America's top-selling classical artist is… an 11 year-old child

America's top-selling classical artist is… an 11 year-old child


norman lebrecht

July 05, 2011

Take a look at the Billboard classical charts if you want a lesson in contemporary realities.

At number one, and number six as well, is Jackie Evancho, a variety kid who came second in America’s Got Talent and meets all the key criteria in Simon Cowell’s shlock box. She is small and cute, with a voice that sounds freakishly adult. It lacks anything that might be mistaken for expression or character and occasionally veers off the note, but it’s a variety act, not an opera audition. Eight million viewers and President Obama love it. Here‘s a Youtube sample.

After a debut hit with O Holy Night, Jackie’s now writing her own. Have we been here before? Do I see a Charlotte Church in the making?

Dream With Me - Jackie Evancho

This is a mockery of classical music. So is the rest of the chart. Nothing classical about it.

Can’t someone sue Billboard for misrepresentation?


Here are the latest sales figures: The Official USA ” Dream With Me” sales numbers are:
week one 161k,week two 77k = 238k, the HDD 50-55k is the estimate for week #3( ends Sunday July 3) so definitely well over 250k for the USA alone and over 300k worldwide right now.


  • Marie Lamb says:

    A while back on this blog, I expressed some concern about how this young singer is being handled. Not long ago, I saw a TV special with Ms. Evancho, and David Foster was the musical director. Foster seemed careful not to use too heavy an orchestra, and also Jackie had a mike so she didn’t have to force, plus the keys seemed to be chosen for what may become a mezzo-soprano voice. However, and I should not have been surprised by this, they had her sing a version of “Nessun dorma,” which seems to have become a calling card for anyone with a classical connection in these Simon Cowell enterprises. Although it was transposed down and sung with reduced orchestration, it still isn’t appropriate for a child, plus she seemed to have no idea what the text was about. If I recall correctly, Foster said that they did it because she likes Puccini. While that is fine, if it was her idea, someone should have said, “You’re not old enough for this kind of music, it’s not for a female voice, and you need to learn what things are about before you sing them.” This is what parents, voice teachers and musical directors.coaches are supposed to do, provide guidance and say “no” if it’s for the child’s own good. I think of Ben Franklin’s famous quote about the fledgling U.S. government being “a republic–if you can keep it.” Jackie Evancho has a voice, and I hope that she can keep it, but I suspect she needs better guidance for a voice of her type if she hopes to do so.

    • theonejrs says:

      Marie Lamb,

      Simon Cowell signed Jackie to a contract, but Sony USA bought out that contract long ago. Other than as a stockholder, Simon has nothing to do with Jackie Evancho, or her career!

      For your information, Jackie knows exactly what the music she sings is all about, in an age appropriate way. Her parents explain it to her. You are also wrong about the reduced orchestration. Jackie has performed ‘Neesun Dorma’ twice with a full Orchestra, first at Boca Raton and again for her PBS Special at Ringling. She debuted the song at her Houston Church Concert with pre-recorded orchestration.

      Jackie’s voice is well looked after, and she is kept well below her maximum range. The highest note she sings is in ‘Somewhere’, where she hits a couple of beautiful Db6 notes, that are well below her tested range of G6, which is high in the Coloratura range. Her Vocal Consultant is Scottish Mezzo-Soprano Yvie Burnette, one of the best vocal coaches in the world, with a ton of experience in working with young talent! Jackie already has a better voice than Yvie now, and a much higher range!

      I would also like to point out that Jackie, at the tender age of 8 made the decision to become a professional singer. She had already decided that this is what she wanted to do with her life. How remarkable is that? Her parents supported her decision, and helped her set up a YouTube Channel of her own. Her success is a testament to her hard work, in making her YouTube Channel a raging success. After being turned down twice (2009 & 2010) by America’s Got Talent, she was ready when AGT announced that the 12th finalist would be decided by a YouTube competition, with fan votes being the deciding factor. Jackie won that contest by a wide margin, thanks to her fan support, and became the 12th finalist. The rest is history!

      Jackie considers her vocal attributes, a “gift from God”, and I’m inclined to agree with her on that. When she opened her mouth to sing “O Mio Babbino Caro”, we all heard something never heard before by one so young, in the history of recorded music. No 10 year old before her ever sang like that before! You have to go back 180 years to “Jenny Lind” at 10, to find a voice like that. Lind was a Legend, and became one of the greatest Opera stars that ever lived. At 10, Jackie was by far, the better singer. Jenny was self taught, there was no Vocal Coach, and no teacher! When you are self taught, you make a lot of mistakes and errors that can cause a disaster. Jenny had her first vocal “Meltdown” at 12! Jenny’s problem was that her gift was her voice, but she had no clue as to proper technique. With Jackie it is much different. Jackie’s “Gift” wasn’t just her voice, but she had the tools to do things as well. Not only did she have the tools, but she has the ability to understand how to use them. There’s no known explanation for her being able to do that, so I’ll defer to The University of Pittsburgh’s, Music Department. They say it’s all about her Magnificent brain! It’s all up there in her head. David Foster says the same thing. He grasps for words to explain Jackie’s understanding and mastering of the entire musical process. Part of her “Gift” I guess!

      Most importantly, when Jackie is at home, she’s treated just like the other 3 kids. She has chores, and the rules are no different for her. When she is not in the studio or giving a performance, she’s just a normal 11 year old little girl. If you don’t believe that, take a look at this interview with Sharon Osborne. Jackie starts to bubble over at about 1:17 or so. She talks about finding a Sand Dollar at Malibu at David Fosters with all the reverence of an excited little girl, discovering something exciting for the very first time. You can’t teach that, because it comes from within. Just 100% pure little girl! See video!

      I think that you and Mr Lebrecht need to learn your subject before making criticisms which you perceive as a lack of proper guidance. Jackie comes from a generations old, close family. She has a large extended family as well. By generations old I mean that the way they were raised, from the Great Grandmother on down, the same basic way. All of them are well mannered and polite!

      Mr Lebrecht, you are an Author and a Novelist, why do you totally ignore the need to know a great deal more about Jackie and Jackie’s family background before commenting on her as an expert? I’m sure that you must have an appreciation for good music, but it’s not up to us, how music is classified So why take it out an an 11 year old girl because you don’t like what Billboard has done? I think you are both frustrated Opera Snobbs, seeing the incursion of the times threatening the Stature of Classical Music, as yet one more affront to what you see as another blow to fine music. Jackie can’t help that, and she didn’t cause it, but there has been an increased interest in Classical music since Jackie came along, so she is helping the Genre. I think Jackie is doing just fine without your help though!

      Jackie is a great Vocalist, and she is going to become an even greater one. David foster says that If Jackie was to decide on a Career in Opera, she could become the Greatest Opera singer of all time. It would take her quite a few years less than average because she already has the tools and the know how and ability to use them! She does things naturally that takes years to teach to someone else! Jackie is a wonderful fun loving completely normal child, who just happens to sing extremely well. Like it or not she has a “Gift!”

      • Joe C says:

        Michael Jacksoin had a gift and came from a large supportive family that encouraged and promoted him as well..his voice at the tender age of 5 could bring tears to adults..and that turned out….well….And by “Classical,” I presume you mean Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary as well? Lots of people are gifted, it’s not what you have, it’s what you DO with it. That, (I believe) is the point Marie and Norman are trying to make. She could very well be burnt out, as is Charlotte Church, in a decade or so.

        • theonejrs says:

          Joe C,

          I somehow doubt the large supportive family bit with Michael Jackson He had issues with his father and money. He had issues with his Brothers and sisters as well, not to mention his other problems. I sincerely doubt that Jackie will get burned out at all out. she genuinely loves what she is doing. I can only dream about what my life and career would have been like if I had had her parents! In her most recent trip to the ENT, they found no evidence at all of her even being a singer. no wear and tear, no nothing. I mention this because I’ve been saying from the beginning, that she wasn’t damaging her vocal cords As I said before, if people are going to criticize, they need to know something about the person they are talking about before opening their mouth. They could have made the same claim for me, when I became a professional singer at 10, and they would have been a lot righter. My parents were Swine! They stole every dollar I made for the first 11 years of my career. My earliest remembrance was being shoved up on a stage at 3 to sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone!” Try learning that one at 3! Still, I must have done something right because I sang professionally as a Coloratura Soprano from age 19 to 57 before I retired! I know the difficulties that bad parents can create for a young child singer. Jackie doesn’t have any of those problems. I would personally vote for them as “Parents of The Year! I’ll tell you something else I noticed. I’ve never seen any of the kids playing video games or watching TV. They go out and play! As many videos that Jackie has made at home, I’ve never even seen a TV in their house. I don’t mind telling you that all of her siblings are polite and well mannered. It seems to be a family trait going back to Jackie’s Great Grandmothers time. Good respectful people all!

          As far as what she sings, what business is it of theirs? Jackie has every song she sings explained to her in an age appropriate manner, so she does have the basic knowledge of what she is singing about. She understands the Tragedy of “Angel”, and displays it beautifully! She knows that “O Mio Babbino Caro” is a Daughter’s plea to her father for the boy she loves. She becomes that Daughter! How she reflects that in her voice, I have no idea, and neither does anybody else. She’s a joy to listen too though, even with her few flaws. She even has guts enough to apologize when she’s had a so so performance that she didn’t feel was her best.

          BTW, I just read your post below. You do get nastier when you get wound up! I do not agree with you that Marie and Norman’s comments are applicable. It’s none of their business. If you feel so strongly against the Evanchos, why not call Childrens protective services and see how for you get before they put you in a rubber room! You are also so very wrong about having to have life experiences in order to draw on them. People have both good and bad dreams and visions about subjects they know nothing about all the time. It’s very common and sometimes disturbing to some people. Oh, Jackie doesn’t parrot anybody. She’s not told what to sing, and it is her choice to sing a song or not. She is not a trained seal, she doesn’t clap on command!

          You know that list of train wrecks as adults. Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Chrtistina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, et al…..and need I even mention, Charlotte Church ? Well look at who’s at the top of the list! Didn’t you just get done posting that Michael came from a large supportive family that encouraged and promoted him as well. Of course they did. His family wasn’t stupid! They all knew that Michael was their meal ticket! He was the main attraction! The only other member of the family with a decent amount of Talent was Latoya, who I still enjoy listening to. Where was all this large supportive family when he switched to little boys? Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus and Charlotte Church. Jackie has something that all these young woman lack! Jackie stays focused on her goals. It takes a lot of determination to do that. It also takes a lot Discipline. These kids were all raised wrong. Their lives growing up was just another part of the wrong examples these kids grew up learning. All they know is the soap opera Drama. They think that it’s what real life is!

          Look at Jackie’s reality, compared to them!. Jackie went to her mother when she had just turned 8, and told her that she thought that she wanted to become a Professional singer. Her Mom had already noticed her singing songs from Phantom around the house. Jackie’s parents helped her start her own YouTube Channel, that they moderated. Now it was up to her!. She worked it all out and in two years had one of the most active and successful YouTube channels! Nice, but nothing major. Jackie was turned down for AGT in 2009 and 2010. Then someone opened a new door to get in. AGT/Freemantle decided to let the 12th and final contestant be voted in on YouTube! That nice, but that nothing major YouTube Channel of her’s, was about to create history, Jackie got the most votes, so she became the 12th finalist. I would call that Destiny! I’m frankly not sure what you would call having a very important piece of a puzzle, at just the right time and place to do you the most good like she did with her YouTube Channel. Someone the other day asked me if I thought Jackie had planned that, all along. My answer is that I think she planned the YT Channel to give her an increasing fan base. call it whatever you like, but the point is that it gave her a way to get into the finals, and her fans voted her in!

          You said:”Although I would LOVE to believe that Jackie could be the next best thing, she could very easily be “bound for rehab!” No, you wouldn’t love to believe that, because you never would have included the second part of the sentence, if you did! What I don’t understand is why you say something so foolish. First you seem to know very little about Jackie and her family, so what is it about Jackie that makes you say such a strange thing? Jackie will never wind up in rehab!. She’s too focused and disciplined to do something stupid like that Secondly, she has no reason to. Jackie is a happy kid, in a family full of happy kids, or are you cynical enough to believe that it is just an act?

