understanding of what they perceive as understood. A few have traveled from thread to thread voicing concern and disdain over a little girl who just does not conform within the confines of their understanding of what they should be hearing. To the literally millions of people who love Jackie Evancho and her singing we just feel very fortunate and thrilled to be able to enjoy her voice as much as we do. It certainly wouldn’t make us feel better or appreciate other singers or other types of music more, or hold a firmer grasp of the world of music knowing why Jackie’s chin wobbles.
    From the large symphony of praise for Jackie Evancho, a discordant voice from a distance has no effect, yet it will always remain a curiosity.

  116. Re: Flowers Duet from Lakme, here is my original statement: “If a soprano can’t sustain a Ab5 how will she do B5 in full voice?” “Full voice” is the key phrase, in other words, sustaining a high note with power, not a thin tone in front of a mike. This is what separates the operatic women from the girls and the men from choir boys.
    “So now you resort to saying her A5 is ‘lousy’”. No, I wrote that in this concert the A5′s from both singers was ‘miserable’. The straining from the younger singer (before she is ready) to keep up with the older one is devoutly to be expected if they sing the operatic duet.
    “It’s possible that the musicians she plays with (who are different at every concert) are grateful for the simplification (assuming they don’t already know the piece well in the original key).” Oh, sure, dumbing down is done for the benefit of (professional) musicians who are paid to do a job.
    Tessitura, or range is an important coloristic consideration. This is true even in piano. Play the “Moonlight Sonata” in the key of C minor and it iseems mundane. If a singer does a piece in a lower key, it is because he or she can’t wing it that night. The crowning high notes of “La donna è mobile” would lose their sheen if transposed downwards. Again singers at the end of their career sometimes try to get away with lowering the key (hoping no one would notice) as even Maria Callas herself did in the O mio Babbino, but the result was pitiful. It would have been better not to do it.
    Harmony is not something to agree or disagree with any more than grammar in language. Of course there may be different systems of organizing information but a noun is still a noun and a verb is still a verb.
    “During the transition to adolescence, females may temporarily have trouble with the upper register & pitch control in general, but they usually come back stronger than ever soon thereafter.” I never found this to be the case either personally or in teaching. If the all of the above is any indication, the Evancholists make incredible claims and excuses like cult followers.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Ms cabbage,

      Presumably you’ve listened to ALL of the videos I referenced where Jackie held Ab5 (= G#5) & determined that Jackie was “unable to sustain the note in full voice”? Ha. That must mean you’ve listened to a lot of her singing, surely the source of a lot of pleasure.

      Let’s make this explicit: just because Jackie sings ONE aria in G instead of Ab, that doesn’t mean she’s unable to sing Ab5. She sings that Ab5 in a LARGE number of other songs, & sings it quite well. This includes older & newer songs, including TLP in Russia a month ago, as well as songs posted on this thread.

      Jackie only sings with a mic, both for safety’s sake & because, at least at this time, she has no intention to become an opera singer or to sing without amplification. So your suggestion that she sing that way is both potentially dangerous AND irrelevant. Why not suggest she learn Tuvan throat singing?

      The whole point of tempering is that pieces can be played in any key, & at least to those without absolute pitch (or synesthesia, etc), sound very similar. Certainly this applies to instrumental pieces. Bach tempered his klavier very well.

      Somewhere is plagal-like in places but not in THAT place, where the chords go Ab-Ab7-Db-Gb, or V-V7-I-IV. That’s not an amen cadence. A Cb in Db is a lowered 7th, not a lowered 6th. When you say lowered 3rd, IDK if you mean I minor, I dim or IIIb (maj or min), but none of those is the source of the tension at that point. It’s a V7.

  117. @Russ There are some Jackie fans whose enthusiasm borders and even slips into buffoonery, but you are just plainly over the top. You have an enormous anger that is just itching to find some target.
    “And who are you to decide that a 12 year old has no business singing Nessun Dorma. While you are entitled to your opinion, neither Dimitri or Sumi Jo would agree with you.”” I didn’t make anything up about Sumi Jo either! In other words, you lied!”
    This Juilliard business is another one of your fantasies:
    “Where is the G6? You’ll have to ask Ms. Lorraine Nubar of Juilliard. She’s the one who tested Jackie, well over a year and a half ago.”
    Funny, you attacked Janey for not agreeing that this concert was magnificently brilliant but now wrote that “Apparently you are the only idiot who thinks that Sumi Jo’s performance in St. Petersberg was disappointing.” Well, this is a matter of opinion that I have a right to, isn’t it,?
    All I can say, Russ, is bug off from your slander RIGHT NOW. I don’t support such insults easily.

