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Jackie Evancho would like you to exercise some imagination

The child singer‘s formidable marketing machine has asked us to share this free track from her new album, Songs from the Silver Screen.

The performance speaks for itself. What puzzles us is the title. The album seems to be aimed at the over-70s, since few under that age would have the faintest idea what a silver screen might be. Or maybe it’s intended for musical alliterates.

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  1. Stephen Runnels says:

    Fear not, Norm; I just played the DVD for a 9 year old girl who was mesmerized throughout the concert. Jackie has that effect on just about everyone at every age. I seriously doubt the title has any effect in any case. Just try and enjoy the music and the tremendous, captivating voice you hear.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      musical alliterates

      Do you mean musical illiterates?
      Alliterate refers to alliteration, I believe.

      BTW. My 23 year old daughter loves Jackie’s voice and asked to go to her concert. She certainly knows what “the Silver Screen” means. Jackie crosses age groups. The genre is clearly not for pure “rock” fans but rock fans also like other genres of music. Movie theme music doesn’t become big hits by appealing only to one generation unless it might be youth. Justin Bieber is hardly near the talent that is Jackie but he certainly sells a lot of records and sells out his concerts!!

  2. Chuck Yates says:

    Jackie Evancho has quickly become an internationally renown vertuosa. For those who are just discovering her, here are a few excellent links…

    ABC News 2/20 Special, Super Humans — with Elizabeth Vargas

    AGT encore performance of Nessun Dorma

    PBS Great Performances preview

    Wikipedia Profile

  3. Charles Hoff says:

    This performance is the opening number from the PBS Great Performances broadcast concert and DVD titled “Music Of The Movies”, which might be less puzzling to those under 70 (or reticent to ask grandpa what a “Silver Screen” is). The concert was recorded at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, with Jackie also hosting the entire concert. The major portion of the album orchestration was recorded at Abby Road Studios in London.

    The accompanying soloists differ between the concert and studio album: Caroline Campbell, violin, and Jumaane Smith, trumpet, were featured at the concert; Joshua Bell, violin, Chris Botti, trumpet, and 2Cellos (Lusa Sulic & Stjepan Hauser) on the studio album. Perhaps the marketing people at PBS and Sony/Columbia felt that these were enough differences to have different titles. The playlist performed is the same, though in different order.

  4. Charles Hoff says:

    Rats! Please correct my misspelling of “Luka Sulic”

  5. It’s an “easy listening” type of album…. A wonderful recording for anyone who likes movie themes.

    The lovely voice of Miss Evancho is timeless… And guess what! I know what “silver screen” means and I am under the age of 70!

    Thank you for your post, Mr. Lebrecht.

    • Same here. I knows what de silver screen is, and I too am under 70: or at least that’s what I told the officer who pulled me up for speeding!

  6. Sbastian Petit says:

    Timeless?! Come back in 5 or if she’s lucky ten years and see if anyone remembers her then!

    • Ethmer T. Rader, Jr. says:

      At the rate she’s going (she’s only 12 years old now), in “five or ten years” we won’t remember or know her as Jackie Evancho — Just simply as “JACKIE” — the little girl that had a dream and made it come true!

      She may be the 21st century’s version of Shirley Temple AND Marilyn Monroe, only — sui generis!

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Are you sure about this? Will Simon Cowell be interested in promoting her when she grows out of being cute? What happens when her voice changes?
        Please look up Lena Zavoroni. She suffered from post child star depression.

        • Charles Hoff says:

          Victoria, you really need to get off of your Cowell soapbox. Beyond collecting a percentage (because he was smart enough to sign her early), he’s not guiding her career.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            So who will invest millions in promoting her next then? Jackie’s appeal is that her mature voice coming from her young slender frame is an oddity. When she is 5’10″ with boobies at 30, singing with that voice won’t be anything remarkable of special.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            Sony will continue to promote Jackie, & she does plenty herself. Just today, Jackie was on the red carpet for the premier of her new movie with Robert Redford, The Company You Keep, at the Toronto International Film Festival. Redford was hugging her & telling everyone how great she was. With a movie-themed album & a major motion picture coming out this fall, there will be plenty of opportunies for cross-promotion across multiple media.

            Jackie will never be 5″ 10″. She continues to mature, & her voice continues to change, at a remarkable rate. It will be different in a few months, let alone a few years. If you aren’t impressed with “that” voice now, just wait a few months, & the changes will be obvious even to you & other non-fans.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            I am also under 70 but know what “silver screen” means!

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            @Homo Sapien, I am impressed with Jackie’s voice, but what makes you think it will get better after puberty, when the effects of hormones on her system is far more likely to make it worse?!

        • Victoria
          I’ve told you at least a dozen times, Simon Cowell has nothing to do with Jackie Evancho’s career. Her contract was part of the deal that made Simon a part owner of the US X-Factor. He’s a stockholder! SyCo gets a small percentage of her contract. Her employer is Sony USA, not SyCo Records!

          Jackie’s appeal is that she has a beautiful voice, regardless of what age or frame it comes out of, and I suspect she will be like that for many years to come. The best pure voice of this or any century IMO! You made the mistake of assuming that when her body caught up with her voice, no one would want to listen to her anymore. Wrong! People who buy her music now, will buy her music then. After all, even Norman admits that she is extremely talented!

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Her voice will change. That is a fact based on knowledge of anatomy and female hormones. If she sounds this mature at twelve, what do you expect her to sound like when her voice inevitably breaks?

          • @Victoria,
            Based on anatomy and hormones, she shouldn’t even have the voice she currently has … So much for that ! As Russ said, her voice continues to change and where it will go, who knows. So far, it keeps getting more beautiful than it was before … And it was already remarkable before. Doesn’t matter how she was producing it … It was remarkable and often described by fans, media and critics as “gorgeous voice”!

        • Richard Scharsch says:

          Maybe the greatest Actress the world has ever known?

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Responding to you comment on Jackie’s voice changing for the worse …

          You may be right, statistically. She has a child-like quality that is crystalline clear and has a preternatural ability to ease into soaring high notes that may be partially due to a young voice box and larynx. Nonetheless, it takes a brain to control it as well as the gift of pitch and the ability to use it well. Not every pitcher with a great fastball can become a great pitcher!

          That being granted, I don’t think any of us can know what will happen to Jackie’s voice as she traverses puberty. It certainly may change and may get worse. It may remain the same or may get better. If we all had this crystal ball (or if only you did), we could listen to child singers and sign them on the dotted line before they achieve greatness and make ourselves fortunes, indeed! Of course, no one has this ability, which is why betting on success or failure of the youth is such a risky gambit. For now, maybe it should be enough to enjoy talent that is here right now. If Jackie were to suddenly vanish from the earth tomorrow would that somehow negate the talent she has displayed to date or diminish the joy that her voice has lent those that find her voice special? Barry Sanders played football for a limited time, as did Gale Sayers. Football fans revere them for what they accomplished in their time on stage. James Dean did very few films, yet he is an icon. In this endless speculation and analysis of what is “wrong” and what might be, we don’t simply seem to be able to enjoy the now.

          If you don’t enjoy her voice, then by all means, don’t enjoy it. Somehow complaining that those who do are somehow deficient in taste is silly (I don’t think you are doing this, however.). I can identify, to the region, the great Pinot Noirs of French wine, yet I often more enjoy a jammy California Pinot. Does that mean my palate is uneducated (it is not) or that I am too Plebian in my tastes (I hope not. IO do adore Petrus!). Music, as in poetry and art, is largely of individual tastes. I can advocate and express my reasons fore liking an artist or art, but denigration of character due to differences in taste seem supercilious at best.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      What do you base your pessimistic outlook on, Sbastian?

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      For Jackie to sink into irrelvance in a few years won’t simply because she grows up. She will have to lose her considerable charm and self-effacement … not to mention her perfect pitch, fantastic phrasing and interpretation, and voice. She has a wonder confluence of those qualities with an unusual timbre that seems to reach into and tap the listener’s emotional response that is unique. I realize it could mostly be me but in listening to people around me at concerts and reading posts from other listeners, I am not alone in the unusual visceral response to Jackie’s voice and presentation. If she loses this quality of her voice as well as her impeccable phrasing and interpretation, then she might become “just another grown up singer.” Until that happens, I think Jackie will likely remain apart from the herd. I’ve listened to a lot of singers and Jackie’s quality is rare. I like Stacy Kent, for instance, from a Jazz perspective as she seems to also have that ability to tap into beneath the “easy listening” mode. She doesn’t have the range and the ability to soar into notes that evoke a deeper response .. especially that a soprano has. Time will tell, so there is little reason to be snarky and presumptive that she will fall off the grid simply because she ages. Age did not diminish the careers of Celine Dion or Julie Andrews or, for that matter, Taylor Swift (though her career arc is early and her voice is certainly not in the category of these other two singers .. she is more for the purpose of demonstrating that a singer can maintain relevance and fandom even as they mature).

  7. Indeed, Norman. I would add that the arrangement itself appears designed to sooth Grandma and Grandpa rocking on their porch swing. Nevertheless, I have no doubt her fans will purchase many, many copies, so good for her. I hope things continue to go well.

    My biggest question was about the meaning of the song. Is it not designed to illicit wonderment and joy? I wish we could see that in Ms. Evancho’s face. I do not believe I have ever seen her smile while singing. I hope they allow her to sing a song of joy in the near future. She is 12, after all. It is a time of joy. There is no need to turn all songs somber.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      How many songs have you watched her sing, Janey? One? Two? She’s been singing a lot of serious and/or emotional stuff. But frequently during instrumental inderludes, she smiles widely, then resumes her “game” face when she starts singing. It’s call being immersed in what she’s doing. And when she’s finished, it’s laughs, thank-you’s, and giggles, usually with hops and spins. The joy is there to behold. All you have to do is look. It doesn’t take any imagination at all.

      • You misunderstand me. I want her to interpret a song or two with joy, not giggle and smile in the middle of a somber song. I, frankly, could not care less what she does in between the songs themselves. I want to see her perform the line of joy written throughout the text of Pure Imagination.

        She is 12; it is perfect for a joyful interpretation. This is not a criticism of her. I have little doubt she works with others who help her determine the meaning of the songs. She is 12. I imagine her support group believes the somber interpretation are more effective for sales and they may be correct. Nevertheless, myself I want to see joy and wonder in a child’s eyes when that child is singing about wonder.

        • Charles Hoff says:

          Then you need to see her perform “I See The Light” with her older brother Jacob.

          As for “Pure Imagination”, Gene Wilder gives barely a half-smile twice during the whole number in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”. He is daring the kids to use their imagination, not singing it for joy.

          The playlist for the DVD is as follows:

          Pure Imagination
          (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory)

          Can You Feel The Love Tonight
          (The Lion King)

          Some Enchanted Evening
          (South Pacific)

          What A Wonderful World
          (Good Morning, Vietnam)

          My Heart Will Go On (with Caroline Campbell, violin)

          The Summer Knows (with Jumaane Smith, trumpet)
          (Summer of ’42)

          I See The Light (with Jacob Evancho)

          (Se) Cinema Paradiso
          (Cinema Paradiso)

          The Music Of The Night
          (Phantom Of The Opera)

          When I Fall In Love
          (Sleepless In Seattle)

          Come What May (with The Tenors)
          (Moulin Rouge)


          The studio CD order is different:

          Pure Imagination
          The Music Of The Night
          Can You Feel The Love Tonight
          The Summer Knows (with Chris Botti, trumpet)
          I See The Light
          What A Wonderful World
          SE (with 2Cellos: Luka Sulic & Stjepan Hauser)
          My Heart Will Go On (with Joshua Bell, violin)
          Come What May (with The Tenors)
          Some Enchanted Evening
          When I Fall In Love

        • @Janey She can’t loosen up otherwise the cat is out of the bag. She is tightly controlling the sound and barely opening her mouth so the jaw doesn’t go haywire. This must be AWFULLY uncomfortable.
          Also, I noticed she puts on the crooning expression way back with Ombra Mai Fu in the studio, and then takes it off again at the end with finally, a smile. This technique is a whole acting-vocal package that I would stay at least a100 miles from.

          • Charles Hoff says:

            Let’s double-down on that distance. Better yet, keep the pond in between. Keep telling your students how awful, how uncontrolled, how close to haywire Jackie is when she sings. Keep them lock-stepped in “good technique” as you see it. You can congratulate yourself every time you look in the mirror knowing that you have done right by them. They won’t ever have to be a part of any “formidable marketing machine”, won’t be invited to perform in venues around the world, won’t have the attention and interest of very important people in music, entertainment, politics, industry, and charity. They won’t ever have to deal with airlines, hotels, limousines, pesky autograph seekers, or anonymous detractors criticizing every breath. They won’t have to deal with anything beyond cattle-call auditions fighting for a spot in a company with a basket-full of others who all sound just alike. But they will have their “proper technique”, and almost assured lifetime anonymity.

          • @Charles Hoff Success in music and politics is serving up to people what they want to hear. Lack of technique apparently is no impediment to Katherine Jenkins either. I did notice that Jackie kept the mike very close to her chin. When you get a glimpse in edgewise, the jaw still trembles but not as bad as before, however. Heck, she is making plenty of money not only for herself but for her family and everyone else in line so she won’t ever be degraded to ‘cattle-call auditions’.
            It’s amazing how much contempt you devotees of sweetness and light have for anyone else.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            @Charles Hoff, I wasn’t shocked and scandalised by anything! I just think you should get a bit of perspective! The mass media can make a superstar out of anyone, one they have convinced the public that they have freedom of choice. I will admit Jackie is a very talented and beguiling girl, but there are plenty of others who could have been in the limelight, had they been in the right place at the right time. The myth that Jackie is a unique talent is a MYTH. Do you have time to listen to any singers from your local church or community choir? With the formidable marketing machine behind them, millions spent on production and promotion, an enterprising impresario could create another Jackie. Here in the UK we had Faryl Smith, before that Charlotte Church, before that Lena Zavoroni. The media doesn’t care about technique, or longevity. Have you ever heard the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes?

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


          Jackie has sung occasional songs joyfully, including Time to Say Goodbye, Ding Dong Merrily on High, What a Wonderful World & others; she also sings inspirational songs like The Lord’s Prayer & To Believe.

          However, she more often sings about serious, even dark, subjects; the phrase “darkness wrapped in light” has been used by some fans. Even on her self-produced 1st album, Prelude to a Dream, released when she was nine, she sang about child abuse, murder, suicide, God, life after death & unrequited love. Despite her happy childhood & good family, she has always shown a lot of compassion for those less fortunate than she. When she sings, she is very good at expressing these emotions, despite her young age.

          • @HomoSapiensLaptopicus Time to Say Goodbye was always sung like a mournful dirge.
            How you can write the following without being shocked and scandalized is incredible:
            “However, she more often sings about serious, even dark, subjects..when she was nine, she sang about child abuse, murder, suicide, God, life after death & unrequited love.”
            But the upside is she probably doesn’t know the meaning of the texts of Nessun Dorma or O Mio Babbino since one hears only syllables, not words.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            She produced it herself at nine?

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            cj & Victoria,

            “Shocked & scandalized”? By what? The songs, & their subjects, are facts. Do you want to put all children in little boxes & have them sing nothing more adventurous & poignant than “Mary Had a Little Lamb”? Ehkzu has pointed out to you in the past how Victorian this attitude is, how for the vast majority of our time on earth children have been exposed to plenty of human suffering. After all, some believe “Ring Around the Rosie” is about the plague. Along with their families, children stared death in the face every day. That’s the normal human condition, not the porcelainized version of childhood we’ve constructed over the past 150 years.

            “Prelude to a Dream” was Jackie’s 1st album, & her parents financed it. Did she make all the producing decisions? Probably not, but she & her mother probably made most of the decisions about the accompaniment & overall sound, which would qualify as classical crossover. The song list includes Everytime (Britney Spears’ song about lost love), Concrete Angel (Martina McBride’s song about child abuse & murder), Teaching Angels How to Fly (about a dead child becoming an angel), Starry Starry Night (or Vincent), Think of Me, Memory, To Where You Are, River of Dreams, Dark Waltz, The Prayer, Amazing Grace, Ave Maria (Schubert), O Mio Babbino Caro & Con te Partirò (presumably you’re familiar with the rest of these).

            There was a version of “Ding Dong Merrily on High” where the song was set to visuals of the atmosphere filmed by crews on the International Space Station, but unfortunately it appears to have been taken down. This one just has her album cover photo:


            Several of Jackie’s songs are joyful. You just have to listen. And I’d disagree that her TTSGB (as opposed to CTP) is somber.

            Every time Jackie sings “Reflection” now, she dedicates it to her mother, for allowing her to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional singer. Is precocity inherently evil or dangerous?

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            So if her mother made all the production and accompaniment decisions, this must mean she must be a hot shot producer and arranger in her own right? Or did Mr and Mrs Evancho just throw thousands of pounds at the project and get someone else to do it all for them? It’s hard to believe this was amateur work.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            “This”? Did you find tracks from Prelude to a Dream somewhere on the web? They’re occasionally posted on YouTube, but tend to disappear. I wouldn’t call her mother or father “hot-shot producers” or anything like that. Jackie’s voice was pretty then; her timbre was child-like to my ears, but has been changing rapidly ever since..

