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Rehearsal video: Jackie Evancho hangs 100 feet above stage

The 12 year-old singer is reaching ever greater heights, it appears.

She’s giving a one- night benefit in Las Vegas with Cirque du Soleil and it involves a good deal of high-wire stuff. Watch, if you dare.

"David Foster and Friends" at Mandalay Bay Events Center

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Comments

  1. Stephen Runnels says:

    As incredible as this video is, there is nothing like the experience of witnessing this level of perfection in person. People travel from all over the country just to be in the presence of such an amazing little girl.

  2. JayJackson says:

    I believe this is part of the finale. She may have another scene in or near the water.

  3. JayJackson says:

    She is….there are no words…well there is one, Jackie!

  4. Friday Bridge says:

    Yes, this will be part of the finale. She is singing “Hymn For The World” which Cirque has previously recorded, so the music is likely the backing track from the prior use.

    This rehearsal footage marks her first aerial excursion, and is mainly to start putting her to ease at working from this vantage point. On her second run through, she appears to have gained a little confidence, when, at about 6:30 she starts to own the air.

    Since the actual performance is March 24th, this was a combination “introduction” and gaining some rigging confidence, since your eyes really play games on your eyes.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      The actual performance is Friday, March 22nd. The other seven Cirque shows in Las Vegas will all be dark, and their performers will be involved in the “One Night for One Drop” benefit gala in the “O” Theater at the Bellagio.

      The opportunity to watch the entire “One Night for One Drop” program streaming starts on March 24th, and extends through the 31st. The cost is $5, and if one registers prior to the 24th, a pass for a friend is included. http://onenight.onedrop.org/en/

      It’s good that they’re doing it this way to have an idea of the streaming server capacity necessary for a good viewing experience.

      The decision to produce a DVD/Blu-ray for sale was still being discussed as of last week. Cirque Du Soleil has made most of their shows available on disc in the past.

      Jackie will also be performing another piece, but that’s being kept secret as of now. She swims well, so chances are that it will have some involvement with the pool underneath the giant elevating stage of the “O” Theater.

  5. David Boxwell says:

    Even Charlotte Church never did this to be The Voice of an Angel, hmmkay?

  6. Chuck Yates says:
  7. Chuck Yates says:

    ►► At the beginning of the rehearsal video Krista Monson speaks to those in the audience… she has some very nice things to say about Jackie…

    ▬▬ Krista Monson, producer Cirque du Soleil…
    “What we really admire about Jackie is her sense of adventure as she explores new horizons, as she is right now hanging 100 feet up in the grid, and so, without further ado we will go forward and not make her wait any longer… so please sit back and enjoy the rehearsal and the courage of her doing this… the first time she will be doing aerials in her life too, and you’re seeing it. So, she’s very adventurous, very special, and she’s ready to explore, and that’s exactly what Cirque is about too, so thank you for your time.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pryx38g_cJM

  8. Victoria Clarke says:

    I’m not going to comment on this thread. I’m really not.

  9. I admire Jackie Evancho very much. And, it is a good thing that she has a solid family to support her. However, at 13 she won’t be a little girl that much longer. Granted her voice will mature, and with careful training she may well make that demanding change from child prodigy to mature artist. Pray this happens not just for us, but for Jackie herself.

  10. everett cox says:

    Jackie is exhibiting the same fearlessness her idol Sarah Brightman shows. And sharp eyes will notice a change from two supporting wires in the first rehearsal to four in the second. This could be because Jackie felt uncomfortable in the air with only two supports(and who could blame her!) or maybe a change from sitting to standing changed the balance point. Whatever the reason for the change, there cannot be enough safety for Jackie.

  11. If this is not lip synch, then there is no such animal.
    The differences are too marked between recordings and when she sings in public before a mike.
    In the latter, she can barely sustain a phrase and can only float some medium high notes in a falsetto at the end of a song. If a singer can’t produce full tones while standing up, how can that same person do it sitting down? Like everything else about the package, it defies commonsense. Someone mentioned on that vid she will be producing sounds “never heard before on the earth”. Sure, with clever mixing and amplification.

    • I have no idea and have bery little interest in the answer. Perhaps we might agree not to comment here? There are many other worthwhile topics. I see no reason to feed this one.

      • I think it is a worthwhile topic if prerecorded materials are doctored up to seem like real performances. The social phenomenon and psychology of mass hysteria and hyperbole is also a subject worthy of study, in particular the middle aged to elderly men who congregate on her fan sties and lap up every detail of that amazing “little girl” who nearly 13, still has the marketing benefit of seeming younger than her age.
        I’d really like to see young people who actually sing better get credit for their work and talent.
        Instead, there is a kind of packaging that is very appealing, nevertheless, is not bonafide singing.
        Meanwhile, I noticed some patterns that reappear time and again in public but not necessarily on recordings.
        First there is an ultra slow tempo, enough time to breathe between words and an ultra serious demeanor.
        Glottal stops and sighs abound to give that extra kick to the expression.
        Then there is a crowning middle high note in the falsetto that does not match the rest of the timbre.
        Such tricks are usually reserved for performers at the end of their careers who cannot sustain long phrases, to adopt instead an intimate ‘speaking quality’ close to the mike.
        I’d like to see some real, untinkered-with, free singing in order to compare with others who are subject to much higher and rigorous standards and who don’t attract nearly the huge amount of money and PR.

        • Victoria Clarke says:

          Leave it, let the Jackie fanboys have their fun. :-P

        • don mckee says:

          Oh, your are too kind.

        • don mckee says:

          “I’d really like to see young people who actually sing better get credit for their work and talent.” You don’t get it. Those who you say sing better, simply do not sing what most music lovers want to hear. To them, it is not a matter of “better”, it is a matter of taste and genre. It is not because these listeners are not gifted, sensitive or bright enough to enjoy opera. It because they do not “like” it. You seem to be hung up on complexity, at the expense of equally important simplicity. Both are important in the arts. Nothing is right or wrong but thinking makes it so.

          • WestSeaDoc says:

            … as the academics of cognitive psych say … we all tend to argue from our own perspective or station in life. The standards to which we adhere or are proponents thereof are products of both our backgrounds as well as what parts of our present that we believe need defending from being diminished. The exquisite pate and vintage wine hardly overshadows a grilled hamburger with chips and a cold one when watching Sunday football; in fact it pales in comparison. Context is part of is judged preferable, enjoyable or even superior, and incorporates more senses than intellectual musing.

        • don mckee says:

          @cabbagejuice

          “I’d really like to see young people who actually sing better get credit for their work and talent”. It almost surely won’t happen in opera. Not enough interest there.
          In the broadest sense, there is no free singing in opera. Creativity does not like rules. Although, at the same time, you can’t have creativity without rules. And, the fact that different opera fans favor different renditions of a given aria illustrates the all important element of subjectivity in music tastes. Yep, subjectivity, like death, a profound and humbling equalizer.

        • don mckee says:

          There is some truth to the idea that you will get recognition if you earn it. But can you be said to be earning it when you knowingly choose to seek it from an ever shrinking source of customers? You seem to be expressing the unrealistic wish that more people want what you are selling. Even it the fine arts, one must operate with consideration for the ever present law of supply and demand. Would-be opera singers have a product but increasingly fewer buyers. Currently, Jackie Evancho has the product and the buyers. If this is crass, it is also reality. Democratic Capitalism won the cold war, and the dancers in Russia are throwing acid at one another.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      I haven’t read fan or other commentary for a few months now (other than the occasional You Tube update), but everytime I see a comment section on a blog site, you are there tearing Jackie down. I’m somewhat stupified at your diligence and persistence in attacking this young lady, as if her success is a personal affront to you. Shame on you. Your attempts to disguise a malicious glee in your critiques by seeming erudite supposition of that which you have yet to prove is pathetic and lends little credibility to your commentary. I’m not criticizing your knowledge or basic expertise but it appears that you are using that to confirm an emotional bias against a young singer that has garnered a lot of praise from her resonance with a wide ranging and expanding set of fans. Your frustration with her fans not being able to “see her obvious inferiority” in technique to your preconceived notions as to what constitutes “superior” is telling. There are attributes that make Jackie a “genius and musical prodigy” beyond the simple production of a given note or technique at a given time. Her genius is in her being able to reach and resonate internally with a broadening audience .. the whole being far superior to the parts. Singing a note is not singing a song and perfect notes do not necessarily lend to a superior performance. If an artist cannot reach his/her audience, then no matter how technically perfect he/she is, is that a superior performance. You might say it is … and from you perspective it is … but for those who attend a performance to be reached emotionally, it might not. Larry Bird had fewer pure athletic skills than other basketball players of his time, yet he is considered among the top 5 players of all time. By your criteria he should have been relegated to the bench, but he singlehandedly rescued the Celtic basketball team, and he and Magic Johnson (who also could not jump as high nor run as fast as others of his time, either) essentially rescued the NBA. Your criteria are too narrow but serve your purpose as well as for those who are simply purists. Technique does not equal art. You seem to purport that it does.

      • Eldon Kimball says:

        Finally! An intelligent and meaningful commentary.
        Jackie is not just a wonderful singer; she inspires millions of people. Even if she were a poor vocalist (which she is anything but) she would be worthy of respect and admiration so anyone who tries to put her down is certainly not benefiting from what she offers the rest of us.
        She loves her work and loves her audiences. I wish everyone shared love as she does and we would not have these criticisms of this wonderful young lady. I deeply regret that she has undoubtedly seen some of the nastiness expressed in some of these columns. That alone would cause any thinking and caring person from spouting the kind of bitterness expressed by some. I am sorry some of you feel so unloved that you cannot appreciate what this young lady is trying to give.
        I am sure Jackie will not see this comment herself but I hope she knows how much she has meant to so many of us.

    • don mckee says:

      @cabbagejuice

      Is this a scientific finding or a subjective opinion? Are you stating a probability, a certainty or a possibility?

    • don mckee says:

      Common sense once told the the world was flat.

  12. holywells says:

    Oh my, it never ceases to amaze me as to how some of the posters on Miss Evancho’s videos attempt to set themselves up as experts in the world of sound and recording techniques. Perhaps after they have spent over 48 years in the industry, such as I personally have, then their opinions may possibly begin to hold some merit. Jackie is indeed singing along with the prerecorded track in this practice session and her vocals are mixed in such a manner as to obtain a medium efficiency balance with the music. The audio portion of this video is, as in most cases with a generic video recording device, of minimum acceptable quality and suffers from time delay overlaps in certain regions of the audio spectrum. She is also nowhere near the stage floor and therefore there are no refraction properties evident in her portion of the audio mix. Her head microphone, which appears to be of the Shure, Sennheiser, and Electro Voice wireless variety with a close proximity foam windscreen, has obviously not yet been set to the final amplitude that the FOH engineer will use during the actual performance. Most video recorder microphones have very limited frequency response and are in what we call “the cheap chip” category. When captured professionally, the microphones are separate from the video equipment, and the audio is of much higher quality. Here at our studio we use only Neumann U-87, Manley Gold Reference, and Telefunken U-47 microphones for our analog recordings and Neumann Solution D’s for our fully digital recordings. Believe me, none of the aforementioned are in the “cheap” category. If one would care to consider the parameters of the acoustical physics present in this setting then it would be necessary to recalculate the level inputs for maximum mix results. In the end, there will always be those who will endeavor to find fault in the quality of any singer’s performance, and to this very day I am constantly reminded of the wisdom found in the words written on a plaque that hangs on the wall in our studio. It reads: “Many are the critics, but few are the artists.” Good day to you all.

    • don mckee says:

      @holywells

      Of course most of us don’t know what heck you’re talking about. Whenever an expert (or pretender) in a particular field talks to folks in technical terms which he/she knows darn well they won’t understand, they have every right to suspect they are being bamboozled by smokescreens and mirrors, by an egotistical display of bull pucky intended to impress. A Zen Buddhist teacher once said that if anyone explains something to you in way they have no right to expect you to understand, you have every reason to doubt his credibility. If I am missing something here that I shouldn’t, then you have my sincere retrospective apology.

      • holywells says:

        To briefly answer your inquiry, again, I have been in the sound and recording industry since June of 1965. I also write technical articles (relative to my trade and audio electronics in general) for a magazine. If you wish to view my channel on YouTube please feel free to do so. It is under the same user name “holywells”. “Our industry grapevine” that I referred to is the verbal channel of communication that I and my colleagues use for communication in order to share the latest information that we all would be interested to hear, much like any other group of professionals would do. Think of it as sort of being along the lines of the old song: “I heard it through the grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. If perhaps you have any further doubts, you are welcome to forward any questions that you may have to my YouTube Inbox. Good day to you.

  13. “Jackie is indeed singing along with the prerecorded track in this practice session and her vocals are mixed in such a manner as to obtain a medium efficiency balance with the music.”
    I don’t doubt she is singing along but you practically admitted that is NOT what we are hearing.
    Weren’t you the author of “sounds not yet heard on this earth”?
    PS I spent more than 50 years in music, so I also know what I am talking about.

    • holywells says:

      What you are hearing is the final result of a recording made on a very cheap device and played back through a very low quality audio system that is present on most of the computers in use today. You say you were once in music. Were you perhaps once also on the other side of the glass and behind the console? If so then that experience would cause me to take a keener note of your personal evaluations in this case. I have met, became acquainted with, and still remain in touch with many professional musicians from over the years. While you are indeed entitled to your personal opinion here, you seem to have a critical ear, and as such are somewhat limited in the scope of personal tastes regarding musical styles. I am also in that same category. Being critical in your tastes is a plus in your favor, especially when one considers all of the garbage in the music world today. By the way, the “sounds not yet heard on this earth” words were originally written by a poster on Miss Evancho’s videos from an earlier date, a fact that was made clear in my original comment. In order to be familiar with that comment you must be a routine viewer of Jackie’s videos and I find that quite fascinating. By the way, are you still in the music field? If so, please enlighten me as to what your present status is and where you may possibly be performing. I always enjoy observing musical talent. Thank you for your reply.

      • To “still (be) in the “music field” implies the business of music, that is, someone who could take or leave it. When music is your life, as Sergei Rachmaninoff said, “Music is enough for a life but a life is not enough for music.”
        It is amusing that admirers of Jackie need not produce their professional credentials, but at any hint of criticism, “let’s hear you sing!”. Well, a teacher and coach does not have to perform. My teacher from the Bolshoi Opera retired at the age of 50 but it didn’t mean he didn’t sing well for the next 40 years or so.
        I don’t know what you are talking about here: “somewhat limited in the scope of personal tastes regarding musical styles”. If that is to mean not being accepting of everything politically correct that comes down the pike,you might be right but still no have no idea about MY tastes and an awful lot of presumption to compare mine to yours.
        Because I do work with singers, I happen to know what is physically possible (the considerable amount of muscular support needed to sustain tones). Therefore I am rightfully sceptical of musical miracles, like sitting down in a harness and producing full voice notes above the treble staff UNLESS the soprano is HIGHLY trained and demonstrated such an ability in many other instances.

        • holywells says:

          Well, my “professional credentials” are always available to anyone who, in genuine concern, wishes to see them. My statement of “somewhat limited in the scope…..” was rather self explanatory, and was only meant to point to an observation made on my part. You do seem rather sensitive regarding certain issues and there was never any disrespect implied at anytime towards you. By the way, as far as the position that a performer assumes while singing is concerned, I remember working with a young man who performed his music from a wheelchair after a terrible accident and he did it to the delight of his audiences. Mr. Teddy Pendergrass had a lot of will power and never gave up. Also, I did not mean anything in my remarks that could possibly point to “politically correct” subjects. I stay completely away from anything political nowadays. I prefer to use my time for things of a more positive nature. Again, enjoy Miss Evancho’s videos on YouTube, and I do truly look forward to more of your personal opinions and comments. Because you “work with singers”, I would encourage your students (hopefully that would be the correct terminology) to take serious note of your training, guidance, and direction. Good day.

        • Charles Hoff says:

          Oh, CJ! You’re out-doing yourself again! I’ve asked you before to please produce for the readers just ONE name of a singer under your guidance with any public presence at all, be it an audio recording, video, or stage production. You haven’t.

          Cirque du Soleil doesn’t do anything because some other entity, PR firm, or recording company bribes them to do it. They choose only outside talent that fits within their own rigorous standards of excellence because it reflects directly back on them. They strive for perfection in all of their performances, and they come closer than most any other entertainment entity.

          This “One Night for One Drop” event is Cirque founder Guy Laliberté’s crown jewel to benefit his passion – his One Drop Foundation. All seven Cirque shows in Las Vegas will be dark that Friday, World Water Day, with all performers involved in this show. Nothing but the best (in their opinion) will presented to the audience that will be paying up to US$1500 per seat. The event will be recorded using 12 cameras, and will be presented online the following week, with other broadcasts, and DVD/Blu-ray release certain to follow.

          The people responsible for talent in the Cirque organization obviously see and hear Jackie Evancho differently than you do. From the comments of Krista Monson (who conceptualized, and will direct the show) in the video, they seem quite happy with their choice. ‘Makes one take pause.

          • You first! Entertain us with a song and dance!
            I didn’t say the performance won’t be good, but contrived.
            If they admit as much, it would be OK. Passing off a prerecorded mix as the real thing is what I have a problem with.
            Risë Stevens recorded for a Hollywood film the aria “Mon coeur s`ouvre à ta voix” freely admitting that she sang it an octave lower. But she also proved she could belt it out live on the opera stage.
            The body language in the Stevens’ film doesn’t belie the effort needed to reach and sustain the notes – that’s what they wanted anyway. The nonchalance and non-movability of the seated position in the above clip is really asking too much of anyone who knows what is needed to sing notes above the treble staff, even more so from allegedly tiny lungs.

          • holywells says:

            Well stated, sir. Miss Evancho is obviously a very qualified choice otherwise the producers would have passed her over. To help to clarify an ongoing issue regarding the performance seen in the video, I will personally contact some colleagues of mine in the Vegas area who are familiar with this event production and see if their observations are the same as mine about whether Jackie is lip-synching to a prerecorded mix that contains her own vocal tract. We all know how she feels about lip-synching! We here at our studio have all scrutinized the video carefully and have ran it through some of our equipment in order to ascertain whether or not it contains any audio tricks. We have found none. Her vocal tones are slightly different on the 2 takes during the rehearsal. On the second take, when she became more comfortable with her position over the stage, her voice took on a more relaxed sound, and her facial expressions seemed a bit more relaxed, too. The good people at Meyer Sound have installed quite an elaborate system in the Bellagio’s “O” Theater and are very proud of the results. It contains 26 speaker systems, state of the art amplifiers, and the Matrix3 audio show control system. The Front Of House engineers are thrilled with the CueConsole modular control surfaces equipment. It is a dream to use. I shall inquire as to the engineers working the system for the Cirque du Soleil One Night for One Drop show and get their professional input on how things are set up to work at Jackie’s performance. I shall pass that information on.