    • Cool it, please.

      • And now, for something completely different. Not the Larch, but Peter Sellers on the management of teenage rock stars. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FacRB8U0xiI Enjoy. The timelessness of the social commentary is also interesting. I should note for anyone not familiar with Sellers, that on this recording he did all the voices himself.

        The comment on synesthesia is interesting. Oliver Sacks wrote on this, in ‘Musicophilia: Tales of Music and The Brain’. I’ve yet to read it, but it’s just come further up on my to do list.

    • cabbagejuice,

      There’s no slander here? I called you an Idiot! That’s my opinion! You should really take some time out and read more of Norman’s blogs. You would learn thing, like “I didn’t make up anything about Ms. Lorraine Nubar, and If you had bothered to read here:
      “Juilliard statement: We are not teaching America’s Got Talent star
      July 19, 2011 By Norman Lebrecht

      Claims by fans and family that child star Jackie Evancho is being taught at the Juilliard School were denied today. In a letter to this site, Gloria Gottschalk, Juilliard media relations manager, stated their position as follows:

      Lorraine Nubar, who is on Juilliard’s Pre-College faculty, had a meeting with Jackie Evancho – and did hear her sing, but Ms. Evancho will not be attending Juilliard’s Pre-College Division in the fall.

      That’s about as categorical as it gets.”

      Norman wrote that article about a year ago! For one, the Pre-College Division was not designed for someone as talented as Jackie, mainly because there has never been anyone as talented as Jackie before!. Older, yes! But not at her age!

  118. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus Oh boy! Here we go again. I said a plagal-like cadence but not actual. Instead of a typical V7-I cadence where the leading tone is raised to the tonic, Bernstein has the lowered 7th going to 8. This is harmonized in different ways until our ears get used to the strange melodic progression. (I must admit this is a little piece of genius!) The first time it happens on “Somewhere” it is the chord of the lowered 6th which is commonly known as the German 6/5. Instead of resolving outwards like it usually does, it goes to the minor 4, minor tonic and towards the end of that section you have the echo of the dominant of the dominant.
    The last chord sequence of the “somehow, someday, somewhere” is a repeat of the previous progression except for the very end where there is a pedal point of the tonic and a IV of IV (if you want to call it, but I prefer to say these are suspensions and passing tones) with the lowered 7th, not diatonic 7th leading to the tonic.

    You want to argue about Jackie’s singing a few light Ab5′s that will enable her to sing the high sustained operatic B5′s of the Lakme duet. And I say rubbish. You might not understand it if you only twang a guitar, but there is an exponential difference in the amount of energy needed to sustain an operatic B5 than there is in just a half or whole tone lower. This is the point of going to another register as it were, (but not all teachers acknowledge it as such). You don’t know what it is to build up a voice but I had a baritone who could only barely go to an Eb4 one year, who did a lot of sport and exercise so as to get to a E4 and finally after two years can sustain an F and sometimes goes to a G for effect.

    So stop putting words in my mouth: “So your suggestion that she sing that way is both potentially dangerous AND irrelevant.” It’s difficult to answer you because I don’t know what you are going to distort.

    As for Bach, he had “well tempered” but not “equal” tempered. The keys such as C major and in general those without too many sharps and flats had fifths more naturally tuned. The system was still in effect a compromise but better than not being able to play in 24 keys. There are some very good articles online about recent discoveries regarding Bach’s own involvement in the tuning of instruments.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Ms cabbage,

      Well, I’m happy to say that we appear to agree on some things now. Yes, it can be difficult to expand one’s range by even a small amount, & it sounds like your student worked very hard to achieve some success.

      What you said before was this:

      In other words, you asked if Jackie could sing “B5 in full voice… not a thin tone in front of a mic… this is what separate the operatic women from the girls….” You see, at the present time, Jackie DOES sing with a mic, & she is not expected to “separate herself from the girls” as an opera singer. And you think I put words in your mouth? You were clearly implying that if Jackie sings with a mic, or doesn’t “separate herself from the girls” as an opera singer, then she’s not really singing B5 in full voice – & that was to be very much condemned.

      So I believe I was more than justified in saying that you were expecting Jackie to sing operatically, without a mic, which in Jackie’s case could be dangerous & is at least at present irrelevant, because she has no current plans to become an opera singer. Singing the Flowers Duet & being an opera singer are two totally different things.