            This is a home vid of Concrete Angel from that time; obviously the backing vocals are canned:


            The sound for this vid was taken from To Where You Are on PTAD. There are stills & Vietnamese subtitles, but you can hear Jackie’s voice & the accompaniment. There are other vids on the channel, but they don’t appear to be of Jackie.


            The song I linked in my previous post, Ding Dong Merrily on High, was, as the vid showed, from her album Heavenly Christmas, released in November 2011. It was professionally produced, by Rob Mounsey.

            Just in case you wanted to know, her upcoming album, Songs from the Silver Screen, was produced by Humberto Gatica.

    • Richard Scharsch says:

      You have evidently never watched her sing one of her Christmas songs.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      Honestly, in listening to Jackie’s interpretation and presentation of this song, I find it transportive. It makes me remember childhood. I don’t have to WATCH her sing. After all, this is a SONG and can be listened to quietly in the dark for that matter. It evokes sense of nostalgia, of childhood, when imagination was all that was needed to be somewhere else and someone else, when all dreams seemed within our grasp; before career, war, divorce, death and loss intruded into “life as it is.” LISTEN to this song and recall your childhood, if you ever had one. Let your imagination run a little free and see where it takes you. When I listen to this I recall lying in the tall green grass of the midwest watching cumulus clouds float by imagining what shapes the clouds assume; I ride moonbeams in the warm summer night when the call of the Loon echoes on the lake and the chirp of the crickets break the night silence; I fly through the air on a magic carpet wondering what is happening on the souls so far below me. When I was a child, these were more real and now they aren’t. It’s nice that a song can evoke such memories and such feelings. It is what is special about Jackie … not just one thing, but the entirety of her singing. (Not every song but one or two special ones .. I suspect that other listeners have a favorite or two that transports them to a happier place that they are at that moment .. part of Jackie’s magic. It is a gift and really isn’t learned or trainable.)

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      I agree that it is to evoke wonderment. I would disagree that it is to evoke joy, though you can experience joy through wonderment. As far as expressions while singing … I don’t know if this song lends itself to a cheery upbeat expression … it’s a song of presentation, an invitation to wonder, an offering of experience … and that was the way it was presented in the original “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” which I still think is the best one made.

  8. Randolph Magri-Overend says:

    Who’s Jacky Evnacho?

    • Check her out on Wiki for a complete bio. Type in Jackie Evancho. She is a prodigy who has, according to many, one of the most beautiful voices. She is extremely talented and at age 12 has done solo concerts throughout the United States including appearances in Britain, Japan, Canada and Russia. She was also handpicked by Robert Redford to play his daughter in The Company You Keep which premiers today in Toronto, Canada.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Do you mean ジャッキー・エヴァンコ?

    • Randolph Magri-Overend,

      You know, the least you could be is respectful and spell her name right. It’s spelled Jackie Evancho!

  9. I have just been to Amazon US to look at the track list for Ms. Evancho’s CD. What did I see? Renee Fleming is in the top 10 of the best sellers. When was the last time a traditional classical performer was in the top 10 of Amazon US?

    • I myself would like this blog to celebrate a top 10 Amazon US placement by Fleming as much as a movie-themed CD by a 12 year old.

    • @Victoria Clarke Well right now she’s under contract to SONY for four more albums(Xmas albums don’t count). After that who knows. She might follow David Foster to whatever label he’s on, but she won’t have a problem finding a label to further her career.

      Jackie got tremendous exposure in England when she sang on BGT last year. I would bet lots of people will remember her when she tours the UK in the near future.

    • Au contrere ma cherie. Fleming is #19.

      • Yes, I saw it up to number 6 yesterday. Given she has no PBS special, has not given one interview, and in fact, is not even in the country, remaining in the top 20 for 48 hours is excellent. I am also shocked that, with this video circulating and a PBS special playing, Ms. Evancho is not in the top 40.

        I do not expect a compilation CD with no promo will outsell a Simon Cowell-backed CD with an expected barrage of promo in the end, but it is an interesting testimony to unmanipulated grassroots support.

        • Janey,

          Check Billboard, they show all sales, not just Amazon’s! Jackie is currently at #5 in Classical, with “Dream With Me! The Charts change every Thursday.


          • Classical??? I didn’t know Handel wrote Dream With Me. What a revelation.

            Btw. I thought Jackie was 12 LAST year (or was it the year before that?). Is one of the side effects of her “amazing” talent that she doesn’t age? Or are her CDs classified in the “Classical” genre because she, like W.A. Mozart, lies about her age?

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            Händel wrote Ombra Mai Fu (AKA Largo), which is on DWM. Jackie was born on 9 April 2000, & has NEVER lied about her age. So every year after April 9th, all you have to do is remember what year it is. Do you think you’re capable of doing that?

            Jackie recorded DWM between January & March of 2010, while she was still 10; the album was released after her 11th birthday. She recorded Songs from the Silver Screen mostly in May 2012, just after her 12th birthday.

            Jackie can’t help it that some (e.g. Billboard in the US) conflate classical crossover with traditional classical music. She’s not classified as classical in the UK. Why do you hold her chosen genre against her?

            If you don’t like the CC genre, fine, but some do. For goodness’ sake, some of the biggest contributors to the genre, including Sarah Brightman & Katherine Jenkins, are from the UK. Is a singer from the US not allowed to sing in the genre?

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


          Amazon set a price for Jackie’s CD that was considerably higher than Barnes & Noble’s, so it never did well there. B&N has now raised their price somewhat, so it’s hard to tell. She is currently ranked #16 on B&N.

  10. Charles Hoff says:

    And now for something (almost) entirely different (since this thread has Jackie Evancho in the heading):

    This evening finds Miss Evancho in Canada with actor/director Robert Redford at the Toronto International Film Festival for the presentation of Redford’s latest (and independently-produced) film “The Company You Keep”. Jackie plays Redford’s character Jim Grant’s 11 y.o. daughter, Isabel. A quote from Mr. Redford from the Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 6th:
    “Fundamentally, the film is pretty much about what a man will do for a child, what a man will do to have the love of his daughter preserved,” Redford told reporters after the movie was screened to the media ahead of its red carpet premiere.

    Redford cast Jackie in the role following a conversation he and actress/cast member Susan Sarandon had (this is her published story) after each had viewed the PBS “Jackie Evancho – Dream With Me In Concert” broadcast. He made inquiries, scheduled an audition, and cast her immediately — most definitely outside of her “formidable marketing machine”. It’s quite apparent that Redford was pleased with her performance. Sony Pictures has just recently picked-up the North American distribution rights.

    For those so inclined, the Toronto Film Festival red carpet proceedings with Redford and Evancho will viewable at 8:45p.m. local (EDT) time.

    Back to the original subject:

    “Formidable Marketing Machine”. A misnomer, and inaccurate. Her management team has its hands full with her tour dates, promotional appearances, and the continually growing list of outside requests. Jackie keeps being *INVITED* to perform at the wide-ranging venues she’s been appearing at: St. Petersburg, Hiroshima Peace-Arch Memorial, Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Ironstone (with Tony Bennett), Chefs For Seals (Humane Society of U.S.), Starkey Foundation, Muhammad Ali’s Alzheimer’s Charity CelebrityFightNight (2x), Oprah Winfrey’s private party as well as her “farewell” concert, numerous private functions, etc. The list is more like a moving scroll. She’s the face of “Guess Kids” fall collection because Paul Marciano, co-founder of “Guess”, *asked* her to be, not because her ‘formidable marketing machine” offered her up.

    Even David Foster thought enough of her that he crossed company lines to produce her “Dream With Me” album and PBS concert. Please tell me how often that happens? Much of the album was recorded at his Malibu home studio. He also asked her perform in the “David Foster: Hitman Returns” show at the Mandalay bay Arena in Las Vegas (while the America’s Got Talent tour was in Kansas City), at his David Foster Foundation Gala in Toronto, to join the “David Foster & Friends” tour to Japan, and to be in the “David Foster and Friend” (him and Jackie) concert that took place again at the Mandalay. He also accompanied her on numerous television appearances promoting her album for SYCO/Sony, not Warner. If Victoria’s prognostication of Jackie post-Cowell comes to pass, Foster will be the smiling safety net. That is if Sony/Columbia doesn’t just quietly remove “SYCO” from the album label, and continue as they have been.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      And here you can see and hear Robert Redford tell in his own words, in a short red-carpet statement, how he picked Jackie to be in “The Company You Keep”. It’s from the Toronto Film Festival, Sunday night, Sept. 9th:

    • @Charles Hoff How do you know what is inside or outside of JE’s “formidable marketing machine” that by the way has its own cloning mechanisms with the likes of your voluminous posting of her latest appearances and performances? Of course, nothing is going on behind the scenes outside her immediate management team. Money is not moved, deals are not made and handshakes don’t confirm them – yeah right!

  11. And I doubt few under seventy know what opera is or cares.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      I am very much under seventy, and I care very much indeed. This though, is not, and does not pretend to be an opera album. It’s a collection of movie themes presented by a prodigious little girl!!

      • Friday Bridge says:

        Prelude to a Dream was produced by the Evancho’s before Jackie was signed to any label. The Evanchos rented booth time and ( I presume) used Karaoke tracks for accompaniment. That CD was withdrawn from marketing. That was produced when she was nine. Youtube has some clips from rehearsal for songs such as Concrete Angel. There is one called Concret Angel …Widescreen Dub, which is the rehearsal video with the finished audio track, so it looks slightly lip synched, but that clip is not a straight rehearsal track. Stay with the original rehearsal track.

        O Holy Night, Dream With Me, Heavenly Christmas and Songs of the Silver Screen are produced by Columbia/Sony

  12. Stephen Runnels says:

    Janey, You see and hear things much differently than we do. When Jackie sings we listen and feel the music as only Jackie can present. We appreciate every note, and are not only satisfied with the way Jackie performs, but also touched by the way she moves us. We love the way Jackie makes our lives just a little bit better by just being herself.
    You seem to find Jackie deficient in talent simply because she doesn’t appeal to you. You need a certain set of criteria to be met before you enjoy what you hear. A certain smile, a simile in comparison to another singer, and always keeping a critical eye on her instead of just enjoying an amazing talent for what it is.

    • If you look back over my previous posts, you will see that I have stated repeatedly that this child is very talented. I may have my own concerns about the technique with which she sings, but that has nothing to do with raw talent.

      Your suggestion that I am odd because I have “a certain set of criteria to be met before you enjoy what you hear” is hard to fathom. Every human being has criteria by which he or she determines if they enjoy an experience. No one person enjoys exactly the same as another.

      If you had no criteria you would love every singer you hear.

      I know what I like; If a song moves me in some way or is enjoyable, I like it. I generally enjoy very polished singers who express the text of song as honestly and openly as possible. I reject the idea that I should be condemned as having some sort of defect for not enjoying these interpretations. I have never suggested Ms. Evancho’s fans have such defects because they enjoy her music. Am I not due the same consideration in return?

      I myself would rather hear Ms. Evancho’s talent used in free, joyful singing and I wish she were encouraged to experiment/train in that direction. I do not enjoy what are to my mind somewhat overwrought, tight interpretations. Your comment confirms my earlier statement that the support team understands the market and knows somber, “emotional” interpretations will be more effective.

      As I said, good for her and I hope her success continues. It will be the opinions of her fans that matter to her future success, not mine.

      HomoSapiens –

      I am interested in seeing Ding, Dong Merrily on High. I have seen Time To Say Goodbye and it is sung with the same somber expression.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


        You said you’d like to hear Ding Dong Merrily on High. I linked it above in a response to Victoria, but here it is again if you missed it. This is from her album Heavenly Christmas, released in Nov 2011, produced by Rob Mounsey. The video, such as it is, is a still of the album cover.

      • schroedinger says:

        I agree that most of JE’s repertoire is more serious and/or adult than one would normally expect from a singer of her age, and deserving of serious interpretation. However, since she is capable of it, it does not seem a cause for criticism. She is also capable of bright and “joyful” performance- for a video, check youtube for “Believe”, a Christmas number, at The Grove. Just search “Jackie Evancho The Grove”.

  13. @Janey I might(FINALLY) have to agree with you about interpretation of that song. That’s something Judy Garland did very well.

    @Randolph You might watch this video as well as search her on Youtube;

  14. The musical extravaganzas of the 30′s and 40′s are the not so distant ancestors to classical crossover so it is not surprising to see the actual phrase “silver screen” pop up again. Back then themes from piano concertos, etc., were snipped up and made into popular songs.
    The retro aspect of CC these days was evident in the incredbily kitchy concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Katherine Jenkins. Masses of people singing, playing and looking in exact synch doesn’t really reflect the spirit of the times, that is, the past 40 years or so, apart from Olympic ceremonies when done in Beijing or Seoul and pep-up rallies in North Korea.
    Crooning was also popular back then, but done by men, not women. I don’t know who hit upon the idea of a pre-pubescent girl singing in that style and getting away with it. these days – quite brilliant actually, if it weren’t vocally harmful.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      Exactly CJ, the ‘ crossover / popera’ stars then were Deanna Durbin and Mario Lanza (who was notorious for miming live) Durbin performed all manner of operatic arias completely out of context, much like the ‘ operatic sensations’ of today.

      • @Victoria Clarke At least Deanna Durbin had excellent technique. I didn’t know that Lanza used to lip synch – fascinating! It would interesting to do a historical survey of CC, not only in singing but in conducting (Stokowsky comes to mind) and piano where there plenty like Jose Iturbi, Liberace, all the way up to Richard Clayderman. “Going Hollywood” had a lot to with it. So it is not surprising to see Jackie in a movie now.

        • Victoria Clarke says:

          Here’s some clips of Mario miming on TV.

        • cabbagejuice,

          Prove that it’s vocally harmful, or retract that statement then, because you are out of step with the experts in the Classical Music community, 100%! Not a single school has come out against what Jackie is doing, as being harmful! They issued no warnings to parents, like you did either!

          Prove it, or Remove it,

          • @Russ Ha, ha, you make me laugh. The reason that “not a single school has come out against what Jackie is doing” is that they don’t care. But chances are that they do not teach in the way that produces a jaw waggle, breathing in between almost every syllable in O Mio babbino for instance, unclear diction, artificial darkening of the voice and putting a child on the stage before he or she is ready and certainly not in the midst of a transitional stage. Obviously you haven’t read any method books on singing going back to the great masters of the1600′s.

  15. Victoria Clarke says:

    You might not believe this, but Jackie isn’t actually very well known in the UK.
    We have about three KJ albums in the charts at the moment through, some Andre Rieu, and Alfie Boe….that’s it for classical music.

  16. Why does she shake her head like that?

    And Norman, you can’t pretend any longer than you don’t enjoy these “debates” just a little bit : )

    • And why does she sing “ima- jo-nation”? Fuzzy diction aside, though, Jackie does have a knack for turning a phrase and this is innate musical talent. All the coaches in the world couldn’t get someone with a tin ear to do that. Katherine Jenkins might have a voice but almost nil musicality.

      • All the coaches in the world couldn’t produce another Jackie Evancho ! Thats part of the intrigue and mystique about her! She does what she does, and it sounds incredible, with little or no coaching! The raging debate is whether it is vocally healthy for her or not ! Only time will tell. In the meantime, her legion of fans continues to grow. The greatest challenge for vocal coaches and teachers is trying to convince students that they cannot be Jackie Evancho …. A challenge indeed. I don’t envy you your predicament !

    • @Alexander It seems to me she shakes her head while breathing in puffs of air.

  17. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus No I don’t believe that children should sing about or even be exposed to such subjects as unrequited love, child abuse, adult sexuality or murder if at all possible, even if grownups rationalize it like you do. Their suggestibility is much more sensitive than adults. You don’t know what emotional impact such subjects might have on them.
    People are like trees. You can throw rocks at or kick already established oaks but not at tender sprigs. There are two possibilities for children singing songs for which they are not emotionally ready or have adequate life experience, e.g. Nessun Dorma. One is confronting the depth of the emotions head on which I sincerely doubt. The other would be a put-on serious act for everything that only really skims the surface. A habitual defense against confronting reality is a dulling of the emotions that would defeat the very purpose of a developing artist.

    • cabbagejuice,

      Since Jackie neither confronts the depth of the emotions head on, or puts on a serious act for everything that really only skims the surface. I guess we can forget that part! What Jackie does do is delve into the structure of the music itself. It’s a part of her genius, her understanding of musical structure, that allows her to get more out of a piece than others had before. It’s the Main reason her covers are so good!

      You best wake up and realize this is not the 1850s, it’s the 21st Century! Pre adolescent children today, do understand these things. It’s all too common in the life of a small child today. Violence, drugs, murder, child abuse, even unrequited love. Kids in the inner cities live with it every day!

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      I never said Jackie was exposed to adult sexuality, but difficult subjects are explained to the children in the Evancho family. They aren’t unrealistically shielded from the pain of the world. You simply have a different opinion about how children should be raised than the Evanchos do.

      I would hardly say Jackie exhibits “dulling” of the emotions now. She appears to be remarkably well-adjusted, actually, as do their other children. It’s difficult to criticise the Evanchos’ child-rearing given the results so far.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      @cj , I agree with you, but really I doubt that Jackie really understands the context and meaning of the arias she sings.