          You said, “Fewer and fewer classically trained singers tour, and her “thing” is that she has an adult instrument in a kid’s body. Will she withstand the test of time ? Her only hook is to sell lots of albums NOW, so that she can coast for the remainder of her life. And let’s NOT forget that her parents are also benefiting, much like beauty contest parents.”

          She does not have an adult instrument! In fact her larynx is decidedly small for her age, and not fully matured yet! Jackie has no “thing”, and no hook! People do not buy her albums because she is a Novelty, they buy them because they want to hear the beautiful music she makes. Yes, they do hype “The little Girl With the Big Voice. it’s also meaningless to her fans. They just want to hear her sing! She won’t be doing any Coasting for the rest of her life either, she will be too busy performing somewhere, or making a new Album, perhaps even doing something on Disney or acting in a movie. Jackie is a doer, not a coaster.

          Now we get to the part I dislike. I enjoyed the conversation up to this point, but you completely lost my respect when you posted this cheap shot! “And let’s NOT forget that her parents are also benefiting, much like beauty contest parents.” Do you honestly think that her parents are loving this? Like this is some sort of financial break for them? Show me where the benefits are for the Evanchos? They’ve given up the next 8-10 years of their lives because they believe in Jackie!

          “Much like beauty contest parents!” I couldn’t have requested a cheaper shot than that! What possible basis could you possibly have to post an outright lie like that? I know you have no basis in fact to support that statement, because there are no facts to support it!! The press has been trying to get some dirt on Jackie and her family since last August. The only thing they found is that her parents had filed for bankruptcy at some time. Not even a parking ticket!. Reporters wanted to pay Jackie’s friends to talk to them about Jackie. Jackie didn’t ask them not to, they just refused on their own. How sad is that on the part of the Press! Worse yet how sad is that for you!

          • Sue says:

            Well said! My husband and I love Jackie, and can see that she comes from a family who is full of love and are “traditional”. Nothing wrong with that these days! I will buy every album that Jackie ever makes! I am 40 and husband is 44!! She was given a “gift” from God, and to me, is a prodigy child! Jackie will always stay true to herself! She deserves every good thing that comes her way!! Keep it up Jackie! Prove those horrible critics wrong! I don’t know much about technique, but I can tell you that Jackie has them all!!

    • Angel says:


      Nessun Dorum This aria is sung by Prince Calaf, as he vows to conquer the tyrant queen Turandot with his love. Here is the translation:

      Nobody shall sleep!…
      Nobody shall sleep!
      Even you, o Princess,
      in your cold room,
      watch the stars,
      that tremble with love and with hope.
      But my secret is hidden within me,
      my name no one shall know…
      On your mouth I will tell it when the light shines.
      And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!…
      (No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.)
      Vanish, o night!
      Set, stars! Set, stars!
      At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!

      I don’t see a problem with Jackie singing the aria, there is no profanity, misogynistic words you see in rap and rock & roll. Many females have sang this song such as (Deanna Durbin Sarah Brightman ) Explain what to learn about Nessum Dorma text ? Jackie honors Puccini by singing to the masses who don’t have an interest in Operatic Aria’s. Beverly Sills & Julie Andrews sang at a young age and it did not effect their careers

      Don’t you think that Jackie’s Record company Sony/Syco will insist on getting the finest professionals for guidance and Vocal Heath.

      Now I pose this question, If you had gifted daughter who had the talent of Jackie Evancho, Would
      you get the best professional advice. Would you have your daughter turn down fame and fortune and change the current music scenery?. I think not.

    • angel says:

      Marie Lamb
      Host of WCNY PBS

      Your quote regarding Jackie’s Evancho rendition of Nessum Dorma ““You’re not old enough for this kind of music, it’s not for a female voice, and you need to learn what things are about before you sing them.” is very odd. PBS has made millions of dollars in contribution from the Greatest Performance concerts involving
      Jackie Evancho. I think it’s you duty notify all the PBS contributors of you concerns and I hope this will generate more donations for your station. WCNY has the audacity to put a site for PBS kids and you make this criticism to this young child.

      What other classical songs can Jackie sing that can fit your criteria? Maybe one day you can play it your radio
      station WCNY and increase you audience/donations

      Here is a link from NPR interview
      I do believe NPR interviewer (Michele Norris) doesn’t share the same view from you!

      Here is link Jackie Evancho practicing at nine years old Sebben Crudele a classical song of note
      I hope that classical musician such as yourself can encourage the youth of America about the beauty of classical music and increase it’s audience

    • angel says:


      I forgot another link a PBS associate of yours, I hope it meets your criteria, play it at your radio station WCNY and check what kind of positive reactions you receive from your listeners

      Here’s Jackie singing with a microphone, a recorder, and Michael Baitzer (Julliard/MetOpera accompanist) on keyboard in one of National Public Radio’s music offices:…y-desk-concert

      No reverb, processing, or autotune.

  • Daniel says:

    ANY comment other than “Towering Talent” or “Incredible Artist” or comparable expressions of admiration, is hogwash, poppycock and balderdash.
    I defy ANYONE to sing more beautifully and professionally than Jackie Evancho! If you think you can do better, tell me where you’ve been published or even recorded for your own family’s listening pleasure.
    ANY negative review of her heavenly gift is the product of envy of the lowest calibre. I wish I could sing half as well as she does!! Jackie has put her kind of music on the map for a long time to come.
    If you can’t stand it, you need to get a life. Deal with it!!

  • Yi-Peng Li says:

    Mr. Lebrecht,
    I thought Billboard had a Classical Crossover chart that might be a more suitable and more appropriate home for Il Volo and Jackie Evancho. So I was surprised to find crossover singers like Il Volo and Evancho on the main charts. Could Billboard have merged the Classical Crossover chart into the Classical chart?

  • Chris says:

    I’m sure that whatever Jackie does, it’s important that she’s happy with it and hopefully she, her voice and her artistic direction all mature gracefully.
    The Billboard chart, on the other hand, should be divided between real, grass-roots classical/new classical releases and the crossovers and/or lite compilations, not combined, otherwise Jackie Evancho would be keeping Nico Muhly from reaching #1 every single chance he had.

  • aREALmusiclover says:

    Here, again, we see the same two themes that the naysayers keep repeating. First, that Jackie is not good enough for classical music, and second, that her parents don’t love her enough to do what is in her best interest.

    The first represents the kind of arrogant, sour-faced snobbishness that has virtually killed any appreciation for quality music in the current generation. Along comes one of that generation who has the capacity to reverse the trend, and these self-appointed music cops try to have her arrested. Why do the REAL lovers of good music put up with these wolves? They are music’s worst nightmare, goblins who chase away any pleasure and joy to be found in beautiful music.

    The second theme, that Jackie’s family has no real interest in what is best for her, tells us what these people think of their own industry. They seem to think that the entertainment industry, and anyone associated with it, is out to destroy the lives of young, naïve artists – and that includes their own families. Well – surprise, surprise – Mike and Lisa Evancho don’t fit that stereotype. They care. They love their daughters and their sons (there are two of each – I’m betting Norm & Marie didn’t even know that much) more than the most “concerned” critic could ever imagine.

    Oh, there’s one more thing that ties these “critics” together. Ignorance. Flat out, finger-in-the-ears, closed eyes, open mouth stupidity. I won’t even try to confuse them with the facts. Their minds are made up.

    So go back in your corners now, Ms. Lamb & Mr. Lembrecht. You lose.

  • Joe C says:

    I know Marie, and she IS classically trained, as am I. While I agree that JE has a great instrument, I also think that Maire and Norman’s comments are applicable. If you have NOT had the life experiences to draw upon, you cannot express them. She is just parroting what others have told her, sung to her, or she has heard. Just this evening, I was explaining to a good musical friend about the plethora of “young stars” who have been train wrecks as adults. Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Chrtistina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, et al…..and need I even mention, Charlotte Church ? Although I would LOVE to believe that Jackie could be the next best thing, she could very easily be “bound for rehab.” It’s wonderful that she has good coaching, etc, but the mention that she is writing, composing is laughable. She wouldn’t recognize a Picardy third or seconday dominant if it hit her on the head. Let’s also NOT forget that in the 21st century, her style of singing is a temporal anachronism. Fewer and fewer classically trained singers tour, and her “thing” is that she has an adult instrument in a kid’s body. Will she withstand the test of time ? Her only hook is to sell lots of albums NOW, so that she can coast for the remainder of her life. And let’s NOT forget that her parents are also benefitting, much like beauty contest parents. Finally, from Debate 101, the FIRST sign of losing an argument, is name calling. Ciao.

    • Vance W says:

      Joe C.
      1. Your position is an artist must have relevant life experience to draw on to express intended emotion of a piece? Really? Empathy is not possible? So, Pavarotti had a life experience to draw on for Nessun Dorma? Do you even understand what that song is about.

      2. Given your position, Mozart was just parroting or doing what he was told. Enlighten us on who you believe this puppet master was?

      3. Unfortunately there have been a lot of young “stars” that have had issues. There have also been young “stars” that have had long and successful careers. Beverly Sills, Julie Andrews, and of course Jenny Lind as mentioned earlier come to mind. Hayley Westenra has taken a path I hope Jackie can follow. Her early success has now allowed her to take much more artistic control of her work.

      4. Who said Jackie is composing? She certainly does not. She has said in many interviews that all she did was provide ideas for the song “Dream with Me”. Not sure what your point is other than to provide further evidence how significantly uniformed or disingenuous you are.

      5. Her “thing” is not just an adult’s voice in a child’s body. No doubt her youth, personality, and appearance are compelling. That might sell a few albums, but it would not create the passionate fan base she has without some significant talent. Her gift is the ability to connect with a piece and convey the essence in a indefinable way through phrasing, tone, and texture. Frankly, her age is a negative to me – somehow I would rather be listening to an adult. There are, however, very few artists I find as compelling.

      6. I won’t comment further on your outlandish statement about the Evanchos other than to say there is no blueprint for raising a prodigy. I can’t imagine the challenges they have.

      Finally, while your words say you would “LOVE to believe that Jackie could be the next best thing”, your real hope appears to be that she becomes “another disappointment”. That is pathetic and I sincerely hope you are wrong.

    • angel says:

      Joe C

      Your remark about Jackie “writing, composing is laughable. She wouldn’t recognize a Picardy third or seconday dominant if it hit her on the head. is reprehensible. No classical trained musician would says this to a young gifted child, even if was your daughter.
      Many young child stars such as (Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple, Jodie Foster) lived normal lives as adults.
      Charlotte Church the only comparable talent lives a normal life as mother of 2. She sings pop, independently
      wealthy and no major train wrecks of note. The only rebellious incidents aware of is her smoking and some verbal gaffes and no rehab issues.
      Many Pop star such as Pat Benatar and Mariah Carey were classical trained by there Mothers. Both mothers happen to be Opera singer/instructors.
      Jackie is true classical crossover artist that has a repertoire of (Operatic Arias, Classical, Broadway Theater,
      Standards, Pop and country. ) She may not be a artist that meets you classical purist standards but in the this decade she will be the standard for all female vocalist.
      Who is Jackie “parroting” or listening to achieve this mature voice, is there a technique I am not aware of
      or maybe she’s a “genius”. Don’t underestimate Jackie’s intellect, it takes a lot of brainpower to remember these songs and sing them in the right key
      I am not a classical musician like you, but watch the Jackie’s PBS special and there many classical musicians honored to be working with her. Describe you theory in how to make classical music more popular?
      Maybe a Child prodigy who can crossover to pop and expose this genre to the youth. Maybe she can get some airplay on Marie’s Lamb Radio Station WCNY FM and sing “Nessum Dorma”. It’s unfortunate that Jackie Evancho album “Dream with Me” has not received any airplay on any classical/pop radio stations
      and is in the top 10 Billboard charts. Well maybe as Marie Lamb states:, “You’re not old enough for this kind of music, it’s not for a female voice, and you need to learn what things are about. That confirms the mentality
      of WCNY FM. station toward gifted young musicians.
      Here is link Jackie Evancho practicing at nine years old Sebben Crudele a classical song of note
      I hope that classical musician such as yourself can encourage the youth of America about the beauty of classical music

  • Would this be a more wholesome example of a child artist?