      Jackie’s Ab5s are not thin or unsupported, as you would know if you listened to the dozens & dozens of available recordings of her singing it. She was tested to F6 some 2 years ago. She herself says her range has been expanding upward & downward since then. Would I necessarily believe her family members about this? No. But I would believe her, because, as she’s said in public several times, she’s “a very truthful girl”; I believe her.

      Jackie doesn’t sing nearly as high as she is capable of singing, partially for safety reasons but also because, for asthetic reasons, those around her don’t like high notes from ANY singer. Your example of a student who could raise his range by a half tone per year would apply (e.g.) to Jackie’s moving from F6 to G6; & because she’s younger, it would likely be easier for her than for your student.

      Yes, I am taking some things on faith, because knowing the Evanchos I believe they’re not lying about these things. If she ever does sing the Flowers Duet, or any other piece requiring sustained B5s, my prediction is that she will do well. Your prediction, if I understand it, is that it’s “rubbish” if we think Jackie can sing it. We shall see.

      We appear to agree about the beautiful chord progressions & harmonies Bernstein wrote. I was talking about one particular place in the song where it goes from V7 to I in the standard manner.

      Yes, the subject of tempering is an interesting one, both historically & today. Computer programs like Justonic can now “correct” the tempering to correspond to the inherent overtones, producing a very “pure” harmony. Personally I still prefer the “richer” (slightly out-of-tune) sound of standard tempering, but perhaps that’s just habitual.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        For whatever reason, my quote of cabbagejuice’ previous statement was omitted from the above. This is was CJ said in a previous post:

        “If a soprano can’t sustain a Ab5 how will she do B5 in full voice?” “Full voice” is the key phrase, in other words, sustaining a high note with power, not a thin tone in front of a mike. This is what separates the operatic women from the girls and the men from choir boys.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus,

        Justonics just plain sucks, and it’s a major distraction if you have good relative pitch, because the notes are non existent in written music, and sound very thin, and not at all as rich as conventional slightly out of tune notes!

        Russ

  119. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus This is also rubbish: “You were clearly implying that if Jackie sings with a mic, or doesn’t “separate herself from the girls” as an opera singer, then she’s not really singing B5 in full voice – & that was to be very much condemned.”
    Condemn all you want but I don’t agree with you in anything nor do I care about listening to umteen JE vids. I have better things to do.
    More rubbish: “Singing the Flowers Duet & being an opera singer are two totally different things.”
    Just sprinkle a little fairy dust, and who knows, maybe you can sing it too.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      O cabbagejuice,

      You really are good for a bunch of belly laughs. LSHMSFOAIDMT! Thank you very, very much. You are indeed like a starving trout gobbling a wriggling helgramite.

      You can’t have it both ways. If it’s “rubbish” that singing the Flowers Duet & being an opera singer are totally different things, then you ONLY approve of opera singers’ singing it. That would mean that you would NOT approve of Jackie’s using a mic, & you certainly WOULD condemn her for not singing operatically. Helllllooooo!

      Then you appear to know how Jackie sings without listening to her. THAT’S truly remarkable. Maybe you could give me some stock tips, or possibly winning lottery numbers, before anyone else knows about them. That’d be much appreciated.

      • @HomoSapiensLaptopicus No, you and your silly fans can’t have it both ways. The whole starting point of the discussion here was that 1) Jackie is not interested in singing opera. Yet, 2) she is singing operatic arias in a 3) misnomered “Bouquet of Opera” concert.
        You are saying now that she would sing the Flowers Duet in the same slap-up as the Con Te Partiro, with an amplified mike louder than Sumi Jo’s. This would not work at all for several reasons.
        First of all there are only a few arias that Jackie does in a watered-down manner. Just compare the way Patty from Slovakia does the O mio Babbino with the high notes coming out of the line and not just a featured tone for its own sake (that is often transposed down for J).
        The tessitura of the Delibes is consistently high so it is not only a matter of hitting a high note every now and then, but sustaining them. So even if they are not loud and need to be miked, they still require support that seems to be a yet unsolved problem with her. The above concert was a poor showing for sustaining tones property, and the lower notes in OMBC were like sandpaper.
        Though I am really not interested in crossover singers like Jackie, I heard enough of her and my professional opinion already stated is that she is talented and does well in popular music when miked. Attempting to do opera in any way shape or form is way out of her league and even harmful for her voice and possibly career. WIth regard to the latter, if she ever decides to study classical singing her Nessun Dorma’s and Ombra Mai Fu’s will be embarrassing comparisons to what she may aspire to in the future.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          cabbagejuice,

          Jackie has appeared at events with opera singers (Russia recently & Boca Raton, Florida, last year); that doesn’t make her an opera singer.
          She has appeared at multiple events with pop singers; that doesn’t make her a pop singer.
          She has appeared at religious events; that doesn’t make her a religious singer.
          She has appeared at athletic events; that doesn’t make her an athlete.