      • She absolutely understands. Everything is explained to her because she wants to know everything about every song she sings. She has always wanted to know, even before she became famous.

  18. Charles Hoff says:
    • Victoria Clarke says:

      It’s nice to see she is wearing a pretty and appropriate dress on the red carpet, she hasn’t become sexulised yet like so many child stars. (Noah Cyrus has her own lingerie line!)

  19. @Russ HomoSapiensLaptopicus No, not at ALL! An 11 year old should not be singing “sometimes she wishes she weren’t any more” The whole idea is AWFUL:
    It just gets creepier and creepier as one backtracks into the incredible manipulations going on.
    Yes, indeed, my attitude is different from the Evancho’s. I wouldn’t do everything and anything to have my daughter as an ATM machine as someone here pointed out. You don’t know what the INNER effect of all this is, the dark side of the songs she is singing and the constant adulation that prodigies get used to and then have to face the void when it isn’t there any more.

    • Stephen Runnels says:

      I recall being exposed to the vile and disgusting violence and pure hatreds, prejudices, corruptions and revenge in the christian bible as a child, and was still able to grow up without much residual damage. The words and depictions as presented in the lyrics of the songs Jackie sings are far less ‘creepy’. Jackie is a very happy and well adjusted young lady, and her parents will do everything in their power to see she remains that way.

  20. Robert Wiggins says:

    “Musical alliterates”, Norm? Would that be those who sing songs sounding similar, or those who lounge listening to languid, lackluster lyrics? Or what?

  21. Richard Scharsch says:

    How come only Janey and Cabajjuice can find something to say about Jackie that is not positive? Are they shills on this site?

    • @Richard Scharsch No one is perfect.

    • Friday Bridge says:

      I have heard both Janey and Cabbagejuice say positive things, but they are trying to present another side of the coin. Everyone comes at a topic from their own viewpoint. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that others won’t universally take the same side of an issue.

      Some people hear “magic” in her voice, others do not. Some people think her technique is perfect, others disagree. Some people want Jackie to be able to live the complete, unadulterated “princess dream”, while others see heartache and problems.

      In the course of these debates, even though none of us will have the slightest effect on the course of Jackie’s unfinished history, there are those who fight for the dream and those who want to remind us that there is a cost or consequence to everything,

      Not only do we have no chance of changing the course of her history, I doubt we have much of a chance of converting others to our way of thinking or feeling about a subject.

      • Ja. In dialectics, there is thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.

        Yet oftentimes what the thesis and antithesis platforms do is preach to their own converted. This is very evident in some types of debate/argument.

        As far as I can tell, the synthesis is oftentimes done by observers: third parties with no fixed bias.
        I think we see elements of that here, but not extreme elements.

        Individuals dedicated to learning will take on opposing viewpoints here and there, and in the dialogues on this Jackie kid, it appears to me that there has been some of this.

        The utility of dialogues such as we see here and elsewhere is that people get to test their thoughts relative to those of others, with some cross-pollination of thought in the process. Dialectics in action perhaps.

  22. Jakie has one of the smoothest, beautiful voices in the music industry for any age never mind for a 12 year old. Her target audience is of the older generation. Ones more likely to actually buy a CD rather pirate it off some website. Her target audience will also be more familiar with songs such at “the Summer knows” a song made popular by Barbra Streisand and “Some Enchanted Evening” from the 1958 musical “South Pacific”. Another strong target will be children with themes like the animated movie “The Lion King” and “I see the light” from the animation “Tangled” and “Reflection form the animation “Mulan” I think “Songs of the Silver Screen” should do quite well.

  23. Richard Scharsch says:

    If you want to see Jackie smile, check this out.

  24. Richard Scharsch says:

    Is there any question as to why this album went platinum?

  25. Richard Scharsch says:

    Janey. You say that Jackie’s unique talent is a myth. Show me her equal and they had better not be 30 years old.

    • Richard, I don’t believe I ever said anything like that. To what are you referring?

      Since you asked, if you want to know whether I believe there have been other child singing prodigies, then I will say, “yes,” many of them.

      All singers have strengths and weaknesses. Ms. Evancho’s strengths are musicality, pitch control (although that understandably has gone off a bit recently) and the beautiful timbre of her voice. She has an advanced raw talent. Her weaknesses are lack of agility and diction, and back-of-throat singing (all three things are related).

    • Friday Bridge says:

      Much of a singer’s reception by the public is determined by the skill and presentation of the singer. However, do not overlook the other half of the equation, that is, that the recipient can respond or not to the “message” or the voice.

      Not everyone has the same reaction to her voice. I like her voice. My wife would rather listen to two cats in a bag than listen to any soprano. There will always be a middle ground that likes her voice well enough, but that her voice does not evoke an emotional response. For them, other voices have more effect. That’s life in the big cities.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Same here. I sing soprano, I’m used to listening to soprano voices. Some people find and operatic or classical voice deeply unpleasant, they would rather listen to Adele or Katy Perry. My mother finds Jackie spooky.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      Actually, it was me that said that. Course there are other Jackies. They just haven’t been bankrolled.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


        Jackie EARNED that bankroll. Her mom drove her around to talent competitions all over the country for two years, from Boston to Las Vegas. Jackie finished 2nd a lot but also won a few. She loved it & always wanted to do more; they routinely held her back. Yes, her parents were moderately well off & paid for her 1st album in 2009.

        Jackie & her mom started a YouTube channel, posted vids & developed a following, thanks in part to early fans who spread the word. Nicola of became one of those fans, linking with others around the world. Jackie got an early boost on a Hayley Westenra forum.

        Jackie auditioned for America’s Got Talent twice, in 2009 & 2010, but was rejected by producers. They then announced a YouTube competition, & Jackie submitted a video of Panic Angelicus she’d sung in December 2009. Her cyberspace following paid off at that point, & she won the online competition. That’s how she got onto the show in August 2010. She then impressed the judges, studio & home audiences, ultimately (like Susan Boyle) finishing 2nd.

        David Foster, whom she’d met briefly in October 2009 at one of those talent competitions (in New Jersey) where she didn’t win, called her after seeing her on AGT, & only then did she start getting attention from bigwigs in the industry. That’s when what you call the “bankroll” began.

        So yes, Jackie was fortunate to have been born in 2000 to a good family in the US that was moderately well off, but wasn’t full of alcoholics & child abusers. Her mother helped her & allowed her to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer at a very young age. She had a few singing lessons. Everything else she very much earned.

        So “bankrolled” in the sense you appear to mean it? No. Willow Smith was bankrolled. Jackie earned hers, every penny.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          Oops – errata:

          In the 1st paragraph, when I said “…they always held her back” it meant Jackie’s parents always (or at least frequently) held her back.

          In the 3rd paragraph I of course meant “Panis” Angelicus.

        • Victoria Clarke says:

          So, how did she earn the money for her talent show entries and first album at nine? How did her mum afford to give up a, working wage to drive her all over the country entering her in talent contests? And supposing she was taken out of school, who pays for her private education? Is she so prodigious that she never needed to learn to read and basic maths? If you are telling me that the Evancho family or other benefactors didn’t bankroll her, you must be mad, this wouldn’t be possible.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            I already said she had the good luck to be born in the US, at this time, into a good family where she was nurtured, not abused. Her family has been moderately well-off, enough that they could put a few thousand dollars (presumably) into her 1st album, & enough that her mom could drive her around the country & allow her to enter most of the talent shows she wanted to enter.

            (Of course a signed copy of her 1st album recently sold on eBay for almost $5K, probably more than the entire amount they put into making it, & perhaps more than that plus any talent show fees they’d paid over the years as well.)

            She has never had a private (or as you might say, “public”) education; she does online school by computer. She has occasionally mentioned tutors, but most of the time does it without extra help.

            Note that before getting onto America’s Got Talent, Jackie was trying to raise money for her 2nd album online. There may still be a vid up where she asks for this money while sitting at the piano.

            So yes, she had some family help (as I made clear in previous posts), but the “bankroll” machine only came on board AFTER she’d established her remarkable talent on AGT.

          • Ethmer T. Rader, Jr. says:

            i believe that Jackie, from interviews i’ve seen, did attend public school until or through the 4th grade before switching to being home-schooled. If necessary, i can research my interview links and supply a link.


  26. Talented kid. If she keeps it up, gets some sensible training and isn’t damaged when her voice breaks, she just might make it into Juilliard in a few years.

    • Chuck Yates says:

      ►► Mr. Ellis ‘Tim’ Page… Julliard ?! Last I heard you were Professor of Musicology at University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

      At any rate, I’m not so sure about Julliard… not aware of a single vocalist of any renown on the contemorary scene who is counted among the allumni. Ms. Evancho’s career development continues apace working with some of the most lettered and accomplished professionals in the world of music and voice.

      Certainly Julliard is an institution of note and has strengths attributed to it, but singers who matriculate can’t seem able to set themselves apart, and Jackie’s talent has already evolved beyond that of a chorister.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        So are you talking about Julliard’s failure to produce good quality singers, or ready made stars?

        • Are there any Julliard graduates who are very successful and well known in contemporary music?

          • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

            I have never before commented on this thread and refuse to become embroiled in the musical and artistic issues so fervently argued here.

            However, it seems to me that Julliard is the name of a French publishing house (literature) and that Juilliard is the name an American conservatory in NYC officially knows at the Juilliard School.. I assume that everyone who writes Julliard is referring to Juilliard, the school which, in my opinion, has no apologies to make to anyone concerning the quality of its graduates.

            Another prickly point: contemporary music means 1)music written recently, 2) music that sounds weird and makes my cat go crazy, 3) popular music that appears on the “pop” charts. The Jail-yard (as its student affectionately call it) has had some success in all these categories.

            And if you’re really into Juilliard bashing, please read “Nothing but the best” published in 1987 by Judith Kogan, a disgruntled graduate,

            And if you’re thinking positvely: Try two books by Joseph Polisi (president of Juilliard since 1984)
            “The Artist as Citizen” and “American Muse: the life and times of William Schuman” both published by the Amadeus press.

          • Actually the intent is not to bash Julliards but try to understand why it is considered hallowed ground by opera and classical officianados and that a singer can gain legitimacy and credibility if they graduate from here. I am sure that the school has its distinction and recognition but like anything else doesn’t guarantee fame or success nor does it lend any specific traits or characteristics that would single out one of its graduates from the rest.

    • Well well well look who we have here; TIM PAGE-noted Jackie Evancho critic-and of her parents too. Why are you here…your site failed for lack of interest? “Talented kid” really?? That’s not the song you’ve been singing. You’ve had harsh words for her singing and her parents for helping her reach her dreams.

      Julliard lol in a few years Jackie will make enough money to BUY Julliard. And how many Julliard graduates have multi-platinum albums, have sung for the President, for the Japanese Royal Family and alongside International opera stars such as Dvorostovsky and Sumi Jo?

      The last person who should be allowed to speak about Jackie and her family is YOU.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Same goes for KJ, she could buy Julliard too, but it doesn’t matter about her lack of technique and musicality, she’s making millions!!

        • There is a small group of people who are fanatic about technique. They wont buy Jackie’s or KJ’s albums anyways. They wont effect either one of the artists either. The majority at large considers their opinion irrelevant or unimportant.

      • Yes Addison says:

        The “monetary success as artistic trump card” rhetorical tactic is one I never get, in such discussions as this. Someone could as easily say that Lady Gaga has far more money than Jackie Evancho — so what? What does that demonstrate about the merits of either singer?

        Buying Juilliard…really now.

        Fortunately, it seems only to come from pop/crossover fans for whom sites like this are an occasional diversion. Besides this one, I look in on several boards, blogs, and forums devoted to classical music and opera, and believe me, I see a lot of silliness as people dig in and make the case for their favorites, but I never see that one. Never once have I read “Maria is obviously greater than Renata or Montserrat, because her records have sold more!” Or “Anna’s performances all sold out, and a month later there were empty seats at Renée’s! The public has spoken in overwhelming numbers!” I’m glad for this. I often want my fellow opera/classical fans to eat a big steaming bowl of STFU, but at the very least they make their cases for the supremacy of their artistic favorites based on attributes that are, you know…artistic.

        • @Yes Addison, I have no idea how many copies your comment would sell, but it is one of the most…. artful … that I have seen.

        • There is a difference between elevating ones favorite above others and defending that favorite against unwarranted and unfair attacks. Criticism for Jackie seems to come only from a small segment of the opera community … Funny thing is most of the critics are self appointed experts …. So the debate is between fan and non-fans.
          The legitimate opera community is by and large, either complimentary or chooses to make no comment at all. In other words, if they have nothing nice to say, then they won’t say anything at all ! They seem to be eating your bowl of STFU. We wish some others would follow the same example.

  27. Sure you understand that the Evancho team is ever-vigilant in finding any postings about their gal, and will immediately flood such posts with glowing comments about her effervescent voice and other-worldly presence. 90+ comments? Really?

    • Julia,
      I would consider it a distinct pleasure if I had the opportunity to meet the Evanchos. I would want to know how they’ve managed to nurture and raise a prodigy without the expertise of vocal teachers etc…..unfortunately I doubt they even know of my existence and probably never will. There are hundreds of thousands like me…. Individuals unknown to the Evanchos. A handful of Jackie Fans on this site may overwhelm some here by sheer numbers but that’s just a drop in the bucket. The so called 12 year old “novelty act” has a legion of fans …. Growing by the minute !
      Join the herd or get trampled or get out of the way ! Whatever you chose, chose quickly :) …. The stampede has begun ! :).

      • Friday Bridge says:

        Jackie is apparently getting some training on a sporadic basis, but nothing intense. Her family is musical, but voice training has been limited by her age, and her parents close scrutiny of any potential coaching and its likely effect on Jackie.

        Jackie does practice, but that is apparently limited as well. At one point, it was about 1 hour per day. I assume this varies with her needs. She apparently does not practice when she doesn’t feel like it.

        • Friday, I’m aware of some training and practice done but try selling that over here and you’ll find the Evanchos under attack for being incompetent and unqualified to make that determination. :). At the end of the day, you’ve got a phenom with a unique voice, delivery, style and more importantly a personality that only endears her to the general public ! That means she has a better chance at success than most others. ..and if others capitalize and profit from this, what’s the harm as long as she is happy and profits from it too !

  28. It’s a tough act to upstage Jackie Evancho, but Jamaane Smith, the accompanying trumpeter in her Summer of ’42 cut oh her Great Performances DVD, comes pretty close! Either performance would have stood nicely on its own; together they were stellar!

  29. Well, little Jackie does create a lot of candy floss in her Willy Wonka tribute. Enough to make me retch.

    Interesting to see the latest development of the Jackie cash machine. Her handlers have told her to tone down the emotive arm movements – that’s good. Her back throat hooting in the low register has grown worse, however. Why would she try to emulate the resonance of a cathedral using her voice when she’s singing into an adjustable mike? a Duh! to her her handlers.

    I’m surprised that Mr. Lebrecht thinks that Jackie’s handlers are targeting young people with her albums and concerts. Their target market is made up of middle aged suckers with unfulfilled dreams and the elderly who have grown overly sentimental about youth. That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?


    “Jakie has one of the smoothest, beautiful voices in the music industry for any age never mind for a 12 year old.”

    You win the prize for the best joke of the day! :D

    • @Karin I rather like the reinterpretation of the song. WIlly Wonka was funny and idiosyncratic but there is not only one way to do it. The arrangement is lush and so are the visuals but at the core is a singer who really is putting herself into the performance. The aura of mystery furthers the idea of “imagination”.

    • Karin
      The candy floss is doing wonders for her career. Would love to laugh with you, but don’t get the joke. Even Jackie’s severest critics agree that she has a beautiful voice.

      • I guess that I am even severer than her most severe critics, Mr. Anwaar.

        Cabbagejuice, if Jackie Evancho wants to sound as mysterious as an owl hooting in a remote forest at midnight, she’s welcome to all the jawbreaker candy she can eat once she gets into the chocolate factory. So far, she has only been to to a kiosk to buy extra sweet lollipops – singing wise. Actually, the more I think about it, the more appaling the thought of her eating lots of jawbreaker candy sounds to me.

        Jackie Evancho has a golden coupon Mr. Wonka!!!! Let her in! I bet the Oompa-Loompahs will love singing with her.

        • Karin,
          I’m not sure if you’re severity is a result of bias or expertise. Being a fan, the owl hooting in the forest sounds sweeter than the grunt of skepticism that prevails among the educators of our youth on this forum. Even worse is the constant wailing about the denigration of an art form that is getting its life choked out of it by its own guardians. It’s like the overprotective mother who bundles up her child to protect it against the cold and smothers it to death instead …. And then blames the father for providing the blanket !

  30. If JE’s voice broke any further she’d sound like a man.

  31. Victoria Clarke says:

    Here’s another succinct and interesting blog. Some good comments too.

  32. By the way Norm…Jackie’s parents are well aware of this blog and its hostility to their daughter. For them to give you permission to post ANY song from her album or her concert at the Orpheum is a fantasy of mountainous proportions. Oh and this might also come under the purview of her record label SONY. If it does I would not be surprised if they demand you take the video down.