          • Victoria Clarke says:

            Oh please! By now don’t you realise that the mainstream hypes mediocrity! CJ has worked with many fine singers, just because they haven’t achieved house hold name status does not mean they are inferior. Indeed when has the most popular ever been the best?

          • Ronald Berchelt says:

            Ms. Clarke correctly pojnts out that popularity does not equal talent. Exceptional talent, however, particularly artistic talent of supreme caliber, often is very popular and may well be a topic of considerable media attention.

        • Robert Janke says:

          I always marvel at the critics who profess a vast array of training and experience which qualifies them for the job. But I also notice that most of these people, if not all, never give their full name and if you ask us to respect your judgment then you should also include your full name, where you trained, and where you have worked, otherwise you are asking your readers to accept what you say as the final word. I, for one, have a hard time carrying a tune in a bucket but at least I know what I consider good and what I consider bad.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            CJ did provide her name in a thread last year; I did not record it but you can fairly rely on her being legit.

          • Robert Janke says:

            Thanks for the information. But it still leaves a question to be answered and that is if people don’t like Jackie why do they torture themselves by listening to her. I don’t like Country and Western but I don’t go on those sites and crew on those who do like it. I just don’t listen. Nobody has appointed them to be an official, or unofficial critic. I also discussed this with our bullying contact in our school system and he felt it bordered on , if not outright, bullying. Here you have an adult going after a 12 year old and it doesn’t matter if you are looking out for her “welfare” or rationalize that if she is out in the public she should take it. One also has to consider that Jackie’s friends probably cruise the web and find these critical comments which may make them question the competence of Jackie. In either case my personal opinion is that it is despicable behaviour

          • richardcarlisle says:

            To Robert Janke

            First, the internet blogs with commenters often hiding behind code names are known for recklessness… fortunately here we have a more elite group that can go either way and if you behave civilly return treatment will be equivalent… that said however this string involves clashing groups of raw talent enthusiasts and perfectionists with little common ground and add to that the turf-protection factor expressed in comments from CJ who is threatened professionally (being a voice coach) if thorough training is discarded in favor of phenoms like Jackie who appeared with minimal training and immense talent.

            So there’s a readily understood material reason for CJ’s passion and we have to factor it into her comments…so if we spend more effort understanding and tolerating and not returning anger for negativity (on her part) we all stand to learn something we perhaps were unaware of previously and enjoy the oftentimes clearly expressed views found here more than perhaps any other blog.

            Bullying… I don’t think so– just passionate discourse in a sometimes hot kitchen..

        • don mckee says:

          @cabbagejuice

          Rachmaninoff ‘s statement that “Music is enough for a life but a life is not enough for music”, Is as excessively extravagant as anything one could quote from their worst nightmare of a Jackie Evancho fan. I once read where a maestro described a movement in a symphony as taking the music to a whole other “cosmic level”. If a reviewer made that statement with regard to music in any other genre, you would be appalled because you would recognize it for the hyperbole that it was. While you may see Rachmaninoff’s quote as high wisdom or even as poetic license, others may see it as that which you would see if it were made regarding a Jackie Evancho performance, for instance. A musician once told that me he would rather die than give up his music. That, like the Rachmaninoff quote, can also be interpreted as suggesting obsession. I won’t make a categorical judgment on that, as there is undoubtedly a slew of truth in both positions.

          And your notion that artists in other genres necessarily take their art less seriously than do opera singers seems narrow and biased. Opera is seen by many as tedious, shrill, abrasive, boring and hopelessly conservative (mired in the past). While I do not see it that way (for the most part), I do understand that such preferences can be as objectively derived and as legitimate to them as yours are to you. Objectivity here has to do with technical standards. Subjectivity has to do with value, and who else can decide that for any of us?

          I do believe you understand the role of subjectivity because of your failure to unambiguously answer my query about it. The obvious point I was trying to make is that the bottom line regarding our preferences is based on our tastes, our feelings, even in the context of all that objectivity. We like what we like even if others cannot understand why, even when we don’t know why ourselves. Blaise Pascal said, “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” You can talk about objective standards and deciding what or who best ultimately in the subjective is largely in the objective realm. However, whether or not one likes something is a subjective matter. Whenever we hear something, we interpret the sound differently than someone else may. The same with taste, touch, etc… No two people see the same thing at any given time. So, people really can dislike opera on purely rational grounds, even when they know what its criteria are. They will not enjoy even the well-made wine that you love if it is bitter to their taste. Are they acting less objectively than you? There are as many worlds as there are human beings, and they all have their legitimacy, rationale and range of quality. So, too, there are as many Jackie Evanchos and Luciano Pavarottis as there are persons observing them. This is what you don’t take into account, whether diliberately or not. While you are wonderfully knowledgeable about opera, I believe your attempt to apply some of this knowledge outside of its purview is misdirected.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      As this was a rehearsal, it remains to be seen how the final performance will be performed. Cirque often mixes pre-recorded tracks with live music and I’m sure that the best acoustics and best equipment were not engaged for this particular rehearsal. Having a number of friends who had been active in the theatre (on the stage and in the sound and supportive roles), the “Live” performance is decidedly different that the rehearsal, so commentary on the eventual performance is a bit premature. I doubt she was lip synching the entire rehearsal but then I would be speculating as are you. Attempting to determine the particulars of a singular hand held video camera at an early rehearsal is largely imagination and speculation also. Your 50 years in the biz ought to have told you that, yet you launched a diatribe on Jackie with as little pure fact as that which is used to laud her.

      • holywells says:

        Bravo, WestSeaDoc! That was an extremely accurate evaluation of the matter at hand. CJ, as always, was demonstrating both an uneducated guess, and obvious jealousy. What was primarily apparent to all of us here was that the entire audio system available for that particular venue was not being utilized for the rehearsals. The actual live performance will surely be a wonderful experience for everyone, especially those who are fortunate enough to attend.

      • I happened on edmonds says:

        I happened on this discussion, looking for something else. To an outsider, it looks to me that there’s a good deal of cheer leading going on and an effort to censor contrary opinions. Not something I would expect from civilized adults, who enjoy classical music.

    • don mckee says:

      All classical music not heard live is recorded.

    • Don McKee says:

      @cabbagejuice

      Opera’s mixture of singing and acting is a “contrivance”. And, arguably, the quality of each of its elements is necessarily compromised in its service to the other. It is a form of multitasking, which robs each side of 100% attention. One also finds this compromise with regard to Hollywood musicals. It is a question of whether two tasks performed simultaneously with, say, 90% attention to each task is superior to one task performed with 100% attention. It a subjective call, hence, no argument.

  14. Stephen Runnels says:

    Criticizing Jackie Evancho is as absurd as criticizing an Angel because her gown doesn’t quite match her wings.

  15. While reading these comments it seems that some are not enjoying the ride. Maybe bursting others bubbles is somehow self serving and indulge in their selfishness. I for one love this ride with jackie. To me she is not just a child she is life force a beam of light that for now is very bright and I can clearly see. We all dream, she makes me forget the sad parts.

    • Knowing that talented young girls are subject to the laws of gravity and acoustics, unlike angels, should not diminish any pleasure one gets from hearing them sing. Making supra-human claims for them is wrong. Non professionals can only take what the PR machine churns out for granted. Really, there is no Santa Claus but life is still worth living.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Can you describe what PR machine was in effect when Jackie made her first appearance– the most spectacular ever– on AGT…. she barely made it on the show after being refused the year before.

        It was raw talent and good pitch control that wowed everyone– nothing to do with PR and the effect was profound nevertheless.

        PR helps mediocrity succeed at times, but Jackie did not need it to get her start.

  16. musician says:

    Maybe Bang Bang’s rival can use this technique to put him over the edge?

  17. Cute girl, stupid show, idiotic fans. Next.

    • don mckee says:

      @Alex. The hubris and mockery which is projected by so many of Jackie Evancho’s detractors is unabashedly conspicuous intellectual bullying. It differs not a whit in “character” from its more physical counterpart in every schoolyard and playground in the country. Whether bullying is of the intellectual or the more physical kind, it is unerringly and painfully recognized by those to whom it is directed. Sure, there are excesses and lots of hyperbole on the other side, but it born out love for it’s object of affection.

      And, it does not do to dismiss the subjective element in music preferences. For many, music is enjoyed in a deeper more visceral way. When I was 10 years old, I heard Beethoven for the first time and was overwhelmed by the experience. To this day, over 60 years later, I marvel over the profound effects of music experienced in a more pre-reflective, less mediated way.

      Classical music organizations and supporters are struggling against the attrition of a changing world where classical music is slowly losing some of its relevance. These posts are tellingly similar in tone to those of the “angry white men” we now hear so much about who are currently chaffing under the fact of their shrinking political and cultural dominance. In the same way, it be said that the tone of many of the comments in question, express the bitter sense of loss of an increasingly “angry classical culture”. For good or for bad, Euro centrism is in decline.

  18. Liverpudlian says:

    Some love the Cirque concept, some do not. It is hard to imagine anyone taking time to criticize them, particularly during what is just an early rehearsal. Even if one does not like Miss Evancho’s singing at all, it is nearly impossible to imagine the thought process behind such cynical and mean-spirited views of this charitable undertaking.

    • holywells says:

      I do totally agree with you, and the thought process that you made reference to in your comment most certainly falls within the “demented thought process” category. Since Jackie Evancho first sang on stage for AGT in 2010 the jealous trolls and haters have ran almost rampant over her videos. Her fans and admirers have remained vigilant and have risen to her aid (verbally) on many occasions. This young lady is very gracious, gentle, caring, loving, and kind, and is always willing to give freely of her time to help others. To put it into her own words, she once said: “There will always be haters. That is their problem, not mine.”

    • Stephen Runnels says:

      It may very well be such sour and spiteful criticisms are manifest from their own weak and lackluster experiences. Those who teach, criticize a tremendously gifted young girl they have no intention to actually experience in person or favor a good word, relying on a bitter personal memory to vent against what a great many see as perfection personified.

  19. Charles Hoff says:

    CJ,
    There are still 22 seats left for Jackie’s solo concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the 2,661 seat Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania tomorrow (March 12th). There’s still time for you to… Oh, maybe not.

  20. edinathens says:

    Jackie is safe compared with Katherine Jenkins’ performance at the O2. The aerials begin at 4:15 into the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ovFOCGKDE

  21. Charles Hoff says:

    Also just announced:
    Tony Bennett and Jackie Evancho
    May 31st, 2013 at the Verizon Amphitheater at Encore Park, Atlanta, Georgia.

    Don’t miss legendary entertainer Tony Bennett live in concert when he brings his priceless treasure of song memories to the stage. On the same night, Jackie Evancho will return to the amphitheatre and perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Jackie will be singing songs from her fourth-full length album, Songs from the Silver Screen, released in October 2012.

    *Please note only Jackie Evancho is performing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

    http://www.vzwamp.com/event/tony-bennett-jackie-evancho/

    More Info: https://tonybennett.com
    More Info: http://www.jackieevancho.com

    Imagine Tony Bennett sharing billing with a young lady who doesn’t know how to sing properly! And for a second time at that!! All of these people are being bought-off and FOOLED!

    Right. ;-) Cheers!

  22. Enchanting Jackie…

  23. @holywells You forgot to mention something else. Performances in such a high risk area have to be idiot proof. A momentary slip or even fear can ruin the whole thing. Better to make not only two takes but several and then choose the best one for the final day.
    Also, you first said that the recording was done by cheap devices and now it is state of the art.

  24. @holywells Correction: not “cheap” but “The audio portion of this video is…of minimum acceptable quality and suffers from time delay overlaps in certain regions of the audio spectrum.”
    Still, a big deal is being made out of very little substance.

    • holywells says:

      Perhaps it is of “very little substance” to you, but to those of us in the sound and recording industry it is always “a big deal”. We pride ourselves on the quality of the final results of any recording or live performance. To us, the artists are trying to deliver their personal best, and they deserve for us to try our personal best. When we witness anything related to audio that is inferior in quality we sometimes cringe. Facts: the average cost of the small microphone and preamp circuit in most video cameras= $2.50. The average cost of the high-end recording equipment used in a premium studio setting= $1,400,000.00. As far as we are concerned, yes….it is a very big deal. Pure and simple.

    • don mckee says:

      By substance do you mean opera itself even though it fails to attract more than a relatively small percentage of the world’s music lovers? It is clear that take pride in your illusion that so few people appreciate opera because they are not as artistically sensitive or as intellectually gifted as you. From another point of view (not a lesser one), opera is seen as pretentious, outlandishly posed, overwrought and conservative to a fault. This is another perfectly valid point of view. No more, no less. This is not a case of good or bad or of wrong or right. It a case of apples and oranges. I am not suggesting that either side here is right or wrong. They both are right and wrong. Get it?

  25. Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Snow Queen begins with some demons crafting a mirror that only shows the shortcomings/ugliness/evil in what it reflects, hiding all that’s good and true and beautiful. The demons amuse themselves by carrying the mirror around to show the world as they see it. They decide to carry it up to Heaven to make it and the angels and God himself look ugly and evil, but they lose their grip as they ascend and it falls, shattering into a zillion tiny shards.

    “These shards are blown around and get into people’s hearts and eyes, making their hearts frozen like blocks of ice and their eyes like the troll-mirror itself, only seeing the bad and ugly in people and things.”

    Years later, our little heroine Gerda’s BFF Kai gets some of these shards in his eyes and heart. “Kai’s personality changes: he becomes cruel and aggressive. He destroys their window-box garden, he makes fun of his grandmother, and he no longer cares about Gerda, since all of them now appear bad and ugly to him. The only beautiful and perfect things to him now are the tiny snowflakes that he sees through a magnifying glass.”

    Capisce?

  26. @Ehkzu Another anecdote: The bride was radiant in her gown on the day of her marriage. Friends and wellwishers commented how beautiful she was. The proud mother said however, “That’s nothing, just wait until you see her picture!”
    Not only her picture but airbrushed and photoshopped!
    What would art be without artifice except when it is more than 50% of the art?
    The pianist, Glenn Gould’s recordings were not the products of a momentary insipration or first take luck (well, maybe a rare sometime) but for the most part meticulously crafted and spliced to achieve his vision. But he could play any of the works in private or public without electronics. And there are still many singers who are not dependent on them.
    It’s possible that with ubiquitous amplification, singing alone via one’s merits without the Almighty Mike and Sound Experts will gradually disappear in the XXIst Century. We have come to expect certain sounds as we do pictures that don’t show reality either.

  27. richardcarlisle says:

    CJ,

    There’s a bit of metaphor here– uniquely rising above her critics….where were you and company during the Rieu thread?

  28. JayJackson says:

    @cabbagejuice
    When a normal person invest time and effort in doing anything they have a reson for doing it.
    Often those reasons are obvious, like the reasons Mr. Lebrecht post articles about Jackie Evancho on his blog.
    I spend a fair amount of my free time searching the internet for any newly posted video’s and news tidbits about Jackie Evancho because I am a fan. Which is how I first came across Mr. Lebrecht’s blog. I think I have read all of his articles about Jackie, and all of the comments posted on those articles.
    Your comments have stood out and deeply disturbed me. I can not understand why, with your obvious contempt for everything and everyone associated with Ms. Evancho, you waste your time and efforts commenting on these articles. At the time I started typing my post, there were 47 comments posted, and 12 of them are yours.
    I sign in a registed with this site so I could ask you:
    What inferences do you want those reading your many. many comments to have about you?
    [redacted]

    • JayJackson says:

      In my haste to post I made some errors towards the end of my comments.
      I sign in a registed… Should B…I signed in and registed…

      • bunnyrabbit says:

        I have a piece of advice for all you Jackie fans (of which I am one) who are trying to rebut and respond to the idiots who spend their time criticiziing the wonderful talents of very special 12 year old singer: STOP engaging with these nasty, bitter people. Just STOP. The more you pick apart their criticism and petty slurs on Jackie’s brillant voice and success the more space you give them to rant and rave again – and again – and again. Don’t respond to them – at all!. You’re just giving them more space to keep posting and posting. Just STOP.

        • JayJackson says:

          @bunnyrabbit
          Yes of course you are right. I just get so tired of all the slurs. As I said cabbage had 12 of the 47 comments posted before my last post. But I am going to follow your advice.

        • richardcarlisle says:

          Opinion diversity is a major portion of all civil fabric and if you can see past the negative and/or defensive stance the best-known critic in this thread often assumes then you may as I have, benefit from some of the knowledge she imparts to the debate and — who knows — some tidbit of info could get back to Jackie eventually and be constructive for her career, something we all cherish as does Jackie herself.

        • Stephen Runnels says:

          I could not agree more. One or two rotten apples on this blog cannot take away from those who truly admire, appreciate, and respect a young girl with such an incredible talent.

    • When people believe so blindly in something, no matter what, sure it “deeply disturbs” them that there might be a differing opinion. Most of the time, I have to answer very ugly attacks on myself although I have been fair and objective. Two posters here warned me about the futility of arguing with people who don’t want to be bothered by facts and so themselves have backed out of the firing range .
      I don’t really care. I think there should be room for clearing the mysitification and one of them has very much to do with the role of amplifying what has already been magnified practically ad infinitum so that people feel they are floating in the skies. If it weren’t for the Almighty Mike there would be NO career. At least not now.
      One of my comments had to do with my surprise upon seeing and hearing Katherine Jenkins singing like a real singer without cheap tricks and distractions. At least in this vid there is no cognitive dissonance between thinly floating high notes and having them emerge as full throated. For those who know, the body language gives it away. And there is dishonesty in trying to pass off something much bigger than what it is.
      My interest also is to defend and be a voice for those singers who really do work and study seriously, who spend much time and money in their education that includes language and diction. To see a yet undeveloped talent trot out time again operatic arias without even bothering to clean up the pronunciation is patently irritating (of course no concern with the text and its meaning) .
      I can’t help what people infer, that is, when they project their own feelings outwards and not caring to actually read what is written. There is just too emotional involvement here which is itself is suspicious. So instead you can ask youself WHY grown up men tend to congregate on JE sites and get so “deeply disturbed” when there is the least bit of objective questioning and criticism.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        CJ,

        Your comments are exhaustively thorough and somewhat instructive for us of lesser knowledge in the musicology field… I respect and even appreciate your intellect…. BUT… if you can give KJ a good review (it’s incredible how controlled — almost perfect– her pitch has become, as if you had given her a lesson perhaps) then why can’t you bless Jackie similarly: wait ten years for your next evaluation when she’s closer to Katherine’s age and the field is more level… fairness would be a good quality to add to your known virtues.

      • JayJackson says:

        Last reply I will make to cabbagejuice. I was questioning all the comments you have made concerning Ms. Evancho from all of NL’s articles not just this one. The End

        • holywells says:

          I do agree with you, sir, and I have extended the normal amount of courteousness that goes along with an attempt to provide accurate professional information to someone who is in error on a technical subject. In most cases it is usually successful, but in the case of “cabbagejuice”, also known as “zamyrabyrd” on YouTube, I have found that the mind of one who possesses such an attitude is generally non receptive. I suppose that he/she has never worked with a prodigy of Jackie’s caliber before. If so then the fact that Jackie doesn’t operate within the same confines as other singers would surely be evident. It does not require years to train a prodigy, they just need a little time and coaching to perfect their inherent skills. I will no longer partake in the verbal exchanges in this blog, but I will see many of you Jackie Evancho’s videos on YouTube. Finis.