    • Thank you Mr. Lebrecht. Thinking of all I would say if I were to say what I would say about this young lady’s method of producing voice and her presentation is making my eye twitch furiously. Best left alone, I suppose. But I really want to get in there and knead the dough. I’ll go find that video featuring a pre-teen Julie Andrews singing to help me settle down. And thank you, Mr. Osborne, for that video of the young lady playing the horn. It was a pleasure to watch. I wonder… would JE keep at her craft if she could only sing for the local women’s club? How far would her fondness for Puccini, alone, carry her? Is her deepest wish to sing, or to be a famous singer? No harm in either answer, I suppose. But I think the artist needs to sing. There may be an artist in there.

      • theonejrs says:

        Jackie really “needs” to sing. It’s like a “Moral Imperative!” Yes, there is a great artist in there!

      • angel says:

        Ms Patricia Shanks

        Alas we find a kind empathetic soul that wants to encourage a young child to express there art.
        All accomplished musicians at one time were kids! Jackie’s method of producing voice and her presentation
        has never been accomplished in recorded musical history. I hope in time your eye twitching can reduce to
        tears of joy

  • What a delight and pleasure to hear Selina Ott’s performance. A more wholesome example of a child artist, indeed.

    • theonejrs says:

      @Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi,

      I take exception to your remark, “A more wholesome example of a child artist indeed!”

      The first thing is while Selina Ott plays quite well, she still makes a number of mistakes. Like Jackie she is talented, but still has years before she may become an Elite Coronet player. Jackie is not there yet either, but she will get there! I would love to know why you think that Ms. Ott’s performance is more “wholesome” than Jackie’s, because there aren’t very many little girls that have a more wholesome nature than Jackie Evancho! Her whole pecking order of life is pretty simple, God and Family!

      Then there’s Patricia Shanks, with her eye twitch. The remark about Julie Andrews really makes me really laugh. Jackie is far better at 10 and 11 than Julie was at 12! I have the video myself!

      What I don’t understand about all of you Opera Snobs is that while you profess to love music, yet have no respect for anything but Opera! It seems to me that you people should be out there beating the bushes since the government cut funding for the Performing Arts, rather than be taking cheap shots at an 11 year old talented singer. Your Art has been dying for years, and now the government no longer supports it. The Met is moving out of Lincoln Center because they are no longer able to afford to Perform there!. It’s even worse for the fans because when the current subsidy funding for tickets runs out, everyone will have to pay full price for opera tickets, so children and students lose out, not to mention the fixed-income fans as well!

      There was a time where everything in the musical world revolved around Opera. It was the seat of All Great Music! Times have changed. So have people’s musical tastes! Me personally, I can enjoy Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat major, but I can also enjoy Perry Como singing “Till The End of time”, something you would consider a bastardization of the purity of the music, rather than see it as a compliment to the original composer, as intended! Opera is dying, and there is no life support!, Hundreds of Millions of Dollars will be needed to save it, but the money just isn’t there! It was easy to do when someone else was paying the bills, but now Opera has to stand on it’s own, and is no longer able to afford to do so! PBS is just as much at fault, as the Opera Houses are. Instead of using the money to build a business enterprise where Opera could be run as a money making business on it’s own, they went for lavish expensive productions, competing with other famous Opera Houses, without ever considering that some day the “Gravy Train” might just stop! Well now it has! It all boils down to PBS! If they can survive, so can Opera, but if PBS can’t survive, then Opera won’t have a venue and will be finished!

      You people have unfairly trashed Jackie’s considerable talents and abilities, trashed her family and alluded to the fact that she will somehow go bad like so many other child stars, all without knowing a single fact about her or her family, vocal coach, Etc! You all must have wonderful Crystal Balls! You’ve even made snide remarks about her wholesomeness. You’ve apparently never heard her sing “The Lords Prayer!” God and Family, that’s what Jackie is all about! They don’t come much more wholesome than Jackie! I’m truly sorry that some of you had to devote all those years to your Classical training, and then have to watch someone that came by the talent naturally perform better than you can. Then again, it’s the first time in 181 years that it’s happened. Please don’t try to imply that Opera wouldn’t abuse a child in the manner you claim Jackie’s parents and advisers do, because they already did it with Jenny Lind, one of Opera’s greatest stars. She was 12 when she had her first vocal breakdown. They just gave her a few months to rest, and then it was back to work. By 18, she was a world renowned Opera Star. At 20 she had a severe vocal breakdown that was caused by excessive overuse of her voice and improper technique. Her career was saved by the singing teacher Manuel García, with whom she studied in Paris from 1841 to 1843. So damaged was her voice that he insisted that she should not sing at all for three months, to allow her vocal cords to recover, before he started to teach her a secure vocal technique. Basically he re-trained her in the proper technique, and she returned to Opera in 1844. I’m assuming that this was not done when she was 12 because she wasn’t a star then. If that’s not abuse of a child, I don’t know what is! She retired from Opera permanently in 1849. After that she only appeared in the Concert Hall. She gave her last public appearance in 1883.

      Jackie was the better singer as a child, and only time will tell if she will be as great as an adult. All we have to go by today is the written word, as there is no one alive who ever heard her sing. It was also advantageous to fudge the truth because Opera in those days was funded by Tourism. That’s where the real money came from, not the performances. That’s what built the great Opera Houses of Europe! Today, there is nothing there to continue that funding. Music is evolving, and people Like Jackie, Josh Grobin and Taylor Swift will have a great deal to say about the future of music, what direction it will take and how it will be classified. I don’t know what you people are going to do if Opera goes under, probably sit around throwing more rocks at young talent because it’s so unfair. I just wonder what you are all going to do when there is no more mainstream Opera? Maybe you could do the world a favor and take an example from Lemmings! Then again, you may well do just as you do now, Make it up as you go along!

      • Suzanne says:

        @theonejrs- Pleasem if you are going to rant, get your facts correct. The Metropolitan Opera is NOT moving out of it’s Lincoln Center facility for any reason. The New York City Opera company is looking for new homes in which to perform, but their cash shortfall is due to mismanagement and poor planning. Hopefully, a new director with realistic vision and understanding will be able to bring this once city institution back to it’s former position of importance to the world of the arts in NYC.
        As for children singing “operatic arias”: shouldn’t be done; in fact, at no top-tier conservatory will you find underclassmen sopranos warbling away at Puccini. The voice needs time to mature and to acquire proper muscle memory and since it’s a “living instrument” once damage occurs, it’s not like taking a horn in to be soldered and made good as new. The study of vocal performance, leading up to a career on the opera stage takes graduate study after undergrad, post-graduate study, participation in Young Artist Programs, Master Classes, all under the tutelage of those who respect the art and understand vocal pedagogy.
        Only time will tell in this case, but I’m betting that young Miss E won’t be attending a top conservatory when the time comes for her to look to higher education.

        • Janey says:

          Thank you, Suzanne. I agree. Perhaps Mr. theonejrs can produce facts to support this following contention:

          “Opera is dying, and there is no life support!, Hundreds of Millions of Dollars will be needed to save it, but the money just isn’t there!”

          I am remembering, of course, that the Metropolitan Opera budget, which is balanced and primarily privately funded, is perhaps 400 million per year, and this is one of over 100 opera companies in the United States alone (someone else may have the exact number).

          There is no doubt these are difficult financial times, but I seem to recall claims such as yours being made by alarmists for 100s of years.

          I’m also thrilled to be given an example from the 19th century to attack opera today.

        • theonejrs says:


          My apologies, I did misread the news article. The headline read: “Met to move out of Lincoln Center?” I agree with you that there was a lot of mismanagement and poor planning. I think the big question that needs to be answered there, is what will and will not be tax deductible. That is going to have a huge impact on the future of Opera in NYC. Fortunately WNET looks to be in a good position to survive, being IMO a top notch PBS Station.

          As for children singing Operatic Arias and people saying that it shouldn’t be done. So far no top school or conservatory has come out either for or against on that issue. From my own personal experience at exactly the same age and physical size as Jackie, I see nothing wrong with what she is doing. She stays well withing pre-defined limits, and shows a great amount of Discipline, so she can be depended upon not to experiment around and hurt herself.

          In late 1936, Cesar Sturani, who was the General Music Secretary of the Metropolitan Opera, offered Deanna Durbin an audition. Durbin turned down his request because she felt she needed more singing lessons. Andrés de Segurola, who was the vocal coach working with Universal Studios (and himself a former Metropolitan Opera singer), believed that Deanna Durbin had an excellent opportunity to become an opera star. Andrés de Segurola had been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to watch her progress carefully and keep them advised. All of that for a 14 year old girl that sings some Opera Arias. I learned to sing “Neesun Dorma” when I was 10 from Deanna’s Brunswick Label Record of it. I wore two records completely out, and had to buy a third to replace them. I also learned Musetta’s Waltz (from La bohème). I learned the entire thing, Coloratura and all. Why wouldn’t I? I didn’t put any undue stress on anything, but I was just singing in what for me was a normal natural voice and within my range well below my limits. I think that it all boils down to your capabilities.

          Pendagogy, or child-instruction, which in modern term usage refers to the whole context of instruction, learning, and the actual operation involved therein. The term pedagogy is used to refer to instructive theory. There’s a lot of loose ends in all that theory!

          Oh, one more thing. Jackie will be attending a top Conservatory. She’s already been accepted!

          • Janey says:

            “Oh, one more thing. Jackie will be attending a top Conservatory. She’s already been accepted!”

            Which conservatory?

            Now, I do believe you’re playing with us.

          • Suzanne says:

            Yes, please tell us precisely which top-tier conservatory has accepted the youngster? Maybe, hopefully, she will take classes appropriate for her age at a community music school affiliated with a decent conservatory, or eventually study in a pre-college program,but there is no way that she is ready to enter as a full-fledged undergraduate, which is what I was referring to.
            Since this “big news” about this major educational step for this little girl has been announced nowhere else, we are either in the presence of a family member in the know- theonejrs- or a troll who makes up stories to shore up weak assertions.

          • angel says:


            Such hatred for a liitle 11 year old classical crossover child, Ms Evancho has been
            seeing a her doctor (who routinely treats kids at Juilliard) and acclaimed vocal coach Yvie Burnett
            a Welsh mezzo-soprano

            Also look who posted this on another blog

            Merlon says:
            June 11, 2011 at 6:15 am

            How do you arrive at the conclusion that she is destroying her voice? Is it by professional knowledge or just pure conjecture? Should I believe you or the blogger or should I believe the teacher from Julliard who she and her Mother checks in with on a regular basis and will study under once she is old enough or one of the finest voice coaches in the world who works with her on her performances and recordings…Hmm who to believe? As far as the chin wobble goes Her Mother via the same teacher says it is not relevant at this point and can easily corrected in the future. Her vocal chords are checked on a regular basis. Her parents,in their love for their daughter do their best to keep her psychically safe and it would make no difference if she chose to never sing another note.

            in conclusion, Jackie Evancho mother Lisa routinely answers questions about her vocal heath on amazon forums. No one worth there salt is going to invest millions in Jackie unless they are assured she receives the best Medical Advice. By the way are Julliard Musical Conservatory
            a reputable prestigious institution, she will study there per her mother at the appropriate time. I hope you can see her live at the Pittsburgh Opera on October 16. This a comment from him last year Christopher Hahn, general director of the Pittsburgh Opera said that Jackie’s performances are “spellbinding” and “compelling.” It is quite unusual to hear a young girl with that level of warmth and roundness”. Jackie singing has been uplifting for me personally especially in these perilous times. I am not a family member of the Evancho’s nor a troll, just a fan
            Suzanne do you research, If you the same talent has jackie’s at age 10 would you turn fame and fortune. I think not, the mere criticism reeks envy an jealousy that leaves you the obscurity you deserve. A probable opera singer that will never ever reach Jackie Evancho Heights.

          • Janey says:


            Which instructor is she working with at Juilliard? I find it hard to believe …… I don’t know Burnett. Perhaps someone else here does. I know I have never seen her in a production.