    • Mr Everett Cox
      The request to publish – request, not permission – was received from the official Jackie Evancho site.
      Slipped Disc does not tolerate anonymous abuse. Since you accuse us of making things up, we have taken the liberty of publishing your real name. Your future posts will be spammed out. NL

  33. What is this deplorable fussing about about this one poor girl? One person goes on and on for months saying the same things about what’s wrong with her singing, in such a manner that if she was right, it would make a person give up on voice lessons altogether, would anyone have to hear such a fixation (right or wrong). The rest go on and on as if she’s the chosen one, and to even have a shadow of a doubt that she’s maybe, just maybe, not doing everything completely right and might need some help is an unforgivable injustice.

    • @Roelof Alexander Bijkerk Why indeed yet another fussing post that this time is essentially about nothing?

    • Friday Bridge says:


      The fuss began back when she was 10. I could give you chapter and verse on the debate, but here’s a Reader’s Digest” version.

      At first she sang, and many of us fell in love with her voice. Hereinafter referred to as “Jackie Fans”. She was promoted on TV as an opera singer. She’s not. There are many people who like the opera art form, and being a part of it, they know how hard it is. Their allegiance is to the art form more than individual singers. They will disect anyone’s performance who steps out on an opera stage to sing opera. Hereinafter referred to opera aficionados.

      In the world of “Point – Counterpoint” it was a sort of “Less Filling – Tastes great” kind of battle between Aficionados and Fans, with neither side having any chance of converting the other. The two sides were arguing along the lines of “Greatest voice ever” and “Yea, if she doesn’t wreck it with poor technique, overuse, and the dollar motive, oh and by the way don’t call her an opera singer. She isn’t.” She’s not. Time seems to be the only real answer to these issues, since none of us have any real say in things.

      There were some critical aficionado reviews that were “over the line” as seen by her fans, and at that, the battle was joined. At that time, her demographic was heavily laden by old folks (fans) like me with time on their hands, people who had grand kids of their own. Since many of us had “adopted” Jackie into our extended families, we couldn’t tolerate anyone “picking on” a ten year old kid, and the fight was on.

      Over the past few years, she has improved, and shown she has staying power. Issues of the safety of her singing technique are still with us, and only time will tell, but I, of course, am hopeful, given the progress she keeps making.

      The level of debate you are seeing here, Roelof, is nothing compared to what it has been, and even this level of debate will die down over time as she gets older and whatever happens, happens. As someone who has raised kids, and now helping to raise grand kids, you learn to know what you can and cannot control. Two of my grand kids are 11 year old girls. It’s nice to know that they are going home to their parents at the end of the day, believe me. Our control over kids is less and less each year as they work their way towards 18 or 21 (or 25, really).

      This is the first LeBrecht article I’ve been comfortable participating in. (I have participated on others, but only while wearing a helmet.).

      If you know where each side is coming from, it’s easier to listen constructively, and interpret what’s being said from a more measured point of view.

      This is probably more than you wanted to know, but your post provided me with the opportunity to frame the old debate, to put some perspective on it.

  34. Stephen Runnels says:

    Actually, Norm, I want to thank you for publishing this video. There are many on your blog that until now have not had the opportunity to experience such a wonderful talent. That to me is a greater disservice to Jackie than any negative comments about her or her abilities. Those of us who have grown up living and loving classical music and the special style of the classical voice can and most often do recognize just how incredible and unique Jackie Evancho is. It’s easy to over-analyze a singer’s voice in comparison to our individual concept of perfection, but it is also just as easy to put such analyzing aside and enjoy this voice for what it is.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      This isn’t classical music with all due respect Stephen, it’s an album of movie songs by an America’s Got Talent novelty act. Sorry.

      • Novelty or not it’s still more enjoyable than classical music for the majority and I guess significantly entertaining and / or interesting for Mr Lebrecht to publish here.

  35. Cabbagejuice, Victoria, Janey and others schooled in vocals:

    Over the course of reading many of your comments at several articles here regarding Jackie, I never fully understood what some of you were getting at with the “mimicking”, “contrived”, “not singing naturally” and assertions of that kind. I’ve read your explanations but just couldn’t recognize that in Jackie’s singing. But then when I saw her performance of “I See the Light” in a duet with her brother, well, even in my musically uneducated observation and as a fan wanting to believe she is just spectacular to no end, I can’t deny that there does seem to be something not right with Jackie’s singing that I’ve never picked up on before. After hearing her in contrast with her brother, I began notice this anomaly in performances of other numbers at this concert even on re-listening to numbers sung before this duet that I didn’t notice the first time.

    If some of you wouldn’t mind watching this video of Jackie and her brother Jacob performing the duet, and commenting on what’s going on and to what extent the contrast of her brother’s singing emphasizes, is negligible, or maybe isn’t even fair to utilize as contrast, or even if I am off and this is actually an improvement by her, I would appreciate it.

    • @Mr. Hand The link you provided didn’t actually reveal the problems as the song lies in a rather small range and there are few held notes. The seams don’t show except at the end of “where I’m meant to be” at 0.47 and 1.16 at “shifitng” where the notes are wobbly. Of course JE fans would say this is nit picking when the rest of the perfomance is so satisyfing.
      But that is not the point. When she does sing anything above a whisper in front of a microphone and more particularly in songs that require long notes like Con Te Partiro, vocal flaws can even be recognized by non-professionals. Of course fans ignore the dinosaur in the living room or can’t discriminate anyway.
      Jackie must have done Puccini’s O Mio Babbino several hundred times but still didn’t get it right. This is in contrast to a soprano actually her own age, a certain Patricia from Slovakia who won a prize in singing and whose link was posted here. Patty shows how a young girl can and should sound like without wobbling, gracefully held high notes, free breathing and no visible tension in the jaw.
      It seems at the around the age of 9 Jackie was imitating songs from Phantom of the Opera and hit upon a gimmick that eventually made her famous. The problem about a certain identifiable vocal color with any kind of singer, it is actually a monochrome and limited in application.
      It is a pity she cannot soar about the pressure that she needs to keep very tightly controlled in order to produce that timbre. But even worse is the Russian Roulette attitude that it might be dangerous in the long term, but who cares?

      • Friday Bridge says:

        Thank you for your analysis. Very detailed and I will use this to listen myself. Your last paragraph has me mystified, though. Gimmick? vocal color? a monochrome? soar about the pressure? I’m not familiar with the points you are making.

        • Victoria Clarke says:

          Isn’t this setting a bad example for kids who could technically sing better than her, but will mimic her poor breath control and interpretation, causing them to lose out eventually to those properly coached?

        • @Friday Bridge It’s difficult to describe music in words that can only approximate feeling and sound but never adequately able to express it. Getting across vocal concepts (though I would never use “think of swallowing a grapefruit”) is even harder as one cannot see the instrument one is working with.
          Vocal color, OK, think of Marilyn Monroe with her breathy quality as an example of a monochrome, limited to a certain seductive purpose or message, even if subtext. I would call that a gimmick. Lack of flexibility to express other emotions goes along with choosing a certain vocal color and sticking to that.
          The style that Jackie uses in classical crossover makes it almost impossible for her to sing even a simple aria like O Mio Babbino. Here is one of her latest in Russia, not encouraging at all:

          This alone shows the technique is not flexible. A talented 12 year old should by all rights be able to soar OVER (‘about’ was a typo) and not be brought down to earth by the pressure she exerts on the larynx which she seemed to have discovered rather early on. Better vids of her indicate at least to me that her type is soprano as she seems to be least troubled in a higher range. Unfortunately, many of the songs she sings are in the middle to low range. When she gets to the bottom notes, the sound is scratchy.
          All in all, it is not considered a good idea to put half-baked vocal technique on the stage. Mistakes have a way of compounding themselves and they can even cause damage especially when reinforced early on.

      • Jackie can sing OMBC several hundred times and still not get it right …. And people still won’t care. She doesn’t have to get it right for people to enjoy and appreciate … And millions do appreciate.
        Patricia Janechkova is extremely talented and will no doubt have an illustrious career. Her interest is opera and she has pursued that from a very young age. She will do great until she meets up with the stuffy, narrow minded, biased and prejudiced opera teaching community. From then on its anyone’s bet whether her career will flourish or not depending on the whims of the opera community and whether she has spent enough time earning her keep.
        Jackie is NOT interested in opera as far as we know. Beautiful voice regardless of technical flaws, perceived or otherwise. Actually she has a very unique voice and since my crystal ball is just as good as yours, it tells me she will do just fine!

        • Chuck Yates says:

          ►► Anwaar… as we all know, it is Jackie’s indefinable magnetism that drives the ‘opera fundamentalists’ bonkers. But the same is true for all forms of art… it is the consumer that defines pleasure and determines value, not the vision of the opera purist, or the pedagogue’s textbook, course outline, or lesson plan. If pleasure were quantifiable we’d all be rich. Whatever it is that Jackie Evancho has… the consuming public wants it… and can’t seem to get enough.

          • Chuck,
            I couldn’t have said it better :).

          • Yo Chuck. On an unrelated matter, can you tell me how you get those arrows please?

          • Chuck Yates says:

            ►► Steve…. those are ASCII symbols available on any keyboard using the [character map] located in [System tools] within your [Accessories] folder, or using power strokes. In my case I use the numerical keypad, make sure the [numbers lock] is off, then hold down the [shift and alt] keys, then enter the numerals 16, then release the [shift and alt] keys. The right arrow character will not appear until you release the [shift and alt] keys…

            You can experiment using that same procedure but with different numerals such as (¯”•.¸*♥♥♥* ¸.•”¯) ►◄☼ 【ツ】♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♫♪, etc.

          • W►ll, w►ll, w►ll. Thanks.

      • cabbagejuice,

        Thank you for taking your time to view the video and provide a response to my inquiry.

        I guess I have just confirmed my musical “alliteracy ” demonstrated by my perception that Jackie’s prior singing of the more classical bent, which many vocal teachers and experts deemed very flawed, was just terrific, but this other number, where that is not so evident… to me, something seems awry about it. It just came across to me in these latest songs that she seemed to be really trying hard to sound like an adult, or so it appeared in contrast to her brother’s singing, but that didn’t seem to be the case in her prior “Dream with Me” performances of arias, where her voice did sound adult like, but I didn’t detect anything affected about it. But what do I know? :) All the same, thanks again for your reply. I always appreciate your informative perspectives.

        • @Mr. Hand Those who come with fresh ears to Evancho like my husband who hasn’t heard a lot of her singing say as you do, that she seems to be trying hard to sound like an adult and that something seems awry about it. Yes, I do agree that there are times when the sound is freer but it’s gotten to the point where it is hard to distinguish what the real free sound is and what is contrived. A test case is an aria like O Mio Babbino that is impossible to bring up the smoky quality of the middle range. And recently she has been singing that transposed down. I happen to think her natural voice is high. She sounds better up there and seems more comfortable. But that is not where most of the pop music is.

    • schroedinger says:

      My guess is that you are referring to the tone that some call “hooting”. She seems to be able to apply it in more or less quantity at will, and has been a little over-fond of it lately. There are songs it has worked well in, but I do hope she comes to use it less. People are always talking about her great, unique “voice”, but I think the fascinating thing about her is more that she seems to have a natual genius for phrasing, timing, etc., the things that give music its impact beyond a pretty melody. Most musicians spend many years to develop this ability which she seems to have innately. Those who call it mimicry I think, are being overskeptical when presented with this startling phenomenon. In addition, she has a voice good enough to put that genius to work, although there are some issues with it, and she is freer with her manipulations than is normally considered quality by classical standards.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Well, Jackie seems to be mimicking crossover stars like Westenra, Brightman and Jenkins rather than learning to actually read the music, so it’s no surprise her interpretations are well off the mark by classical standards.

  36. I was a singer, even went to Juilliard and studied with Jennie Tourel in both Israel and New York. I was young and carefree. Singing was a pleasure, and you know it’s the pleasure that makes the magic. Then I learned about the mask, Ms. Tourel told me when I breathe I should swallow a grapefruit and think about my diaphragm and the resonators in the back of my head and the top of my skull. Then there were those intimate masterclasses where you could look up someone’s nostrils. And then one day, it was over. I could no longer sing Mimi, or Liu or even Heidenroeslein. My personal opinion about Evancho is that if the voice remains healthy and she has teachers who don’t nudge her to death so the youthful pleasure and passion do not disappear, and even if they do, she’s made enough money to take spa lessons for the rest of her life and will remain Forever Young. One more point, I do believe she is the real thing and that’s a miracle. The cry of youth is a miracle.

  37. Sorry to jump in like this, and excuse me for being really lazy and not reading all the comments, so ignoring this comment would be entirely justified, BUT- do you guys remember Charlotte Church? Anyone know what she’s up to now?
    I could tell you, indeed I know one of the guys playing in her band, and he stands by her and says she’s a great girl. But she didn’t go on to have a hugely successful opera career after her prodigious start. She does appear to be happy (for now) so we can’t really speculate too much.
    I guess what I’m saying is this: if you like Jackie now, enjoy it, she might not always be good, but we just can’t tell.
    And when / if things go wrong, don’t try and pin the blame on one person / company- it will probably be the fault of many!

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      Charlotte Church began smoking & drinking, changed genres & had children, things Jackie (hopefully) won’t be doing for a number of years (although changing genres by itself might not be that bad). Hence there isn’t a lot of relevance to Jackie at this time.

      If you listen to Charlotte’s voice over time, you’ll hear that her worst vocal problems (especially breathiness) corresponded temporally to her pregnancies. She’s improved a great deal since then. This is not to say pregnancy was the ONLY cause of her difficulties, but it was clearly a contributor.

      Charlotte’s voice now is quite beautiful up & down the registers. She just sings pop instead of classical, & let’s face it, the quality of the voice is just not as important in pop as it is in classical. Flash & sex appeal are a lot more important. After all, Justin Bieber can’t sing for beans, but he’s a big star, at least here in the States.

      Besides, Jackie sings very differently than Charlotte did when she was younger, with somewhat different technical flaws. So really, there’s very little relevance in the comparison.

    • Charlotte Church has been extensively discussed at most Jackie related forums. Here is a quick run down. She was never interested nor had intentions to pursue opera or classical. Decided to switch gears when she was fairly young and do POP. Didn’t work out for her, she smoked and drank heavily while still a teen, married a football celebrity and took to motherhood as a fish takes to water. Has two kids and seems happily married …. Has some sort of TV show or did for a while … And last but not least, has several million pounds in her bank account !! She has often been quoted as saying that motherhood is her top priority !

      • Friday Bridge says:

        Yes, the popular press seems to want to turn her life into some kind of object lesson, and in the process, distorting what went on, and why. Charlotte Church tells a somewhat different tale. The real truth is in there somewhere for those who care.

        You pointed out she has saved up money, I’d heard about 10 million, but that’s not as important as the fact she is living the life she says she wants. Good for her.

  38. @ Chuck Yates

    The consuming public also prefers McDonald’s to foie gras and caviar. Just because foie gras and caviar consumers are in the minority does not mean that their taste buds are less refined than those of people who prefer the purple slime in a burger from McDonald’s.

    Jackie Evancho is like a Happy Meal: Cheap, easily available and bland enough for most peoples’ tastes, which otherwise gravitate towards macaroni and cheese, fried chicken tenders and hamburger helper.

    To opera fundamentalists, Jackie’s “indefinable magnetism” is like subjecting them to a reverse field above the magnetic material’s coercivity. In layman’s terms, Jackie is thoroughly degaussed by good musical taste and an understanding of vocal technique.

  39. I haven’t read all the posts here, but some themes appear the same.

    Just a note on this Jackie kid and the commentaries on her. In the Slipped Disc blogs on this kid. Those expressing concern appear to me to be as smitten as anyone else by this child. She’s a delightful child who is living her version of a utopian dream, and we see expressions of happiness in her at a level that is rarely seen.

    Those expressing concern are FAR more biased FOR the girl than is sometimes given credit. They of all people would love to be wrong about some of their predictions based on their experiences, studies and observations of other child singers.

    I would say that what they fear is being right, and that the reason they are speaking up is in the hope that those who may read their comments, and who may have any direct connection with Jackie’s life, take heed of some of their concerns and act accordingly to avoid avoidable damage. That’s the key message I’ve seen again and again.

    The main themes seem to be: don’t be unrealistic; don’t push too far too fast and burn out a developing child; there is nothing new about the fact of child singers, and therefore the data exist for those who care, and who may be involved with this child to pay attention and learn.

    I should note that Sarah Brightman made an insightful comment that is not dissimilar to these themes. At 4:47 in this video, she is asked “what do you think of our young Jackie?”.
    She replies: “Jackie is a beautiful, wonderful little girl with a wonderful voice, and I want her to save it, and preserve it”

    I’m not an expert in anything musical, but I do get the impression that the type of songs Jackie is singing of late, quite apart from any marketing agenda, are less demanding on her voice. If that is so, that is surely a good thing, and fits with some of the advice I have seen about pulling back a bit.