          • Yes Addison says:

            I was staying out of the discussion until this point, but no, everyone who hopes to have a long career with something as delicate and unpredictable as the human voice needs training. Technique is the foundation of longevity. If someone is a special prodigy, then surely, proper guidance and discipline are even more necessary.

            I do not know if Jackie Evancho plans to devote her life to music, however. I mainly know of her what I read from her fans who have posted here and elsewhere. I believe someone shared in another comments thread on Slipped Disc that she has expressed some interest in being a veterinarian.

            I personally find cabbagejuice’s comments on the technical matters interesting and perceptive, and insomuch as I know enough about a particular detail to have an opinion of my own (which is not invariably the case; I’m not a specialist), I usually agree.

      • DadsForJackie says:

        @cabbagejuice

        “If it weren’t for the Almighty Mike there would be NO career”

        Well now, it’s about friggin time that Jackie’s dear old dad finally gets some credit. Jackie never thanks him or dedicates a song to him at her recent concerts like she does for her mom Lisa and Jackie’s fans pick on him relentlessly in their forums – he being the actual man in her life, instead of one of them ;) Who’d a thought he’d have to come to Mr. Lebrecht’s blog of all places to finally get some kudos. :)

      • CJ. With much due respect, please let this go. Each comment you post spurs ten from this child’s fans. What is the point? Other than to clog this blog, where there is much else to read. Ms. Evancho is clearly not moving toward classical music, which I earlier thought she desired. I therefore wish her well in her pop career as I listen to true classical artists. I find no reason at this point to worry about Ms. Evancho or her fans. She is working hard at finding fame and fortune in LA and Vegas and they are enjoying her music. She seems like a perfectly sweet child.

        I quite enjoyed the Rhinemaidens’ flight in the Met’s Ring Cycle. That is enough aerial work for me. I believe I will head to youtube to revisit it, now that I consider it.

        • Yes Addison says:

          I see your point, Janey, but the only Evancho-related discussion, pro and con, is in follow-up to Evancho-related items. That seems reasonable to me. If Evancho wars were breaking out in the Regietheater thread or the one about “Francesca da Rimini” or La Scala, then that would be blog-clogging, and I’d join in calling for people not to engage. Not that massive numbers of blatantly off-topic posts would be getting past the review stage.

          As it stands, as long as we are getting periodic updates on Slipped Disc about whatever she’s doing (releasing an album, singing a holiday song, performing while dangling in the air), I think it’s reasonable for the follow-ups to have a range of reactions to her. I concede the point that most of the people who participate are not likely to be moved from their positions by more than a few inches, but that’s true of a lot of topics.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Janey … as you say … “with all due respect”…. Ms Evancho is TWELVE YEARS OLD. What she knows is that she like singing .. and singing in a Classical style. This doesn’t mean that she should be relegated to singing only the Classics (however anyone defines that). Can you honestly tell me that you knew exactly what you wanted to do at that age .. even if you wanted to be a doctor, you wouldn’t have a clear understanding just where and how and in which fashion you wanted to practice medicine. Give the child a break. To say that she is only interested in a pop career is well premature. In all fairness to you, though, Jackie has professed to enjoy pop and rock but did not believe that her voice fit those genres well and she enjoyed the phrasings that classical styled music lent. She has never professed to aim towards a career in true opera so denigrating her, however subtly, for not pursuing that direction is misguided at best and patronizing at worst. I also find hard to understand why people castigate her for being willing to perform a number (for which she was ASKED to perform) dedicated to a worthy charitable cause. Her other endeavors as an innocent in trying to help improve our planet isn’t much different that my daughter (at her age) making certain that I recycled well and tried to make our house and lifestyle “more green” or her working for the Humane Society as a volunteer. Jackie is just on a grander stage and I say “good for her!” Were it your child doing something charitable for a cause in which she believed, I believe you would likely roar to the defense of anyone belittling any such efforts. It takes a special lack of charity to not simply praise her for this effort and say thank you for the planet. Broadening it to a referendum on the relative merits of her fame, speculation on her ambition, commentary on her techniques, and damnation for her lack of technical perfection is petty and pathetic.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        cj

        Well, I see you’re up to your usual rants of unsupported criticism, & as usual, you’re just WRONG.

        You first alleged that Jackie was lip-synching, an arrantly absurd allegation that any fool with ears can hear is WRONG. Jackie’s two versions are subtly different, & as you well know, she hates lip-synching & never does it. You can even see she’s singing on her canned music videos, when other artists almost always lip synch.

        Then you appeared to back off your lip-synching allegation, saying they might take the “best version” for the final performance. Actually, it’ll be in front of a live audience. Jackie won’t lip synch. She never does, as is obvious to anyone willing to listen to the “Persian flaws” in her performances.

        You allege she can’t supply breath support sitting down – except that it isn’t even clear if she’s sitting or standing. Just listening to her sound, it’s quite well-supported. Those B5s are certainly clear, are they not?

        And then you actually claim to be “fair and objective”! What chutzpah! In what universe? You try to think of every single negative thing you can about Jackie. I’m fair & objective, & have criticised her in print. You have never allowed a hint of praise in anything you’ve said about her.

        What’s really odd is your subsequent praise of Katherine Jenkins. I admit that that performance of “Angel” was good for her, but please – “no cheap tricks or distractions”? You mean, like no guy floating around above her?

        Most bizarre of all is your attitude as an anti-fan. You evidently resent the fact that Jackie is successful, that she fills orchestra halls, because she hasn’t “worked for it” or “paid her dues” by training (at least that we know of). There are people who are innately talented; Jackie is one.

        There are a lot of singers I don’t like very much, from Justin Bieber on down. But I spend ZERO time leaving negative comments about them on blogs. Yet here you are, leaving one profoundly negative comment about Jackie after another. Absolutely bizarre. THAT is what is “deeply disturbing” here.

      • Victoria Clarke says:

        Thank you for a very sensible post CJ.
        I think the fans of these crossover acts fail to realise the ridiculously disproportionate amounts of PR money ploughed into them to give them mainstream marketing appeal. If you went to your local music college you willfind hundreds of vastly superior talents who will never become household names because they haven’t been bankrolled by the media industry. You are watching products, not artists. I rest my case. :-(

        • Yes, but what is to be done? Nothing that I can see. Moreover, I doubt fans of these smaller voices would appreciate truly trained singers. As you noted so well, it is a different world for these “crossover” artists. In all honesty, it is not one in which I am interested, so why not let them be? Despite their PR machines, they do work hard. Every blog post and comment furthers their PR efforts, while taking the place of posts on other singers focused on a classical career.

        • Ronald Berchelt says:

          Your proposition is simply not supported by fact. Jackie rose to fame with nothing more than the love and support of her family (no “disproportionate” PR moneys there) and, with numerous channels available now (electronic and otherwise) to showcase talent, at least a few of those hundreds of “vastly superior” talents would already have come to light and, obviously, they are nowhere to be found. The fact is that Jackie is a unique and extraordinary talent that has acheived success through enormous natural gifts and plain old hard work and determination. She also happens to be genuinely joyful and generous, something strikingly missing in her few critics.

          • True Believers trot out “facts”supported only by their emotional conviction.
            “Jackie rose to fame with nothing more than the love and support of her family.”
            Lenin would have called them “useful idiots”.
            There were no contacts after the AGT, BGT, no David Foster, etc.???
            And SURE, the family and everyone else are not making a fortune from the girl…

        • richardcarlisle says:

          A rest— how appropriate.

          • Ronald Berchelt says:

            The point is, CJ, to use your terms, if Ms. Clarke was right about the existence of “hundreds of vastly superior talents” then at least a few of them would have had “useful idiots” to help them succeed and, clearly, none have. Thus, her “facts” simply don’t stand up to scrutiny. Of course Jackie received wide attention and support after her successful appearance on AGT – no surprise about that – but her own efforts, with the support of her family, are what got her there.

            Critical thinking and analysis is a good thing, CJ, but when essentially all conclusions are negative in the face of substantial contrary evidence, one has to question whether any critical thinking is actually going on.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Ms. Clarke … First, your glib statement of “hundreds of superior talents” is unfounded and you are comparing a developing talent to college aged young adults. Secondly, I’m certain that it is no NEWS FLASH to you to understand that music is a business. The days of smitten patrons is over, on the decline, or is mythical. It is true that some acts are products, complete with casting calls, concept analysis, and then target marketing. This is particularly true in Asia. However, these acts have a short half life and the business behind them will throw them under the next bus if another such concept comes along that will make them money… and Yes, significant promotional money will be ploughed into an promising act with the hope of generating a PROFIT for the performers and all ancillary fingers in the proverbial pie. The performer that can bring in their own following and expand it without disproportionate promotion is platinum to a label. You might be surprised to know that the performers, themselves, often make very little on their recordings and ZERO on radioplay. In addition, you have implied that you have privileged information as to what constitutes an artist and how to determine what is quality or levels thereof. Hubris. At least have the transparency to define how you determine artistry. If a performer’s “art” moves their audience profoundly (either + or – … Stravinsky was nearly lynched after one of his performances) is that not art .. whether I or you like it or not — or disagree on what is artistic — does not necessarily make it more or less so. Jimi Hendrix was not the greatest guitar player in the world — certainly not technically — but he revolutionized a genre of music. By your definition, he could not be considered an artist; in a world of Realism or Impressionism, Picasso “failed magnificently.” His technical skills in pure realism were good but not unique. It was his vision that built on and opened the art world to cubism. Would he also not be called an artist? Jackie currently has a somewhat broad and slowly broadening fan base using what gifts she currently possesses and what skills she has acquired to date. If, for argument’s sake, she were to undergo extensive training in the classical voice and lose her audience by sinking into a quagmire of “sameness,” would she then be a better or a worse “artist?” Saying she is not a good or even great artist, at this moment in time, belies and belittles the reality of her appeal, some of which may be that very lack of the “trained voice” that you so purport as necessary to true artistry of voice. For example, I personally doubt that she will ever do Pie Jesu as well as she did as a 10 year old, simply because the music lends itself to a voice that is angelic in the way that a child is innocent. Improving the diction, phrasing, caliber and richness of the mature voice will, to me, not overcome the simple passing of the voice of a child .. even one hitting adult notes. Most detractors are simply invested emotionally in taking down an upstart who had the nerve to be commercially successful without paying the usual dues … and blaming her fans for not understanding her “faults” as you define them. I do not doubt that there is great validity in some of the criticism of technique, but the non-fans are guilty of biasing their arguments to support their already determined position rather than looking at what makes her commercial beyond the simple “she’s good for a child” mantra. Many, for whom, I have played Jackie’s voice have expressed a sense of enjoyment, resonance, an emotional uplifting … before being surprised to find that this voice they enjoy comes from a child. One LOVES her voice enough to copy my entire library of her songs and video but she confessed that she would NEVER purchase a CD of Jackie’s simply BECAUSE she was a child.

  29. I volunteered in my wife’s church’s nursery for a year. The kids were in the 2.5-3.9 years age bracket.

    One thing that really struck me from this experience was how some kids devoted themselves to using wooden blocks to build up structures from their imagination, often taking quite a bit of time to do so, while others never built anything, but as soon as a structure took shape they’d run over and kick it down.

  30. Ronald Berchelt says:

    It’s not clear to me why anyone would take seriously a commenter who is so obsessed with a subject that he/she can manage no perspective and simply repeats the same points over and over and who, in addition, exhibits little or at best micro-narrow knowledge and experience about the topic. No weight or merit should be attributed to such a commenter who harps on the same tired and transparently incorrect criticisms, and who has presented not the slightest qualifications as anything other than a professional grouch. In any event, the exquisite and world class talents, gifts, and generosity of the target artist in this case are self evident and simply do not need defending against feather-weights.

  31. A 13 year old can sing O Mio babbino the way it should be as in the case of Patricia Janescova. Aled Jones while younger sang Ombra Mai Fu and Pie Jesu with round tones and good diction. So there’s no excuse for accepting anything less than perfect from ‘perfection personified’ EXCEPT if any little detail were altered in her precarious technique (the recent OMF had not only a jaw waggle but it was veering to one side) the whole package would become unravelled.
    The murky quality since the age of 8 (allegedly reinforced by the Estil method of pushing into the resonators)causing her to sound way beyond her age would disappear and she might even sound like the above Patty, that is her age, but with a solid technique and the ability to sing freely without chopping up words and the admitted jaw problems.
    Doubtless she is a prodigy but in the case of so many of the past, are thrust before the public in a halfbaked state. We expect in the present, lessons learned from the stories of going back to Beethoven and Mozart that history would not be repeated. I rarely saw the girl sing freely LIVE in the way of Patty or even KJ whom I used as an example. This is singing, using one’s body as an instrument, ALL of it, and this also goes under the heading of artistic truth. This ability comes first BEFORE all the manipulations of the Latest in Sound Technology. What does she get in the end? Having to sing sitting down strapped in a harness in a circus act.
    And WHO is being unkind here?

    • Charles Hoff says:

      CJ,
      That is a rhetorical question, correct?

      • I was resolved not to comment anymore because obviously you people have seen the Light. So WHY bring me back all the time? You all shouldn’t need my validation. But since here, I will say that NOT singing optimally is very uncomfortable. I sure hope this is not the case as everything else defies commonsense, gravity and acoustics.
        Also I should have been clearer about what I wrote regarding KJ. She didn’t employ cheap VOCAL tricks. The parallel act was just that and not to compensate for or disguise vocal defects.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Not to specifically give or take away credence to any of your postings or comments but, rhetorically …

          If I were given the choice of technical perfection (in whatever) and a long career of desultory but functional mediocrity or technical imperfection that led to a severe curtailing of my career but transient greatness that would last through time … what would I choose?

          CJ … Ignoring any allegory to Jackie (as such is not meant as this is a clarifying question … )

          What would you choose?

          There isn’t any “right’ answer .. it may be that nothing comes without some price.
          The point is, we all come from different view points and biases for differing reasons.
          You might explore cognitive psych for self examination .. it’s insightful and unsettling ….

          • I’m trying to understand your question: “technical perfection… and a long career…of mediocrity” vs. technical imperfection…but transient greatness”.
            First of all perfection doesn’t lead to mediocrity, just the opposite. Singing, dancing, sports, gymnastics without solid technique is cashing in the present at the expense of the future. If it is to gratify others, that is, the public and not myself, certainly not to choose the flash in the pan.
            Rosa Ponselle, the great soprano of the 1920′s and 30′s said, that a singer should sing on her interest and not her capital. This can and should apply to any endeavor, unless a person is really foolhardy. And certainly children should not have such decisions made for them. They can’t anyway make informed choices since they live in an extended present.

        • don mckee says:

          The hubris and mockery which is projected by so many of Jackie Evancho’s detractors is conspicuous intellectual bullying. It differs not a whit in “character”, from its more physical counterpart found in every schoolyard and playground. Whether bullying is of the intellectual or the more physical kind, it is unerringly recognized by those to whom it is directed. Sure, there are excesses and lots of hyperbole on the other side, but it born out love for it’s object of affection. This suggests plenitude of feeling more than it does lack of intelligence.

          And, it does not do to undervalue the subjective element in music preferences. For many, music is enjoyed more viscerally. When I was 10 years old, I heard Beethoven for the first time and was overwhelmed by the experience. To this day, over 60 years later, I marvel over the profound joy which comes from music experienced in a more pre-reflective, less mediated way. It is a subjective matter whether one favors Beethoven for his heart or his mind.

          Classical music organizations and supporters are struggling against the attrition of cultural globalization where classical music is gradually losing some of its relevance. Many of the posts in question are tellingly similar in tone to those of the “angry white men” we now hear so much about who are currently chaffing under the fact of their shrinking political and cultural dominance. In much the same way, the tone of many of these comments express the bitter sense of loss of an increasingly “angry classical culture”. For good or for bad, Euro centrism is in decline.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      CJ.,

      Let’s revisit that last image that you alluded to:

      http://photos.lasvegassun.com/media/img/photos/2013/03/11/Bellagio%20Jackie%20TD%2021%20of%2037.jpg

      You’re right. What singer in their right mind would want to find themselves in this position in front of such a prestigious, influential, and soon to be worldwide audience?

    • troglodyte says:

      cj

      Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
      Fulton J. Sheen

      Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.
      Harold Coffin

      Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.
      Jean Vanier

      I’m sorry but your slip is showing.

  32. Ronald Berchelt says:

    Jackie’s decision to collaborate with Cirque du Soleil is very exciting. The combination of her world class talents as a singer with the visual artistry of Cirque is certain to produce a truly memorable and extraordinary event. As Jackie continues to expand her horizons, and with her meteoric growth as an artist, she will be setting new standards of artistic quality and performance for years to come.

  33. Commenting on the blogs and boards on internet is something that we are not trained in. This media is a global broadcast, not a discussion among friends. If you’re not sure what you are going to say is going to offend then don’t post it. Freedom of speech is designed to ensure the truth when needed, and just because something is factual and true is not an cue to broadcast it. If it doesn’t benefit anyone then it may be best left unsaid.

    Jackie fans, if you comment on her talent make sure your comments are measured against the experience of readers of this blog which are invariably classical and opera fans. These artist work very long and hard to achieve high standards, be empathetic towards this. Just because you read a comment in the media about her doesn’t mean its true. A recent media comment calling her in a virtuoso should be treated as such.

    Opera fans, while your model for training classical vocalists is well proven, not having coal face access to Jackie leaves a big gap in your argument. For instance Jackie’s parents priorities maybe mental health, career success and lastly vocal health. Maybe they want to minimize the time she spends training until a later age. Maybe they cut a deal with her, letting her perform as long as she gets certain grades and attends college in a profession other than music so she has a diverse career options. Becoming a classical singer is still a high risk career. We simply don’t know the dynamics of the situation to make an informed comment, and that is their business not ours.

    Everyone, In libel the test case for a comment being defamatory is “Could a 3rd party have found the comment demeaning” not what was the intent of the defendant. This is a pretty good measure for what should be said in a global broadcast. Comments about “grown men congregating…” is not the type of comment that should be made on a global broadcast. Similarly the comment “……stupid show….” is a slight against to 200+ performers donation their spare time to rehearse and perform. The comment “strapped into a harness…” is insult at a 12 year old girl who never once claimed to be an opera singer, nor directed a nasty word or comment at anyone on this board. Norman has decided to post articles the include the classical crossover genre, you should respect the artist in that genre. When someone does offend you on a public forum, do have some empathy, most of us have not been trained on how to write ethically or effectively in a public forum, we have the press to follow as a model and that’s not working out so great.