          • Angel says:


            Yvie Burnett , one of the world’s most eminent vocal coaches (who comes from Scotsland BTW), people , google her and do research . The only person who knows the instructor who consults with the family is Lisa Evancho (mother). After reading many of blogs on Amazon Forum she states it there. If you want to know the name, send a request under the Amazon forum “Dream with Me” Jackie Evanco section Jackie Evancho has been singing since 7 years old and performing in the bel canto technique. There has never been a reported vocal issue with Jackie. I am a proud Jackie supporter not a detractor and don’t play with people.

            Now I pose this question, If you had gifted daughter who had the talent of Jackie Evancho, Would
            you get the best professional advice. Would you have your daughter turn down fame and fortune and change the current music scenery?. I think not.

          • Janey says:


            Beverly Sills’ father pulled her out of performing after a very few performances because he wanted her to study at age 12. Julie Andrews’ mother did the same when she was 11.

            In another genre, Marie Osmond turned down a large CD contract offered for her 10 year old son, whose voice was incredible.

            In Britain, the parents of Faryl Smith refused a contract with Syco because, although it probably guaranteed quicker and bigger fame, it also wouldn’t have allowed their daughter to stay in school, and would have required touring.

            Yes, I would turn down fame and fortune for my daughter because, in my opinion, that would be better to keep a healthy child and raise a well-adjusted human being.

            And regarding Yvie Burnett, I have now googled her. “One of the most eminent vocal coaches” -that’s just not correct. I bet even Burnett would take issue with that statement. She appears to be a teacher of a few musical theater singers. Very different thing. And she works for Simon Cowell’s talent shows.

            She may be a wonderful theater coach (which isn’t easy) and be doing good work with Jackie. But, she’s most certainly not one of the most eminent vocal coaches in the world.

          • Janey says:

            I have also never heard of an instructor who hides the fact that they’re working with a student. This is why I am surprised and skeptical of your Juilliard claim. I could not have less interest in posting on an Amazon forum.

  • Vance W says:

    Jackie Evancho is not wholesome??? Did you bother to look into her background or even watch single interview she has done? In three minutes you would understand how ridiculous that statement is.

    I suppose you believe a more appropriate repertoire for a 11 year old singer includes “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “London Bridge Is Falling Down”. I wonder, is that the type of music you preferred as a young violinist?

  • Drew Lewis says:

    Is there anyone else out there who would vote for a tax on verbiage in these columns? Or perhaps medication for verbal diarrhoea?

  • theonejrs says:

    Opera Snobbery is the reason I don’t like to go to the opera anymore because the last time I went in the US, was at the Met in NYC in Early 98. I had just seen a brilliant performance by Natalie Dessay as Olympia, in The Doll Song. I Cheered My lungs off! I happened to look off to the side and saw all of these people (Corpses?), and thay all had a look like someone was waving a smelly turd under their noses, showing their disapproval for my cheering. Hey! It was Dessay as Olympia! She was Brilliant! I Cheered!

    I saw Dessay two years later while working in Avignon France, at the orange Festival at Ville de orange (outdoors). We had rain and storms around us for the entire Opera, but never saw a drop. Lots of wind, but Dessay was even better than she had been at the Met! The French didn’t seem to mind my cheering at all, and the people there looked like they were alive and enjoying themselves, with no one giving me any disapproving looks!

    It’s hard to believe that Natalie is 35 here. She look about 8 years old as the Doll. Listen to the people cheering at the end! People are alive and happy! I hope to see Jackie do this piece, someday. She’s already showed us a bit of Coloratura, singing “Think of Me” when she was 9, and it was pretty darn good.

    • Galen Johnson says:

      You indeed may have been cheering Dessay at the Met, but you were showing selfish contempt for everybody else.

    • kitty says:

      Have you thoght that maybe people at the Met actually wanted to listen to Natalie Dessay and not the sound of your cheering, the former being a whole lot more pleasant?

      There is nothing wrong with cheering – after the aria is over and there is a pause. At other time, it’s disrespectful. Nothing to do with snobbism (please look up this word in the dictionary). The fact that I don’t like a person next to me shouting while I want to listen to music (after having bought a ticket) is not because I feel superior than the person next to me, it’s because I paid money to listen to music.

      But you clearly haven’t learned to be considered of others.

      For the record – I think Jackie has a fantastic voice. Not being a singer or a voice teacher I cannot say how it’ll affect her career. But I find it ridiculous how people overuse the word “snob” to refer to anybody who disagrees with them or objects to their rude behavior.

  • Drew Lewis says:

    Isn’t there a Mongolian saying about ’empty vessels making the most noise’?

  • theonejrs says:

    @Galen Johnson,

    I would love to know in what way I was showing selfish contempt for anyone! Is there some sort of rule I’ve broken, because I’ve never seen anything written about not cheering someone that gives a Brilliant performance. I fail to see how my yelling Bravo, Brilliant, Outstanding or any other complimentary words becomes selfish contempt. Please enlighten me.

    • Drew Lewis says:

      @theonejrs You showed selfishness by disregarding the feelings of those in the audience who value a ‘brilliant performance’ as a soul-enriching and spiritual experience, not a circus act. The vision of your yelling and hollering puts me in mind of those yahoos in the audience who destroy whatever mood the music has created by not allowing a split second between the last note of a performance and their screams of ‘Bravo’. Mahler 6 is a frequent victim of that sort of barbarism. Compare, for example, the 90 seconds of awed silence that followed Abbado’s Lucerne performance of Mahler 9, when no one in the audience felt any need or desire to break the spell cast by the music and the occasion.

      • theonejrs says:

        @Drew Lewis,

        So in other words I have no right to freedom of expression to show my feelings about a performance because it doesn’t conform to the Opera Snob’s handbook? Anything but your way is wrong? That seems to be a pretty myopic view. Sounds like the reality of Communism to me!

        Having grow up where as a child, you spoke to your maid in “Her” Kitchen, and she to you, “much” differently than anywhere else in the house. The eldest son, groomed since birth in all his Fathers image, to succeed him in his business with the same views, politics and policies as the Father. They used to call them “The Perfect Republicans!” Girls are relegated to Piano Lessons and such, although I did know two girls that chose very different instruments. One dearly Loved the sound of the Harp. She never did master the sound she loved to hear so much though. The other girl, played a Chinese “Erhu”, an ancient two string Violin, recently featured in Jackie’s PBS Special video of “Lovers”, from “The House of Flying Daggers.” I married one of them, much to the dislike of her Father and my Mother! There was no announcement in the Social Register of our marriage or of their two Granddaughter’s births! We discontinued parroting of the Parents viewpoints. My children and their children think for themselves and make their own decisions. My oldest loves Broadway Plays. the youngest, The Symphony and Ballet. They exorcise their rights to respond as they see fit!

        • kitty says:

          @theonejrs – I posted a reply to you on July 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm, but for some reason it appeared at the bottom of this page. Please look for it.

          As to the freedom of expression – you have a right to freedom of expression, but there is a difference between right and manners. I may have a right to shout in the middle of a movie, but it’ll probably not be good manners and my neighbors would probably not look at me nicely especially if my actions prevent them from hearing a dialog. Ditto in the middle of a play. Or opera – which is also a play set to music. Now, it’s customary to applaud AFTER a well-sung aria but not while the music is playing.

          In your case, your right to the “freedom of expression” interfered with somebody else’s right to enjoy the performance they paid money to see. It prevented them from listening to music. Maybe to you your shouts are more pleasant than the sound of music, but not to others.

  • Bill Philpott says:

    Jackie sings all sorts of songs as is her right. She will be more famous than any of her negative critics. You gotta learn to live with that. She has had millions of hits on her songs on youtube and comments about 99% positive to gushing. 1 platinum CD and another on the way.

    She is a beautiful angelic child and would thank you herself for your harsh unfounded criticism were she to be allowed to read it. She is that kind of person even though your words would cut her deep.

    I listen to Jackie sing every day. She is my music. I really feel for those who don’t see what I see. God bless you all.

  • Janey says:

    Your opinion may be a bit harsh, Norman. People like her voice and it’s not her fault that there is a market for her. I do believe she has a beautiful raw instrument.

    I simply wonder what she’s doing to herself for the future. But more than anything, I wonder what sort of cult she has inspired. I looked at her performance on America’s Got Talent and, oh my, the cultish comments from a clique of fans – like theonejrs fellow who can’t compose a concise argument above. If anyone dares suggest a potential vocal issue, Lord help them – the cult descends. This is not healthy for a child – no more healthy than singing Nessun Dorma and touring at age 11.

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    It’s a bit puzzling why Mr Lebrecht would be angry at Jackie Evancho. Isn’t the problem that Billboard evidently combines classical & classical crossover albums on the same chart? On iTunes, classical crossover is a sub-genre of classical. On Amazon, Jackie is considered vocal pop. Shouldn’t Mr Lebrecht be criticizing Billboard (& others who combine “classical crossover” & “classical”) instead of artists like Jackie?

    Rather than being angry at Jackie, true fans of opera & classical music should be THANKING her for bringing new fans to those genres. Because Jackie sings a FEW operatic arias, & many of the other artists who sing them are operatically trained, a great many Jackie fans have been introduced to classical music, especially opera. Lots of Jackie fans are also opera fans, & have helped introduce people to the genre. Jackie has literally helped opera singers sell CDs & tickets to their performances. They should be thanking, rather than criticizing, her.

    Normally one would think a child of 11 wouldn’t be able to convey powerful emotions, but Jackie consistently has significant percentages of her audiences in tears. They may not even know why, they just know that Jackie has a gift for emotional expression; she reaches in & touches their hearts. She typically gets standing ovations not after every performance, but after every song. Her parents don’t isolate her from difficult things in the world, but rather explain them, so she has become unusually deep emotionally & very compassionate about people less fortunate than she.

    On her self-produced 1st album, Prelude to a Dream, recorded when she was 9, Jackie sang about child abuse, murder, life after death, suicide, God & romantic love, among other things. She is well-grounded by her close family & religious beliefs, so she handled these difficult subjects very well. Expressing emotions like those in Puccini arias such as Nessun Dorma are “child’s play” (so to speak) for her, even trivial. Of course prima facie that sounds absurd. How can an 11 year old possibly have such facility with emotional expression (without going insane)? How can she express emotions she’s never experienced? Well, there she is, an extremely well-adjusted, intelligent, compassionate child who is simply a gifted prodigy. Combine that with her unusual voice, & like Mozart, she can’t be held back.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Please forgive me for using American spellings like “criticizing” when i should have said “criticising.” Your post times (UT etc) should have clued me in about this. Sorry.

    • Janey says:

      I remember being told that Andrea Bocelli would significantly increase the number of people listening to classical music, attending concerts and attending symphonies. No, it didn’t happen – because, in general those who listen to classical crossover don’t enjoy the stronger, more defined and pointed classical voices. There is nothing wrong with that, but it seems to be true, from past evidence with classical crossover singers and fans.

      The idea that classical music lovers would thank Jackie Evancho for singing Nessun Dorma and O Mio Babbino Caro – sung to great acclaim and notoriety by numerous other well known singers (including The Three Tenors and Sarah Brightman) is unbelievable, honestly. She is doing nothing new or different. She certainly isn’t more successful or well known that Pavarotti, or even Brightman. Let’s wait a few years and see what happens.