    So to readers – if there are any – who may have involvement with Jackie, directly or indirectly (and I don’t need to know who you are), I would say take on board expressions of concern for what they are. Like any advice or data, it is the job of the receiver to take in such advice and data from as broad a range as possible, especially the more challenging stuff: then process it and apply that which applies.

    I can recall working at one high pressure place where within my first weeks I got all sorts of advice from different people, most well meaning, but sometimes with an agenda. We were dealing with situations where if we got it wrong, we’d be in Coroner’s Court: that sort of pressure. The point is, that I took all this in, and applied that which applied to me and my style. I got quite a bit of flack at times, from those whose advice I didn’t follow to the letter; or from taking on board advice from people who were in conflict with each other.

    But in the end, what I did was what any sensible and relatively sane person must do: I considered all the available data, and applied that which was relevant to the contingencies of my situation. Same here regarding anyone involved in Jackie’s life.

    As for fixated fans, they are not a problem unless they cross certain lines. And I’m assuming those involved with Jackie are onto this.

  40. I’m interested to find out which footballer Charlotte Church married….it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    • Charlotte Church has two children by former Rugby player Gavin Henson. They never married and split for good in 2010 when he was caught up in the wonderful world of reality TV and declared his “undying love” for the woman he met on that show!
      In her performance at the Blissfields Music Festival last July, Ms Church looked haggard and absurd- sporting a bad platinum bleach job and wearing a sheer, cream colored dress with black underwear showing through. Not the the underwear was the first thing to catch the crowd’s attention, since her ample cleavage was spilling out, a la KJ!

      There is a tendency for young singers to drop their larynx and cover to produce an artificially “darkened” sound because they think that they sound more “mature”. That won’t cut it once the voice changes-yes, those hormones always come into play, like it or not- and any good teacher will take the youngster back to basics in the attempt to break the bad habits (muscle memory) and to learn proper breathing, support and placement techniques. If I had a dollar for every girl I’ve known who came in thinking that they were terrific singers because they’ve had a lot of performance opportunities or leading roles who were then told that they were doing it all wrong, I could take you all out to a great dinner! And those “opportunities” are directly correlated with the family’s financial status and the factor of being in the right place at the right time.

      And to think were were all brought up thinking that the story of ” The Emperor’s New Clothes” was just a fairy tale….

      • Her voice has been constantly changing and continues to change …. For the better for those who are deaf to technique and care more about her vocal beauty and timbre. As long as her voice continues in the direction it’s going, she’ll continue to build her fan base ….. Only time will tell what the outcome will be … Until then, as I’ve said before, my crystal ball is just as good as anybody else’s.

        • Victoria Clarke says:

          Or just those who are deaf but like looking at cute little girls.

          • Yes , in the absense of anything worthwhile to say, you instinctively give in to your true nature …. An embittered opera singer ! My sympathies !

  41. Oh and another thing ……who is reponsible for the video coming on on this page as soon as you open it? There must be a law against it!!!

    • Yes Addison says:

      I’m prepared for it now, and can hit the “pause” button before I hear a single note of that Metamucil-ad treacle. I assumed the automatic loading was someone’s sense of humor.

  42. schroedinger says:

    I couldn’t find cabbagejuice’s (I believe it was) reference to Patricia Janekhova’s rendition of O Mio Babbino Caro, so I will post this as an addendum of my last post. I have listened to it, just did so again, and I believe it illustrates my point about JE. While PJ’s rendition may be superior technically, as are others, JE’s (at least the better ones) of the same piece are more effective. PJ sings notes, JE sings phrases. That may be said to be a matter of taste, fine. But note that PJ’s audience politely claps while JE’s typically leap from their seats and cheer.

    The St Petersburg OMBC is a good illustration of her IMHO unfortunate use of the dark tone. Many others are better. There were other problems in St Petersburg- though she did apparantly make quite an impression anyway, with some of her other pieces.

    • Friday Bridge says:

      The sound on CJ’s example was captured by a camera in the audience. Lots of echo and artifact, but still good enough for Youtube, just not a great diagnostic example of her voice. She sang OBMC in her lower register as usual. By the way, she had been working on her lower register the past year, so I’m told. The lowest of her lows are breathy.

      The new CD, Songs of the Silver Screen are sung in a higher register, and as CJ suggests, sounds better to me, and personally I agree that she is better in her upper register.

      Schroedinger’s right about the fact that her voice, with whatever technical issues she might have or develop, create more of an emotional response in the listener than many other singers.

      As regards her technical issues, (real or imagined or future) (which I am in no position to judge) are beyond my control.

    • @schroedinger At the risk of sounding repetitive (but I haven’t necessarily have answered your posts specifically), in O Mio Babbino, Ombra Mai Fu, Nessun Dorma and even Ave Maria, Jackie does NOT sing phrases but syllables, even disjointed from the words themselves. I don’t know how you can say that Patricia sings notes rather than phrases, because it is obviously untrue. Patricia’s audience in that vid was considerably less than what Jackie usually gets. The leaping and cheering, sorry to say, are not so different from the hysteria that followed the Beatles and other pop sensations.

      • schroedinger says:

        “obvious: easily seen or recognized or understood; palpable; indubitable” (Oxford)

        If it was obvious, it would not be neccessary for you to assert it. You misuse the word, sticking it in merely to insult me. I was talking about musical phrasing, not diction. OBVIOUSLY, you prefer Janekhova’s. I posted not to begin a debate with you, over what you consider indubitable, but to invite others to listen and compare, and decide for themselves.

        re leaping and cheering: you indulge in more insult. Actually, audiences at “Beatles and other pop sensations” events would probably more typically stand ON their seats throughout the performance and scream. If you really believe that is “not so different”, it does not improve your reputation for perception.

    • Patricia Janechkova sings a beautiful rendition of OMBC. The difference is that Patricia sings a song and Jackie tells you a story with the same song by becoming a part of the song. If you steer away from the technical aspects of the song, Jackie’s emotional delivery is outstanding. She just performed the song again at her concert yesterday.

      I’m not a vocal expert but I am vocal about the sheer beauty and timbre of Jackie’s voice …. Even if that voice lasts for only a short time.

      • Ugh, crooning and hooting most of the time! What story? By chopping up the words? The story doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with the text. It’s just emotion that happens to have pitch and different vowels. Sorry, at that age, a young soprano should be able to sing a line without gasping after every other syllable. And there are PLENTY who can!

        • I give enormous credit to Ms. Evancho for this. Her voice is most clearly in a time of rapid change and she must have substantial raw talent to manage even this level now. It is not near her best, but she obviously knows her voice and is singing with more nuance than previously. This cannot be a comfortable time to sing.

          The videos uploaded from what appears to be the same concert, of Some Enchanted Evening and My Heart Will Go On, are difficult and instructive. The low and middle voice have become wobbly and often out of tune but she soldiers onward.

          In truth, this is a child with enormous talent and drive and she is marshaling every ounce of what she has to fulfill her commitments to everyone, including her fans. I wish her the absolute best; she deserves a good, long career with that gift she was given.

          • I apologize, the first video did not come out correctly. Here it is.


          • One , of course shouldnt forget, that Jackie loves to sing and will continue to do so, commitments or no commitments ….. She is extremely committed to achieving her dreams and mostly self driven as per David Foster and some of the professional musicians that she has worked with.

          • schroedinger says:

            I give YOU credit for your generous and moderate post here, in the face of considerable contentiousness from some of your respondants. I, too, worry about JE’s future, and have become convinced that the concerns you raise are not just from a vocal few. At this point, though, I remain hopeful for a nondisatrous outcome. The citation of other singers who survived a very young start encourages hope that the phenomenon of prodigy is not neccessarily damaging; JE’s level of activity just might be adequately monitered and limited. That she seems to remain a well-adjusted child in spite of what would seem to be overwhelming attention from star-struck adults speaks for remarkable character, which in turn speaks for the quality of her family’s care. The picture is darkened, though, by the clouds of commercial involvement. The neccessity of touring, etc., to support sales of recordings generates pressure. Commitment to a path, emotional AND financial, can color human judgement. I know next to nothing of contract law, but surely there is provision for the welfare of minors. Jackie’s parents HAVE stated that they are ready to “pull the plug” at any time.

        • Better than the screeching from opera singers that i’ve heard and you’ve heard them too. I didn’t hear any gasps and my hearing is just fine like most people who hear Jackie. And I’m sure there are plenty of sopranos who can sing a line or more without gasping but who cares, since many of us will never hear of them. They are too well sheltered by the conservative opera community to ever display their talents and by the time they are ready no one will really care, except the few that spent their lives dedicated to keeping them hidden. What a waste of talent !

          • Yes Addison says:

            If opera singers really are screeching, then something is wrong. If they are just singing high notes in full voice without amplification and you perceive it as screeching, that’s something else.

            As to your contempt for the art form (which the young lady’s mother seems to share), I think you’re misguided in placing this much importance on popular ratification. There are always going to be things in life and art that come to you, and other things to which *you* must go — or at least meet halfway — in order to appreciate. Opera singers are displaying their talents all over the world, and the best of them do quite nicely for themselves. I’m not sure what you’d have them do differently. Make the operas shorter? Just sing arias interspersed with popular and movie songs? Start younger, when they’re still cute? Croon into microphones?

          • @Yes Addison
            You seem to struggle with what I said. I don’t have contempt for the art. My interest in opera was thru Cecilia Bartoli and Luciano Pavorotti, two truly talented people. I have a lot of respect for the art. I have a problem with a small group of stuffy, self righteous, self appointed opera officianados, who think that the very bastion of opera is under siege and needs to be constantly guarded. It doesn’t !
            Many, like me, don’t necessarily understand all the technical aspects of opera, but still enjoy listening to it.
            What the incredibly talented young lady’s mother has to do with all this, I have no clue.

        • cabbagejuice,

          Do you ever tell the truth? Jackie dies not gasp for breath every other syllable, in fact her breathing has continued to improve as she has grown. I’ll bet she has a much better voice than you have, and I’ll bet that her phrasing is far better than yours is too! Maybe she could give you some lessons!

          • schroedinger says:

            I think that the word “gasping” is just an artifact of ‘juice’s rhetorical style.

          • @schroedinger There is plenty of bonafide gasping for breath in Starry, Starry Night. A lot of air pressure is needed to keep the larynx down and get that smoky quality. The problem is with that contrived “mature” sound, there is the shakiness on the bottom that one associates with a singer at the end of a long career, NOT at the beginning!

          • Jackie has sung Starry Starry Night in several concerts. In this particular song she seems to sound breathy. I noticed that in several different renditions of the song. My take is that she is experimenting and trying to add emotional expression to the song. I don’t hear it in any other songs. Remember, Jackie is extremely intelligent and gifted in her musicality. It is natural for her to improvise and experiment as she gains more confidence in her abilities.
            As far as OMBC, her most recent rendition at Puyallup is by far the most beautiful and definitive version I’ve ever heard. Anyone know a better version by anyone else, please let me know.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Russ, please do not insult Cabbage juice by making assumptions about her voice, which you have never heard. That is hitting below the belt.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            I find it somewhat surprising that you mention the “smoky” quality in her timbre on this version of Starry Starry Night. Her timbre is quite consistent here, not like the occasional smokiness she had during the same song in San Francisco, & absolutely nothing like her timbre in Russia. As I’ve said before, she controls her timbre as she feels she needs to.

            I’m not sure where “plenty” of gasping is, as her breaths are now only slightly more frequent than an adult’s would be. She’s growing up. She also controls of her vibrato, both in magnitude & frequency, up & down the registers, using it to express emotion. Her pitch control is very good also.

            Of course, she seems more emotionally expressive than ever. As you’ve mentioned, she does have intuitive musicality.

  43. Stephen Runnels says:

    Those of a detractive nature here have apparently never experienced Jackie Evancho in a live performance. Her voice flows from an exuberance of spirit you can feel from just about anywhere in the concert hall. As much as this sounds like hyperbole, you just have to experience it yourself. Giving in to a nit-picking frame of mind won’t work at a live event. I doubt you will ever see a more enthusiastic, loving, and extremely talented little girl give every ounce of herself to the experience she loves so much. To be a part of Jackie’s happiness as she does the thing she loves motivates the audience that grows larger every time she performs. The CD’s and Videos are but a treasure of remembrance.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      Have you sought help for your obsession? You clearly need both a hearing test and a psychiatrist.

      • Stephen Runnels says:

        Although I am flattered you wish me to join your small, lonely group of soured perspective in regard to the truly beautiful voice of Jackie Evancho, I doubt coming over to the dark side with you would be either beneficial or a pleasant experience.

      • Stephen Runnels says:

        Victoria; Although I am flattered you wish me to join in your small, lonely group of soured perspective in regard to the truly beautiful voice of Jackie Evancho, I doubt coming over to the dark side with you would be either beneficial or a pleasant experience.

  44. schroedinger says:

    OK, cabbagejuice, I apologize for my somewhat testy reply to your somewhat contemptuous reply. If we both back off a bit, perhaps we CAN discuss this matter of syllables. I agree with your statement, “The story doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with the text.” In song, the text is subservient to the music. So may not the artist modify vowels, consonants, syllables, words from spoken language, if she thinks it sounds better? You may, of course disagree that it sounds better.

    I think I know what you mean by “hooting”, and I do share the concern expressed by some about that, thinking JE has been overusing it; but I am encouraged by the recent example given above by anwaar. I hear some separation of syllables, but it does not bother me. As you know, JE does not pretend to be trying to sing in a strictly classical mode. I do not hear “gasping”. If she breathes more often than a trained singer, I can handle that, too. Can you define “crooning”? Is it the use of vibrato in varying degrees, rather than keeping it consistant through a note? Teach me.

    • @schroedinger No, I am not going to accept that my reply was “contemptuous” and on top of that, “teach you”. Believe it or not, Italian words have integrity, have identifiiable vowels (one of the beauties of the sung and even spoken language) and should not be chopped up in the manner that Jackie has been getting away with all this time. You can find out yourself what the meaning of the words are of O Mio babbino and the context in which it should be sung. Otherwise one can use the words of Happy Birthday to the same music.
      The “story” of the operatic arias she sings is having a serious expression and crooning into the microphone, “crooning” being more a matter of style, that has NOTHING to do with the arias and in fact, is a gross distortion. Artists may modify vowels to a certain extent to make them more understandable but not because they can’t manage them. Breathing in the middle of words, unless there is a good musical or expressive reason, is taboo. Gasping in the middle of the words because there isn’t enough breath is simply bad technique. The way she sings O mio Babbino is simply awful.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        What happens if we take the microphone away? She simply cannot have the vocal power and maturity to carry over an orchestra. The people who say she has a big voice, are only listening to the amplified end product. Crooning into a mic is at least safer for a girl her age than attempting to push an immature childs voice to operatic proportions before it is ready, if it will ever be.

        • How does that make her voice less beautiful than it already is?

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Well, for a start, she’d be totally inaudible.

          • I doubt that ! But even if she was, once again, how does that make her voice less beautiful than it is. And why would she sing without a mic anyways? She’s not trying to be an opera singer. I personally think she sounds better than most opera singers but that ‘s just me …

      • schroedinger says:

        Oh, good- I DO know what crooning is. I was afraid it had some additional technical meaning in your specifically educated milieu, another sin that JE is committing. Just trying to separate the hyperbole from discussable criticism. Beg pardon, but I will venture to caution you, and others, that hyperbole tends to say more about its user than its subject. “Crooning”, for instance, probably lacks pejorative value for most people, though it’s plain it has such in your mind. Because it differs from what operatic singers do, it is contemptible. I submit that that revealed attitude only drives further away, those you may hope to persuade to your point of view, causing the intemperate among them to descend to such terms as “opera snob”. But perhaps it is not your wish to persuade anyone, but only to reap kudos from those that already agree with you, for a thorough putdown.

        I expect that Mr. Lebrecht hoped to inspire more substantive discussion, perhaps about whether the cultural phenomenon of JE is hurtful, helpful, or neutral to the institution and art of classical music. To respond to what he actually said, I, too was a little puzzled by the album’s title and black-and-white cover; one would expect a collection of songs from the B&W era. I think, though, that almost everyone knows that “Silver Screen” means movie theater- the power of alliteration makes the phrase too good to die just because the screen is no longer silver; the term is still in general use. Regarding the “formidable marketing machine”, I would be interested to know just what impressed NL as formidable. It seems to me JE’s marketing has been rather low key. Her St. Petersburg trip, for instance, seemed made to order for sensationalized coverage in the mainstream media, but nothing of the kind resulted- just a blurb here and there buried on the internet.

        • @schroedinger – One does not appear on a significant number of talk shows, nor appear in a movie, represent a clothing contract, travel to Japan, or appear with major names, without a formidable marketing (and other) machine. Nothing is by chance; it must always involve significant work, deals, agreements, and the like.

          • Not to mention, talent , charisma and a wonderful personality !

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            No, Jackie arranges all her own business deals. Didn’t you know that? The formidable marketing machine is herself and Team Evancho!!

          • Victoria,
            I don’t think her marketing machine is formidable yet …. Wait a few more years and when (note that I said “when” and not “if”) Jackie becomes the foremost and most widely known singer/songwriter/actor, then I would say that a formidable talent has a formidable marketing machine. Until then, all we can do is wait and enjoy her music :).