    On a positive note, a few posters on this blog are upset with the lack of promotion that hard working classical singers get, and rightly so. Jackie’s YouTube audition on AGT was highly supported some of her fan base at http://www.classical-crossover.co.uk voting for her to get on the show. (not suggesting reality TV is the best media for up and coming opera singers). This site is a well run by volunteers who promote classical-crossover as a genre. They promote artist by profiling artists, linking sites, clips writing reviews as well has having a community board and annual voting and awards. They promote established and up and coming artists, it’s open to the public to browse at no cost to the artist. Most of Jackie’s fans are aware of Patricia J, not from the opera community but she is listed as an artist on classical-crossover.co.uk Maybe establishing a site on this model is something for those on this board who are passionate about helping young opera artist get the publicity they deserve, and promote the genre.

    Ads

    • Are you from the thought police? How else does one describe males after a certain age – deferred maturity fan boys? And who can’t describe any show as being stupid, especially if it is stupid like Lady Gaga’s? Maybe it is insulting to someone’s intelligence when upon hearing operatic arias sung badly, to hear that the singer is not singing opera nor ever claimed to? Gosh, my brain feels offended.

      • 19thCenturyGentleman says:

        CJ,

        I admire your restrained conversation style and genuine politeness. You should be a role model for civil discourse everywhere.

        Admiringly yours

        • For what it is worth, plenty of ad hominem (or more precisely ad mulierem) attacks have been made on me, insults such as jealous, demented, ignorant, etc.
          The point here is how one can wiggle out of being a product that is being hyped to the skies, and when those unbelievable claims made for it are brought down to earth by way of reality checks, all of a sudden the ‘personal insult” card is played. All critics of performances would have to be shut down or duct taped if they cannot assess objectively or even emotionally what the public is asked to pay hard cash for. This is when a performer’s work becomes a product even when emanating from his or her personality. The claims of “volunteer” just don’t hold water either since frequently non-payment for one gig will lead to other more profitable ones.
          For the record I never made a personal attack on anyone. I cite specific technical issues that in singing can be applied to so-called crossover performers.
          I just want to say that a few years ago I had been thru the exact same thing with regard to a prodigy pianist that most everyone was going gaga over. A few of us warned that the transition to adulthood would be difficult when that young person would have to compete with her peers. For that I got the same kind of flak but it seems like the career either fizzled out or went underground.

          • WestSeaDoc says:

            claims of “volunteer” just don’t hold water either since frequently non-payment for one gig will lead to other more profitable ones …..

            Duh. Generally Free means Free…. secondary gains might accrue but it is a bit disingenuous to presume that everyone does something good for a secondary reason that is financial ..

            In your youth … would you have been more than pleased to be asked to donate your talents towards a cause in which you believed? I’m sure you would (or at least hope that you would have …)

            Again, Jackie’s appeal right now maya or may not be transient … if so, what problem is it of yours? If she burns brightly now and then leaves the stage, is it up to you to begrudge her her current success? If what she brings taps a market that wants such, then who are you to blame such a market for existing? Your arguments may be knowledgeable (arguably) but your purpose seems callow. You vent your emotional indignation, umbrage, and distaste as if it were a religious calling. Even attempts to quiet the conversation (see Ads) seem to ignite this flame as if it were a driving living force!

      • Am I from the thought police? No I’m a business strategist.

        (…Males from a certain age…?) Where did you source the age of these people? Stick to facts.

        Who can’t describe a show as stupid? Anyone not wishing to offend the Event Committee Honorary Chair, Prince Albert II of Monaco. That would include anyone wishing to perform in-front of any world dignitaries and anyone signed or wishing to sign with a major record label. That would pretty much cover every solo artist in entire classical music genre. Not a career making comment.

        (…..to hear the singer is not singing opera….?) Read what is written.

        If I’m going to take the advice of a critique I would expect them to use the appropriate framework for the genre and would expect them to attend at least one live performance. For instance if I was looking for a critique of Jackie in Russia I might find out what Sumi Jo’s impressions where as she was there. Or maybe an orchestra member at one of her concerts.

        • From Amazon.com “How Old are Jackie’s Fans?”
          Demographics…
          AGE 65 or above 6% of these 80% male 20% female
          AGE 55-64 37% of these 70% male 30% female
          AGE 45-54 31% of these 70% male 30% female
          AGE 35-44 11% of these 65% male 35% female

          I never saw Maria Callas live or any other singer beyond her generation so must depend on recordings. Films are more than adequate to judge a singer, in fact better than being in the orchestra or as one of the participants. The same goes for football games where TV gives a wider perspective.
          Sumi Jo’s impressions apart from promoting herself would not be a disinterested party. Of course she has to toe the party line. Why should she bite the hand that feeds her?
          I don’t have to ask the above mentioned if O Mio Babbino Caro is an operatic aria. It appears in Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, although from how it is being exploited and misused probably would have the composer turn in his grave.
          About lèse-majesté, in Western countries, monarchs are mainly sympbolic figures and don’t throw people into jail for criticising them. To be blackballed for criticising an event they happen to be in
          is more than what the kings of Thailand, Morocco and Jordan would prosecute citizens for. So you are not really scaring anyone, unless of course you happen to have files like the Stasi (and I hear some elementary schools in Britain) that lists anytime someone said or did something offensive to a person or group.

          • You make disparaging comments about a demographic on a fan site then back it up data from Hits on a YouTube site. Making no attempt to say where your data really came from. Think before you post, am I really representing an honest representation or does it suit what I would like to believe.

            Again, I wrote about Jackie not being claiming to be an Opera Singer….go back and read what I wrote, not what you would like to believe I wrote.

            You ask the question “And who can’t describe any show as being stupid”? I give you an answer of anyone wanting perform in-front of dignitaries of be signed to a label as it would be a career limiting move. You jump to monarchs not throwing people in jail.

            Clearly problems with staying on topic and delivering factual and impartial arguments, and you wonder why Jackie’s is getting the gigs? As you say “attacks have been made on me, insults such as jealous, demented, ignorant, etc.” I give you advice on how to act on a public forum and you persist with this formula. What you say in the privacy of your friends will get one reaction, if you say the same thing in-front in a public speech you will get another reaction even from the same friends. A public forum is like a world stage, and Google is the greatest mic ever invented.

            You have good and valuable information to contribute to this forum, work out what your primary objectives are and workshop your comments to ensure they are on topic and factual, and do they work towards achieving your primary objectives. Choose words that accurately reflect the level of confidence in your facts and respect others and they will respect you.

          • WestSeaDoc says:

            Cj …

            1. You totally missed my query on mediocrity vs timelessness. Yes, “technical excellence” can indeed be mediocre .. in that it may be unmemorable. The point was that if technical excellence, however defined by whoever purports themselves to be the arbiter of such, is achieved at the expense of being unique … and that singular quality of being “imperfect” but memorable is what sets the artist apart from other artists (or performers, etc); is it better to have been unique, memorable and timeless vs. technically pure but mundane, which would you choose. You have begged the question by reframing its tenets .. that is, rather than answer the question as posed, you responded by saying that technical perfection cannot be mediocre. An examply, for instance, might be the swimmer, Janet Evans. She did not swim with technical perfection and had she changed, she might well not have won her Olympic Medals. It worked for her. Would you have changed her stroke? Lee Trevino was, in his time, a premier golfer who won several tournaments and a few major championships. He had an unorthodox swing that was self taught and technically imperfect. Any attempt to have “improved” his swing would undoubtedly derailed his career and he is memorable both because of his swing as well as the fact that he won at the highest level.

            2. You have given statistics on Jackie’s fanbase as if it somehow negates her appeal and that her fan base is populated by misguided old men. I would wager (though I admittedly do not know) that the fan base for any operatic star not named Pavarotti — even Callas, etc. would have a demographic that skews considerably towards the older crowd. Does that negate the artistry of opera, too?

            The fact is, music — like visual art — is in the ear/eye of the beholder. Performing either with cookie cutter techniques would make artists the same. It is what they do that is different that sets them apart and draws their fans… and hopefully, cements their place in the pantheon of their art. You seem to be incensed that Jackie’s fans like her despite her “technical flaws,” and cannot grasp that Jackie, with all “that,” has amassed a fan base and commercial success possibly because of them .. as it is the totality of the performer and performance that generates a fan base and, for better or worse, financial reward.

            That being said, another story on One Drop … this is NOT a publicity stunt and performing for this benefit is an honor …. and the lack of compensation is immaterial. I sincerely doubt that any performer who enjoys his/her art, even gave secondary thought to secondary gain other than the pure honor of being able to perform for a worthy cause. Don’t be so cynical. I’m sure the “young you” would have been thrilled to perform and would not have thought of any financial windfalls, though an artist likes to have their art recognized. Sometimes that is more than enough.

            http://lasvegasmagazine.com/2013/03/16/water-works/

          • don mckee says:

            @cabbagejuice

            What do you want us to take from your posting of these demographics? They seem irrelevant to the rest of your post. Thank you.

    • I believe there are far more sites supporting opera and true classical music and performers than those that support “classical crossover,” although I confess I would not know all of these crossover sites. I assume there must be many others? You have just posted on one site devoted to classical music.

      I wonder, how many opera singers are discussed on your noted site, since we have heard repeatedly that “classical crossover” creates fans of classical music?

      • Very good point Janey, I was a bit hesitant of posting this comment as I didn’t have this information on opera sites. I did Google to see if I could find classical sites that promote young or up and coming opera singers. All the immediate sites I found were professional sites usually attached to Opera companies, with the focus on up and coming events that they were presenting none had a format similar to cc.co.uk. Not to say they don’t exist just that Google didn’t turn them up.

        Artsjournal structure is based on an electronic news paper (in no way am I suggesting this changes). Commercial sites must promote their commercial interests. cc.co.uk is an amateur site funded by donations and volunteer efforts. The structure is a artist profile based with a discussion board, members recommend the artists and the profile is created by the administrators. This removes any commercial influence by the artist or promoters and opens the opportunity for up and coming artists. For instance while JE is highly regarded on this website, her profile is small and there have been no recent since 2010 as the administrators probably don’t think she needs much help anymore. There are many established artists but the focus is on the new and unsigned.

        One site did have artist profiles, but I couldn’t browse artists profiles anomalously, and while I could create a username, I had to then create a profile that didn’t include people outside the classical music profession, in other words fan. For an artist to create a profile with video links there was a $50 fee. Not much but when there is no anomalous browsing, it’s not that attractive. There were only 3 artist profiles on the site. I didn’t find any non commercial based sites on the internet with a similar structure to cc.co.uk.

        I’m sure there are many artist on the cc board who do train or sing with the intent of pursuing an operatic career while pursuing careers in crossover or other genres. Of I don’t have any statistics or proof on how effective this is for these artist. I can only comment on my own experience which might shed some light on the comment that CC creates fans of classical music. I was classical training in piano during my youth. I then changed my taste to rock alternate and grunge, later moving to roots and acoustic but still a fan of grunge and alternate. After discovering Jackie by accident on YouTube and in particular read the arguments over what constitutes an opera singer, my interest in classical music has been rekindled. I have my favourite opera artist, as well as other classical and classical crossover artists. So Ami Kubayashi, Vivaldi, Evancho, Netbrebko, and Miller-Heidke now sit comfortably between my Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters and Tool. My favourite music clips are Lindsay Stirling who I discovered on cc.co.uk, not a big fan of the sound but this young ladies video skills and understanding of new and emerging markets and marketing must be admired. I randomly go to cc.co.uk select an artist and listen and have several other artists I like, if there were such a site for Opera I would do the same.

        So I have no statistics but one might infer:
        Maturity leads to broader acceptance of other arts
        Maturity leads people to finer arts.
        People with past classical training may return to the genre at a later age.
        CC might be a catalyst, or gateway for people moving in this direction. As it was in my case.

        Interestingly the misunderstanding of what actually classifies an opera singer may have spurred my research and interest in opera, so it’s not all bad news.

        cc.co.uk is not the be all and end all, it is small but well run and it did help one artist get a start. I’m not trying to promote cc.co.uk just the structure and how it may help up and coming opera singers get the attention they deserve. There may well be a site like this for Opera and other classical arts, it would help to promote it. I for one would be interested.

        • @Ads: I appreciate your thorough response. I believe it underscores the vast chasm that exists between opera and “classical crossover.”

          There are numerous websites dealing with classical music and opera. Many of these sites discuss upcoming singers. Nevertheless, you certainly will not find opera singers begging for votes online. They have other methods to develop and “be discovered,” not the least of which are competitions, auditions and young artist programs. They are performers, actors and interpreters, whose skills must include much more than singing.

          I suppose you shall find this elitist, but a small “fan site” where they compete for “fan voting” would cheapen and diminish them, considerably. Moreover, I doubt any opera singer would submit themselves to something of this nature. They are not fighting for a part in a movie or to be recognized by Simon Cowell. No director would cast an opera singer from a video.

          Opera is a well-developed worldwide artform which, although highly, highly competitive, provides a myriad of opportunities for development. The nascent classical crossover industry naturally can benefit from something like that site you mentioned, particularly given that the goals of the singers are recording-related.

          For informational purposes, I shall provide the links to three of the most important competitions for singers. There are many others, to be sure, but not being a singer, I do not know them:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r2q2h/profiles/2013-competitors
          http://www.operaliacompetition.org/
          http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/auditions/national/about

          The Classical Singer Magazine competition for high school, college and young artists also often produces interesting talent.

          • Thank you Janey,

            Thanks for the sites I will look into them a bit deeper and no doubt follow some of the artists. Those sites didn’t turn up high on my Google search however that could just be the county I live in.

            I don’t find the comment about voting elitist, I’m not sure but I think the voting started with a donation based system, so if you made a donation you got to vote. That is now discontinued and anyone can vote. I would imagine that if the site became too big voting would be problematic and they did recently have some problems with the voting. There was a good comment by one of the administrators that the idea of voting was just to let the new and up and coming hopefuls get some feedback and help them keep trying. It was not there to pitch one artist against the next.

            Even rock bands and the like have issues with the Cowell kind of productions. Many people in pop genre’s see it as a fast track for people who haven’t done their time. However there are a few artists in Opera training who have attended these competitions, including Patricia J, who have fared well, got themselves a contract then continued their training. To be honest I though this could be fairly risky for them as politics could come into play in their classical future. Not saying that the selection process is corrupt but people are naturally prejudice and you may not know which way the cards will fall if you come into the eye of the public in one of these shows. There is a good article on this phenomenon in the book Freakanomics relating to blind auditions in orchestras and subconscious prejudice.

            I guess one opinion that I would like from you is regarding the inevitable shake up in the popular music industry through digital media along with the emergence of the new middle class in China, India and Indonesia. Are there new opportunities for opera artists using this media and conversely do you think there are any dangers for the opera community given the dilution of opera as a percentage of the overall music sales, and sponsorship as these new middle classes emerge? Seen any good articles on this or do you have an opinion?

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          • richardcarlisle says:

            Valentina Lisitsa’s success through youtube might serve inspirationally for singers to follow… a kind of mid path between AGT and classical websites, possibly faster than either and potentially of long term advantage as in Lisitsa’s case… the way she formatted her youtubes needs to be noted… rather than simply youtubing a singer competing with others.

  34. richardcarlisle says:

    CJ,

    For you to impose high technical standards on Jackie (when her fans would support her if she switched to stand-up comedy and simply like whatever she does) is a parallel to the football player who criticizes a golf tournament because the pros haven’t perfected their tackling technique.

    You are to be envied for all the time you have to waste on an effort this futile.

  35. @Ronald Berchelt All you need to do is go to Metropolitan Opera auditions and on one day have 50 singers just as good as the next. Then multiply that by the number of opera houses, theatres, music schools in the world and you still won’t get the correct number of excellent talents.
    “Ms. Clarke was right about the existence of “hundreds of vastly superior talents” then at least a few of them would have had “useful idiots” to help them succeed and, clearly, none have.”
    Some do succeed but as Rubinstein once said luck is a big part of making a career.
    The guilessness of child prodigies is a funny thing. If a child is caught early enough like Shirley Temple, fear of the public is never a factor, so their endearing naturalness on the stage is surely a plus.
    Self-consciousness comes with adolescence. One is lucky if eased into performing without the fear factor. Jackie Du Pre, the cellis, comes to mind here. But she did have a severe crisis in her early 20′s.

    • Ronald Berchelt says:

      Now you are just avoiding facts CJ. Put aside that portion of the “hundreds of vastly superior talents” that don’t have “useless idiots” to help them, and put aside those that just don’t have luck on their side, and you still have some subset who should have hit it big – - but you don’t – - it’s still a null set. This strongly suggests that those talents that Ms. Clarke percieves also are a null set.

      It is obvious that there are lots of other outstanding singers in the world, but much less clear why that is at all relevant to Jackie’s talents or success. Also less clear is what the motivation is for twisting reality and observation pretzel-like just to try to take one singer down a notch.

      • Not a null set at all! If one doesn’t ‘hit it big’, there is plenty to do in between and plenty of good performers who are not big name. And not always do the best rise to the top. Frequently, the 2nd place or less winners of competitions are better than the 1st place. A lot goes into hitting it big with the public. Some say 1 million dollars is necessary get any musical career off the ground.
        Sorry if comparing Ombra Mai Fu and O Mio babbino come up short when compared to other 13 year olds or less. It is only natural to check out what other talented youth are doing. Maybe she should really stop singing operatic arias and concentrate on what she does best.
        “Useful idiots” are what Lenin counted on as True Unquestioning Believers to his cause.
        This could be any cause.

        • Ronald Berchelt says:

          You’re still just avoiding the facts CJ. No other young singer (and very few classical singers of any age) has come close to the success of Jackie Evancho in any recent time (if ever). I agree with you that success is not the sole (and probably not the best) measure of quality, but it defies logic that, if there are hundreds of singers, as perceived by Ms. Clarke (and seemingly countless as implied by you), of “vastly superior talents” performing in music schools and at opera auditions, that none of them aspire to commercial success and widespread admiration, and that none of them have succeeded. The answer to the illogic in your thinking must be that your (and Ms. Clarke’s) perception is simply incorrect.

          You purport that Jackie is a terrible singer because that is an essential underpinning of your belief that her celebrity is an afront to the singers around the world that labor in obscurity with little or no recognition or appreciation. But it is not a zero sum game, CJ. Jackie’s success has no impact on whether another singer achieves whatever success they may want. That is one of the reasons I am confident that my above analysis is correct. Surely you also know that many others (many of whom are highly respected musicians) greatly admire Jackie’s talents, potential, and contributions. That doesn’t mean you can’t dislike her or her success, but a bit more balance in your commentary would give a lot more credibility to some of the good points you make.

          • Will you people please QUIT IT! I NEVER said she is a terrible singer nor did I say I dislike her. I won’t repeat my assesment of her good points scattered like poor daisies among luxuriant bouquets. Success is not only a measure of personal quality but fits in with the expectations and current taste that do change over timel.