          If you’re not interested in classical crossover singers, why do you bother to come here & post about Jackie? Don’t you have better things to do than post about a singer you don’t particularly care for? Odd, wouldn’t you say?

          • @HomoSapiensLaptopicus What is REALLY odd is the way you guys don’t give up! This thread was originally about an opera concert. On the whole Jackie didn’t do very well. I have a right to comment on that at least for the reason that the public should not be misled that this kind of hodge-podge singing is representative of opera.
            You proselyters keep preaching to the uninterested. Don’t you people have anything better to do? You are upending any and every stone to find flaws in rational arguments and if that doesn’t work, make up stuff like singing a C6 that was supposed to be a modulation to a tonic chord (which would have meant the next tone would have been a Db6). Isn’t that odd???

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            Ms cabbage

            I’m not prosyletising. I’m perfectly aware of Jackie’s strong & weak points, & have commented publicly on what I think she should do about her weak points.

            The concert in Russia didn’t look like an opera to me. Outdoors, amplified, no coherent story – & not all the singers were opera singers. Hmmm. “Bouquet of Opera” seems like it was more hype than reality.

            It’s not necessary to “find flaws in rational arguments” when people try to say that “vibrato doesn’t mean audible changes in pitch” when oscillating changes in pitch is its very definition. LOL.

          • Yes Addison says:

            This will verge on the irrelevantly pedantic; I know it has nothing to do with this Russian concert. But there are some performances that take place outdoors and are amplified that really are opera. There is the Bregenz Festival on the floating stage at Lake Constance – the soloists there wear body mikes, because the audience is back on the shore at some distance and it’s not in a closed space that will capture the sound (a la the outdoor venue of Orange or Verona). I have a DVD of IL TROVATORE made under those circumstances. So, no coherent story either! ;-)

  120. Charles Hoff says:

    A short preview of Jackie’s latest project: PBS Great Performances: Jackie Evancho: Music of the Movies:

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/jackie-evancho-music-of-the-movies/about-the-show/1350/

    If you’re unable to view it due to location, it’s also here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG9ffDYeUnU

  121. Stephen Runnels says:

    Time for a taste of Jackie’s second Great Performances concert airing around the country starting August 11th.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX7iW0ycWMA

    Discordant voices like cj will of course massage their jealous frustrations over yet another major accomplishment from this rising superstar. The rest of us will of course revel in our happy buffoonery as we make every effort to promote and support Jackie Evancho.

    • Time for grown men with fixations on young adolescent girls to buzz off.

      • Charles Hoff says:

        Oh, CJ!
        I’m so disappointed! You’ve teased us all with fleeting glimpses of brilliance, and an occasional sentence or two of civil discourse. I had such hopes for more from you! But now you’ve stooped below even your own exceptionally low bar. You have, however, earned this thread’s Persistence Award. Congratulations!

        Before you stomp off, would you please answer this:

        Now that you’ve listened to the duet of “Con Te Partiro” with Sumi Jo and Jackie, don’t you agree that the younger voice was the smoother of the two?

        • @Charles Hoff “Now that you’ve listened to the duet of “Con Te Partiro” with Sumi Jo and Jackie, don’t you agree that the younger voice was the smoother of the two?” Before I answer that question I will ask
          WHY does pleasure in Jackie’s singing have to be accompanied by taking others down? This is what Janey said in the beginning of the thread. I did read that the Evancho family gets freaked out by the lunatic fringe fanatics. And they seem to pop up and congregate wherever her name is mentioned. They are not doing her cause any good.
          And no, in this concert I did not find Jackie’s voice “smoother” in the lower range where to me, it is an awful thing to have her force the notes down there and gasp between syllables. It could NOT be comfortable and I said that before.

          • Cabbagejuice,

            Tell me all about this awful thing of forcing her voice down there, and gasp between syllables. Just exactly what is she doing to cause this?

            Russ

      • richard carlisle says:

        CJ:

        “Buzz off”– one of your classier remarks it seems… mixes well with your intellectual dissertations; why not try a little humor for the mix?

        Just wondering.