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Anwaar, now I know you are either a shill or stark raving mad!!

          • schroedinger says:

            “nothing is by chance”- Disagree. A great deal is by chance in this world. For instance, Redford happened to be watching TV one night, made a phone call.

            Rumor has it the Guess Kids thing happened in a similar manner. Her first Japan trip was due to David Foster’s invitation to appear on his tour; from there it snowballed.

            I’m not surprised, when you inform me that she has someone to handle the paperwork. But as for marketing, I used the term “low key” in order to not say, “inept”, giving benefit of the doubt. Opportunities have arisen for her. But it doesn’t seem any great starmaker machine is at work. I don’t see her in the supermarket tabloids. The St. Pete trip: “America’s Sweetheart”, yada, yada, goes to big bad Russia to represent the Land of the Free and appears with huge stars, etc… what could a good publicist make out of that? Maybe they were afraid she wouldn’t come off well. It must have seemed an intimidating prospect for some. Or maybe it’s just my cold war upbringing, giving it extra drama in my mind.

            Anyway, NL should not be bowled over, which is the picture given by the phrase “formidable marketing machine”, by the fact that Sony (and the Evanchos) would like to sell their records. Probably he wasn’t, though; just wanted to spice his work with a little pejorative insinuation.

          • @schroedinger
            Agree with all you said.
            No dig at NL was intended, at least not on my part. The term “formidable marketing machine” has been loosely used by different posters on this forum.

    • I, like many, absolutely love crooning. For me, no one was better than Perry Como. Of course, I don’t remember him singing opera / classical.
      I don’t see the crooning in Jackie, but if it’s there all the better. She’s versatile …. And she proves it !

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      You [redacted] don’t realise we have a wealth of language over here in Europe, each and every one as expressive and beautiful as English, in fact more so. Italian is the language of singing, with it’s pure, open vowels. Take away the context, the phrasing and diction, it’s just meaningless sounds. I’d like to see an Italian Bel Canto teacher’s opinion, I can guarantee you, it won’t be in Jackie’s favour.

      • Well I wish you the best on your hunt for a Bel Caanto teachers opinion. Let me know when you find one and what he or she says….not that I’m interested. For the umpteenth time … Most people don’t listen for technique … They listen for pleasure and how beautiful a voice sounds. 3million CDs later, it’s safe to say there are quite a few people who love Jackie’s voice.

        • Yes Addison says:

          Anwaar, it’s not as though there has never been a case of faulty technique making someone’s singing less pleasurable and beautiful over time, even to a point that people not knowledgeable about singing hear a decline. This has happened all too often, in every genre of singing. “Technique” is the foundation of vocal health and longevity, not just a concept The Snobs are seizing on just to pull the ladder up behind them and make The Masses (including…what is the fan term she and her family use, the “Evangels”?) feel inferior.

          • @Yes Addison,
            First and foremost, you’re not debating because you sincerely care about her vocal health … You’re doing it because that is the only thing to critique. Anyone can tell reading your posts. How many wash up sopranos have gone after Jackie, criticizing her and her family …. Quite a few.
            Lets be clear … Most of the fans already know that :
            1. Jackie’s voice is changing.
            2. She needs to have a vocal coach … Her father recently stated that she does.
            3. Jackie is far from perfect when it comes to technique.
            4. Jackie happens to have a voice of outstanding beauty that rivals with the best – in the eyes of her fans, evangelis or otherwise.
            So what the Snobs are worried about is beyond me. Nobody is debating her technique is perfect or that her voice is still the same. So what’s left to debate ….. Other than take personal digs at her and her family!

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            This its nothing to do with snobbery, the mass media love to pass off their talent show circus acts as the real deal. They never are. How many child singers can you list me here who went on to have highly successful and happy careers as adults? I challenge you to name me one. Charlotte Church doesn’t count. :)

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            I guess these child singers don’t count: Bubbles Silverman (Beverly Sills), Julie Andrews, Edna Mae (Deanna) Durbin, Jenny Lind; perhaps Aled Jones, too. Even Tony Bennett began performing when he was 10. Do you think he’s had a long & successful career? He did earn his first #1 album last year – at age 85. Lots of other successful adult singers began performing very young.

          • Yes Addison says:

            Anwaar, who are the “washed-up sopranos” who “have gone after Jackie, criticizing her and her family”? I have not heard a word of this.

          • @ Yes Addison,
            You are seriously out of touch with the discussion.

          • This thread is verging once more on personal abuse and topical irrelevance. Stay polite and on-topic, or the thread will close.

  45. Hey guys how about we give this one a rest. We’ll just finish negating each others words and for what purpose? It’s like playing extra time in a football match until all the players retire from either sheer exhaustion or just plain boredom.

  46. Ladies & Gentlemen,
    Jackie is indeed a talented young lady and a nice person to boot. She is being exploited by those around her and that is what makes me especially sad. If she keeps singing the way she is I doubt if she will have much of a voice left within a year or two. This is a perfect example of the “American Idol” syndrome where people become stars without having put in the work necessary to actually become a complete performer. Victoria Clarke is quite right when she talks about the effects that adolescence has on the voice. Jackie Evancho is talented but should not be out there in public singing the way she is just to support those who have a stake in her success. Let her be a young girl. Let her sing in choral groups with kids her age. Let her learn what it means to be a musician by opening her ears and eyes to those who are the masters of their craft. In that way she can decide to make her way in this crazy business on her own terms and not on those who seem only to be interested in profiting on her appearances.

    • The issue has been discussed several times. It’s like dragging a dead horse thru the streets hoping it’ll come back to life and start running.
      Where, may I ask, did you get first hand knowledge of exploitation ?

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Everything Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan do is exploitative. Why should this case be any different? Apart from her age, what makes lil’ Jackie any different from Susan Boyle?!

        • If Jackie loses out then it’s exploitative, otherwise it’s called a mutually agreed upon business transaction where both parties profit. Susan Boyle isn’t exactly destitute from what I hear. Apparently she’s having the time of her life rolling in money.

        • Charles Hoff says:

          Good grief, Victoria!

          Your Cowell soapbox has collapsed under the sheer weight of this continued nonsense.

          The microphone issue again? She’s not TRYING to sing over an orchestra. That would be bad for her voice!

          Bel Canto teacher? What?! She’s not an opera singer! Doesn’t want to be! Doesn’t need to be! Won’t ever have to be! She won’t ever need a label, or have to fit within the narrow guidelines of what you and some others posting here consider “proper”.

          You must have really struggled to get to whatever place you are in your singing – with very little reward or recognition (monetary or otherwise). If you’re good, it’s a shame that you’ve been overlooked.

          Perhaps you and some of the others posting here should upload your own YouTube videos showing the world how the music Jackie sings *should* be done. CJ could showcase her students. What better place for some free exposure? Tag them with “Evancho” and they’ll most certainly be viewed. You never know who could be watching.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


          As we’ve discussed here many, many times, Simon Cowell has nothing to do with decisions about Jackie’s career. Nor does Piers Morgan, for that matter, though Jackie did appear on his CNN show once. (His ratings haven’t been great, so that show may not survive.) Jackie’s manager is Marc Johnston, so he, Jackie’s family, Jackie herself & Sony are most responsible for decisions regarding her career.

          BTW, what exactly did you mean in your question about taking away the mic? First you appeared to disparage Jackie for having a small voice that couldn’t be heard without a microphone, then you turned around & said crooning thru a mic is safer for a child. At least prima facie, your statements seem somewhat contradictory. If we say she should be using amplification for safety’s sake at this time, it hardly seems fair to complain that she’s using that very amplification.

          She is growing up, & will continue to do so, regardless of what we think or say. She may be facing a difficult time of transition in her voice over the next year or two, but time will tell how she’ll do in the long run.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            So many of you compare her to the worlds greatest opera singers, who have trained their voices to carry above an orchestra unamplified. This is way premature for Jackie. Also, the amount of reverb applied hides the fact that she is cutting sustained notes short, probably lack of breath, but having her perform without the mic and effects would show up the shortfalls her teacher would see.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            OK, that seems like a fair comment to me. Perhaps one of the reasons that Jackie has been compared to opera singers, though, is that (at least to her fans) her voice is already better than most adult pop singers (if one compensates for her small lungs, that is – & of course WITH amplification). Opera stars are the singers whose voices are still better than hers (JMHO). Many prefer her timbre & emotional communication to those of all other singers now.

            Time will tell how she’ll do in future.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Tiny lungs again. There are hundreds of kiddies who sing with better breath control than her, they are in the world’s greatest choirs.

          • @Victoria
            Hundreds of kiddies with better breathe control ? Must be the world’s best kept secret! Care to share some videos of these remarkable kids ?

          • Victoria Clarke says:


            There you go Anwaar. You can go and find your own videos.
            Best kept secret?!! :)

          • Victoria,
            Yes that proves it that there are kiddies who can sing choir … Not sure if they all have great breath control. :)

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            But they have to pass auditions in order to get into the choir, so they are trained properly and have excellent technique. I don’t think Jackie would even qualify.

          • Victoria,
            Actually Jackie was in a choir… A well known fact among fans. There is a video on You Tube that shows her singing “What a wonderful World” with a choir. Her mother removed her from the choir because Jackie likes to move a lot and cannot stand still and be a part of the herd. Jackie has her own style.
            Based on your statements that means that Jackie passed the test to be in a choir but left on her terms (or her mother’s …. She was only 8 years old).
            Wish you would spend some time researching your assumptions before posting….this is getting very fatiguing …. Not to mention the fact that I’m drawing the conclusion that you’re simply ranting !

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Not all choirs require auditions. Only the best ones. Not kiddie pop choirs where they don’t even learn to read music, and all sing unison.

  47. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    This is Jackie’s rendition of Starry Starry Night (Vincent, by Don McLean) at the Puyallup Fair near Seattle, recorded 15 Sep 2012. The soundtrack is somewhat distorted, unfortunately.

  48. Carlos Martinez says:

    What is most impressive about Jackie Evancho, is that despite her age, she is one of the most fearless performers I have ever seen. Yes, there are things she should learn about taking care of her voice and singing freer. However, it amazes me how she is able to perform in front of the President of the US or a hundred thousand people in St. Petersburg and remain poised on the stage. For an example of what I mean, see:

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Lara Fabian re-wrote the lyrics for “Broken Vow” specifically for Jackie to perform for her “Dream With Me” album. Thank-you, David Foster.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Well, Lara Fabien did that for money and ongoing royalties, not out of undying love for lil Jackie.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


          I’m impressed that you’re able to read Lara Fabian’s mind from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles away. Or maybe you can psychically see the contract she signed with Jackie’s team. These are amazing powers that should serve you well in life.

  49. schroedinger says:

    @cabbagejuice- OK, I can hear her breathe, fairly often, on “Starry, Starry”. Still trying to find shakiness, however. Maybe on one or two notes. Perhaps she will learn to decamp the microphone a bit for her breaths, but it doesn’t really bother me, didn’t notice until I listened with your comment in mind. Proof of my relatively undiscerning ear by your exacting standards. I am willing to give a 12-year old room to improve; and she does improve, are you willing to grant that? Whether her efforts are long-term sustainable, whether the intensity of her activity is adequately limited, we will have to wait and see.

    • @schroedinger The stage is not the place “to improve” – technique for any instrument including dance and gymnastics has to be firmly inplace BEFORE a perfomer goes public. You fans might be having a nice time and the cash register singing halleluiahs BUT at the expense of what has been considered a clear and present danger in singing by professionals who know – compounding technical mistakes!
      The fact that they never really improved over time, that even a simple aria like O Mio Babbino has to be transposed down now shows there is something very wrong. At this stage with all her experience, the breathing should not have audible gasps, the jaw should not be waggling, the lower notes bottoming out and the production should show ease, not struggling.
      I could imagine her singing a free, untrammeled O Mio Babbino, not impossible at her age, but the technique she uses, practically rules it out. This is a pity because she has the capability of doing it well but a vocal choice has been made, and judging by its flaws, not a good one either.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Bravo, Cabbage, couldn’t have put it better myself.

      • @cabbagejuice
        I have no idea why in God’s name you would want her to continue to sound like an opera singer when she doesn’t want to be one, her fans don’t want her to be and for that matter, neither does the Media…For all most of her fans care, Jackie could be choking while singing and still sound great ! She could be hooting, whistling, screaming for all the fans care, she is still Jackie, the little girl with the big voice ! The flaws that you see is exactly what the fans see as assets.

        • @Anwaar No, there is no need to “sound like an opera singer” but it is the opinion of quite a few that Jackie is not exploiting her own natural possibilities. The fans don’t care what she sounds like but maybe one day she will want to have a good, depednable technique. What she is encouraged to do now is at her future expense that no one really knows the extent but can be predicted by statistics.

          • CJ,
            What you’re saying is that a few people think her technique is flawed and injurious to her health but then you also say that it’s speculation based on statistics. Yet you’re trying to convince every one that its a fact ! Hmmmmm…..

        • Victoria Clarke says:

          Neither does she have a big voice. She has a big booming microphone pa and lots of reverb.

          • Victoria,
            You are entitled to your opinion that a few, if any might agree with. I’ve heard her voice acappella on all her new songs and can tell you with complete conviction, she not only has a powerful range but, as Gattica and other industry professionals have said, a voice of exquisite beauty!

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            So, how did you do that? Are you a personal friend of the Evancho family? Why does she grant you private audience? This sounds very fishy indeed….. :( ?

          • @Victoria,
            Separate her vocal track from all the instrumentation from her Orpheum performance and you can hear her voice only minus the orchestration. Not a big secret … People do it often.
            Her voice already remarkable, is of sheer beauty when heard like that…. Her vibrato among the best I’ve heard in opera or classical crossover especially when you think about it that she’s only 12.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            No Anwaar. That is still a digital recording that has passed through a PA and processors to be mixed down to an audio track. Have you actually heard her sing acapella WITHOUT microphone and digital artifacts? :Like right in your front room? No? Then how do you know!!!?

          • Victoria,
            No but I haven’t heard any other singer acappella without digital enhancement either. Have you?
            The one that comes closest to acappella is Jackie’s Phantom of the Opera that she sang impromptu when Michelle Norris (NPR interview) asked her to sing a few bars. It was beyond impressive for me and the fans that heard it. Another instance of the same song was when she was being interviewed back stage during AGT. She sang the same song acappella again when asked to sing a sample of her favorite song. Very Impressive! You should take a listen …. :). Being a soprano yourself you might pick up a few tips just listening instead of critiquing.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Do you know any singers in real life? Not on TV? Why don’t you ask someone nicely, to come over and sing accapella for you?!

  50. Ah one and a two and a three and a…..oops there’s a dead beat here…
    This is what happens when you beat something to death.
    Could even happen in a discussion.
    Whole tabloid issues have been sustained this way!
    I thought this discussion was about a singer… a voice…

  51. You know, I could paint my finger nails with polish, but I don’t think that would be digestible. In fact, nothing any of you people have said for the length of this untimely discourse about a budding young life is something one can digest. I could color the antics about what so and so has said; ad some more about what wasn’t said; doctor it up with what everyone should know (I know… it’s….just listen… I know), go round and round making shish kabob out of it, read some more about it what I haven’t understood enough of, turn that into an exercise in fricasseeing, butter the bread I don’t have the money to buy nor the heart to steal, start my own nice little kiosk selling: in-case-you-were-wondering-what-it-is-that-you-should-know-about-Jackie-Evancho; then start building up my investments, then making friends and headway..up in the world folks… ah, yes, I could have been something else but instead I made it off of….of selling repast about what’s up and still coming: there’s a whole list of wonderful machinery whose application will give you more of whatever you need to know, and should be concerned about, and could in depth find a place to be curious about, if you were just willing to know, to know…about Jackie, our amazing wonder: HONESTLY!

    Isn’t it enough that what she does simply touches people? Is she herself supposed to believe otherwise?

  52. Patricia Janečková doesn’t as yet have the formidable marketing machine to promote her but she has the golden goods in her throat. Here is what a 12-13 year old can and should sound like:

    The eponymous O Mio Babbino with the original accompaniment, not a pop arrangement:

    Her range and control are quite incredible here. (Did anyone say “tiny lungs”?)

    The color of the sound is consistent without jumping from a spotty low register to a hooty high one:

    Comme il faut!

    • Patricia sings it like an opera singer. Very nicely done and technically great. But as I said before, Patricia sings a song, Jackie tells a story. I don’t find the emotional connection that Jackie brings to the song. I think Patricia will be a great opera singer as long as the opera community allows her to grow and develop … And that I wouldn’t bet on !

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Jackie doesn’t tell a story, it’s disjointed vowel sounds and syllables.

        • Victoria,
          To you perhaps which makes one wonder why you would continue listening to her. As for the millions who buy her albums and attend her concerts, she tells wonderful stories that move people to tears.

  53. alan calder says:

    I’m not going to engage in the rest of this discussion, but thank you, thank you for introducing me to Patricia Janeckova. She sings with such beauty and such ease. I hope she is being given the resources to continue study. If all goes well, I believe she will be one of the great divas of our time

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      That is if poverty and disinterest makes her pack it in. People are only interested in America’s got Talent these days.

      • More likely the opera mafia will discourage her more than anything else. Look at Grace Bawden.