      And, let’s also be honest – she did not express the difficult emotions of Nessun Dorma – nowhere near. If she had, I would be very worried about her. If you think she did, please watch it sung in the opera by either Pavarotti or Domingo.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        OK, my bias is that i am NOT a Pavarotti fan, but no WAY did he ever express more emotion than Jackie. As you no doubt know, Puccini wrote the part of Calaf for a spinto (or dramatic) tenor, & Pavarotti, as a lyric tenor, couldn’t sing the part because it hurt his voice to try to sing over the heavier orchestration. So my preference will always be for Domingo or Mario del Monaco, because they actually sing it as part of the story. Here’s one of Plácido’s efforts:
        And here’s is one of del Monaco’s:
        Lots of people prefer Franco Corelli, but he “scoops” so much to find the correct pitch (JMHO) i can’t listen to it. If you’re going to be a singer, you do need to be able to carry a tune, after all. Maybe there are performances of his where he finds the correct pitch at the attack of the note & holds it, but i haven’t yet found one. Here’s one where ever other note seems to scoop, or be flat-out off key:

        So if you’re going to choose an “inferior” recital-type setting (with audio but no video) then THE definitive Nessun Dorma (JMHO) is by Jussi Björling:
        He was a lyric tenor, but his voice was so huge (perhaps like Caruso) he could sing spinto parts.
        When he was younger, José Carreras had a gorgeous voice:

        ALL these guys (except maybe Corelli) were significantly better than Pavarotti (JMHO), whose ego was as large as his stomach. In his recitals he usually just stands there, perhaps with a smile as he sings one of the “vinceròs” at the end. He was younger & better here, but even then, he seems to run out of breath (like Jackie might do, with her 11 year old lungs) at the end, something Björling wouldn’t do even on the “slow” version:

        If you only consider versions by females, obviously abstracted from the entire opera, then Jackie holds up EXTREMELY well (JMHO). Deanna Durbin, sung in English:
        It helps that it’s in a movie, where emotion is part of the scene. However, her diction is seemingly worse than Jackie’s; it’s just very difficult to understand the words.
        Of course there’s always Sarah Brightman, though here she’s already getting her wobbly vibrato, making it almost unlistenable (JMHO):

        Jackie gives a powerfully emotional version, & even at the tender age of 11, compares very favourably (or favorably here across the pond) in most ways to the adult women (again, JMHO):
        Not everybody experiences powerful emotions when they listen to (or see) her, but a lot of people do, as i said in my previous post. No, i don’t care that she transposes it to a different key, since it’s not part of the entire opera. Even Björling changed the key on some performances.

        Personally i have plenty of criticisms of Jackie’s singing, & have posted about them publicly. Her diction should improve, especially on the high notes, but this will happen as she grows. Her Italian, though better than many people’s, still needs work. Her chin waggle may be a sign of excess tension in the jaw, but voice teachers seem divided on this, as many say it’s not a problem in a child. She studiously avoids the things most likely to damage her voice, so she always sings with a mic; this may also change. Jackie’s strengths far outweigh her deficiencies, though.

        One last thing: it’s only anecdotal evidence, but MANY Jackie fans have posted about how they’ve become opera fans, & have purchased CDs by opera singers, directly as a result of her. I am only one of them.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          Yes, i’m replying to my own post.
          Upon re-reading it, perhaps i was a bit too hard on the late Luciano. Requiescat in pace, after all. Pavarotti was a very good tenor, but even he said a voice like his own comes along every 10 years, while a voice like Björling’s comes along every 100 (some even say 1000!) years, acknowledging how fantastic Björling really was.
          Sorry, Luciano. You were also pretty good. Requiescas in pace.

      • Ehkzu says:

        Janey, speaking as a classical music fan who doesn’t listen much to classical crossover–except for Jackie Evancho–I have to agree that Jackie isn’t going to get more people to listen to, say, “Sacre du Printemps,” or “Boris Godunov.” Most people aren’t equipped to enjoy complex, challenging music, and I don’t think anyone can change that.

        What Jackie will do–has already done, in fact–is increase the market for classical crossover, which is classical music to a certain degree.

        The fact is that there is not bright line demarcating pop music from classical, and Jackie’s “Dream with me” album exemplifies that, including everything from pure pop music–albeit treated classically–to pure classical music (such as Handel’s “Ombra mai fu” sung 100% as classical music.

        Jackie will certainly increase popular appreciation for the most accessible classical music. Whether that increases symphony concert receipts, I don’t know. I’d guess not much. But even if she helps the classical world only a few percentage points in sales/attendance, a la Bocelli, surely that’s to be applauded.

        As I said, in general I far prefer the greater subtlety/intensity of real classical music. My spouse loves classical crossover–especially Josh Groban and Andrea Bocellli and Charlotte Church–so I’ve heard my share, but it didn’t make me a CC fan until Jackie came along. And even now I’m not really a CC fan except when Jackie sings it.

        Which brings me to my central point: we all have genre preferences, and preference within a genre. For example, in classical music I’ve seen that people tend to favor the Romantic era–Beethoven through I suppose Gershwin and suchlike; or Baroque and early music plus modern, challenging stuff, with Bach being the cynosure.

        Yet there are artists whose artistry is so transcendent that it attracts people from other genres. I can tell you from participation in Jackie fan forums that this is spectacularly the case with her. It’s no surprise that CC fans like her. But many fans report coming from classical, country, hard rock, even no music at all aside from her. It’s a little startling to experience the diversity of fans’ self-reporting.

        Where we part ways is when you say she’s doing nothing “new or different” when she sings old warhorses like “O mio babbino caro” or “Nessun dorma.” I’ve listened to many renditions of these songs by both CC and by mainstream classical artists, and I perceive something distinctly “new and different” coming from her. I’m sure you’ll be tempted to dismiss this assertion as coming from someone who doesn’t know any better. But I’ll at least claim to having fairly honed classical sensibilities.

        There’s a way to test this, though it’s becoming harder to do with every passing day–at least here in the States. I’ve been playing tracks of hers for people who haven’t heard her or even of her–playing just audio tracks, without any hint of what she looks like. The most typical reaction I get is astonishment that someone with a voice this beautiful and such a sophisticated command of her art would be unknown to the listener. And when asked to physically describe the singers, they generally talk about a woman in her 20s or 30s, tall and bit heavyset.

        I invite you to try this experiment. Should be easy in the UK where she’s still relatively unknown. You might be surprised. And you might be tempted to revisit those tracks and try not to think “11 year old girl” as you’re listening–but just judge her as I do, without regard to her age (I’m not a fan of child singers per se, so it’s easy for me. I’ve always judged her by the same standards I use for anyone else).

        Lastly, when you say “she did not express the difficult emotions of Nessun Dorma,” you are correct within the framework of the opera. However, she isn’t singing it in the framework of the opera, but as a standalone concert piece.

        Now some people expect all arias to be sung “in character” even when done in concert. Sounds like you do. But if so I think you’re missing something valuable: the option of reinterpreting a piece when done in concert.

        In the case of “Nessun dorma,” Jackie transforms it from a paean by a lovestruck prince to a man-hating sociopathic princess to a powerful expression of longing coupled with an almost Nietzschean expression of the will to overcome great obstacles to achieve what one is longing for.

        I find this satisfying. Many people–possibly including Puccini–have had problems with “Turandot”‘s libretto, actually, finding it an awkward blending of Puccini’s verisimo style with the fantastical story of “Turndot.” Jackie strips away the particulars of the plotting expressed in the song, and lets us apply the composers glorious music to a more universalized content.

        And then, after moulting concerns that would only be truly relevant if she were trying to perform Prince Calaf’s role in a performance of the opera. That would be, um, interesting, but it’s not what Jackie’s trying to do.

  • Rich Adams says:

    Evancho has much more to gain from listening to critique than she does from listening to endless praise. This is true for everybody, like it or not. Another truth is that not everybody is going to enjoy Evancho’s music, and it appears that you haven’t accepted that yet, either. I hope you aren’t a fair representation of her fan base.

    • Ehkzu says:

      Adams, “Evancho” hears neither the praise of her fans nor the criticisms of her detractors nor anything in between. She is not allowed access to the Internet. What she does hear is critiques from Yvie Burnett, one of the world’s most eminent vocal coaches (who comes from Scotsland BTW), people she consults with at Julliard, her otolaryngolotist, her producers, her manager, and her parents, who have stated repeatedly and credibly that they consider one of their most critical tasks is to raise “Evancho” as a normal human being, not some narcissistic diva. Her mother, Lisa, who also coaches her, has stated that she is probably
      “Evancho””s harshest musical critic as well as career critic, often preventing “Evancho” from performing as much as she’d like.

      This balanced approach appears to be working. In a recent interview “Evancho” said she had no patience with “that stuck-up thing”–that she preferred to be nice to people. This is borne out by her many interviews, in which she has been unfailingly diplomatic.

      As for the fanaticism of her fan base…isn’t the fan base of any public figure–athlete, artistic performer, politician–more than a little enthusiastic for the object of their admiration, and inclined to rise vigorously to their defense?

      I will admit that there may be an extra edge to “Evancho”‘s fan base, due to her exemplary personal conduct and the more or less inspirational (albeit nondenominational) character of her music. Thus, unlike so many politicians, athletes and performers, her artistic behavior is consonant with her personal behavior.

      Note that by “inspirational” I’m talking less about a Joan of Arc than of an exemplar of more humble virtues. Her producer has stated that she is a total professional in the studio–invariably well prepared, taking direction well, nailing every take, and never bringing personal issues to work. That is, in all respects she’s the “undiva.”

      This extends to her personal life. The school she attends voted her “most modest” two years ago. Her school friends talk about how nice she is to everybody–not just certain friends.

      Which brings me to your other point–that her fans seem unable to accept the fact that not everyone’s going to be gaga–so to speak–about her music.

      Of course it’s true that personal conduct, no matter how exemplary, cannot compensate for shortcomings as a performer. Nor can age. No matter how cute a child is, when he or she opens their mouth, all bets are off in my book. Personally I’m not a particular fan of child performers. I judge who I listen to all by the same standard.

      And it’s also true that classical crossover isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a genre that’s neither fish nor fowl–too pop-y for serious classical music people, too classical-y for avid pop music people. Here again, I sympathize. My spouse is a big fan of CC–particularly Bocelli, Gorban, and Church. I don’t dislike the selections she plays, and some are quite good IMO, but in general I prefer serious classical music and serious (so to speak) pop music. Along with various other genres, such as shakuhachi solos and gamelan.

      I make an exception for “Evancho,” because in her art I find the intensity that for me is less present in other CC performers; also because when she does classical music–“Ombra mai fu” comes to mind–I prefer her tone and overall voice production/interpretation to that of most opera singers, who IMO often overpower the material in the more intimate setting of a concert, singing amplified.

      But I can understand someone who loves classical music being offput by an album that leads off with the theme song from a children’s cartoon (“When you wish upon a star”). It’s certainly a long ways from, say, “Nur die nacht” from “Mahagonny.”

      Where “Evancho”‘s fans part ways is when some detractors’ objections are factually incorrect or prejudicial. This includes claims that she’s lip-synching or being Auto-tuned, that “children shouldn’t be singing ‘Nessun dorma,” that she’s destroying her voice, that her parents are exploiting her, and other such statements that have all been disproven. If someone just doesn’t like classical crossover and feels disinclined to make an exception for her, that’s different.

      The saddest–for her fans–is when someone’s comments reveal that they’re hearing her through the filter of their stereotypes about “child singers” or suchlike. This is what bias does to one’s perceptions, as anyone who has suffered categorical discrimination–as I have, for example–can attest.

    • Angel says:


      The only constructive criticism she will receive directly is from her Father/Mother and the professionals working with her.
      Jackie’s is the youngest person ever to have Platinum record in America, the advice came from the persons previously mentioned . A young child are very sensitive to criticism, especially from this blog.

      Would you subject this criticism to your daughter, if she was Jackie Evancho?
      I think not.

      • Rich Adams says:

        No, I would not subject my daughter to this criticism, because if this were my daughter she would be in study, rather than chasing the spotlight, regardless of how talented she were. By study, I mean in addition to regular public education. I mean study, as in studying music theory, music history, composition, and things like that. I would allow her to perform occasionally, if that made her happy, but in small venues outside of show business. Aside from those rare occasions, she would be learning.

        Your reference to her platinum album is a bit hollow. Coming off of a successful television run and a successful tour, a platinum album wasn’t very difficult to reach when it was released during the Christmas holiday shopping season. How did her next album do? When you list all the reasons why it didn’t go platinum in a matter of weeks like the first album did, you’ll understand my point. You won’t like it, but you’ll understand it.

  • kitty says:

    There is nothing wrong in cheering someone give a brilliant performance – at the right time and in a way that doesn’t interfere with other’s ability to enjoy the performance.

    Also, an opera has a story. If someone is emotionally involved with the story, the sound of someone yelling and screeming at the moment distracts and interferes with their involvement into the story. Having said that, as Met-goer I’ve not seen anybody upset if someone applauds after an aria is over. At this time, the composer makes a brief pause and the audience cheers if the performance was indeed great. But if the people didn’t like your cheering it means that you clapped and cheered not after the aria but during it, or maybe between parts of the same aria e.g. a slower part of an aria and the quicker cabaletta. At this point, your clapping interferes with the ability of your neighbors to listen to music.