      • Stephen Runnels says:

        [cj] { Time for grown men with fixations on young adolescent girls to buzz off. }

        Those of us who have spent our lives listening to, and appreciating music in its various forms and type recognize and embrace a talent so unique and defining of what such a beautiful voice and emotive grace will impart to the future of music.
        To some like yourself, clouding over a extremely effervescent personality and incredible talent like Jackie Evancho serves as compensation for the inability to grasp the significance of what she represents. We who see the potential for a legendary music career in Jackie Evancho are motivated to promote that potential, and take contentment in witnessing the progress to that goal.

        • @Stephen Runnels So by all means enjoy the ride and don’t be so critical with those who don’t share your enthusiasms.

          • Stephen Runnels says:

            CJ, I am critical in understanding those who debase a little girl. I have given you our motivations. What exactly are yours?

          • richard carlisle says:

            PEACE SETTLEMENT?

            BTW, most would appreciate future criticisms of JE;s performances on a technical level– a worthy supplement to her more obvious personal delivery… maybe it doesn’t have to be unnecessarily insulting… just maybe.

          • Yes folks. Assuming the participants are all real people (all my comments entail this assumption), it matters to desist from personal attacks. The critiques of Jackie’s, Sumi’s and others performances is just that, and people are entitled to it. Those smitten by Jackie and her singing, are entitled to it, and I see acknowledgement of this by the critics.

            Some of the skepticism pertains to why it is that adult males are smitten with an adolescent girl, and I commend people unafraid to ask such questions: these are the acts of people who care. History throughout the world shows that tragedy occurs when people are afraid to ask such questions, not when they do.

            In terms of one strongly held view vs another, no point trying to convert the other camp, or being insulted by a differing view. The trick is to always learn something from differing views, and keep moving. Anyone on their deathbed, regardless of age, will tell us that life is short. So as the policeman in The Bedsittingroom film said, “keep moving”

          • richard carlisle says:

            @ Stephen R.

            CJ accused Jackie’s parents of commercializing her and blasted her singing harshly but I haven’t seen direct personal debasement … could you provide those quotes?

      • Friday Bridge says:

        Cabbage Juice, Your “shout down” is beneath you and everyone on this forum, pro or con. Your comment is merely an ad hominem attack because you ran out of intelligent comments.

        You should learn that the best post is sometimes the post that is never posted.

  122. @Stephen Runnels Oh, brother! “CJ, I am critical in understanding those who debase a little girl. I have given you our motivations. What exactly are yours?”
    Stevie, WHO is debasing a little girl? You and a lot of other people might enjoy her singing but more than several professionals have pointed out her unnatural technique may not enable her to sing past adolescence.
    In this particular instance in Russia, with all the hype and money floating around, the performers are more than fair game for objective criticism. For me, it was a festival of kitsch and even done badly.
    But really there’s more than meets the eye with ageing hippies who just can’t stop flooding sites with their adolescent idol worship. Teeny-boppers identify with their favorite Beatle they like best and any critique is an attack on them personally. Therefore one gets, “you are an idiot” and even worse if I don’t think that this was a magnificent, fabulous concert. Even there is glory by association and one wonders if Sumi Jo hadn’t been in the Petersburg event and hooked up with Jackie for extra PR, she would not become one of the saints of the JE cult. To sum up, the wild irrational emotionalism exhibited here by some of her fans, in particular, the old guys, is really age-inappropriate. So I will end with my own question: Why don’t you all get a grip and grow up?

  123. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus You must be a very happy or very silly person since you are always laughing or rolling on the floor, etc., etc. “It’s not necessary to ‘“find flaws in rational arguments’ when people try to say that “vibrato doesn’t mean audible changes in pitch” when oscillating changes in pitch is its very definition. LOL.”
    Janey and I already explained the mechanism here. People who laugh all the time seem to have short memory spans so just a reminder (even though you REALLY try my patience) about what I wrote about string playing. There is a perceptible difference when a violinist uses vibrato or not. The vibrato gives a warm quality but when done properly we don’t hear the pitch oscillations unless you stop listening to the music and concentrate on the “vibrato”.
    In singing, when the focus is on the music, one doesn’t hear “vibrato” unless it sticks out in an unhealthy manner. Of course, a listener can shift his listening to the “vibrato” and nitpick. Listening to music is a holistic activity. Even in piano, one can shift the listening to the fact that there is no real legato in piano playing and hear individual separate twangs. That is why listening to music is an acquired taste and skill. Some people might find opera and symphonies as noise at the outset of getting to know classical music.

  124. KeepingItReal says:

    Finally lightening up are we?

    Cabbagejuice,

    This must be you who posted this Jackie\Streisand duet video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY_XnlaW1rc&

    Correct?