          • @Ronald Berchelt: The assertion that “very few classical singers of any age” have “come close to the success of Jackie Evancho in any recent time (if ever)” says everything that needs to be said for us to understand your viewpoint.

            You love Jackie Evancho. That is your prerogative and it is wonderful that she provides you so much joy. You are, however, entirely unversed in classical music and have so little knowledge that you have no ability to truly compare and contrast. If you were knowledgeable, you would be familiar with the bevy of fully-developed artists who perform internationally to great success, and you would be familiar with the numerous and highly-competitive competitions and showcases for younger voices and younger singers.

            Your comment: “it defies logic that, if there are hundreds of singers, as perceived by Ms. Clarke (and seemingly countless as implied by you), of “vastly superior talents” performing in music schools and at opera auditions, that none of them aspire to commercial success and widespread admiration, and that none of them have succeeded.”

            As I have stated, your premise of no success is highly flawed based on lack of knowledge and exposure.

            Yes, there are at least hundreds of singers far more fully developed in their skills than Ms. Evancho at this point in her career, of course. How could it be any different? She has marvelous raw talent, but so far, is simply too young to develop the ability that would allow her to master the skills necessary for music schools and opera auditions. Of course. To think otherwise is preposterous.

            My sincerest suggestion is to allow Ms. Evancho the time to develop. Do not push. Do not place undue pressure upon her. Do not make her feel that she must perform to receive love for her talent. She is so young, and there is much to come, but she must nurture the gift carefully.

        • Ronald Berchelt says:

          You know very well, Janey, that there are not “hundreds” of young singers in Jackie’s age group that can legitimately be descriibed as “vastly superior talents.” It’s an absurd statement, and I am surprised that you would even try to defend it. There, obviously, are many excellent singers as you and I both are aware, but it is less than clear why that has any bearing on Jackie’s talents or success. Putting aside the inaccurate presumptions in your comment, I see that you appreciate Jackie’s talents and promise and agree that it is critical for her to carefully nurture her artistic gifts.

          • @RonaldBerchelt

            You stated: “No other young singer (and very few classical singers of any age) has come close to the success of Jackie Evancho in any recent time (if ever).”

            I did not use the term “vastly superior talents,” because I believe that general comparisons of that nature are vastly unfair.

            You said: “and very few classical singers of any age” and “No other young singer.” Charlotte Church sold 10 million CDs. As I said, there are at least hundreds of “classical singers of any age” with skill sets more developed. I was speaking of teens beginning at age 14 and young adults, in response to your general statement.

            I do appreciate her talent and very sincerely wish her well in her career.

        • Ronald Berchelt says:

          Thanks for the thoughtful response Janey. I believe that, in general, we are in agreement. I just would point out that even highly developed “skill sets” don’t necessarily (and often don’t) translate into great art.

        • don mckee says:

          “But they all start out the same”? Not even close. You know better.

        • don mckee says:

          Including the cause for opera. You are a true believer.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Watching her interviews on youtube that illustrate a brilliant gracious nature is impressive proof of her value as a role model for all youth— far transcending technical perfection in her singing.

        • All childrenl have beautiful natures. Some kids are more advantaged so their beauty gets to shine more than others. Others are twisted and eventually distorted by the environment they happen to live in. But they all start out the same.

    • Ronald Berchelt says:

      CJ said: “Will you people please QUIT IT! I NEVER said she is a terrible singer nor did I say I dislike her.”

      That is pretty much all you say, CJ, repeatedly and incessantly, on this blog and elsewhere and always directed at Jackie. I do believe that you have some constructive things to say and welcome your positive contributions to the discussion, but you need to step back and get some perspective on your commentary if you think that your above statement is true.

  36. Paul D. Sullivan, Boston US says:

    Whew! Finally got to the end of the thread! For now at least.

  37. WestSeaDoc says:

    To All of the Cynics and Detractors of One Drop …

    ONE DROP—a non-profit organization established in 2007 by Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil—strives to ensure that water is accessible to all, today and forever.

    In Canada, ONE DROP is a charitable organization that develops integrated, innovative projects with an international scope, in which water plays a central role as a creative force in generating positive, sustainable effects for local and foreign populations and in the fight against poverty. More specifically, ONE DROP Canada, in cooperation with partner Oxfam and others, develops access-to-water and sanitation projects in countries where access to this vital resource is lacking. In addition, ONE DROP is involved in raising awareness among individuals and communities on water-related issues to convince them to mobilize for universal access to water and urge them to adopt sound habits for managing this precious resource for future generations. In closing, ONE DROP Canada is also involved in fundraising—a crucial activity if it is to realize its dream of water for all, today and tomorrow. To this end, the partners of ONE DROP have joined forces with the organization for pursuing this objective.

    This performance will incorporate the talents of 237 performers and hundreds of volunteers to raise what is anticipated to be millions of dollars to help better the world. This is a worthy cause.

    How many will “attend” or even simply “donate” if you can’t stomach “stupid shows” and “12 year old prodigies who really can’t sing” … etc. … or are you entrenched in your belief systems that you refuse to help the less fortunate simply because you don’t like the messenger?

  38. richardcarlisle says:

    A capacity to confuse beautiful with brilliant and gracious illuminates some of the comments we’ve been reading.

    A magnified snowflake is beautiful…. but not brilliant and gracious.

  39. @WestSeaDoc “you not only are willing to suffer all kinds of verbal rebuffs but are setting yourself up as mean spirited and childishly petulant”.
    Jackie may be brilliantly gracious but her fans sure ain’t. How sweetness and light turn to what they sweep up at the fish market at the end of the day, is a wonder but who really cares?
    Bye, All!!!

    • don mckee says:

      @cabbagejuice

      Jackie’s fans aren’t gracious? This coming from a representative of a genre which is universally and historically known for its hubris and its insensitive put-downs of those outside of its culture. I have been conscious of this phenomenon ever since I can remember, and it predates me by at least a couple of centuries. You’ll have to pardon me for seeing your comment as a pretty darn blatant case of the pot calling the kettle black. Wow! I do want to add, however, that many of the posts from the classical side on this blog have been fair, and even gracious.

  40. don mckee says:

    The hubris and mockery which is projected by so many of Jackie Evancho’s detractors is unabashedly conspicuous intellectual bullying. It differs not a whit in “character” from its more physical counterpart in every schoolyard and playground in the country. Whether bullying is of the intellectual or the more physical kind, it is unerringly and painfully recognized by those to whom it is directed. Sure, there are excesses and lots of hyperbole on the other side, but it born out love for it’s object of affection.

    And, it does not do to dismiss the subjective element in music preferences. For many, music is enjoyed in a deeper more visceral way. When I was 10 years old, I heard Beethoven for the first time and was overwhelmed by the experience. To this day, over 60 years later, I marvel over the profound effects of music experienced in a more pre-reflective, less mediated way.

    Classical music organizations and supporters are struggling against the attrition of a changing world where classical music is slowly losing some of its relevance. These posts are tellingly similar in tone to those of the “angry white men” we now hear so much about who are currently chaffing under the fact of their shrinking political and cultural dominance. In the same way, it be said that the tone of many of the comments in question, express the bitter sense of loss of an increasingly “angry classical culture”. For good or for bad, Euro centrism is in decline.

  41. richardcarlisle says:

    CJ,

    You’re as strong as the Great Wall of China and I won’t say as dense… my respect as usual.

    Is there anything we can ALL agree on, like life is beautiful and Jackie proves it while improving it?

  42. Charles Hoff says:

    Jackie rehearsing with pianist Benedikt from the Cirque “O” show:

    http://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o523/JEPhotos1/544113_427557817335088_1272802966_n1_zpsb0f84cdf.jpg

  43. I just came upon a video that served as an “aha” moment for me what seems to be a perceptual rift between crossover lovers and those who admire and appreciate classical singing. Probably as taste goes, there should be no dispute if it were only that. Quite a few crossover fans admit they can’t stand opera or “screechy sopranos”. Of course, one can stop there and choose to ignore the outstanding vocal flaws of a Brightman in a Vienna Cathedral, as in this concert, the likes outnumber the dislikes 50 to 1.
    But there does seem to be a pattern here in current popular taste, a kind of lip service to pseudo religiosity, hyped up visuals, etc. that also serve to distract from the core element which is good singing or not. But then, again the whole package is the thing. And as someone pointed out the concept of “fan” popularity doesn’t really apply in classical music. To answer one of the posters, admirers of singers doesn’t mean that one laps up every detail of his or her life, collect and share pictures and trivia, make unreasonable claims about their characters (no one is THAT good) and defend any hint of objective criticism with emotional ferocity. This is even sillier when practiced by an age group far removed from the “star”. Even Callas fans admit that she was not always at the top of her game, although when she was good, she was very, very good. Classical admirers as a rule, are not going for the jugular over who likes whom.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      I’m not certain I exactly got your point but you do point out some things that might add a little clarity to the discussion as well as the argumentative invective … that is good singing is not necessarily good performing and good performing is not necessarily good performing since each is in the eye, the ear, and the emotional connection with the audience. It is great when they both coincide but one can enjoy any of these permutations but have to enjoy the strengths and merits of the overall presentation. One can enjoy a good singer that performs terribly via the eye or can enjoy a great performance without great singing … via appreciating that which is present. It may depend on what you expected when you tuned in or attended such. Similar to enjoying adequate food with great presentation or great food at a hole in the wall with little other ambience. Telling someone that they shouldn’t enjoy something merely because they found other attributes of greater import than that which you prefer is silly though arguing the relative merits based on one’s preferences isn’t unreasonable. It is only unreasonable when you profess to be the only important arbiter is such a comparison.

      • WestSeaDoc says:

        ooops … I meant that good performing is not necessarily good singing … etc.

        • I am sorry that I happen to be biased. I can’t listen to singing or call it good if it doesn’t conform to certain criteria which I will not repeat here. And there are objective standards. No one said that you or anyone else can’t enjoy what you enjoy. I was just struck by the what’s in the box is less important than how it is wrapped. In the video I mentioned there is little to no substance at all, that is, if it is supposed rest upon singing merits. Packaging is the main thing in pop music. What would Lady Gaga look like and where would she be without all that makeup and fancy gear?
          One could go back to the argument, the proportion of art to artifice. But I do believe in something called “artistic truth”. Good actors and actresses would understand.

          • WestSeaDoc says:

            I would agree that there are objective criteria for good, even excellent, but you admit your bias with respect to your criteria to what is good. So be it; at least you recognize that you are biased. It does not make anyone with similar criteria the final word on the level of excellence overall. Again, if greatness could be distilled to a singular set of technical criteria then the genres would certainly be tiresome in their sameness and all great technical performers would, by definition, then be mediocre as technical excellence would be the average. It could be considered essentially sterile if all were the same. It is in the differences that greatness or at least being unique is found. It is also where true genius lies. Applied to performers, at some point the degree to which the performer reaches or touches or influences his/her an observer or listener that might define that which rises above the other. I’m not advocating for any particular performer or artist now (though I am fans of many) but merely questioning whether an artist can be considered great or revolutionary if he/she does not touch or transform their audience or the culture. Of course, it need not be within the lifetime of the performer (witness art, instance). It is “thinking out of the box of conformity,” or performing “beyond the constraints of the mundane” that lends to advancement in the art … and often draws the derision of the “intellectual cognescenti” or the bastions who hold only traditional metrics of excellence as the standard to which all MUST ADHERE. Athletes are good examples, Mark Spitz swam against the common criteria of technics and revolutionized the way competitive swimmers swim. Tim Lincecum throws in a herky-jerky almost lungingly awkward fashion, yet hits radar guns in the mid to high 90s, etc. How a sound is generated certainly has technical aspects that cannot be totally mitigated but like an orator, sometimes greatness is in how the sound is delivered, not how it is generated. Being comfortable in your bias seems to prevent you from enjoying that which is technically less but stronger in the entirety of the performance. I have (or had) a number of friends in major symphonies but was quite surprised to find out how much they enjoyed music that I would predict they would find plebian and tiresome, country western being a good example. They loved the entire aspect of it that spoke more to the human experience than purely the generation of great notes and arpeggios. Baryshnikov’s favorite dancer was Fred Astaire, as another for instance!

          • @WestSeaDoc, I knew that I would live to regret using the word “bias” but it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying something allegedly worthwhile if I didn’t know how performances are put together. It just allows me to see through tricks like the flick of the head, raising one’s eyes to the sky, glottal stops to give an extra kick to the sound, etc., when these should be ornaments sparsely used.
            It reminds me of a story about Myra Hess the famous English pianist. At one point in the score, her page turner reported was written “look up here”. It was a nice touch but not the substance of this highly skilled performer.
            When I was in elementary school there was a girl who used to sing high C’s and D’s. There is usually at least one or two in EVERY school, maybe more. By the age of 13, a girl should be able to sing Ombra Mai Fu or O mio Babbino without chopping up the words. The answer to WHY this is not done or improved does bother me and it has little to do with her and more to catering to the fans who prefer these arias done in a crooning, sentimental manner. The same goes for the breathy FIrst Noel that I really cannot accept from an international performer accumulating money and fame ($2.5 million so far!) no matter how young she is, and by now 13 is not that young.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            At WestSeaDoc:

            Your comment sums up concisely and thoroughly the age-old conflict between raw talent and disciplined training…. may we all enjoy both kinds of contenders…

            Baryshnikov may admire Astaire because tap routines are out of his field but how many fans prefer watching busy feet to a fluid airborn body?

          • @WestSeaDoc Further thoughts about those who did things in an idiosyncratic way but still acheived success, etc., which seems to be your argument. First of all being popular with the public is not a proof of acheivement. Spitz still swam fast enough to get medals and Astaire was a highly skilled dancer. Crossover seems to stand on glitzy distractions as an integral part of the package.
            Richard Clayderman made more than a big splash and money too with his sound and light extraganzas that had some piano playing at the center. The same for Brightman and the hundreds of candles in Vienna, the big entrance with the clash of drums and all, without which there cannot be a “performance” if it would depend only on the merits of her singing. The public doesn’t see through that and thinks it is great.
            But there is similar in classical singing too, those who try to promote their career by a certain appealing timbre, by their clothes, glamor or even the distracting hijinks on the stage by Dessay in Lucia. By contast a singer like Mariella Devia relies on the voice itself for expression without a lot of folderol. The proof is shutting out the visuals and by only listening to decide who is better. It’s not only better, but honest. Also as young as she is, Patricia Janečková’s currency is what comes out of her merits as a singer, which is also a sensible way of building up and ensuring a longer career. Even the glitz of a Brightman and Clayderman become tiresome to a fickle and changeable public.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            CJ,

            In a perfect world an additional billion folks would have your ability to appreciate fine singing but till then glitz is the propellant to push enough enthusiasts in to pay for Brightman’s candles– even if they’re bought at a dollar store– plus all the other expenses for large productions.

            But why can’t more emphasis be placed on smaller gatherings — an approach similar to chamber music where a small select audience has a more intimate connection with the performer and the production expense is minimal…local churches are often accessible for such events.

            Possibly huge productions are meant for masochists finding pleasure in heavy traffic, impossible parking, long hikes from parking to theater seat with identical difficulties after the show.

    • don mckee says:

      For good or for bad, The whole package” counts in nearly every human endeavor. Research has irrefutably demonstrated this. This is as true in opera as everywhere else. Your concern that those who spend years years training in opera might receive more recognition for their effort and for their talent is, considering all things, wasted. Keep in mind that these students went into opera knowing full well that not enough people listen to it to make their ambition statistically realistic. Not only that, opera is slowly losing relevance in a changing world (globalization) and its fan base and support are shrinking.

      Recently, I read an article by an opera singer who was nearly distraught that a saleslady referred to Jackie Evancho as an opera singer. What kind of person is so over sensitive as to be unable to overlook that which was only a case of innocent if ambiguous labeling. Such thin skinned hubris is insecure hubris. Most of us have been called far worse things than having having to hear another called something she “technically” is not. Life can be hard, especially in these tough economic times, and it is difficult to feel a lot of concern for those who struggle vainly in opera, or any long odds vocation, when so many are struggling to get a job period. You have talked about how difficult it is for opera hopefuls but consider that, in order for one to succeed in crossover, or even in pop, one has to deal with nearly infinitesimally more competition than on in opera. It is all relative. If one wants a career, one needs to factor in such things as the demand or lack thereof. My wife went back to school late in life. She was directed by research which told her there was a growing need for pharmacists, therefore, she is now a pharmacist. If one makes a long odds bets, one must be willing man up to the consequences. If it makes you feel better, relatively few of us have the luxury or the talent of doing what we love for a living.

      Lastly, I believe that Jackie has been on the receiving end of the bitterness of others who envy both, her good luck, and her extraordinary talent. I just wish there was more civil discourse with regard to her art and her career, especially from the side one might have expected to know better.

  44. richardcarlisle says:

    For me there is some comfort in a valley of truth lying between mountains of deceit and deception… in considering the word “fan” and its probable derivation from the word fanatic, we have a sword with two edges, one offering loyal support to an artist and making all things happen in a given career, the other edge declaring the artist is somehow perfect and never to change … but what a disservice to the artist to deny future growth, and in Jackie’s case I look forward to her gaining much better control of her arm gestures and occasional chin wobble.

    Also considering her human wealth brought out in her many interviews, I hope she continues other directions like her venture into acting along with song writing along with causes like the seals… may she be an example to many when it comes to good living and making the most of one’s potential.

    I’d like to know as a result of this thread at least one music lover will expand horizons to all forms of music since there have been centuries of development in the mesmerizing tone of a Peruvian pan flute as well as the opera treasures, the jazz greats, popular “classics”… even rap with its low music value is a cultural force to be anything but denied.

    Years could be dedicated to just familiarization with the 700-plus works of Mozart or the 1000-plus works of Bach… there is no time to waste in music exploration; there are radio stations everywhere specializing in various forms of music along with Sirius if you don’t mind paying …live concerts, etc.; GET GOING– explore, explore!

  45. richardcarlisle says:

    http://youtu.be/B-Y4ncLy9LA

    I found this last night — from the Metropolitan Art Museum in NYC — an exploration beyond compare.

  46. richardcarlisle says:

    Laura Osnes continues to excel and improve IMHO after seeing her performance tonight on the PBS special “Dust to Dreams” … just look and listen to the youtube titled “Laura Osnes– Tonight , West side story”, a knockout duet … getting close to consideration as the American Julie Andrews, currently the lead in the new Broadway “Cinderella” … seriously regret not knowing of her previously.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      Here’s the link with the best audio; she comes in halfway through…. it’s stunning, her notes gaining vibrancy near the top of her range.

      There are some interesting worthwhile interviews as well on youtube

      • richardcarlisle says:

        http://youtu.be/KrL-pIJWOzg Oops– there it is.

        • A very nice surpirise. The guy Jackson is especially impressive. Most tenors over the past 50 years or so (after Gigli) forgot how to float a tone. He does it with such ease and control. She is excellent, too, and pretty.