        • @Anwaar – The “opera mafia”? Come on, now. I would advise you to drop the attacks on the “opera community,” as you like to call it. You understand, of course, that this blog is frequented by such “mafia” members. It is very likely that your repeated insults are not winning you or Ms. Evancho any fans.

          • Victoria,
            I’m not here to win fans for Jackie. And you’re dodging the question of how stuffy, opinionated and close minded the opera community can be.

          • The reply was meant in response to Janey.

          • Yes Addison says:

            Dodging the question or recognizing it as silly and not worth addressing? I’m not getting the impression that you’re much of an authority on “the opera community,” Anwaar.

          • @Yes Addison,
            I’m not an authority on opera. Never claimed I was ! Don’t want to be an authority. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the prejudices and biases rampant in any group or society. I don’t need a Master’s degree in opera to figure out how close minded or open minded the opera community can be. I have stated clearly on several occasions that I don’t understand the technicalities of opera (and neither do many on this forum) but I don’t need to in order to appreciate the art. :).
            By the way, in case you’ve been blinded by your own biases, my comments on this forum have little to do with technicalities and more with reality and perception amongst the listening public outside the opera community.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      Isn’t it sad that a greater talent, with great technique and obvious good training is missing out to a AGT novelty act. Aren’t people just like sheep?

      • CJ,
        Once again, you are so obsessed with finding fault that you tend to overlook one important fact again and again … Jackie is not and does not want to be an opera singer. You also assume that Patricia sings and sounds the same whether recording or doing public performances. She doesnt. Go back and listen to her first recordings on Talentmania. She had pitch and breathing problems. She was 12 then. Still sounded wonderful though.
        Regardless of technique, Jackie’s voice is timeless and beautiful. No one as yet can compare to it. All listening is not objective .. If it were, there would be no pleasure in listening.

        Jackie is, as already shown, much more than a 9 minute wonder. And thank God, she doesn’t sound like Patricia. Patricia is wonderful at what she does …opera. Jackie is unique at what she does … Classical Crossover.

      • Victoria,
        Most people don’t see Jackie as a novelty act. They see her as a prodigy with a rare and unique gift :). And 2 years after AGT she has more fans and more fame than she did before.

      • Victoria,
        You mean Talentmania vs AGT. Where do you think Patricia got her big break ! :).

      • @Victoria Clarke Caricatures of opera is what AGT specializes in – screechy sopranos and booming tenors. These half baked singers usually trot out a few bars of by now mercilessly repeated arias with bad technique but if they hit a high note at the end with gusto, the crowd goes wild and the judges stand up vigorously clapping. The comments by the all powerful three are equally vapid and repetitive: “ooh, aah, fantastic, you got a great voice, great talent, yada, yada…”

        • Victoria Clarke says:

          I know, Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor are exactly the same. Did you in the US get a terrible reality show called Pop Star to Opera Star? It had Rolando Villazon and Katherine Jenkins as mentors and vocal coach, Kj as a self proclaimed ‘ Opera Expert’ and was judged by Meatloaf and a famous TV interior designer… Truly awful.

          • Victoria,
            I don’t really watch reality shows so couldn’t tell you much about them. I discovered Jackie and Patricia on You Tube and both by accident.
            I don’t really care for reality shows but every once in a while you get to see some truly incredible talent.

        • CJ,
          No different than Talentmania, and other AGT – like shows the world over. It’s big business. That’s how talents like Jackie or Patricia come to the attention of the masses. Whether you like it or not it is what it is….and the public loves it and in some cases, like our above mentioned two prodigies, the artists make a career out of it.

        • @CJ
          AGT, Talentmania, BGT and other talent shows will be the first ones to tell you that the objective here is to provide entertainment and increase ratings….not to find the world’s greatest talent ! What makes these shows, sometimes worth watching is when one discovers prodigies like Jackie, or Patricia, or talents like Jennifer Hudson or the more recently up and coming Carly Rose.
          If these shows offended the somewhat over the top sensibilities of a few, well … too bad …. It doesn’t effect the outcome nor does it effect the music genre they represent!
          Opera is like fine dining …. Patronized by a few …. And only on occasion !

          • @Anwaar My point was more the tin ears of the AGT and BGT judges who can’t distinguish between good singing from mediocre to bad. Inexplicably, talented singers are passed over time and again in favor of those with gimmicks. Their “classical” choices for the most part appear as caricatures of opera singers who inevitably screech out a high note at the end. It doesn’t matter too much what went before the last crowning climax. Then everyone stands up like sheep with ecstasy on their faces and clapping madly. I found that the show paints itself into a corner when the last siftings are done. You wonder how after thousands of applicants, the quality of those who remain is not really high.
            As for opera compared to “fine dining patronized by a few”, well, Pavarotti had a large following even outside the opera house. And of course, there are recordings, DVD’s and films, also live broadcasts from the Met in theatres. A lot of people due to various reasons, money being one of them, don’t exactly go to a lot of live performances, myself included, but are very involved in and concerned about classical singing.

          • @ CJ,
            Pavarotti may have had a large following but it pales in comparison to followers of other genres. That was my point. Everything is relative. Concern has nothing to do with popularity.
            AGT (of which Jackie is a product) and Talentmania (of which Patricia is a product) are not venues to look for operatic talent. Everyone knows that. Besides these shows are not to identify the best opera singer or classical singer but to find the person that appeals most to the public (for the sake of ratings).
            We can look with disdain at such shows or mock them but the shows serve their purpose. They provide entertainment and controversy, two important ingredients for ratings, and once in a while they’ll pull out a fast one like a Jackie or a Patricia. Should both be looked at with disdain or their talent be held in contempt because they came from reality shows …. Or should we proceed with caution and judge each by their body of work and the quality of the music they produce !

  54. High praise from Humberto Gatica as posted on Amazon Reviews.

    “No one can sing classical crossover music with the technical precision, emotion and intelligence that Jackie brings to it, says Gatica. With the songs we’ve selected for this album, we can show her fans how her talent has only deepened and matured since Dream With Me, which I think was one of the most outstanding albums of 2011.”

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      John Mario DiCostanzo, Jackie’s regular conductor at most of her concerts, also has had very kind words for Jackie:

      “I have never found anyone as easy to accompany as Jackie is to accompany, and someone who is as complete an artist as she is. She sings with perfect rhythmic style, vibrato and intonation. There is nothing I would ever need to do but merely listen. I trust her opinions on the music as I would trust an adult. She also one of the most well-mannered, polite and respectful persons I have ever met. A joy!”

      His résumé is to be found here:

      He’s worked with lots of opera singers & opera companies, though to be fair, they appear to be 2nd & 3rd tier companies. He says he’s done a lot of coaching as an operatic vocal & Italian language coach, but has not done that with Jackie.

      • I doubt John Mario DiCostanzo, if he said these words, would be grateful to see them repeated publicly. It seems inappropriate (and insulting) toward those singers with whom he has worked – although to be sure, from the look, they would be singers just beginning. If he said these words, which appears unlikely.

        She should be easier to accompany, given that the pace and phrasing rarely change, the songs are short, there is little movement and the orchestra is placed behind.

        I would be interested in a review of his work during her concerts.

        • Janey,
          He actually did in a tweet and the tweet was published on several sites. He would have refuted it if it wasn’t true.
          He is not the only one who speaks highly of Jackie’s work ethics and her talent. David Foster was more than effusive in his praise. So are most of the people who work with Jackie during her concerts. Jackie’s persona, her demeanor and her attitude towards others has received nothing but the highest praise.
          Whether she sustains that in the future is anybody’s guess but for now….no questions about it.

        • @Anwaar – I believe John Mario DiCostanzo’s reputation is being undermined here by these claims. Please post the tweet so that we may confirm it or deny it.

          I cannot believe any conductor, especially young conductors, would, in essence, insult the singers with whom they’ve worked with these types of public statements.

          • Janey,
            I think that his reputation is augmented by his association with Jackie. I don’t feel the need to post anything to prove my point. You are certainly welcome to check Jackie’s Facebook page as well as Amazon forums. They are open forums.
            You are making assumptions based on your personal feelings whereas I am quoting what was published on a face book page.
            And why would his reputation be undermined…. ??

          • @Anwaar You mentioned a tweet by Mr. DiCostanzo. Public comparisons of young singers (in particular, a crossover singer to opera singers) by young conductors are quite questionable, hence, the reason I doubt you. I am waiting for the tweet to be posted. It shouldn’t be difficult, I would assume – unless there is no tweet.

          • Janey,
            I find nothing questionable in what he said. Moreover, you are free to doubt me, it is of no consequence to me. The tweet exists and I stand by what I said.
            By the same token, Sumi Jo has raved about Jackie’s voice and via tweets has agreed to sing the flower duet with her.
            So unless someone thinks that those tweets were fabricated and can show it, I’ll take them at face value. I have no reason to doubt them.
            According to the video translations, Dmitri said he was very impressed with Jackie during her performance in Russia. . I don’t doubt that either. And neither artist seem to think that their reputation has been compromised by their association with Jackie … At least they haven’t tweeted about any objections. And I don’t doubt the fact the both Sumi Jo and Dmitri are premier opera singers.

      • @HomoSapienLaptopicas,
        Yes I read his comments on another forum. He made it clear that he was not Jackie’s coach and nor has he coached her during this tour. As a professional, I don’t think he is going to criticize Jackie if he has any criticism. That would be like “Biting the hand that feeds” :).
        However, I think Jackie has received praise and acclaim from many recognized and established musicians and industry professionals to establish her credentials….and she’s doing it at a phenomenal pace !

    • @Anwaar Sure, the “technical” perfection is the recording studio, that nicely covers up flaws for quite a few other performers as well. The problem is when there is a gap between recording and public performances. According to accepted professional standards, Jackie’s singing technique is not good at all. After all the exposure on a stage for more than 2 years, it’s not the time to say “her jaw waggle is much less than before, the low notes don’t vibrate as much, her breathing is getting better as her tiny lungs are expanding , etc.” Patricia Janečková by way of comparision shows what is possible for a 12 year old, a consistent quality from bottom to top. So Jackie’s fans can bag all the excuses they are constantly bringing up. These are objective standards that one doesn’t need to be a “sefl-appointed expert” as you mentioned in a previous post.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Patricia is an example of what Jackie could have been with correct training and dedication, she will have a long vocal career, and although she probably won’t make as much money as Jackie, she’s not going to sell herself out as a nine minute wonder.

        • Charles Hoff says:

          What’s a “nine minute wonder”?

        • Charles Hoff says:

          Guess who is on his facebook page?:

          Still Janey doubts his words, and turns his praise of Jackie into an insult to others – not even considering that he might have high praise for others he has worked with as well. Sad.

          Victoria…what’s a nine-day wonder?

          • @Charles Hoff Yes, I doubt those were his words. Where on that page is the quote attributed to him? It seems to me that quote does not exist.

            Yes, the quote would be insulting to others, which is unprofessional. Can you show me a young conductor that publicly ranks the young singers he or she is currently working with? No, you cannot.

            I believe you owe Mr. DiCostanzo an apology.

          • @Janey,
            Actually, Jackie fans owe Mr. DeCostanzo a debt of heartfelt gratitude ! No apologies have been deemed necessary and I doubt any are forthcoming unless Mr. DeCostanzo denies the tweets that exist on twitter and Facebook. I see no reason why he would deny what he said.

          • You have put words in the mouth of John Mario DiCostanzo just as you did – posting as “TheOne” – with Renee Fleming. In both instances, it became clear that these quotes were simply made up.

            You claimed his comments are on twitter and facebook. His facebook account includes no such comments, and

            He doesn’t have a twitter account.

            I wonder how he could have sent a tweet supporting Ms. Evancho without a twitter account?

            I hope Mr. DiCostanzo is made aware of this situation.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


          Once again, I must congratulate you on your apparent precognition. First it’s remotely viewing Lara Fabian’s thoughts, now this.

          Patricia Janečková is 2 years older than Jackie. So now you apparently know what Jackie “could have been” (“will be” for us mere mortals, not gifted with your precognition) 2 years from now, & you know that Jackie won’t be what Patricia is now.

          Remarkable. I’m genuinely awed.

      • CJ,
        Once again, you are so obsessed with finding fault that you tend to overlook one important fact again and again … Jackie is not and does not want to be an opera singer. You also assume that Patricia sings and sounds the same whether recording or doing public performances. She doesnt. Go back and listen to her first recordings on Talentmania. She had pitch and breathing problems. She was 12 then. Still sounded wonderful though.
        Regardless of technique, Jackie’s voice is timeless and beautiful. No one as yet can compare to it. All listening is not objective .. If it were, there would be no pleasure in listening.

        Jackie is, as already shown, much more than a 9 minute wonder. And thank God, she doesn’t sound like Patricia. Patricia is wonderful at what she does …opera. Jackie is unique at what she does … Classical Crossover.

  55. Stephen Runnels says:

    The praise and guidance from the artists, composers, and everyone who has interacted with Jackie makes professional standards as interpreted by a soured and petulant perspective irrelevant and pedantic. The ever growing millions of fans of this little girl and her extraordinary voice and personality gain with every note she sings, and are never in need to elicit a defense for the profound joy and respect Jackie gives to us. Excuses are born in the negative from those who focus on the trite, such as comparisons to other singers and wobbly chins.

    As Norman says; “The performance speaks for itself.”

  56. Has Opera Gone Plebeian !
    Victoria, Janey and CJ
    See the link below. I am curious and somewhat amused at what your thoughts are on the video and performance that I would only describe as an affront to any decent opera loving officianado … Not me of course :). Take a look and listen and don’t hold back on commenting on the prospects of the prodigy hailed by yourselves as the ideal soprano.

    Here is Patricia Janeckova singing (drum roll please !) – Dancing Queen by ABBA.

    • @Anwaar Obviously Patricia at her young age can sing anything, from opera (not the big arias yet) to popular music and do it with a secure technique similar to von Otter. Jackie cannot or should not perform classical arias because her technique doesn’t permit it yet. Maybe someday it will.

      • @CJ,
        I was interested in your opinion with regards to Patricia singing Dancing Queen. I already know from your previous posts about your opinion regarding Jackie. ( That’s old news and I strongly disagree obviously for various reasons).
        There are some observations I made that I thought were pretty interesting. Patricia’s venture into pop on this particular song had some revelations for me.
        Would you like to do a critical evaluation of Patricia’s performance ?

        • @Anwaar No, I would not like to do critical evaluations of 12 year olds. You mistake my interest in the subject. I am only concerned that some 12 year olds have been singing operatic arias that are way out their league. Performing O Mio Babbino badly several hundred times is simply not good for a developing voice. The injurious effects are carried over to easier music, the details of which I will not bother to repeat myself.
          I don’t know what this context of ‘Dancing Queen” is in Slovakia, but at face value these folk don’t seem yet to have a developed sense of stagecraft. The key they gave Patty to sing it is higher than usual. Popular music is generally done in a middle range, that is, in the speaking area of the voice. Singing any pop tune in higher tessaturas changes its quality, something that is not usually done.

    • @Anwaar – She does a great job here. I like the pure, bell-like tone very much, the notes are very secure, and her diction is superb (which bodes well for her technique). I enjoyed it. Thank you for the link.

  57. Yes Addison says:

    Anwaar, do you recognize the name Anne Sofie von Otter? I will save you the trouble of Googling her. She is a distinguished mezzo-soprano from Sweden, a star of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. She has unimpeachable credentials in a wide range of opera and classical songs. By classical songs, I mean lieder, not “Time To Say Goodbye” or “O Sole Mio.”

    She also recorded, about five years ago, an entire album of songs written by her countrymen in ABBA, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, because she likes that music too and she wanted to sing it. She didn’t do “Dancing Queen,” to the best of my recollection, but she did do “Winner Takes It All” and “The Day Before You Came” and “Money Money Money.”

    Now I know, at this point, your attention may be wandering, and you’re itching to write an “I don’t care about Anne Sofie von Otter!” post. I’m sure you don’t care. But hear me out. I’m building to something.

    Some in “the opera community” and “the recital community” (hey, why does “the recital community” not get its own stereotyping?) liked the ASVO-does-ABBA record. Others did not, and still others were just not interested and never bothered to hear it. But I guarantee you ASVO did not lose fans over it. People did not give away their DVD of ROSENKAVALIER because she sang ABBA, nor did people who had always liked her refrain from going to see her sing Grieg, Sibelius and Kurt Weill (an expensive ticket, by the way). She is the real thing as a singer, technically and otherwise. Beyond that, decisions about repertoire, especially about “sidesteps” such as the ABBA recording, come down to taste.

    So I doubt Janey, Victoria, and cabbagejuice are either going to retract their positive statements about Patricia Janečková or silently seethe in betrayal because she sang a pop song, and yet not be able to express how upset they are because you’ve got them “cornered,” or whatever reaction you hoped to get. I know you felt you had a real smoking gun here, but honestly, your style of engaging people is just making you look kind of unsophisticated, and the fact that you don’t *know* a lot about the topics discussed here keeps you from even being that successful at giving offense. You’re just kind of flailing around in the dark, with what goal in mind I have no idea.