    • @KeepingItReal Well, at least Mr. Laptop will finally have his C6-Db-6! But seriously, don’t have such interest in either of them, and certainly not to the extent of putting up a parody on youtube. I did wonder in the original “Somewhere” duet about the enormous mugs of Barbra, not only one but two! So the lady who did this was pretty astute. I also wondered why Barbra didn’t appear live and used a prerecorded vid. I guess she wouldn’t have been as overpowering. If the two singers were doing some kind of standoff, I do believe in this case Jackie held up astonishingly well.

      • KeepingItReal says:

        Cabbagejuice,

        And a pre-recorded video of performance from some 27 years ago, no less. :)

        • They just sprinkled some fairy dust and it happened…
          It’s amazing though what one can do with technology, and I do credit Jackie not only for holding her own but being in synch.

    • ‘Tis good man.

      • Oops. The parody is good. Just lost the moment haven’t I? Oh well, back to coffee….

  125. Steve Huff says:

    I have gotten sucked into the elitist diatribe myself, and wonder why? It is obvious to me that cabbagejuice has created her own door to opera, standing guard against any who would enter, devaluing her elite status and relevance. Consider the anarchy that would befall her opera universe, as well as some others, should suddenly millions of Jackie fans, Patricia Janeckova, and other young singers be allowed to participate? It would be uncontrollable and the door would come crashing down. There are keys to enter with permission: appropriate age, relevant “keys” and “notes”, time served at the alter of the opera elite, and practice in the art of demeaning rhetoric. Really people, I love some opera and several opera stars present and past. I had my favorites including Anna Moffo, Angela Gheorghiu, Joan Sutherland, and I am not sure how this woman fits in, but she may be a rising star, whether purely opera or not I don’t know, Olga Szyrowa of Poland. I couldn’t stand to listen to Birgit Nilsson or Maria Callas. It is just me. But, It would be a shame is such an unrefined man were to assail the redoubts of opera with a Jackie Evancho CD in my tux. I will work diligently on my venomous and oft pretentious delivery and defamatory exaggerated rhetoric. After all, being an elitist means being a member of “the few”!

    • Wanderer says:

      “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
      Confucius

      • richard carlisle says:

        We owe it to ourselves to appreciate the benefits of a cultural fratority of this sort and all Mr. Lebrecht’s efforts in maintaining it… the variety of temperaments and knowledge banks is something of wonder.

        • Wanderer says:

          Cultural “fratority” (sic!) that is the result of decades of practice and hard work, many years of rigorous academic studies and many years of professional experience. I can live with that.
          Of course that gives big mouthed ignorant people all the right to have a saying in anything they have no f***ing clue about as well. It’s the American way. I can live with that, sometimes barely though. ;)

          • richard carlisle says:

            @ Wanderer

            Just wondering if you know whether you’re on this thread because you are unhappy and seeking company or is it causing you to be so and thus not a favorable climate.

            A fratority is a bi-gender group with an ongoing commonality (sic).

    • @Steve Huff No one is stopping you from singing opera either. In fact, why don’t you dance the role of the Prince in Swan Lake, ballet being another ‘elitist enterprise’? I wrote before that Patricia Janeckova seems to be on the right track, singing easier operatic arias in the right (read: non-harmful) technique. But really, who needs all those years of arduous training? Just sprinkle a little fairy dust…
      You people would like to make yourselves out as victims, kept out in the cold by the elitist opera snobs. More though, than just the gratuitous insults sent my way all the time, that I don’t reciprocate in kind or vloume, you also pooh-pooh the amount of work that needs to go into a finished product. Who needs to sing the Queen of the Night in the right key, or the tenor and soprano arias in Aida? It’s all snobbery, right?

      • richard carlisle says:

        A vital question here is the why and how for opera to maintain its standards when all forms of theater, art, literature, film, etc are in a hopeless decendancy of decadence– geared mostly for juvenile shock impact … it’s valiant to be so but why ONLY opera?

        • Steve Huff says:

          There is no doubt that opera has transformed over the centuries, though I might add maintaining a high standard in the art. I myself went to an art University, the University of Tournai in French, Belgium. As an art form goes, I guess I rank rather high not only on a national but a world basis. However, I do not preclude others, nor degrade them. In fact, I have welcomed foreign students into my home to apprentice. I also might add that I dated and was engaged to a dancer from the Corps de ballet, from the American Ballet Theater. Unfortunately new opportunities in Europe resulted in our demise. I also dated for some time a prima ballerina from the National Ballet of Ukraine. So you needn’t throw the ballet issue at me. I unfortunately can not fulfill your wishes and dance properly for you. I taught Sport Dance (ballroom and Latin) for more than a decade. Yes, I am a lesser life form.