          • Knightly Once says:

            CJ how is it that ‘the guy Jackson’ can be ‘especially impressive’ using a mic? The girl you call excellent is also using a mic. Is it only Jackie who is nothing if not for the mic?

          • richardcarlisle says:

            With Jackie’s age leaving her susceptible to vocal damage a microphone should be required in all cases regardless… her age should also exempt her from any excessive criticisms … why not be fair– what performer in the course of history has been this good at this age.

            Her performance of O MIO in MA at age nine was possibly the most endearing thing she ever did — find a nine-year- old anywhere to top that.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            http://youtu.be/quycUbq5Uy4 Here is the link (complete with no dry eyes).

        • @richardcarlisle With all due respect, this recording (http://youtu.be/quycUbq5Uy4 Here is the link complete with no dry eyes).shows raw though considerable, talent, not achievement in any sense of the word. In some respects, in its freedom and lack of articifce (facial expressions, glottal stops) it is better than the Petersburg 2012 performance.

  47. Report from Vegas:

    “Against a special-effects montage of thunder, lightning and rain, 12-year-old superstar singer Jackie stole the night with her “Bridge Over Troubled Water” sung barefoot in the water of the giant stage alone except for the background pianist. She also dominated the fantastic finale flying in as an angel on a harness from the theater rooftop as all 240 performers filled the stage.”

    Read more: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/mar/23/photos-one-night-remember-become-annual-cirque-du-/#ixzz2OTMMlx9z

  48. @richardcarlisle Julie Andrews at the age of 12 singing the Polonaise from “Mignon”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2-YGGn0y4

    • richardcarlisle says:

      CJ,

      I’d like to know what she recorded at age nine?

      • If she were studying (not sure about that) obviously her teacher would have said she was not ready to appear in public. You can go to the Rise Stevens page and listen to her interview at 98 when she said her teacher refused for her to sing at the Met while still studying with her. This saved her for a lifetime of singing instead of making a big splash and ruining her chances afterwards.

        • richardcarlisle says:

          CJ,

          We might be comparing apples and cockroaches here: an opera vocalist has one set of rules that really don’t apply to Jackie since she is truly unique and is providing great treasurable product — notwithstanding technical flaws that only bother an insignificant percentage of the public– for the past three years and if she has no future she’s got an incomparable past because her talent, her timbre, all at this young age, it’s all part of the package– not really comparable to any opera-type career (which she says she doesn’t want anyway), so why not let what she’s done stand on its own as the greatest singing career ever for this age group.

          And the microphone you mention negatively is what saves her voice for the future… why not be in favor of that?

        • Don McKee says:

          @Cabbagejuice

          “This saved her for a lifetime of singing instead of making a big splash and ruining her chances afterwards.”

          Objection. Speculation.

          • @Don McKee So why would Ms. Stevens mention it? SHe agreed it was the right thing to do. Please see another thread about singers who burn out too early thanks to being pushed on the stage before they are ready.

        • Knightly Once says:

          @cabbagejuice

          Rise Stevens life-long singing career lasted 25 years. There are many, many singers who’s singing careers have lasted much, much longer. One of which is Julie Andrews, who you used her as an example earlier today.In commenting on Ms. Andrews you posted a link of her singing the Polonaise from “Mignon” at age 12, and as chance would have it, Ms. Stevens made her début as Mignon in Prague in 1936.

          • Stevens did not stop because of vocal burnout. My own teacher from the Bolshoi left the stage at 50 to devote himself to teaching. He still sang well into his 90′s. You people simply don’t know what you are talking about. You like something, fine, but you can keep your silly justifications.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      CJ,

      Firstly, due to recording limitations there is distortion throughout, so not fair to compare… but doesn’t it amount pretty much to a high-range voice lesson– technically fine with no emotional appeal– nothing I’d listen to twice for either reason.

      • WestSeaDoc says:

        CJ:

        “If she were studying (not sure about that) obviously her teacher would have said she was not ready to appear in public. You can go to the Rise Stevens page and listen to her interview at 98 when she said her teacher refused for her to sing at the Met while still studying with her. This saved her for a lifetime of singing instead of making a big splash and ruining her chances afterwards.”

        Again … even if I were in full agreement with your assessment of Jackie’s skills, technical flaws, future, current choices, etc. I would STILL have to take issue with your argumentative logic (referring once more to the concept of “Confirmation Bias”). You are again buttressing your argument with assumptions that cannot be proven … witness your words above …IF SHE WERE … TEACHER WOULD HAVE SAID .. there is NO WAY that we can know what her teach would have said even if Julie’s interview alluded to it. NOR can it be said with ANY CERTAINTY that this saved her for a lifetime of singing .. etc. It MAY HAVE SAVED HER … but anything else is speculation. Jackie’s very “flaws” and use of miking may be preserving her voice since she has no need to generate power and vocal volume to fill a house in the operatic sense, even singing operatic arias. In fact, her mother, with Jackie’s agreement, does not want her to perform Nessun Dorma because it is feared that it might cause her strain, even though it has not done so to date. You can see that she has clearly veered towards the Classical genre in which contemporary songs are sung in a more “Classical” fashion, which can be operatic for some phrasings but far from Opera — and that ought to satisfy some of her detractors. It seems that every opera-nazi is absolutely certain that Jackie is ruining her voice or shouldn’t be allowed to perform commercially (or even in public!) simply because there are “better singers” who have spent years honing their skills.

        Sour Grapes.

        As I mentioned previously, if Jackie’s stylings, voice, timbre, etc. somehow taps into a zeitgeist that has a waiting public, then you can criticize the “public neanderthals” that somehow “don’t know good singing” but it is disingenuous to criticize Jackie for offering up that which is desired. She makes a difference in the now and not the vague future. Naturally protecting a talent is important but, again, maybe it’s better to burn brightly and magnificently for a brief time than smolder in obscurity and irrelvance for a lifetime. Many great talents go unrecognized in their lifetime. I’m sure many would trade anonymity and obscurity for recognition and relevance, even at the cost of some degree of longevity..

        A great singer may sing in obscurity, for their own pleasure or they can perform with all the attendant risks of such. I’m sure many a great singer went on stage when the curtain rose, even at risk to their careers as they blurred the line between whether they were an artist or a performer. Baryshnikov, again, has danced with a fractured fibula and great athletes answered the gun when there was physical risk; I’m sure, similarly, there are opera divas who sang rather than relinquish the role to their back up, even if they weren’t at their physical best.

        Someone I knew only briefly (interestingly around the time that Jackie first appeared in the public eye) said sometimes, if you have an audience who appreciates your talent, even if they don’t know why … you perform. Performing only for your own enjoyment was considered self indulgent … she actually said that Jackie sang well for one so young and seemed to sing with an “unusual ease” with natural pitch (of course, training was recommended) … this woman had chaired the Voice Department @ the University of Washington for a number of years .. oh .. and performed with the Met for years, also.

  49. @Knightly Once You apparently don’t hear nor understand that a microphone cannot sustain a tone. This can be done in the laboratory later on for recordings. There is no patchwork here. There would have been no way for him to fake this.

  50. Knightly Once says:

    @richardcarlisle

    I agree with you about the microphone, and there has never been a performer in recorded history who was Jackie’s equal at “this age’, and few at any age, and those not for much longer. The performance you linked is one of my favorites.
    My comment was directed to CJ, aka, cabbagejuice. Her rants against Jackie often include slurs about her need to use a microphone to even be heard, or that without the microphone she would have no ‘career’, or her voice is so small that without a microphone it could not fill a phonebooth, etc.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      Knightly,

      I’m beginning to suspect CJ is testing us to see who could use some anger management… the fortunate are those taking some of the comments with one tenth of one grain of salt– if THAT much.

    • robert janke says:

      Richard I agree with you 100%. I note with interest those who are critical of Jackie, are for the most part, prone to use pseudonyms instead of having the guts to put there name out there.. These are the same people who profess educational or experience to allow them to make such authoritative declarations on her musical ability. I guess they expect that we should bow down to their experience and education and just shut up. If you are going to post critical comments (a form of bullying when used on a 12 year old) I would like to have them post their name, city, where they got their professional training and last, where they practiced their musical profession. That might seem like asking a lot but strong, demeaning criticism demands that the critic do more than hide behind a pseudonym and expect us to marvel at their wisdom., Of course they realize that if they did that people would pounce on that info to check them out from to to bottom.

  51. @richardcarlisle One can pick and choose anything Aimi did before the age of 10 as an example, but here is just one sample, at the age of 7, a Schubert Impromptu done with astonishing style and force:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwED9gYIa0o&

    • richardcarlisle says:

      CJ,

      Good try, but that looked a lot more like a piano than a set of vocal chords…. I can’t be tricked that easily I want you to know.

      Now back to a nine-year-old vocal…. I had a cat that sounded rather cute at age nine by the way…if you want to meet her just google “Obedient Cat” and look for Jeeby (should be the first one).

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      Why is there little concern that young pianists or violinists can develop overuse injuries from hours and hours of practice when there seems to be such fear that a singer will cause irrevocable damage from singing for far fewer hours? Wonderful playing by the way … hardly comparable to her play at 16. Would Aimi have deserved criticism for not being able to play (at 7) better than adults? It seems that she is accorded admiration and esteem because she performed well beyond her years. However, given that the human voice has far more qualities and tonal shadings, it will evoke emotionality that an instrument cannot, even the violin.

      • There was a lot of concern for her on the way and for the 5 year old Chinese pianist on another thread here. You simply don’t know what you are talking about – “hardly comparable to when she was 16″. Probably thanks to her teacher and her own ability to internalize and imitate, this Impromptu is on a very high level indeed. The problem with prodigies is when they have to learn by analysis and not by imitation, also confront their peers suddenly in mid to late adolescence.

  52. Charles Hoff says:

    One of my favorite quotes about Jackie in this entire thread comes courtesy of cabbagejuice:

    “What does she get in the end? Having to sing sitting down strapped in a harness in a circus act.
    And WHO is being unkind here?”

    Yes. To wit (from the performance*):

    http://photos.lasvegassun.com/media/img/photos/2013/03/23/Bellagio%20One%20drop%20a%20TD%2084%20of%20101.jpg

    http://photos.lasvegassun.com//media/img/photos/2013/03/23/Bellagio%20One%20drop%20a%20TD%2089%20of%20101.jpg

    http://photos.lasvegassun.com/media/img/photos/2013/03/23/Bellagio%20One%20drop%20a%20TD%20101%20of%20101.jpg

    I wonder just how many vocal artists would decline the chance for such an entrance, performance, and exit in front of the illustrious audience such as was present for this event. Or to perform on a stage setting such as this:

    http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/288055/slide_288055_2256734_free.jpg

    http://i4.minus.com/ibqlhz6ztikjkn.jpg (my photo)

    And to think, with so many great singers to choose from – why would this one be the choice?

    [ lasvegassun.com photo credits: Tom Donoghue/DONOGHUEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM]

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      I think Jackie would have performed such for a far less grand and far smaller audience simply because she was asked to do so on behalf of a good cause that serves the world beyond our pampered existence. She has done so for Parkinson’s and for Seals. I’m sure the chance to lend her talent for a greater good moves her. After all, she believes her talent came as a “gift from God.” Ignoring that there are many in this thread that might be agnostic, Atheistic, or of other religion, it does not obviate the fact that she feels driven to express her gratitude for that gift by lending it to others for greater good.

      • WestSeaDoc says:

        p.s. The response to the overall performance by all of the performers is said to have been incredible and mesmerizing. I personally cannot wait to view it. It only costs a donation for this worthy cause, so it is a “win-win” even if Jackie were not performing. As it is, I am curious to see how her performance WITH ALL OF THE ATTENDANT presentation (that some purists seem to find DISHONEST) as I think that sometimes the box is as important as what is in the box as opposed to some other posters! I like to think that the sensate of the entirety enhances the totality of the experience being unsophisticated, ignorant, and oblivious of the fact that I am merely a tool of the sound, light, and special effect technicians. Damn anyway. They GOT ME.

  53. Knightly Once says:

    I do not know when or where the link of BOTW was recorded, but I just watched the online broadcast and the two BOTWs are nothing alike. The BOTW in the show is A THOUSAND times better than the one on the link posted here. It is beautiful beyond belief. I’m in shock.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      Knightly,

      Totally grateful for that link– WOW– PRINCESS OF THE WORLD….the world has never had more reason for gratitude… a jewel we are all fortunate to witness in our lifespan.

  54. Knightly Once says:

    Here is the link we have been waiting for…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw7e_qvPgks

    • Very nice. She does better in a higher register.

      • WestSeaDoc says:

        one of the criticisms on her technique was excessive chin wobble … looks as if that is improved considerably….

        as to the performance …. a whispered wow … stunning … consider that she was being treated for a flu like illness that same night … and she performs like this … a young pro coming into her own.

      • WestSeaDoc says:

        cj … coming from you that is high praise…. I’d suggest that you catch the rest of the performers at the One Drop site. Totally worth it.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        CJ,

        We learned from you, whatever it amounted to we wouldn’t have learned anywhere else…your perseverance is really admired.

      • Knightly Once says:

        cabbagejuice

        Now I am really in shock!!! Did I wake up with a delusional disorder, or did cabbagejuice just she something nice about Jackie?

        • Enchantingly beautiful, something to dream over, uncanny phrasing..(you win!)

          • everett cox says:

            Never thought in a million years you would say those things. And we all agree with you! :) But I don’t quite understand your continued disparagement of Jackie’s lower register. I went back and listened and I heard as good a Mezzo range as I have ever heard from someone so young.

            And now comes Taiwan and Jose Carreras. He is one of the great legends in opera, as Tony Bennett(who she sang with last year and is performing with again April 20 at Alpharetta, Ga.) is in Pop music. For an avowed non-opera singer, Jackie is sure working with some of the top talent in opera. First Dmitri and Sumi Jo, now Carreras.

            Can’t wait for your critique of that night, especially if she sings Nessun Dorma which, with her new voice, she very well could. In fact I hope she does so we can compare it to her performance on Britain’s Got Talent to see how far she’s come since then. And BTW I think that performance of ND is the best by a woman I’ve ever heard and that includes Sarah Brightman.

            Cabbagejuice let me ask you a serious question; would you coach Jackie? Do you hear enough promise in her voice that you would want to help her improve?

          • richardcarlisle says:

            Everett

            Have to agree on the Britain ND and the way she added the additional “vinchero” at the end– beautiful innovation!

            You may be familiar with her age nine Massachusetts performance, if not please check it out for the sweetest endearing tone ever.

    • I have seen Jackie have excessive chin wobble in the past, and have had concerns. (I’m a singing teacher who specialises with singers this age).

      However: technically, I’s have liked her to loose the vib, but it sounded quite natural and was produced in the right place. All the high notes were as clear as a bell, and sounded like they should when sung by a young lady of this age. Her breath control was spot on, and by using a mic she will not be over-projecting.

      Providing she is enjoying it, there is nothing wrong with Jackie Evancho singing for money and having the fame, the fortune and all the trappings when she sings like this. It is compatible with the instrument she possesses. Because she sings with that bell-like clarity at the top of her voice, it is well-placed, and well focused, she is singing without strain. Moreover, she is not singing too low for her instrument.

      There are some beautifully adjusted child-prodigies, then there are those who have psychological problems. It is not my position to judge, I am not her mother, and so will not have to live with the consequences if it all goes horribly wrong. Having said that, she appears to be having a ball at the moment.

      Provided she keeps her technique strong, and has fun, then all her fans keep enjoying her music with a clear conscience. She truly is an exceptional talent.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        The link at the bottom of comments seems to have fuller visual frame and less audio distortion.

      • Johanna, I agree with what you saying here the only caveat being that the tones, in particular, the high ones are well supported. Otherwise with such a heavy performing schedule, I think you know what happens. BOTW was far better than anything done at the Petersburg concert for instance. The problem there was the middle register and that’s where overcompensation with the jaw comes into play. Any training I had was starting with and strengthening the center of the voice before slowly going to the extremes. This I tried to explain to some fiercely protective fans and got the expected tomatoes in my face.

  55. @Xharles Hoff Also with due respect, if one were talking about a performer at least in her or his late teens or early, 20′s, the “opportunity” might be timely. If I were a parent, I would have a hard time with it. In Mayalone there are 5 scheduled public performances for her. Maybe someone should put on the brakes and give her a normal life?

  56. Stephen Runnels says:

    Both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle should be very, very, proud and honored at the magical performance of their song; “Bridge over Troubled Water” by Jackie Evancho at the “One Night, One Drop benefit show for World Water Day. The mature and ethereal beauty Jackie brings to this song will never be matched. The greatness this young lady brings to music just keeps growing. Thank you Jackie Evancho.

  57. richardcarlisle says:

    CJ,

    Hope you’re wrong about the overload prospect.

    About comparisons again– Shirley Temple and Annie simply don’t have the timber to be even close to her league…too bad there’s no Julie Andrews at age nine recordings… please try again.

    • Timber (sic) is a matter of opinion. You might not like or admire Shirley Temple or Annie but plenty of others have. I still can’t get over the need to tear down others in order to raise up your own fans. This is childish. I speak objectively and give credit where it is due as I have above. To repeat, the 9 year old recording of your star while showed considerable talent but not achievement. You simply don’t move in circles where talented kids sing including choir boys like Aled Jones did. Plenty of them can happily float high notes. Why don’t you go to Juilliard or any music school when they hold auditions for young people?
      What I admired in BOTW was the elegance of the phrasing. This is a conjunction of thought, feeling and perhaps better coaching. Incidentally, jaw problems have occured mainly in the lower register where there was strain to reach and sustain the tones. Thankfully, the song was in a higher key so there was no need to
      go into that area, except barely touch it.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        CJ,

        Of course I have the greatest admiration for ST and Annie… but why compare voices so different performing material also very diverse… like comparing a cute kitten with an orchid— both have their capacity for endearment…I knew Beverly Sills made some early recordings and was about to research when Janey thoughtfully provided what I requested from you.

        Shirley Temple was considered the greatest child entertainer of the last century and I have no argument there.

        • Shirley Temple didn’t sing ballads, so even the material was different. But don’t forget she danced and acted, too!
          Actually, I am not a fan of Beverly Sills, early or late, well, maybe somewhere in between. I don’t like the overly open way she used to sing. Instead, the precision of Julie Andrews at any time appeals to me more.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            CJ,

            The duet I just posted with Milnes… after 3:00 she takes off to the plateau of magic, you disagree?

          • richardcarlisle says:

            Shirley’s personality that came through in her acting meant a lot more in her career than dancing or singing ever did– quite the opposite of Jackie… so far.

          • @richardcarlisle Unlike most other classical singers and their fan bases, the Sills people exhibit the same kind of irrationality and unwillingness to accept any criticism as “fill in the blanks”. At times her singing gives me the same frisson as scratching a nail across a blackboard. I would prefer hearing Jackie anyday compared to Sills. (Sorry, “Bubbles” fanatics.)

          • richardcarlisle says:

            CJ,

            Strange you would disagree– almost unheard of from you!