  58. @Yes Addison,
    I fail to understand the point of your rambling or rather your rationale behind it. Thanks for trying though. My real interest is whether Patricia maintained her pitch during the song and why she chose to sing a pop song. I am interested in knowing what the opera community things about it since they expressed a tremendous admiration for Patricia and regarded her as a living example of what a young soprano should sound like.
    I like Patricia’s talent and believe she will eventually make her mark on music.

    • @Yes Addison,
      Let me make this very simple for you so you don’t go off rambling into the big blue yonder. My inquiry about Patricia’s singing Dancing Queen requires one of three answers :

      1. I don’t have an answer.
      2. Here’s my response to your inquiry …..(followed by response)
      3. I don’t care to explain.

      You can pick any one of the three. Which one will it be….
      By the way we do agree on one thing….you’re right, I don’t care about Anne Sofie.

      • Yes Addison says:

        Anwaar, alas, we also disagree on one thing: You wrote above, to cabbagejuice, “There are some observations I made that I thought were pretty interesting.” That makes one of you.

        Of course you “don’t care about Anne Sofie.” This has been your rhetorical two-step for the entirety of the thread. You spew prejudice, ignorance, and received wisdom, someone else points out that you are on shaky ground, and you say you don’t care about the subject — the one you broached. Your assertion above was that this young singer performing “Dancing Queen” would be an “affront to any decent opera-loving aficionado.” You were then informed that this is nothing new, as a beloved and respected opera singer recorded an entire album of ABBA songs and maintained her reputation and prestige. I’m not surprised you’re getting cranky — you got your ears pinned back. Again. Saying “I don’t care!” is the equivalent of overturning the board because you got checkmated.

  59. CJ,
    Here is my commentary on Patricia’s performance ….

    First and foremost I am NOT an opera expert, so those looking for an expert review can simply hit the scroll key and go past this post to save time. My opinions (and they are my opinions) may be of little value to such people. Since I also don’t possess knowledge of the technical terms used in voice analysis, hence my explanation will be in layman’s terms as the way I understand and hear it.

    As you stated, Patricia can sing anything…I agree…. as can Bianca Ryan, Carly Rose, Charice, Jennifer Hudson and of course Jackie Evancho etc. The question in my mind is not what they CAN sing but HOW WELL can they sing it. All of the above are pretty accomplished in their own genre’s but the minute they wander and wade into other genres, it gets tricky ….and many of them cannot deliver the same quality or listening experience that one would usually expect from them.

    Patricia is, in my mind an opera prodigy and it was interesting to see how many people here instantly took to her after having watched a handful of videos of her performances. Understandable. Many of us did the same with Jackie Evancho. I suspect that several on this forum will take to anyone that they can hold up against Jackie . My advice would be to do your research carefully before you bet everything on your golden goose in case the laid egg is prone to cracks .

    If I were to describe Patricia’s performance of Dancing Queen in your words I would simply say “Awful”. However, in my own words I would characterize the performance as being subpar and below expectations. Not what I am used to hearing from her.

    Patricia’s rendition of “Once Upon a Time in the West” by contrast is incredible as is her performance of “Sancta Maria”. If you haven’t heard her renditions yet I would highly recommend them. But this performance of Dancing Queen was, to put it in your words again, “awful”. Were Patricia to be judged based on one performance alone, this would be a career ending performance for a high caliber artist that she is. Fortunately for her, no one in their right mind would judge a performer’s entire accomplishments based on one performance alone . This was either the wrong song for her or she was out of sorts this night…who knows. The end result speaks for itself. The song was appropriate for the occasion but the singer was not. (Hard to compete with the vocals of Agnetha and Anne-Frid).

    Some interesting revelations for me from this performance and as it pertains to this performance only :
    1. Patricia’s voice was off pitch or out of tune on several occasions.
    2. She seemed uncomfortable and nervous. Out of her element.
    3. Her voice on the high notes lacked power. The volume of her voice dropped significantly when hitting the high notes.
    4. Had it not been for the mic I would have been convinced that her voice was actually weak and barely audible when hitting the high notes. Thank God for the mic .
    5. Her voice is extremely thin and high pitched. Can’t imagine her singing Ombra Mai Fu or Nessun Dorma. She does a wonderful job with a host of other songs though.
    6. Her grasp of the English lyrics was actually one of the positives for me. Pretty good and a slight hint of an accent but pleasant and articulate nevertheless.

    If this one performance was to be used as a barometer for future endeavors, the answer would be a vociferous “No. Don’t go the POP route. Look what happened to Charlotte Church”. Fortunately for Patricia, her somewhat “formidable marketing machine” will ensure that she does not go that route without careful and discretionary selections. Performances such as this are to generate publicity and help advance her career….which is why she is signed to a label and has a manager who helps the marketing machine advertise her talents. I doubt that we have seen the last of the POP performance from Patricia. She will do many more, I am sure.

    It was gratifying to see the opera officianados embrace a young prodigy (Patricia) so quickly without really getting to know her limitations and in the face of what I would call a disastrous performance, hold back their criticism. After all she’s only 14 and learning and will only improve with age. Perfectly understandable !

    Those of us that are Jackie Evancho fans completely understand how you feel and react. We would do no more or less for Jackie as you would for Patricia.

    • Yes Addison says:

      This is from someone who has twice now accused me of “rambling”?

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      Anwaar, are you really Ken ‘ lord balfour’ ?!

    • @Anwaar I am not a fan of anyone’s so your lengthy spiel of ‘I am going to point out the flaws in your little darling because you criticized mine’ was a total waste of time. I happen to be a professional singing teacher so I can tell you right away that Patricia has a much better technique. I really don’t care what she does with it. Having to do “Dancing Queen” much higher than it is usually done would confound anyone but I can tell you right now Jackie would NOT be able to sing it in that key.
      As you see I am not emotional about my professional assessment, so I don’t know where you get “we Jackie fans understand how you feel and react”. I don’t FEEL anything, instead I detect more than a hint of reaction-formation.

    • Chuck Yates says:

      ►► Anwaar… well stated…

      re: Maestro Di Costanzo…

      I have read his communications and agree… without diminishing any other singers… he holds Jackie Evancho in extremely high regard, technically as a singer, as a working professional, and personally as an intelligent, personable, and classy young lady. He stated that he was very pleased to be able to accompany Jackie in concert, even to sing with her, rehearsing with her in preparation for a recent concert performance, a co-billing with inimitable Tony Bennett… who, himself, referred to Ms. Evancho as “brilliant”.

      re: Patricia Janečková…

      Listened to several of her YouTube clips including this one, a duet of Phantom’s ‘All I Ask of You’…

      Ms. Janečková is a lovely young talent, she reminds me of Hayley Wistenra. Undoubtedly she will continue to improve. Like Hayley her voice is pleasant but thin, and they simply do not enjoy the benefit of Ms. Evancho’s preternatural lower register and incomparable talent for drawing the audience into her emotive interpretation of the lyrics… this is a clip of Jackie singing in New York City, outdoors at Fox Plaza…

      The comparative differences are obvious.

      I’m with you… never ceases to amaze how the success of this young lady evokes such a visceral and angst ridden response from a core few in the “community”… she must be doing something right… why else would they care so.

      They wouldn’t be concerned about her financial success… that would be beneath them. She cannot help the fact that venue directors stand in line to book onto her calender. She’s only been in the business little more than two years, has toured and performed internationally… twice in Japan… with three command performances, once for the Japanese Royal Family, and twice for the President of the United States… and, she’s about to release her fourth major label album, fifth over all… but the “community” wouldn’t be bothered about that… would they… the naysayers will just have to get over it…. or continue to be miserable.


      Here is Jackie signing acapella in her bedroom with no mike and no accompanyment at age 8.

  60. Songs sung by Jackie Evancho sound much better than they would being sung by any other singer, including
    most of the world famous ones.

  61. @Chuck Yates Partial transcript from the Fox Plaza last summer:
    Woman interviewer: “…an opera star with a new CD”
    Jackie: “(It has) different genres from pop to 200 year old opera arias.”
    Man interviewer: “Do you understand the arias you’re singing about?”
    J: (emphatically) NO!
    Man: Well neither do we.”
    J: “WIth the 200 year old opera aria, Ombra Mai fu…’
    Man: “Do you know what it’s about?”
    J: I do not know that it’s about the color of leaves, plants…you have the general idea…”
    Note: Ombra Mai Fu was written in 1738, and Gianni Schicchi by Puccini was written in 1917(OMBC).
    Also, Italian is not the native language of Patricia either, yet she pronounces it correctly and seems like she actually does know what she si singing about.
    “All I ask of you” was musically compelling but I still have a hard time accepting this is the natural voice of an 11 year old. If it were, there should have been vocal improvement, not a standstill or even decline. Sorry…

  62. Chuck Yates says:

    ►► @CJ… re: “…still have a hard time accepting this is the natural voice of an 11 year old.”

    Believe me when I say that I know what you and others are going through… some refer to it as dissociative cognizance… where the brain refuses to believe what the eyes and ears are telling it…

    I am convinced that you, and others, will eventually come around to joining the legions of those who have given over to just enjoying fine music, without the distractions of the picayune.

    In addition to the clip at the top of this thread, here are two more from Ms. Evancho’s performance at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles… the second of her two star turns with the prestigious Public Television’s Great Performances Specials, ‘Music of the Movies’… along with a compilation of clips from her first trip to Japan with uberproducer David Foster…

    •• When I Fall In Love

    •• My Heart Will Go On

    •• Jackie’s first visit to Japan… (a compilation)

  63. A positive perspective of Jackie’s life growing up as an entertainer. This was posted by a fan on one of the fan blogs.

  64. Charles Hoff says:


    You’ve written that I owe John Mario di Costanzo (Jackie Evancho’s touring conductor) an apology for what exactly? Please read this:

    If you still maintain that these are not his words, then the problem is not with me, Maestro di Costanzo, or with Joe Merkt, who posted the PM conversations he had with the Maestro.

    • Yes, you absolutely owe him an apology. I am amazed that a private conversation with an obvious Evancho fan was posted word-for-word on an internet website. It is a betrayal. PM stands for Private Message, does it not?

      I have stated very clearly from word one that I believe no young conductor would be indelicate enough to publicly say what was ascribed to him, and now I see that he did not.

      • Charles Hoff says:

        Joe had permission from the maestro to post their exchange…unless you also believe that that is a lie. It was not me that posted the original, or the copy on the second website (also reposted with permission), for which I gave you the link. By the words attributed to the maestro, no apology is necessary, thank-you.

        It’s amusing watching the conniptions that you, Victoria, and ol’ sauerkraut continue to suffer through at the continuing success Ms. Evancho. The self-righteous indignation you’ve expressed on behalf the maestro, who is her willing touring conductor, is so obviously misplaced that you mock yourself. If only you would include a foot-stomp and clenched fists to complete the scenario.

        I see in new postings below that the ad hominem attacks continue.

        Oh, just for your continued enjoyment, as of this morning “Songs From The Silver Screen” is doing reasonably well on

        Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
        #1 in Music > Broadway & Vocalists
        #1 in Music > Pop > Vocal Pop > General
        #2 in Music > Rock

        …as well as #1 on

        At least she’s not sullying the “classicals” category. Oh, wait…”Dream With Me In Concert” is #13 and rising.
        At least she’s not sullying the “opera and vocal” category. Finally.

        So very many people still being fooled and cheated by that “formidable marketing machine”. ‘Pity that they don’t know what you, VC, CJ and YA *know*. Have a nice day.

      • @Janey It’s really amusing how the Evancholists elevate any classical musician even slightly associated with their team to “Maestro” although they make constant depreciating references to opera snobs full of “self-righteous indignation”. Ha, ha…

  65. John Hames says:

    I have progressed from bemused to sad in reading these exchanges. (Though I’m probably as bad for reading them!) Some people seem to have parted company with reality here. This is just a little girl with a precocious singing talent (at the moment) who’s being marketed hard, successfully it seems, to the more glutinously sentimental among us. She’s not an angel sent from above to teach us all how to live, though to judge from the contributions of those who leap outraged and affronted to her defence every time there’s any whiff of a suggestion that she may not be just a little girl with a precocious singing talent, I may be one of the few who realise this. Can’t we just leave it that her followers think she’s a sublime once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon of divine origin, while most of us aren’t especially impressed (as in seen it all before) and couldn’t care less, except that it all seems a bit creepy and exploitative. Since there’s no middle ground, there isn’t much point in the bickering. Enough already!

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      Very well said John. I find the Jackie Junkies on facebook and the fan forums a scary lot who should find something better to do than obsess over a little girl. It’s verging on creepy. (especially the poetry…brrr!)

      • @Victoria Clarke You’re right, the fan forum,”bestofjackieontheweb” is creepy. What is this, a new religion?
        I find a statement like this disingenuous to the hilt: “Regardless of how many times Jackie repeats that she is grateful to her parents for allowing her to pursue her dream, and regardless of how often her parents repeat that it is not money and fame but Jackie’s welfare and happiness that is their only concern, the accusation keeps popping up online and in newspaper articles.”
        There is NO WAY to prove that Jackie or anyone for that matter is happy. Repeating over and over again how idyllic their family life reeks of “protesting too much”, like they are trying to convince themselves that such a life is normal. Well, being at the focus of so many people’s prying interests doesn’t happen to be healthy no matter how much they try to rationalize it away. They don’t mention the morning-after syndrome when all the praise evaporates as when Mozart stopped being a cute, clever kid who has to compete with one’s peers in the real world. If Jackie goes to a decent music school she will cringe when seeing recordings of how she was allowed to trot out “operatic arias” when she was no way ready for them.
        To support the argument: “…from what we know about Jackie Evancho’s self-control and maturity, her stable home life, and her well-managed professional life, we have every reason to expect that she will join this long list of illustrious entertainers who reached adulthood happy, well-balanced, and successful.”
        His above named entertainers include Shirley Temple and Julie Andrews, from what I read, achieved balance in their lives not because of being a prodigy, but in spite of it, and it was really hard.
        I also find it amusing that any classical figure they quote as being supportive (although if Costanzo is a language coach he never got together with Jackie when she was singing Italian) carry the honorific “Maestro”. I thought this term went out with Toscanini…

  66. Further down the road, I just clicked on this:
    “Jackie Evancho appears to exert an invisible force on positively charged people, what scientists have begun to call “the Jackie Effect”. Negatively charged people are untouched by Jackie’s singing. The power to resist Jackie is a weird phenomenon scientists call “the Lebrecht Effect”. The Jackie Effect and the Lebrecht Effect are currently being investigated by a group of otherwise unemployed scientists.”
    Judging by reactions to the article on the same page, my “new religion” comment was apparently not off the mark: “I think Jackie may even be able to revive the dead!”
    “I love my time in Jackieland.”
    “I have known for sometime, that Jackie is indeed Perpetual…and the speed of Jackie cannot be disputed.”

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      cj, oh cj

      Evidently you have NO sense of humour WHATSOEVER.

      Is this a UK vs US thing? Do we laugh at SUCH different things?

      That entire page on the Best of Jackie site is a JOKE, OK? It’s one J-O-K-E after another, including comments.

      A “new religion”??


      • @HomoSapiensLaptopicus You’re telling the wrong person the bestof jackie site is not serious. Anwaar and Charles Hoff posted links in good faith. From Anwaar. “A positive perspective of Jackie’s life growing up as an entertainer. This was posted by a fan on one of the fan blogs.”
        Of course I take it all with a load of salt, considering the sources…

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


          I wasn’t referring to the whole site, just that one page, with the “possible breakthrough in explaining the Jackie effect,” the “positively & negatively charged listeners,” etc. That particular page was written entirely in jest. The rest of the site may be serious, but not that page. Perhaps we laugh at very different things on this side of the pond.

          The salt, of course, is your choice.

    • Victoria Clarke says:

      I’m sorry, but these people are ill.

      Have a flick through the rest of the site, it’s so weird it’s scary.
      Don’t they realise this could be construed as something serious?! Jackie’s parents need to look out for her safety.

      • @Victoria Clarke I agree. The obsessiveness exhibited by the fans, in particular the elderly, remind one more of Beatlemania. They cannot get enough of their idol, spreading around her latest interviews, appearances, family anecdotes, etc. LIKE KIDS or ADOLESCENTS themselves. They troll the internet for the slightest criticism and swoop down like hawks. The difference between going bonkers over the Fab Four and Jackie is the age of the fans. It’s not the kids who are going hysterical but the adults caught in a time warp like they never grew up.

  67. Yes Addison says:

    There’s a four-star parody review of her “Silver Screen” album on Amazon that has riled up the true believers. The guy’s posting history suggests he writes parody reviews of various subjects as a pastime. Anyway, this review is titled “Jackie Evanchoo [sic] is better than Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Billie Holiday, Celine Dion and Ella Fitzgerald put together!” Her fans are trying to get it pulled as abusive and indecent, so look fast if you’re curious.

  68. Victoria Clarke says:

    I see they have Jackieland conventions!!!
    Who goes to these things, Charles Hoff and Anwaar!?

  69. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    This is Jackie on The View, 5 Oct 2012, singing Music of the Night after a brief interview:

    Same song, another interview, broadcast the same day (but recorded on a different day), on Fox & Friends:

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