          I appreciate the standards of opera. I compare opera singers myself. I just don’t condemn those who don’t please me, nor do I exclude a Paul Potts for trying. Their time will come. The fact that Jackie is taking more than her fair share of the artistic pie which what troubles you. You feel you need to remove the possibility and preclude her popularity because you haven’t ordained her. Well good luck! Anna Netrebko is relevant. Dimitri Hvorostovsky is relevant. I think you are about to find out how irrelevant you are. You are big fish in a little pond. You want to keep it that way. Someone like Netrebko or Hvorostovsky can swim out of your reach.

          • @Steve Huff I really have no idea what you are going on about: “You are big fish in a little pond. The fact that Jackie is taking more than her fair share of the artistic pie which what troubles you. You feel you need to remove the possibility and preclude her popularity because you haven’t ordained her.” I just said she is not ready to sing opera yet but if she proceeds like Patty from Slovakia, step by step, and works hard at it, she might very well expand her repertoire of arias.
            “As an art form goes, I guess I rank rather high not only on a national but a world basis.”
            Well, I’m awful honored to make your acquaintance (from the rather small humble cabbage).

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        CJ,

        Thank you, thank you, thank you. Once again you have supplied me with my belly laugh of the day.

        In citing the “gratuitous insults sent” your way, then attempting to claim that you “don’t reciprocate in kind or vloume [sic]” you have surpassed even your own lofty, nearly unattainable previous standards of hypocrisy. I am truly impressed. WOW!!

        This is from someone who repeatedly tells others to “buzz off” or “bugger off”; who frequently calls others’ opinions “rubbish”; & who has earned multiple admonishments from Mr Lebrecht himself, resulting in more that one of her posts being completely redacted by him.

        Your ability to play the pot calling the kettle black will never, EVER cease to astonish me. Human beings are truly remarkable. Thanks again – from the bottom of my heart.

      • Wanderer says:

        If you live in Hillbilly America maybe. In continental Europe the above mentioned art forms are very strong and full of great and hard working talent.
        But we do get a lot of the American commercial trash “culture” here as well, more than we can tolerate sometimes.

        • richard carlisle says:

          Monday night I indulged in my first visit to NYC Ballet in many years after having been a pioneer fan in the late 50s driving to Manhattan always getting easy parking when the company was based in City Center– the days of Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent — a bank of memories endlessly revisited and loved.

          This time trekking through the Adirondacks finding even easier parking at Lake Placid Center for the Arts — again a rapt fan as Balanchine’s Stravinsky pieces unfolded slowly with intricately woven hand and arm moves all glowing with the indelibly familiar GB talent. then something choreographed by Nilas Martins to tenor Puccini arias that caused me to think of experimental cuisine such as spaghetti sauce on chocolate truffles or hot fudge on escargots… of ALL things to try to flaver with dance… but quick relief when a pas de deux from Swan Lake ensued that saw the stage finally fire up … then an intermission that left me in my seat quietly contemplating the wonder of what had happened while everyone milled about.

          Ah, the good part starts: Jerome Robbins “Other Dances” — more whole body athleticism less hand emphasis… stunning performances from Ashley Bouder and partner Joaquin De Luz (in a brown “Robin Hood” outfit) as he flew precisely through his aerial spins– all appreciated with appropriate bravos (mostly from me)… Robbins the “taskmaster” left his mark for all to enjoy indefinitely.

          And even more mesmerizing– the classic from Balanchine– “Tarantella” performed by a surprisingly adorable Lauren Lovette and a best-thing-since-Baryshnikov Daniel Ulbricht…. tambourines clicking colorfully mixed with his amazingly vigorous flying spins (a human helicopter dazzling the stage– BRAVO – BRAVO) …all amounting to the ultimate in applying the human spirit through dance.

          Then coming down from the unforgettable high with more Balanchine — Gershwin’s music, cabaret style with most of the company on stage (a total of fourteen came up from summer camp at Saratoga for this sole performance)…. all followed by a long standing ovation with me rushing out to start that two-hour trip back through the mountains thinking all the way of fifty-plus years that NYC Ballet had enhanced my life.

          Off topic except for the fact ALL culture gives reason to live through great difficulties and a chance for some heaven on earth.

          • richard carlisle says:

            I must add the early performances were vitally enhanced by the majestic talent of Jacques D’Amboise and sprightly athleticism of Edward Villela… I should have mentioned them.