    There are appropriate places to clap in classical music and there is time to be silent. You con’t clap between movements of a sonata or a symphony; you don’t clap between songs in a cycle in a recital. Opera is actually less strict as it is customary to clap after an aria and sometimes if there is a lot of cheering, the singer may even repeat it. But not between the parts of the aria or while music is playing.

    • theonejrs says:

      Dear kitty,

      Thank you for putting all of this in the proper perspective.

      I’ve never made a sound while the performance is going on or there is music still playing, I’m not a rude person. I’ve never jumped up and started cheering until after the applause had started in earnest! It would have been very poor manners to do so. I also understand Ethereal musical experiences, where the performance was so great, the Audience sat in stunned silence. For me, no mere noise is going to distract that great feeling! It’s one of those magical moments that happens so rarely, where everything just comes together to make a truly great performance. I’ve been blessed twice now with Dessay as Olympia! Nothing could have caused me to break the spell cast by the music and the moment. The building could have fallen down and I wouldn’t have known it until that spell had worn off!

      To my mind, I have a huge advantage over the average Opera Fan, in that my musical tastes are very broad. From Rock to Bach, as the joke goes. I love great music, no matter what the source. Splitting my work time between the US and Europe for 24 years enabled me to visit most of the great Opera Houses of Europe. You would be surprised at how humbled you can feel, just being there and realizing the history you’re standing in the middle of.

      I retired from singing after 47 years, 10 years ago. My voice cracked for the one and only time at the very end of Musetta’s Waltz. I nailed the high note and it cracked! Within two months my voice was completely shot. I still play both Piano and Organ, so I don’t miss singing that much. My kids tease me about finally hitting puberty! 🙂 I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t playing the Piano. My parents told me I was two, but I know I started lessons at 4. I guess you could say that I’ve always loved music.

      • kitty says:

        If you’ve not made a sound while a music was playing, I don’t see why would anybody object. I am a regular Met-goer, and I have seen different degrees of audience reaction. Hey, the productions of Tosca and La Sonnambula at the Met elicited very loud albeit very negative reaction.

        As I haven’t been to the same performance you were I have no way of judging other people’s reaction to your chearing; maybe you had someone particularly proper near you or maybe they were just curious.

        In terms of comparing to Europe, maybe the US audience is quieter. But… there is another side here: a very vocal audience is usually vocal in expressing both admiration and disapproval. Search you tube for the “Operatic disasters” video and check out the German audience reaction to a poor singer who missed a high note. Audience participation goes both ways. While the booing at the Met is currently becoming commonplace it’s usually still limited to the stage directors and not musicians.

  • Drew Lewis says:

    @theonejrs Others may be able to discern a spark of lucidity in your latest effusion. I cannot. And, no, you do not have the freedom to distort my comment into ‘other words’. My point was about showing common courtesy and good manners, not about ‘freedom of expression’.

  • Suzanne says:

    Re. Yvie Burnett: She is best known for her work with Simon Cowell on “The X-Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent”. Big surprise there! The rest of her qualifications are equally unimpressive and nowhere near those of teachers at the best conservatories/
    And just because the child has “been seeing a doctor who routinely treats kids at Julliard” does not mean that she attends or has been accepted at Julliard or any other school of similar reputation. This is a case where “two degrees of separation” means absolutely nothing. My MD also teaches at a major medical school, so does that make me a medical student?!!
    It’s just better to agree to disagree on the issue of this youngster and let her have her moment in the sun at the expense of those who buy into it and in a year or two , all will be forgotten….

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Actually, Jackie’s otolaryngologist practices in the Pittsburgh area near her home. She has another vocal advisor at Juilliard, unconnected to her otolaryngologist.

      You seem certain about how Jackie will be forgotten a year or two in the future, a pretty strong opinion. Personally, i subscribe to Yogi Berra’s dictum that predictions are difficult, especially when you’re talking about the future.

      Opinions, however, can be well-informed or not-so-well-informed. There are very strong medical & scientific arguments that suggest Jackie is risking her long-term vocal health considerably less than the average child singer. Science allows us to make more accurate predictions about the future. Maybe if you reviewed the evidence you might have a more informed opinion.

    • Ehkzu says:

      Suzanne, beware of the logical fallacy known as the “saltus naturae”–a leap over a chasm of logic. In this case it’s your assumption that anyone said Ms. Evancho was a student at Juilliard. No one has said any such thing. What people have said is that Julliard staff are involved in ensuring the long-term safety of her instrument–no more, no less.

      The same goes for Yvie Burnett–her job with Ms. Evancho is to help ensure that she isn’t doing anything that might damage her voice, and to help warm her up before performances, and to generally prepare for working onstage. Musically Ms. Evancho is almost entirely self-taught.

      Ms. Burnett’s bona fides are excellent for such tasks, whatever you might think of her as regards providing musical training. She has provided some assistance in ensuring that Ms. Evancho’s high range gets developed properly. However, I know of no voice experts who think any 11 year old should start full-on operatic training. IF Ms. Evancho decides to go in that direction, she can do that in the future. For the moment she’s committed to singing in the classical crossover genre, for which her present voice is admirably suited.

      I should add, however, that Ms. Burnett started in music as an operatic mezzo soprano, singing with the Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera North, De Nederlandse Opera and Opera De Nantes. So it’s not like she isn’t familiar with that world.

      You end your comment with a casual dismissal of Ms. Evancho now and in the future–implying that she’s nothing more than a novelty act, to be squeezed in between the dancing dogs and the fire-eaters in vaudevillian venues.

      Yet she has been acclaimed by music professionals like Claudia Benack, Assistant Professor of Musical Theater at Carnegie Mellon University. Professor Benack said that Ms. Evancho “has an unusually adult feel for the repertoire…I think she’s very good.”

      Or take Christopher Hahn, General Director of the Pittsburgh Opera (which serves a metro area of about 2.3 million people): He called her performance of “O mio babbino caro” “spellbinding…It’s very unusual for a young child to have a voice that sounded so rich and developed.” And of her “Pie Jesu,” he said “”Her phrasing was lovely, which she needed for that piece.”

      So I must assume that you have a profound understanding of classical music and of voice that greatly exceeds that of mere music professors and opera company directors. I’d love to know how these people have made such grave professional misjudgments. Do set them straight.

    • Angel says:


      Which Vocal professionals would you advise for Jackie. Also please site a case where a young child has ruined her voice in the latter years. Charlotte Church still sings pop and has no vocal related injuries. She is wealthy and takes care of her kids Unfortunately she had rebellious period which involved smoking.

      Sony/Syco is a major recording company and the can take your advice in consideration. They obvious have the assets to hire professionals such as Yvie Burnett. Simon Cowell is an experienced Music Executive, don’t underestimate his ability to due diligence. He can hire a professionals for a Musical Conservatory like Julliard. Lisa Evancho stated on another blog the do consult on a regulary basis.

      I presume just like Janey, you would not subject this to your daughter for a chance for stardom. Even if a major record label take all medical/professional precautions. If you and Janey had this attitude who would never have seen stars such as Shirley Temple, Leann Rhimes, Michael Jackson, Julie Andrews, Beverly Still,
      Charlotte Church.

      I can site young major stars such as (Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, Deanna Durbin & Michael Jackson) who never attended a Major Conservatory. Even the greatest Popular Star Elvis Presley never attended a major
      conservatory. Elvis had enormous talent which was self-taught just like Jackie

      By the way please state your musical credentials

  • Drew Lewis says:


    There are music professors and music professors. Some are more ‘mere’ than others! The same goes for opera company directors. Not all are equally equipped with the capacity or inclination to voice objective judgements on fledgling performers.

    I hope that the absence of a sarcastic closing snarl does not disqualify this comment from publication.

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Jackie’s mother released the name of her Juilliard coach today. She’s Lorraine Nubar, the head of Juilliard’s Pre-College Division of singing.

    • Angel says:


      I hope this will alleviate some of your concerns will Jackie’s Vocal advise:

      HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:
      July 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      Jackie’s mother released the name of her Juilliard coach today. She’s Lorraine Nubar, the head of Juilliard’s Pre-College Division of singing.

      Her is her link to Julliard Website:…04_pcopera.php

      Charlotte Church is the most recent comparable singer to Jackie though she may have more range
      Charlotte Church still sings pop and has no vocal related injuries. She is wealthy and takes care of her kids Unfortunately she had rebellious period which involved smoking.

      Please site a case of comparable talent of Jackie Evancho that had vocal issues in there latter years.

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Here’s a quote from Lorraine Nubar:
    “We look for the potential,” Nubar explains. “Some kids have a wonderful natural instrument, clear musical instincts, personality and expressivity, even if they have never heard any of the great singers. At the center of it all is this mysterious thing called ‘talent.’”

    It would be quite logical to infer that Ms Nubar believes Jackie has actual talent, that she’s not a novelty or someone who will be forgotten in a year or two. She keeps her program very small so students can get careful individual attention. She would not likely waste her time on an untalented, flash-in-the-pan novelty child.

    Would she qualify as a “mere” music professor?

  • Charles Hoff says:

    At first read, this short masterpiece of commentary struck me as just a cheap-shot hit-piece on a marvelous young singer. But it is not. It is much more. Being the clever writer that Mr. Lebrecht is, he chose to adopt an ironic style while masquerading as a dismissive curmudgeon, and (as can be seen by the sheer number and volume of comments on this article), has successfully rattled the cages of a number of readers that he had no idea viewed his opinions. Let’s break the article down sentence by sentence:
    America’s top-selling classical artist is… an 11 year-old child
    What an amazing accomplishment to point-out, and truly an indicator that perhaps the listening and buying public is ready for something other than four-letter words spouted to the noise of a pounded garbage can, or bouncing booties or cleavage serving to distract the viewer from the lip-synched and auto-tuned drivel recorded to the beat of the same drum-machine software that runs 24/7 on a central server hidden somewhere in the bowels of the current pop-music industry.

    July 5, 2011 By Norman Lebrecht

    Self-described prolific and cultural commentator (sic) and an award winning novelist.


    Here we have a real eye-opener! 58 (now 59) comments on this one little article compared to a total of 92 on the fifty articles post and prior (an average of 1.84 comments!). No wonder the author felt a need to play the provocateur! Is anyone reading? Do they care? They do, after al!!!

    Take a look at the Billboard classical charts if you want a lesson in contemporary realities. At number one, and number six as well, is Jackie Evancho,

    There is a multiple message there. The listenable output of the classical music industry has been mired in the doctrine: “Change thee not one note or key lest lightning strike thee”. Great music has become boring and repetitive. Marvelous musicians are pounding-out the same notes day-in and day-out. And many classical (and perhaps a higher percentage of opera) singers are hobbled by same, as well as being limited by the need to follow “accepted” technique. The same harsh loudness (necessitated by the need to “sing to the back wall” or “cut over the orchestra”), and exaggerated vibrato (that makes the listener’s head wobble in synch) has turned-off a large number of the potential listening audience…most of whom don’t feel that having one’s ears bleed a necessary rite-of-passage in enjoying music. My opinion, of course. But my opinion is as important as anyone else’s…perhaps even more since I am one of the buying/listening public.

    a variety kid who came second in America’s Got Talent

    Provocative, to be sure. The circumstances of Jackie Evanco’s second-place finish on America’s Got Talent will never be truly known. One thing that is certain is that she could not be the “headliner” needed for the 25 city AGT tour since her appearances were limited (by her parents) to ten of the shows. And no matter what the public vote-count is, the final decision of who the winner will be is in the hands of the producers.

    and meets all the key criteria in Simon Cowell’s shlock box.
    Here we are again, revisiting “Opposites Day”. 15 seconds after Jackie began singing “O Mio Babbino Caro”, she had already blasted-off of the stage, and beyond the confines of America’s Got Talent – much as Susan Boyle did on Britain’s Got Talent (she came-in second as well). And Jackie was also subsequently signed by SYCO/Sony. “Schlock-box”? Hardly. Susan Boyle, while initially having a bit of trouble adjusting to her new place of adoration and success (after a life of ridicule and subservience), has proven to be a class-act, and a commercial success. And Simon has treated her well. Jackie is just beginning, and Simon has truly had little direct input on her career.