          • richardcarlisle says:

            CJ,

            I can sense a number of commenters slowly recovering from shock a la catatonica after hearing you prefer Jackie to Beverly Sills?

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            cabbagejuice,

            Goodness! We absolutely agree about these things. I also sometimes have a “nails on a chalkboard” feeling with Sills. She was a great prodigy, though.

            Also agree about Julie Andrews &, of course, Jackie.

          • @richardcarlisle Surprisingly perhaps (to you), there are opera singers I dislike but it may be too off topic to list them here. In general, though, I run for cover when hearing tenors who bleat out high notes and from women, mainly from Slavic countries, who do the same on the top.
            In the case of Sills, IMO, she and her fans mistook enthusiasm for artistry, a superficial approach that prevented her from really delving into the music and even the pronunciation to some extent.
            Getting into a song is what one expects from popular singers and we usually get it. That’s why I would prefer the artistic honesty of those outside classical music at times.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            CJ,

            I’m impressed with Angela Gheorgiu (sp?) in her high range and wonder if you find her acceptable… Rene Fleming is also impressive

          • @richardcarlisle In classical singing, I prefer those who were trained in the centuries’ old tradition (waning over the 20th century) Bel Canto. Mariella Devia over the past decades is IMO, one of the best living exponents, Maria Callas in the recent past. Technique is supposed to serve the expression. A good example of that is Gruberova with Pavarotti in Rigoletto. Instead of the Caro Nome serving as a workhorse to show off coloratura, she infuses every note with expression and excitement. The two you mentioned are not my favorites.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            Thanks CJ,

            Will look into their performances.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Further, we who do not move in those circles or at least not habitually find that achievement dampens emotional appeal just as a marching army drowns out individuality… achievement is marvelous but it doesn’t bring a tear to the eye any more than lecture on seismotology (made that up to make a point)… or at least not as readily.

    • @richardcarlisle:

      Since you are not satisfied with the technical precision of Julie Andrews at age 12, perhaps you will accept Beverly Sills at ages 8 and 10. Without any doubt, one of the greatest classical prodigies in modern history.

      Age 8.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAz2HgSZaDs

      Age 10 (just turned). On the player click “Major Bowes”. Listen through to the masterful end.

      http://www.beverlysillsonline.com/raritiesroom.htm#player

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Janey,

        Thanks for providing these early Sills works.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        http://youtu.be/vYlFk03WPrQ

        Having seen Milnes leading a master class at SUNY Purchase back in the ninety’s this caught my eye while perusing youtube, something I was unfamiliar with, glad to discover… thought you might like to hear this superb piece again even if you’ve heard it many times.

        Her ’39 recording is incredibly accomplished, would have been absolutely stunning but for the recording quality…no wonder they kept her from further performances at that age– very stressful high range for a young voice, a great treasure to have on record.

      • Knightly Once says:

        I, for one, greatly admire Ms. Sills. It is somewhat amazing that she had the career she did. Pushed into baby beauty contest from the time she could stand, winning Miss Beauty Baby at age 3, her talent at the contest was of course singing. Then from the age of 4 performing professional weekly on a Saturday radio program. Of course this was during the Great Depression, and time were very hard for everyone, and before Child Labor laws. She had a beautiful child’s voice in the clips you provided, and the hours, and hours. and hours. of vocal coaching were evident.

  58. richardcarlisle says:

    Please kindly allow me a brief explanation of my overuse of the ellipsis:

    The period produced by computers is so microscopic that a double-take is mandated every time the pronoun “I” or for that matter ANY word that is normally capitalized is used, in order to see if a new sentence is started or not… therefore if I can’t justify an ellipsis it will be a semi-colon; ANYTHING but that undersize period (of course the recommended extra space after the period should relieve the ambiguity but too often that space isn’t used along with the fact extra spaces appear by mistake, further muddying the water)

    If you don’t understand what I’m saying — I’ll understand — and thank you if you do (I also abuse single and double dashes).

  59. richardcarlisle says:

    http://youtu.be/hFSSN2PlIs8

    This might be even slightly better…

  60. richardcarlisle says:

    http://youtu.be/2iDG-eVgx9o

    An interesting, amazing brief segment from the same show (not including Jackie)

  61. Jackie appearing with Jose Carreras in Taiwan in April … http://josepcarreras-tenor.blogspot.com/p/schedule.html

  62. Knightly Once says:
    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Although Carreras is essentially retired from opera, he really is a fine person, a genuine mensch. Like Jackie, he also had a VERY early start to his career after being inspired by singing in a movie, in his case The Great Caruso starring Mario Lanza.

      Congratulations to Jackie.

      • everett cox says:

        Yes it’s amazing how closely their early careers dovetail. Almost the same in every respect. I just hope Sumi Jo can be there.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Laptop,

        Thanks for the info nugget… was he the younger Caruso before Lanza’s part started? I probably have the video somewhere on the shelves, looking forward to seeing him at that age.

        Lanza’s voice has unique resonance– so recognizable, maybe not suited for opera?

        • richardcarlisle says:

          Laptop,

          Please forgive misunderstanding… he was inspired but was not in movie just as Jackie was inspired after seeing “Phantom….”

  63. everett cox says:
  64. Knightly Once says:

    I, for one, admire Beverly Sills greatly. It is somewhat amazing that she had the career she did. Placed into baby beauty contest from the time she could stand, winning the “Miss Beautiful Baby” contest at age 3. Then from age 4 performing professionally every week on a Saturday radio program. Of course this was during the time of recovery from the Great Depression, and times were hard on most everyone. this was a time also before Child Labor laws, and in general society was not as enlightened in these matters as today.
    Beverly had a lovely child’s voice, and the hours, and hours, and hours of vocal coaching is evident in this clip.

    Age 8.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAz2HgSZaDs

    • Yes, indeed, think of the child labor in having to practice violin and piano etudes in order to appear as the current musical prodigy. And also for young singers who have to learn and memorize sizeable amounts of repertoire, to have to go through grueling rehearsals and recording session, and travel all over the world (a private jet makes it more comfortable however and paid security of course) to appear 4-5 times a month.
      Beverly Sills, IMO, never got over being a prodigy. She was stuck lifelong in the role of the admired little girl, never really did the homework to refine her singing, sang practically everything the same unclean vowel (as an astute commenter put it), never really probed the depths of anything she did. Not really growing up is one of the dangers of premature exposure on the stage. It was so pleasnat and comfortable back then and adult reality is not so nice.

  65. @don mckee Would this have made more sense if instead of “music”, Sergei Vasilievich would have said, “art” or “knowledge”? You call it “hyperbole” or “obsession”:
    “Rachmaninoff ‘s statement that ‘Music is enough for a life but a life is not enough for music’, Is as excessively extravagant as anything one could quote from their worst nightmare of a Jackie Evancho fan…While you may see Rachmaninoff’s quote as high wisdom or even as poetic license, others may see it as that which you would see if it were made regarding a Jackie Evancho performance.”
    How many lifetimes should it take to get to know all of Bach’s works? Any time left over to savor the rest of the greats? Another of your gems: “A musician once told that me he would rather die than give up his music. That, like the Rachmaninoff quote, can also be interpreted as suggesting obsession.”
    Now I understand why you people accept if Jackie became a veterinarian in case the technique doesn’t hold out. I have a feeling as a singer and having tasted the joys of performance, she would mind VERY much.

    • don mckee says:

      You misrepresented me. I said, “That, like the Rachmaninoff quote, CAN also be INTERPRETED as obsession.” And I included that I chose not to do so. For your own reason(s), you chose to overlook this important qualifier. You have suggested that Jackie Evancho’s fans misinterpret you. Many do, in the same way as you just did with my comment on Sergei Vaselievich’s quote. And, why did you write “Rachmaninoff” in your first post and “Vaselievich” in the second.

      “Now I understand why ‘you people’ accept if Jackie became a veterinarian in case the technique doesn’t hold out. I have a feeling as a singer and having tasted the joys of performance, she would mind VERY much.” It is interesting that you, with all that stress on the primacy of thinking over feeling, had a “feeling.” As Jerry Seinfeld might say, “…not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

      With all due respect, it is past the time that we trusted this matter to Jackie’s parents. After watching both sides go back and forth on this issue like two dogs fighting over a toy, her parents are clearly the most credible. It is Jackie and her parents who have the most to lose over any missteps. And most of all, it is not they whose stridency and emotionalism castes doubt as to their motivations. There is undoubtedly too much of the spirit of “you people” on both sides here.

      That out of the way, I am of the mind that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. However, it is not my place to argue in this regard for Ms. Evancho. Is there some risk for her in this? Of course, but no more risk than in spending a third of your life studying and training for opera sans the result for which you sacrificed so much. Legions of young people throw all of their eggs into the ‘one basket’ of athletics. They graduate from high school or college as heroes after which they are in over their heads and can no longer compete. As in the case of opera, it ends well for relatively few aspirants. Nevertheless, I would not wish to deprive them of their chances to try. In life, nothing really worth having comes without risk.

      You may have genuine concern for Jackie Evancho but not nearly so comprehensively or so vitally as do her parents. As a mother yourself, I am sure you appreciate this.

      • Well, having earned so far $2.5 million, sure, who should care if the vocal cords are used out prematurely? “…her parents are clearly the most credible. It is Jackie and her parents who have the most to lose over any missteps.”.And certo, average families without any musical training are qualified to judge if they are doing something risky or not. I can understand (but not sympathize with) those who want to exalt Jackie’s character into quasi-sainthood. but why the Holy Family nonsense?

  66. @everett cox I missed your post and question although this could only be a rhetorical one:
    “Cabbagejuice let me ask you a serious question; would you coach Jackie? Do you hear enough promise in her voice that you would want to help her improve?”
    First of all, I took the performance as being a whole product as most of her fans were insisting and enjoyed it very much. However, on further listens without watching, I hardly understood the words except in the refrain. Also there was a kind of vibrato in the middle register that some people may appreciate for expression but for me a sign of a lack of comfort.
    I had teachers who said that they would not take apart a singer’s technique if it meant destroying their wholeness. It would be too much to put it back together and maybe the results would not be as good. Edith Piaf never wanted to study and perhaps she was right. But this is with already mature singers. To let a young shoot grow in a unchartered direction is risky to say the least. In this case over the past couple years, the idea was to get a musky quality that belied her age. Conventional training (not pushing the sound into the resonators) would have had her sound more like a kid.
    “Can’t wait for your critique of that night, especially if she sings Nessun Dorma which, with her new voice, she very well could.”
    If there is already one tenor on the program, surely he would preempt that aria. But it requires an awful lot of stamina from a singer, so I doubt it will be on the program. The new voice you are talking about is not new, only higher and where it should have been in the first place.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      cabbagejuice,

      I had a couple of unrelated comments for you.

      Jackie’s palate has always been slightly “crooked,” with the L side being slightly higher. Since her 1st available performance around age 8, she has always opened her mouth with the jaw slightly off to the L. It really isn’t anything new.

      I’ve seen many videos of Chalotte Church at ages 11 & 12, & she had a very prominent chin waggle (or jaw wobble, whatever you want to call it), at least as bad as Jackie’s. I recently saw a performance of hers at age 15 (before her complete switch to pop), & the chin waggle was gone. Her vibrato sounded fine as well. I’d also note that Jackie’s chin waggle was much less prominent on BOTW.

      I was a bit confused about your bel canto comment. It’s true that verismo & French grand came along, but aren’t all classically trained singers taught at least some BC techniques?

      Jackie has worked on her enunciation, & it’s improved, but she needs to continue to work on it. She really has made several technical improvements lately.

      • @HomoSapiensLaptopicus I find your admissions astonishing. If there is something structually wrong with the palate or jaw in question (which I don’t believe), then WHY oh WHY compound the problem by repeated misuse particularly at a developmental stage? The fact that Charlotte Church had a jaw waggle shouldn’t be a red flag already predicting not just a possible but probable future? And that is simple to explain, where there is a lack of lower muscular support, there is overcompensation higher up.
        What does it mean to “work on enunciation” after one is an already is an established performer?
        Verismo in singing entails going outside the frame of the music to achieve dramatic effects. Although Tebaldi sang verismo roles, she did them in a Bel Canto manner and kept her voice all her life. Callas invested her high notes with more emotion than was even called for in the music itself and eventually lost her voice. Dessay did just about the same thing with coloratura and also seems to have paid the price.

        • richardcarlisle says:

          CJ,

          It seems a tad agreeocontrarioso (talent for turning agreement to argument and vice-verse) to say Jackie shouldn’t or doesn’t have to improve her enunciation… witness the word “around” in BOTW that sounds quite like one syllable… if I’m the only fan to be pleased by an improvement in this area then speaking strictly egocentrically that is reason enough but I seriously expect I’m not alone.

          Perhaps you imply any improvement would not affect her bottom line dollar situation and you’re probably right, but who would not in reasonably good conscience want to improve over time regardless of the dollar sign?

          BTW, Victoria Clarke, Laura Osnes and company had a beautiful guest appearance on David Letterman last night with a full-costume choreographed excerpt from Cinderella… most exceptional–spectacular–BRAVO!

          • Exactly what I was saying about teachers I had who would not pick apart a technique if it meant that putting it back together would be too much trouble and would change things drastically.
            It’s not a big deal to improve diction but if it comes at the expense of the timbre, one can understand why this is a lesser priority. As a unity it works, I suppose, at least for the time being.

          • richardcarlisle says:

            CJ,

            Your elaboration and clarification received appreciatively…. all is well as we await — at 26 degrees –something resembling spring-typical weather conditions.

            Thanks and think warm.

          • @richardcarlisle It is 26 degrees Celsius around here. No need to think warm…

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          cj,

          Perhaps you’re unaware that there is nothing wrong with Charlotte Church’s voice. It’s gorgeous. She just sings in a different genre now.

          In any case, some children with chin waggles go on to have problems later, but others do not; it appears that Charlotte, & possibly Jackie as well (based on what’s occurred so far), are in the latter category.

          When a face is asymmetrical (as most of ours are, at least somewhat), one doesn’t “correct” it by simply moving it a certain way. In some cases surgical approaches are necessary, but in the absence of TMJ syndrome, why would one attempt anything? I would note that Jackie recently started wearing Invisalign transparent braces on her teeth, but it would be unwise to do anything other than that IYAM.

          I have heard Renée Fleming say that working on enunciation is a lifelong pursuit (especially when singing in languages that are not the singer’s 1st), but perhaps you disagree with her.

          You have an interesting theory for the deterioration of Callas’ voice. She always attributed it to her weight loss, but more recently Deborah Voigt lost a lot more weight without evident problems. Perhaps your explanation is right.

          BTW, I’m not sure where you got your $2.5 million figure for Jackie’s earnings. It was quoted some time ago by some internet sources, but that figure was denied by those close to the family. She may have made that much, or more, or less, from her concerts since then, but we haven’t seen any reliable sources. Maybe you know something her fans don’t know.

  67. everett cox says:

    “…If there is already one tenor on the program, surely he would preempt that aria. But it requires an awful lot of stamina from a singer, so I doubt it will be on the program. The new voice you are talking about is not new, only higher and where it should have been in the first place.”

    Afaik the only tenor will be Jose, and I seriously doubt he has the chops to sing Nessun Dorma any more. Jackie does though. :)

    As to why she stopped singing in her Soprano range, her voice doc(Scott Kessler NYC) may have told her to take it easy while she’s going through puberty. But she really let loose on BOTW and the Finale.

    What I love about her BOTW performance is her vibrato is back to where it was when she was 10 years old. Her ‘chin waggle’ is completely gone and her high notes are brain-searingly beautiful. The first time I heard it my heart started racing and I got short of breath, kinda scary when you’re 69 years old like I am.

  68. everett cox says:

    Jackie and some of her castmates at the American opening of TCYK;

    https://twitter.com/jackieevancho/status/318908048154427394/photo/1

  69. richardcarlisle says:

    @CJ

    Just a tad envy provocatorious.

    Enjoy!

  70. richardcarlisle says:

    Laptop and CJ,

    http://youtu.be/kJZ2XA84MPI Possibly Mario Lanza’s best ND …. it IS good, say my ears.

  71. richardcarlisle says:

    http://youtu.be/ZGezqe7nQfw

    Here’s Carreras ND about the same 30′s age– smoother through a wide range, a bit less passion.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      given the theme and circumstances … the emotion is well justified … !!

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Yes, a bit better than the one I found, excellent tone all through his range; Mario Lanza did not have strength in the lower register– witness the second “Nessun Dorma” at the beginning of his video…. and his high range is closer in tone quality to Luciano than Jose… both may have been inspired by him.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        In case anyone missed it here’s Jackie’s ND on Britain’s Got Talent, age 11– a study in absolute magnificence.

        • richardcarlisle says:

          http://youtu.be/G5F9VHJQ1AY Here it is, sorry.

          • A study of complete misfit of an aria for a mature male voice sung by a girl with a contrived and trembling one completely oblivious of the text.

          • WestSeaDoc says:

            Cj .. don’t sugarcoat it … just tell us what you really think! Your response is expected and unsurprising. I love Jackie, but I don’t particularly like her singing ND .. most females for that matter as I think the song was meant for testosterone charged vocal theatrics and it IS hard on a voice. Jackie, it is my understanding, doesn’t really like singing this aria but was a bit pushed into it. I don’t think it is quite as you state but both J and her mom have mentioned that it is a bit of a strain (or was) for Jackie. I also don’t think it fits her strengths of phrasing and stylistics.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Richard C,

      I’ve always loved that version of ND, recorded when Carreras was quite young. He had a remarkably beautiful lyric tenor then, like few others ever IYAM. It couldn’t have worked in the full opera without more spinto or dramatic “oomph,” but it was just gorgeous as a free-standing aria. Leukemia, & perhaps singing roles that were too heavy for him, took a lot out of his voice later on. Also like his Spanish accent (“silenthio”).

      Just for CJ: note that Carreras’ jaw opens slightly to his right, a bit like Jackie’s opens to her left. Barbra Streisand’s also opens to her left, & her voice seems to have lasted a few years, eh?

      You also picked my favourite Mario Lanza version of ND. He’s very expressive, but I agree that his low notes weren’t the strongest.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        @WestSeaDoc:

        It couldn’t matter if ND was written for a katydid to belt out through the night air– Jackie made it into something incomparable seeming to enjoy every second, even adding an extra joyfully triumphant “vinchero” at the end most effectively suggesting a flair for innovation never credited to her that was further evidenced by her going up at the end of “O Mio” with wondrous effect and add to that her ending of BOTW, then consider writing a song at age 11, “Dream with Me” (how much did Mozart even do at that age?) with decent lyrics and melody… she DOES HAVE creative talent that I hope in time will be better recognized.

        Regarding whether she should burden her cords with ND, why not mention about ten high notes that show strenuous effort in BOTW compared to two or three in ND…of course subjectivity clouds the picture but I’d love to see voice-analyzing equipment bear me out.