          • Ja. Such cultural experiences can be existentially therapeutic. Even Peter Sellers sang George Gershwin.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLYsocQQ1xc

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            @richard carlisle

            Well, you certainly confirm our stereotypes about the unwashed masses of Jackie fans. Such primitive taste in ballet & classical music! You obviously know nothing! No wonder you like Jackie, given how little discrimination you display WRT these cultural institutions.You’ll obviously need decades of training before being able to understand singing, classical music & dance, something you’ve clearly missed during your life. Typical hillbilly American.

            LOL ;)

          • richard carlisle says:

            @ Laptop

            Just give me another fifty years — I’m working on it — PATIENCE…..

        • Steve Huff says:

          Yes there is a hillbilly America. There is also an even more despicable “inner city” America. But then again I have seen a lot of equivalent “social trash”, as you elitists would refer to it, rioting in the streets of France, Greece, Italy, and London. And as far as the cultural decadence cast upon Europe, I would agree. Thankfully artists like Jackie Evancho are an anecdote for this disease. Yet you protest the cure! Do you prefer to maintain your sense of superiority? Funny, because among the American hillbillies here, Stephen Runnels makes his presence known. I know Stephen well enough to know his background. If you can delve into the realm of astrophysics at a high level, I have a fairly broad knowledge of theory, then you might be able to discourse with him. But he is just another American hillbilly that likes Jackie Evancho.

          • Wanderer says:

            This is not about hillbillies and/or rocket scientist liking Jackie Evancho or not, no problem with that. This is about hillbillies calling classical Opera and classical culture “elitist” and “snobbish” and “cultural fratority”.

          • Steve Huff says:

            There you go again Wanderer. We don’t object to opera or ballet. We don’t object to classical culture. It is people like you and cabbagejuice we object to. People who both obfuscate the facts and take this elitist pose. Hillbillies don’t know what an aria is! We do. We don’t object to its existence in the highest form either. We may not consume it with this many calories, but we don’t object at all. Get the point?

        • Wanderer,

          You have fed into the reputation of elitism with this post, and it is most unfortunate. It is worthwhile for those reading here to remember that there is, by my own judgment, far more elitism surrounding opera in London than places like New York City.

          Now, specifically to your point:

          Top British “classical singers” based on my estimation of sales, bookings, assumed fees and name recognition – Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, Alfie Boe, Laura Wright, Susan Bullock/Kate Royal

          Top US “classical singers” based on same – Renee Fleming, Jackie Evancho, Joyce DiDonato, Danielle De Niese, Debbie Voigt

          British classical singer chosen to sing for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee: None
          US classical singer chosen to sing for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee: Fleming

          British “classical” singer chosen to perform at the Olympics: Katherine Jenkins
          Most recent US singer to perform at an Olympics: Fleming, Beijing

          British classical singer chosen to sing at Prince William’s wedding: None
          Most recent British singer to perform at a major royal wedding: Te Kanawa… oh – nevermind.

          American “trash” culture, indeed.

          • Wanderer says:

            British is not synonymous for European. British is “half”-American ;)
            And is singing at the Royal’s parties now the pinnacle of classical music achievement? I’m not amused.

  126. Stephen Runnels says:

    CJ, your selective memory seems to suit your purposes. Even so, your little tantrum did not include your motivation in not only why you debase a little girl but also demean her fans. Very bad form for you to insinuate abhorrent behavior or desire in Jackie fans who fail to meet your arbitrary standard. Fans of Jackie Evancho are appropriate, happy, and very normal in every age group. Granted, your opinions are insignificant within the big picture, but your fantasy construct in dealing with the reality of Jackie’s success and the exponential growth of her fan base (on this and several other threads regarding Jackie) is fascinating. This is not an attack. No one thinks your “An Idiot”. I just hope you will at some point be willing to share an honest analysis of your motivations.

  127. @Steve Huff “People who both obfuscate the facts and take this elitist pose.” What are those facts, and who are obfuscating them? I have given enough information (maybe even too much) but the counter-elitists, those with chips of various sizes on their shoulders 1) don’t have any facts to contribute and 2) don’t want to be bothered by them.

  128. Mr. Hand says:

    Mr. Lebrecht,

    I wondering if you know what the record high number of comments for an article on this blog is.

  129. @Russ “Tell me all about this awful thing of forcing her voice down there, and gasp between syllables. Just exactly what is she doing to cause this?”
    I am done with giving out free information that anyway will be mined to find flaws and thrown back in my face. Anyone can hear the gasping between the syllables in the O mio Babbino. If they can’t, well, it’s no use arguing with them. Janey wrote about forcing down the larynx. Why don’t you ask her.

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