    14-time Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/arranger/musician David Foster crossed difficult contract lines to dedicate the last six months to finding-out just what Jackie is capable of, and has staked his substantial reputation on the fact that she is the real-deal. When he introduced Jackie at Muhammad Ali’s CelebrityFightNight Parkinson’s Disease charity function last March, he remarked that the wanted to go back and re-record the early tracks of “Dream With Me” because (and though very satisfied then), she has improved so much in her technique that the tracks would be that much better. I was there to witness that, and have it recorded on my camera. David Foster’s made some mistakes in the past, but if he was playing baseball, he’d be the all-time most valuable player, and in the hall of fame.

    David featured Jackie in his Emmy-nominated “Hitman Returns” concert at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, took her to perform at his own charity gala in Toronto (Warren Buffett and Muhammad Ali in attendance), where she was also featured in the Canadian Tenors Christmas special on CBC. Subsequently he took her with his “Hitman” show to a private function at Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Resort in Florida. After that, she was featured at the before-mentioned CelebrityFightNight, which was attended by a Who’s Who of Hollywood, music industry, and general industry philanthropists…fully a third of which were reaching for tissues while giving Jackie standing ovations after each of her three songs. It wasn’t because they were upset.

    Simon Cowell only recently saw Jackie perform personally when she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. His comment afterward was that he wished that she could be there to sing every week.

    NPR (National Public Radio) has seen fit to feature Jackie on their “All Things Considered” program, as well as “Tiny Desk Concerts” where she sang “Ombra Mai Fu”, “Lovers” (from House of Flying Daggers), and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel”, accompanied by Julliard/MetOpera accompanist Michael Baitzer on keyboard. Just Jackie, Mr. Baitzer, a microphone, and a recorder in NPR’s music office.

    PBS (Public Broadcasting System) affiliate stations all over the U.S. recently rested their June fund-raising campaign on Jackie’s little shoulders by showing her solo “Dream With Me” concert (recorded at the John and Mabel Ringling Art Museum in Sarasota, Florida), and offering a CD or DVD as a premium. When I called my local station about a delivery matter, the person I talked to was ecstatic over the positive ($$$) response her concert had provided them.

    She is small and cute, with a voice that sounds freakishly adult.

    Undeniably. She’s about 65 pounds, and 4 1/2 ft. tall. If one thinks that golden blonde hair, bright clear blue eyes, cover-girl complexion, and a disarming, genuine smile are cute then that fits as well.

    “Freakishly”. Good choice for a knee-jerk reaction! But she doesn’t sound like any adult that I have ever heard. Or child. She sounds like Jackie Evancho, and no one else. She has a buttery-smooth delivery devoid of any harshness that is a treat to the ears, IMNSHO.

    It lacks anything that might be mistaken for expression or character and occasionally veers off the note,

    This is where I have to stop and laugh. Good one, there! The first thing that I noticed about Jackie is her ability to climb inside of a song (she is small, after all), and find every bit of emotion and feeling available, and deliver it better than anyone I have ever heard. It’s the ingredient that has audience after audience well-up, if not outright streaming tears as they watch and listen. I’ve seen her perform live four times, and it happens without fail. I’m hoping that Kleenex® will market a Jackie-version tissue pack, because they will sell.

    Her facial and body expressions while she’s singing represent her total immersion in the music, and the transformation back to an eleven-year-old when she’s finished is telling, remarkable, and genuine. She is a consummate storyteller who becomes a part of that story, and smiles when she’s done.

    I have heard Jackie run out of air a couple of times, and have her voice irritated by freezing-cold air (National Christmas Tree Lighting, parade in Pittsburgh), and miss a high-note once when she sang the National Anthem a-cappella at the Winter Classic last January. She started-out one full note higher than she had rehearsed because she couldn’t hear the stage monitor cue over the raucous crowd cheering. That’s the only time. Jackie has perfect relative-pitch.

    but it’s a variety act, not an opera audition.

    Jackie is a classical-crossover singer, who sings everything from opera arias, non-opera classical pieces, to Broadway and pop music. She’s never claimed to be an opera singer. Others keep mistakenly labeling her that, and perhaps someday she might be. I hope not.

    Eight million viewers and President Obama love it. Here‘s a Youtube sample.

    It’s interesting that the video chosen as an example of her singing was a christmas carol from her platinum-selling EP sung on an isolated outdoor stage on a freezing night. But she did pretty good, and yes, President Obama loved it. A better one would have been her singing Nessum Dorma at the Boca Raton Festival Of the Arts, where she got a standing ovation from the orchestra as well as the crowd, and the conductor, Constantine Kitsopoulos offered to guest-conduct her summer concert tour. Oh yes, the “Young Stars of the Metropolitan Opera” were in the same program.

    “After a debut hit with O Holy Night, Jackie’s now writing her own.”

    She is a writer, and has written poetry, stories, and song lyrics. David Foster had her write some thoughts down, and he, Linda Jacobsen, and Jackie co-wrote “Dream With Me”. David has also mentioned that Jackie has written lyrics for 50 or so songs. All in good time.

    Have we been here before?

    Nope. Jackie Evancho is unique. And she occupies her own spot on the bell-shaped curve. This is frustrating to the doctrinaires and parochials who speak from their own ponds of individual experience, and insist that she must conform, or nothing but disaster awaits.

    Do I see a Charlotte Church in the making?

    Again, nope! Jackie is her own person. She comes from a strong, close-knit and loving family who considers her physical and mental well-being paramount to any pursuit of monetary gain. At lease one of her parents, and one of her three siblings accompany her to every concert, recording session, or personal appearance. Not in any way a Charlotte Church.

    This is a mockery of classical music. 

    More provocation! No need to stop now, I guess. David Foster states that Jackie is completely the professional in the studio, as well as on the stage. She nails herself to the music, and does every take usable. Music is her dream, and she takes every performance just as seriously, whether on stage, or on a television studio set. She is not a child singer. She is a singer who happens to be a child.

    So is the rest of the chart. Nothing classical about it

    Yes. Except for one shining example, who will keep shining for years to come.

    Can’t someone sue Billboard for misrepresentation?

    Of course! It’s the U.S., where there are more attorneys per person than anywhere else in the world. We thrive on litigation. But Billboard its own difficulties digesting the Evancho phenomenon. “Dream With Me” debuted #2, just behind Eminem on the billboard 200. The second time she’s been in the top five. WTF?

    It’s just that something very right has dropped into the midst of a very confusing, turmoil-filled industry, and world in general.

    So, my congratulations, Mr. Lebrecht, on your little ruse! I hope you’re not mad that I have exposed you as a fan of Jackie’s. Just put your “Dream With Me” CD on at a comfortable level, sit back in your recliner and close your eyes. The serenity will push all the bad thoughts away.

    • kitty says:

      “Great music has become boring and repetitive. Marvelous musicians are pounding-out the same notes day-in and day-out. And many classical (and perhaps a higher percentage of opera) singers are hobbled by same, as well as being limited by the need to follow “accepted” technique. The same harsh loudness (necessitated by the need to “sing to the back wall” or “cut over the orchestra”), and exaggerated vibrato (that makes the listener’s head wobble in synch) has turned-off a large number of the potential listening audience…”

      1. Great music has not and will NEVER become “boring and repetitive”. While artists don’t re-write the works of geniuses and don’t add notes to that just to show their “indivuduality” when they are nowhere near the level of the genius of the original composer, they do interpret the music differently with variations in tempo, volume, phrasing. If you aren’t capable of understanding classical music doesn’t mean other people aren’t. You have no clue if the majority of people don’t like opera or simply doesn’t know opera. I’d bet money on the latter.

      2. If people find classical music “boring and repetitive” and are put off by the sound of operatic voices that how do you explain the success even very flawed (but still operatic-sounding) singers have had on tv talent shows. Barbara Padilla who was a runner-up last year may have had some issues with her technique her voice still had a very operatic sound, and her vibrato was actually bigger than that of successful opera singers – one of the flaws with her technique. The fact that any not-particularly-good performance of Nessun Dorma or O mio babbino caro causes people to tear up or gives them goosebumps shows the ability of classical music to touch the audience.

      3. You complain about opera singers’ vibrato when the vibrato of those “operatic” contestants on tv talent shows that leave so many people in the audience teary-eyed are far larger yet people don’t seem to mind it because they are touched by the beauty of the music itself.

      4. When you talk about loudness you show your complete ignorance of opera. As you clearly have never been to opera, how can you talk about something you don’t know and don’t understand?

      • Charles Hoff says:

        Thank-you for your kind and thoughtful response. Your literal (may I write “knee-jerk”) take on my commentary was sadly predictable. The hyperbole went straight over your head. You’ve even made some assertions about me without knowing me or anything about me – though I didn’t really leave any real clues. Only your imagination(?) filled-in your blank spots.
        Shall we now step carefully through and discuss your page droppings? Watch out for the ones that haven’t yet dried.

        1. Great music has not and will NEVER become “boring and repetitive”.
        Yeah, I’ll concede that I wrote that raise a little hair. I don’t agree, either. I love great music performed well. Sometimes it’s not. But your following comment is puzzling.

        Tell me, how do you personally recognize genius? How do you recognize that an artist just may have or exceed the level of “genius” that an original composer may have had, or perhaps exceed the musicianship of the rest of the musicians in an orchestra (or singers in a company) who have all been competently performing their craft for years or decades? Is it the years one gets credit for, or is it something else? Are there rules that one must follow? If so, what are they?

        What is it that separates an Itzhak Perlman from the Concertmaster, or a Yo-Yo Ma from the outside seat of the violoncellos? Did they practice more? Did they pay someone off? What is it that put a young Placido Domingo singing lead roles at age 22 over more seasoned tenors? Or Anna Netrebko at the same age, while there were certainly many more seasoned and capable sopranos? I could continue with examples, but it’s not necessary. It’s because they each had something special. Something perhaps undefinable that made their playing or singing more attractive, pleasing, or provocative in some way over the others. That’s the way I describe genius. What’s your definition? What are your rules for when that genius is recognized? Oh, and you may now have a hint that I have at least a superficial knowledge of classical music.

        As far as a clue whether the majority of people don’t like opera, or simply doesn’t know opera: II’s time to wake-up lady. The train is at the last station. You have to get off now. And you’d be throwing your money away if you bet.

        2. I don’t explain the “success even very flawed (but still operatic-sounding) singers have had on tv talent shows”. I don’t watch TV talent shows to find classical or operatic-sounding singers. Do you?

        I don’t watch TV talent shows at all except by accident…by tuning in early in anticipation of the show following in one case. I have only heard of two TV talent show operatic-sounding singer successes: Paul Potts, and Jackie Evancho, the latter of which was the result of the afore-mentioned accident. Paul Potts, as I understand it, had already performed in a number of amateur opera company productions for ten years before his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. Of course, Jackie had only been singing for some two years prior to her appearance on America’s Got Talent.

        I knew nothing of Barbara Padilla until just now, and just viewed her quarter-final rendition of Con Te Partirò, and found it quite unlistenable. Being off-key just added to it. I did re-watch Jackie Evancho’s 2nd semi-final performance, and she started-out shaky, but finished strong…and always on-key. Her performance in the finals with Sarah Brightman was much stronger. The seasoned pro was outshone. But then I’m certain that you don’t consider Sarah Brightman a legitimate singer anyway. Perhaps you’ll be seeing that performance on AGT soon.

        As far as not -particularly-good performances of “Nessun Dorma” or “O Mio Babbino Caro” causing teary-audiences, I don’t know about that either. I have viewed, been told by personal friends who attended, and have been to performances of Jackie Evancho performing “Nessun Dorma” and “O Mio Babbino Caro” where the audience was teary-eyed and giving standing ovations. Again, the most telling of which for me was the CelebrityFightNight charity affair I attended last March 15th, where Jackie sang “When You Wish Upon A Star”, which got a standing ovation from the celebrity crowd, “All I Ask Of You” (where the production company cameras showed Reba McEntire in tears on the iMag screens), and which also got a standing ovation, and then “O Mio Babbino Caro” (only because it’s one of David Foster’s favorites), which brought the house down. Kelly Clarkson had to follow Jackie, and as soon as she got to a microphone said “Oh…My…God. I hate following that little girl. She…is…GOOD!” Of course, what does Kelly Clarkson know about what’s good and what’s not? As far as the audience reaction goes, it wasn’t just the classical music that brought tears and cheers. It was the vehicle and the delivery of the classical music that brought the tears. No one cried after Kelly finished. There was polite applause. David Foster rescued her by having all of the women in the audience come up on stage to dance and sing together as they repeated Kelly’s number. But I digress.