        Puccini wrote more beautiful material — arias and duets — for women than men, would probably have loved Jackie and her ND and if only one of his descendants could be located for an opinion– that I’d like to hear.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Laptop,

        Wonder if the story is true how the Castilian lispy pronunciation began: a king was born with a lisp and the entire population was mandated to speak the same way…. says something about virtues of dictatorships.

        Mario Lanza’s contributions were immense, especially the Student Prince material…. CJ, you can keep your olive oil on your salads… and BTW if you had invested a tiny fraction of the effort spent on Jackie-bashing and produced some more humor the world could be a better place right now.

    • Carerras is much better. The aria is well paced and steadily built up to the climaxes. There is elegance rather than bleating. One can say this is Bel Canto as opposed to Can Belto.

      • WestSeaDoc says:

        That was actually humorous! … have to agree with you on this one. Of course, Sammy Davis Jr’s jaw moved in pirouettes and his lasted just fine until the cigarettes got him.

  72. @HomoSapiensLaptopicus I never said anything critical about Charlotte Church. In fact her BOTW here is pretty darn good and you can actually understand the words. It seems much of Jackie’s repertoire had already been covered by Aled Jones and Church, that is, religious and Christmas music, Pie Jesu (Jones), Phantom of the Opera (Church at age 12). It’s probably only natural that kids would cover the ground already explored, possibly going further and putting their own stamp on it and as I mentioned before a certain amount of imitation is expected in learning.
    With regard to Fleming and diction, she sings in about 6 languages or maybe more. One would expect native speakers of English to be understood, however.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is0hXP5Vr08

    • richardcarlisle says:

      CJ,

      CJ,

      Darn good?

      Any negatizing you’ve done with Jackie multiply by at least a factor of two and add a Kathryn Jenkins factor (at her worst not this bad)…

      1) She’s either using a minor key everyone else avoids, making her sound off-pitch or else she’s just that all the way through.

      2) Cheap Broadway styling far short of concert quality.

      Now please elaborate on what’s good — or even tolerable — about this, the worst thing I’ve heard from her since her first Christmas album.

      After two listens and unable to stomach any further exposure you leave me wondering where you find tolerance for it…

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Oops, only one CJ intended.

      • Seeing that many of you fans have tastes in singing that rule out most of opera, it is not suprising you hear a minor key when it has the exact same chords anytime this is performed and can’t be otherwise.
        I haven’t listened to Church enough to really analyse her voice yet. She is more mature here (2007).of course and it seems to be a fuller voice. The timbre is consistent from bottom to top and the high notes are well supported and not floated in the head (that could be a nice effect now and then). There is perhaps a breathy quality in the low to middle but that may be the nature of the instrument and for non-classical singing considered an expressive plus.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      cj,

      I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood your previous comment about Charlotte Church. I thought you were criticising her voice.

      I must admit to being surprised you posted this version of BOTW, though. This was during her pregnancies, when her breathiness was pretty much at its worst, up & down her modal register. (It’s much better now.) She was “pitchy” in places there too, especially flat on some notes in the upper modal register. She still had some chin waggle then as well.

      She really is a lot better now since she’s distanced herself from her pregnancies, & hopefully from her bad habits. (She began smoking cigarettes in 2002 & had difficulty quitting.)

      I agree that Jackie’s repertoire hasn’t been original, mostly covers of well-known songs. She’s mentioned (more than once) wanting original music on her next CD, & may have some time blocked out this summer for recording. She’s been linked to several experienced songwriters who may be helping her.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      Wow! I actually thought that was pretty terrible … phrasing was uninspiring and instead of feeling the flow of the music and riding it like a wave … I found myself waiting impatiently for it to finish. Odd attack on some notes, too. My ear must be missing something. Her lyrics are understandable admittedly but high notes were thin and slight tones off. I’m surprised that Richard could listen to this twice. I’m not a great fan of BOTW but I do find Jackie’s rendition soothing and calming … maybe the difference between preferring a flute over an oboe, everything else being equal. Must admit, I’m surprised that you found this pretty good. You’re not turning soft on us are you?

  73. richardcarlisle says:

    CJ,

    I won’t argue this is distasteful for everyone but tone sensitivity is an extreme trait of mine and let others opinionate for a consensus.

    Anyone objecting to kJ I would think would find this much worse.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      CJ,

      Could this be a practical joke — someone researched every error made by KJ, put them all together for a performance and blamed it on Charlotte Church?

      First you screened commenters for anger management, now it’s gullibility– like I’m supposed to believe you consider this “darn good”… I’m not buying the Brooklyn Bridge either if that’s what you’ve got in mind.

      More relaxed now with the conviction no one will force me to listen to “Trouble Over Bridged Water” again.

      Could be sold to Julliard for a lesson on what to avoid.

      • Where did I criticize Charlotte Church? I admit here that I haven’t even listened to her voice enough to make a full assessment. Being objective, I don’t have to like or dislike eveyrhing a perfomer does and I did admit to enjoying Jackie’s BOTW. Church’s is somewhat different, more mature to be sure and true to the text instead of just spreading around timbre that seems to appeal to a certain age group more than others.

        • WestSeaDoc says:

          Cj

          ” instead of just spreading around timbre that seems to appeal to a certain age group more than others”

          Hard to know how you can make that statement … and a bit “bigotted” too! To just what “certain age group” are you referring? If you are implying that Jackie’s voice only appeals to the aging boomers, you are standing on pretty shaky ground or even quicksand… that is the age group of Heavy Metal, Acid Rock, Beattles, Fleetwood Mac, The Doors, Motown, and Folk, etc. the most eclectic and dynamic and far ranging innovative music period in ages. Besides, timbre is an evocative characteristic .. that is, it evokes an emotional response in the listener. Again, I have to return to my question / advocacy that a performance artist is no great artist if he/she does not evoke an emotional response in his/her audience. A great oration is more than words on a page and a great acting performance is more than reading words off a script. Breathing life into words, lyrics, etc is the artist’s stock in trade. If it something doesn’t do it for you, then the artist is a failure in your instance; if the artist evokes a positive emotional response in others, then success lives in that audience. Belittling the audience serves little other than to make one appear elitist, supercilious, and small.

          • “Emotional response in an audience” is a loaded concept. I can’t help but thinking emotional mobs listening to and reacting to certain dictators’ oratory and going out to wreak mayhem.
            For most classical listeners, music is an intellectual experience, not only an emotional one. And there is just as much, if not more pleasure in that.
            But getting back to popular music, so much of the appeal is in the packaging. Would it have the same effect if soundwise were done exactly the same way by a homely older woman and not by a cute 12 year old, without light effects, costumes and all the other accompanying distractions?
            And as for audiences, I really don’t think much of gyrating fans of metal or the like. Being moved emotionally is not something to build respect for. Sorry.

  74. richardcarlisle says:

    CJ,

    Allow me to share another gorgeous day in the north: a new slight covering of white, perhaps an inch, again purifying the landscape for likely the last time this season, midday temp 37F… the reason this is beautiful is the counterpoint soon to come and much to resent with vivacious weeds putting the octopus to shame showing how to really grasp and cover everything with green tentacles designed to cause all things to disappear under the great green glacier of summer… don’t stand in one place too long, it will start at the feet and work its way up from there… and as I hate summer with all the bugs — heat — humidity all secondary to the weed plague, it causes me all the more love for winter and WHY I MENTION all this is your acceptance of CC is comparable to my feelings for winter that obviate positivism for summer with its contrasting qualities and so your view of CC material so opposite in nature to Jackie necessarily obviates any positive assessment for her… love for anything tolerates little of any sort of opposite extreme and if you’re not about to admit it’s a gullibility test — your acceptance of CC– then any chance of appreciating the opposite seems unlikely doesn’t it?

    Whether or not there is an answer forthcoming to the posed question rest assured your humor is vastly appreciated.

    • I don’t “accept” Charlotte Church. I just happen to like her rendering of this song, and give her extra points for diction. Text is one aspect of music that other instruments don’t have but singing does. It’s conveying a message, simple as that. Being as true as possible to the words which means going into the work of investigating inflections in other languages is simply an obligation. One can depend on a coach for this if one is not able to do it on one’s own. That is why Fleming said this is a lifelong task.
      I have had students, mainly from the Far East, who trot out arias and Lieder without the faintest clue of what they are singing, except they get more or less the sounds of the syllables correct by imitation. They think it is great because their teachers in Japan or Korea who could also care less about diction, told them so.
      By the age of 13, an adolescent should be able to sing a simple aria like Ombra Mai Fu without garbling the words. After a few hundred performances of O Mio Babbino there should be no chopped up syllables. Instead, there is oohing and aaahing and the girl smiles sweetly acknowledging the fulsome praise that is really not deserved. But as in the case of Nessun Dorma, it is the timbre that is appealing and in effect, selling the songs. The question remains, why not have the cake and eat it too? Why not improve the diction?
      !) The fans don’t really care. 2) Improving the diction might mean unravelling the whole technique which has been to a large extent pushing the sound into the resonators where the musky quality actually comes from. If that were freed up she would have sounded her age a long time ago. Freedom is an important aspect of singing. It gives comfort and enables the singer to faithfully render the text.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        CJ,

        This smacks of another agreeocontrarioso — you couldn’t expect agreement lyrical message makes musical value — if I want Lil Bo Peep I open a book…. NO a thousand times over– lyrics serve to offer vowel sounds to form into exotically marvelous tone tidbits … seriously, I know the theme of BOTW since Art Garfunkel’s delivery in 1970 and a pleasant statement of friendship it is but after dozens of listens the message no matter how clearly stated will hardly improve CC’s voice any more than a stop sign improves meaning of life outside of the simple procedure it demands.

        Wondering if Jackie could invent a new language that might circumvent enunciation flaws… perhaps in your opinion she already has done the equivalent?

        Could it be Osnes and Jackson are the most-in-love couple of all couples ever pretending to be?

        • richardcarlisle says:

          A robin witnessing an earth worm family reunion couldn’t express more admiration and it wouldn’t be as mutual..

        • I should have been more specific about coloring the words and text rather than letting enunciation be the issue. Maria Callas had an uncanny way with the text she was singing. Of course a spoken word is different from a sung word and depending on where it is in the range and who is singing it.
          Popular music is more in a speaking range than opera or classical music. So even more so there is the need and expectation that one is delivering a message and not just singing la, la, la. Maybe you agree with some teachers of Far Easten singers that text is not important, just give the song or aria a lot of feeling and that should be enough? It’s not a new language being invented but only ignorance and laziness.

  75. WestSeaDoc says:

    “Text is one aspect of music that other instruments don’t have but singing does. It’s conveying a message, simple as that. Being as true as possible to the words which means going into the work of investigating inflections in other languages is simply an obligation. One can depend on a coach for this if one is not able to do it on one’s own.”

    CJ,

    You continually alter the presentation of your arguments to confirm your own biases. Even among native speakers of a language, pronunciation of words will differ slightly simply to convey the meaning or the impression the speaker is intending to convey. That is DICTION. However, you imply that because a speaker or a singer cannot sing in the native inflection or in the inflections that you deem most close to the original writer/composer’s intent, then they are amateurish or incompetent. That is narcissistic in the extreme .. solopistic (if I can bend that meaning a little) and tiresome. Lyrics are there, true, to convey a meaning behind the music but it is open to the interpretation of the performer. Much as a writer finds that when his/her prose is performed, new meanings appear that were not originally directly intended but are actually additive to the writer … some writers, acting as script writers, will enhance or diminish a character once the performer “opens his/her eyes” further into the character such that the writer’s understanding of his/her own character is expanded. A great song/aria expands to encompass the experiences of more than the specific character or original song intent or theme … that is, the themes become more universal … and, as such, differing interpretations of the music and the lyric can be done. Examine Adam Lambert’s interpretation of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” as an extreme example. Whether you like his type of music or not, it illustrates the point adequately.

  76. @WestSeaDoc No, not at all: “However, you imply that because a speaker or a singer cannot sing in the native inflection or in the inflections that you deem most close to the original writer/composer’s intent, then they are amateurish or incompetent. That is narcissistic in the extreme .. solopistic (if I can bend that meaning a little) and tiresome.:
    There is not even the minimal effort to understand or convey the words in Italian. It is narcissistic as you say in the extreme to take music and words written for one another and just throw out the text, using only one half of the product to promote oneself.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      CJ,

      You’re planting argument seeds again…. you’re not about to convince me songs should pre-empt the role of print for story telling prompting us to the vile act of book-burning …. why when books without audio component should not be allowed full rein in story telling and let music with its splendorific audio capacity stick to its role of pleasing the eardrums while eyes look to books… I would even suggest songs cluttered with narrative — properly enunciated or not — DISTRACT from their audio offering.

      Songs performed in wondrous tone should hardly be burdened with narrative criticism; let’s let music play its proper role and books their role in turn… that is until books learn to sing… when that should happen I’ll be the first to refer them to you for lessons.

    • WestSeaDoc says:

      I’ll say one thing for you CJ. You are persistently predictable in your narrowness of focus. You buttress your biased arguments mostly with a “because I believe so” that enter into any rational discourse in which acknowledge that both parties might be correct. It is as if you are reading one side of a magazine cover while your discordant is reading the other side … and then accepting the fact that you might both be correct. You, however, insist that there is only one side of an argument and that is yours. Every once in a while you exhibit a glimmer of not self doubt but an acceptance that other points of view also have similar validity but then you gather yourself, cloak yourself in self-certainty and venture forth once more like hammer … seeing literally everything looking like a nail. At least you are consistently self-deluded as to the veracity of your own opinion. I had begun to elevate our opinions but will have to again downgrade them, not because they are not well put but because refutations are most effective when the responder can accept the validity of the opposing argument and propose a better alternative that fits both precepts. Your logic consists largely of “because I disagree.” That’s fine but there is little more to be gleaned from you, as informed as you might be. This is hardly in defense of Jackie but only further exposing that you cannot be any more fit to judge a singer despite your superior background as your are view is pinholed. It’s similar to the argument in Figure Skating .. is it art or is it athleticism? In an effort to make it about athletics, the slow-mo point system has evolved. At least everyone knows how they are to be judged, but the artistry of performance has certainly suffered by it. Is singing artistry or vocal athletics? Certainly there is a meld but it is clear that hitting a note and lyric with perfect diction surpasses the presentation itself, in your opinion. As such, then you must prefer realism to an artist’s interpretation and Cezanne and Van Gogh produced “junk” as opposed to Cartier -Bresson or Richard Avedon. Even Botecelli’s “The Birth of Venus” was anatomically flawed.

      • It’s really amusing to read your criticisms of my alleged opinions – narcissism, solipcism, only accepting technique as having value, pinholed view, etc.. You’re completely wrong and misled here, making assumptions you have no right to: “is clear that hitting a note and lyric with perfect diction surpasses the presentation itself, in your opinion.”
        You’re the one (plus most other fans) who can only buttress their arguments with “I like it”. So go ahead, like what you will. Who really cares? There are objective standards in any art. Technique and skill are important even if you don’t think so. They do add to the range of expression and not detract from it.

        • richardcarlisle says:

          WestSeaDoc,

          Thanks for consistently diligent, perceptive detailing of the intricacies … something to build on rather than be exasperated with.

  77. richardcarlisle says:

    Opera lyrics for me have more layers of meaning than pop and deserve more careful treatment and really add dimensions to an aria and should not be compared to music for more ordinary tastes.

    Our current discussion relates to BOTW and it would be good to have some agreement that the lyrics no matter how well pronounced will not make the sound acceptable that was offered by CC, attacking my eardrums twice, unforgettably…. admittedly I’m responsible for allowing the second.

    I foresee no argument that a huge proportion of popular music offers lyrics ONLY as a frame on which to hang rhythm, melody and tonal values and even songs that have “meaning” express it in so few words that it is absorbed instantly and thoroughly and every subsequent listen is total redundancy regarding that meaning and it is thus substantially ignored with the listener proceeding to enjoy the meat of the music consisting of what I just mentioned.

    Of course the other purpose for lyrics: rationale for placing an attractive performer in front of a collection of instrumentalists… visual frosting for the cake of sound.

    • No really good songs are cluttered with narrative. Schubert’s Lieder are the most effective with 2nd and 3rd tier poets. Listening to opera without understanding not only the story but the text is boring for most. They only come alive when the brain is activated and not passively listening to 3 or 4 hour long Wagner or Verdi symphonies with people walking around on the stage and joining the orchestra from time to time.
      You’re trying to defend your preferences with tearing down the whole edifice of word and music. You can like what you like but that’s not going to change anything. You all didn’t invent anything by having children sing operatic arias without any sense. It’s really cheapening of an art form but that is not the first time popular culture has done that.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        CJ,

        There is a perfectly legitimate and profound debate here leaving me proud to be part of it… just look at the Bach Air again: what sense does it make beyond awe of something more exotically wondrous than anything created before or since… it does not lean on lyrics but is rather mystically beyond all distractions.

        And if Jackie’s rendition of ND is not invention it is something possibly beyond any practical definition of invention into a realm with the beauty of the wondrous Air rather than a “cheapening”… after all didn’t you find beauty in her BOTW and by the same token I find — not being as fully disciplined into other tenor presentations and being thus more open-minded — far more beauty in her ND than her BOTW so doesn’t it come down to what we’re accustomed to rather than seeking some law from some distant time in the past that forbids any rendition but that of a tenor… to be so straight-laced is to shut joy out of life.

        Jackie’s rendition of ND does not appeal to a lustful basement of the human spirit but to a spirit of joining her in a great challenging adventure that she found fulfillment in attempting and accomplishing with enunciation of no greater consequence than the lack of lyrics in the great Air of Bach.

        • So why bother with the words, or semi- or demi-words, in ND? Why not dispense with them altogether? Sing la, la, la instead. I happen to understand Italian so a few syllables popping out here and there is intriguing. What does it all mean? Same with the alphabet soup in O Mio Babbino and Ombra Mai Fu.

    • @RichardCarlisle – You have not attended Der Rosenkavalier or Parsifal (or any Wagner, for that matter), have you? If you had, you would never have suggested your frankly absurd theory that text does not matter except as a frame.

      • richardcarlisle says:

        Janey,

        Very surprised my quoted comment that opera lyrics are not included on the current discussion table didn’t register with you… my “frame” remark applies ONLY to pop music including BOTW.

        Interesting that the possibly most exotically perfect melody of all time — the Air from Bach’s Third Orchestral Suite (BWV 1068) should be free of lyrics all this time as if anyone attempting lyrics (including me) realized the piece is above lyrics, too good in a sense.

        Perhaps Wagner’s work with its lack of emphasis on lush melodic content — contrasting with Puccini — is all the more enhanced with profound text… certainly not something I would call frivolous and unnecessary.

  78. HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Jackie turns 13 on 9 Apr 2013. Happy birthday Jackie.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      Much to be thankful for in Jackie … thirteen wondrous years for her, for us, for history books eventually looking back in wonder… the ultimate example of getting the most out of life while giving back in every way.

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