        3. Your statement doesn’t make any sense. The only TV show “operatic” contestant that I have personal experience with the audience tearing-up is Jackie Evancho. The only other two singers who have made me tear-up from the beauty of their singing is Sissel Kyrkjebø, and my own daughter, who is a soprano, and in the Applied Music Program (an auditioned-for special program) at her college. She’s been singing since age 7, and I have been an involved choir-dad at all of her schools for fourteen years (that’s another clue that I might just have a modicum of musical knowledge). Do you have personal knowledge of other TV show contestants causing an upwelling of tears of emotion and joy from the audience?

        I do complain about most female opera singer’s vibrato, as well as their “correct technique” singing voices. I’m much more tolerant of male operatic voices. But most female opera singers are difficult for me to listen to. The vocal qualities needed to “cut across the orchestra”, as well as the seemingly-accepted exaggerated depth and frequency of the vibrato of many of the singers in my experience is just not pleasing to my ears, though some, like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, have an additional quality that makes it enjoyable. She has great control, nuance, and a smoothness to her voice. I did get to see her in recital in about 1992 in San Francisco, where curiously, the songs I remember besides “O Mio Babbino Caro” and a piece from “La Rondine” are “I Could Have Danced All Night”, and “Climb Every Mountain”. The next time I saw Te Kanawa was on the Andrew Lloyd-Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration singing “The Heart Is Slow to Learn”. I really liked her then.

        4. No. When I talk about loudness, I talk about it not pleasing my ears. That has nothing to do with my “ignorance of opera” – another gross assumption on your part, and truly a disservice to yourself.

        I understand that opera dates from around the early 1700’s in Italy, and spread across the continent fairly rapidly. From that time until the mid-20th century, electronic reinforcement was not an option. Being a provider of audio equipment for corporate special events and concerts, I’m acutely aware of that. This did bring about a revolution in acoustic engineering, but the very good (acoustically) opera houses such as in Budapest, Paris, Vienna, Moscow, Palermo, Venice, and London weren’t built until the later 1800’s, and were relatively few in number. And prior to that, for the audience to hear, the performers had to sing loud enough to “cut through the orchestra”, and “sing to the back rows”. There should be no controversy there. That’s just the way it was. Traditional training methods and singing requirements for opera were born. And the tradition continues today. Other forms of musical entertainment, i.e. concerts, musical theatre, legitimate theatre, motion pictures, and amusement parks all make use of immersive audio technology to enhance the experience of the audience. Opera does not (except in limited circumstances). it’s a small piece of the entertainment pie, and the traditionalists who insist that the “opera experience” not change are also a relatively small part of that public. And that’s just the way it is.

        As far as me never having been to an opera, again your assumption is wrong. In my twenties, I dated a working ballerina for seven years who during that time, was also a music student (oops! I let out another secret. Ballet.). As part of her music appreciation classes (yes, more than one), she was required to attend the opera on a number of occasions. I, of course, wished to be the gallant companion, and always accompanied her in hopes of some subsequent reward. I was successful. It’s been a while, but I remember that we saw Don Giovanni, Madame Butterfly, Die Walküre, Tosca, Carmen, and Il Barbiere Di Siviglia. After Die Walküre, I begged-off seeing Lohengrin. These were split between San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. I have seen Pavarotti in concert, the Three Tenors, as well as Te Kanawa. And I have Candide on my DVD shelf. I know that this is not much of an opera-viewing history to you, but it is somewhat above “complete ignorance” level you attributed to me. I fully understand that I don’t like most female opera singer voices. And I very much like the voices of Sissel Kyrkjebø, Jackie Evancho, and my daughter. If they are the only ones I ever hear singing classical pieces and operatic arias, my experience will be full.

        The entire reason for my first post was the article posted by Mr. Lebrecht. Nearly every sentence reeks contempt, and as a whole it is a complete and utter dismissal of a very talented young singer whose voice has affected me, and now millions of others in a very positive way. Nearly everything in the article is exactly opposite of, or twists reality. At first, I was puzzled. Then, just plain mad. It’s not surprising to me that the 50 other posts prior and afterward only average 1.84 comments per. Now this one single post has garnered over 80.

        You, Kitty, did yourself a disservice by injecting yourself into the middle of my own hyperbole and making ridiculous statements. Enjoy your day.

        Drew Lewis, go pound sand. And close your mouth lest your own peristalsis refill it. Better yet, keep it open and recycle the waste.

        Janey…I’m just shaking my head.

        • Drew Lewis says:

          @ Charles Hoff

          I’m sure that neither Kitty, Jane nor I are in the habit of taking orders from pompous hyper-inlated egos such as yourself. Your closing attempt at abuse is really lame, but it gave me a good laugh.

          • Charles Hoff says:

            I gave neither Kitty nor Janey any “order”. You I gave a suggestion for the betterment of the whole. I hope you laughed with your mouth open.

          • Drew Lewis says:

            No, I laughed with my ass – it’s more musical that way.

  • Suzanne says:

    Alas, I was not the one who brought up the topic of young Jackie and a her schooling- lay that on “theonejrs”, with his quote, as follows:

    “Oh, one more thing. Jackie will be attending a top Conservatory. She’s already been accepted!”

    And none of us are privy to the arrangement the Evancho family has with Ms. Nubar at Julliard. The only thing for certain is that the girl is not a student in the conservatory’s pre-college program, because, according to the school’s policy:

    What are the ages of the Pre-College students?
    Some students enter the Pre-College Division as young as seven years old. Wind and brass players tend to be older. Students can stay in the School through their senior year in high school. Please note: Voice students must be 14 or older

    “(She) keeps her program very small, so students can get careful attention”- what program would that be, exactly? It’s not Julliard’s….

    Lots of kids have musical talent. What they do with it later in life is their choice- some go on to seek professional careers, others enjoy music to enrich their daily lives as they go about their jobs as everything from physicians to grocery clerks. It’s where an 11 year old kid is 7 years from now that will be telling…
    As for me, I really don’t care, so I’m out of here!

    • theonejrs says:

      I guess I should have stated that Jackie would be attending when she is 14! I also know where she will be attending.

      You wrote:
      “And none of us are privy to the arrangement the Evancho family has with Ms. Nubar at Julliard.”

      There’s actually a very good reason I didn’t give that information. It’s none of your business! It’s a confidential and private matter between the Evanchos, Ms. Nubar, and Juilliard. The “Right to Privacy” laws are a very big thing in the USA. It’s just like Doctor/Patient confidentiality. No one has a right to your medical records without permission. No Unauthorized Person has a right to access anyone’s private Information.

      I did read the Juilliard article on the Pre-College program. I am so happy to find Ms. Nubar someone with a clear, no nonsense approach to music. Here’s what she had to say about the program:

      “Some kids have a wonderful natural instrument, clear musical instincts, personality and expressivity, even if they have never heard any of the great singers. At the center of it all is this mysterious thing called ‘talent.’”

      Mind you, Ms. Nubar didn’t even know Jackie Evancho when this was written in 09, yet it describes Jackie’s Attributes and abilities to a tea! Ms. Nubar and Jackie Evancho are going to get along Famously! Jackie “is” the sum of Ms. Nubar’s words! Can you begin to imagine what Juilliard’s prestige will be like if Jackie is a success. I wonder how all of you will feel if Jackie should decide to switch to Opera?

      The Holy Grail for Ms. Evancho, has got to be Jenny Lind. Ms. Lind was Opera’s only child star in the entire history of Opera. She’s also Opera’s greatest legend, “The Swedish Nightingale”. Now, 181 years later we have Ms. Evancho, creating notes never heard anywhere on this planet, made by any ten year old. Not even by Jenny Lind, and that was well before recorded music, so we have to go by reputation and Opera reviews. It’s not surprising to me that at 10 and 11, Jackie has the better voice by a wide margin. Her self training is 21st Century, and included a vocal consultant, while Ms. Lind was self taught in the 19th Century. She had never had a teacher before she was 21, when she formally trained for the Opera, by her teacher retraining her voice in the proper technique.

      It would certainly be interesting if Ms. Evancho chose Opera. Do I think she might do that? Yes! Why? Her great love for the music and it’s structure, combined with her incredible talent to tell the story through the eyes of an 11 year old child. Regardless of which way Ms. Evancho chooses to go, She’ll still wind up as the greatest Female Vocalist regardless of Genre, ever. Choosing Opera would be a huge Feather in Juilliard’s cap! It’s all up to her.

  • Drew Lewis says:

    @ Suzanne

    Exactly. This tedious interchange, with its peristaltic bouts of unintelligible ranting, has gone on long enough. I wish Mr Lebrecht would declare this correspondence ‘closed’.

    • Janey says:

      I agree. There are about ten more rambling posts. For all I know, some of these posts have value within them. But I certainly don’t have time to parse them. 23 paragraphs, plus numerous other one sentences from Mr. Hoff. Twenty-three!!!??? Another eleven from Ekzu, and that’s one of his posts.

      I’m happy to hear Lorraine Nubar is working with Jackie, according to people here. I hope that’s the case. But, I think I’ll withhold final thoughts until I hear from Lorraine herself. She does not list Jackie Evancho anywhere in her material.

    • angel says:


      Wow, talk about insulting us Jackie fans as “peristaltic bouts of unintelligible ranting” If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. I hope you had mention myself, I would have taken as a badge of honor.
      Ladies/Gentlemen, I know deep down in your heart you want Jackie Evancho to succeed.
      Jackie’s method of producing voice and her presentation has never been accomplished in recorded musical history. (Youngest Platinum record holder & Youngest Opera singer)
      Please state your Classical Music Credentials, are you a musician, opera fan, employees of WCNY PBS radio station, Music educator?
      Maybe we ” unintelligible ranters” may respect your point of view once you state you credentials. I will never insult or question your intellect,name calling is unbecoming from both of you
      Watch the PBS Great Performance of Jackie Evancho and ask your kids what there opinions of her.
      I believe Jackie’s objective is to encourage young kids to sing in a classical/Bel Canto way.
      There is nothing like tears of joy when a young child singing for his parents.
      Maybe one day it may be your kids

    • theonejrs says:

      @Drew Lewis,

      I quite agree. I did have a difficult time with your use of the word “peristaltic”, in your reply to Suzanne. Why you would choose to use a word that few would recognize, is beyond me. When the purpose of your post was to complain about unintelligible ranting, why on Earth would you use an obscure word from the mid 17th Century, which is more unintelligible than what you complained about from others, in the first place?

      The average person would have to look it up to find out what it means, and even the exact explanation is not very definitive, in fact it’s rather vague. I confess I only know the word because of having done some design work on Peristaltic Pumps, a few years ago for a Pharmaceutical Company.

      Mr. Lebrecht won’t be declaring this correspondence “Closed.” Not while the purpose of this blog is to create controversy regarding Ms. Evancho. This blog is pretty much the same thing as the one The University of Chicago’s Professor Phillip Gossett started a year ago on WSJ. It’s just the results here haven’t been as dramatic as they were on the Gossett blog. At one time there were over 5000 posts in less than 9 months, but they cleaned out all the Troll Po, so there’s only about 4200 posts now Professor Gossett’s big claim to fame seems destined to be that he was so blinded by his Opera Snobbery, that he totally failed to see the potential that Jackie had! He was far too busy doing a complete hack job on her first live performance on AGT, and enjoying it. He even made it worse by stating that had he known that this was Classical Crossover singer, he wouldn’t have accepted the assignment from WSJ. I wonder how he feels about that decision today? I’ve even coined a phrase that seems pretty popular to describe him. He will be forever remembered as the Opera Expert who failed to see the Greatness that is Jackie Evancho! He’ll have to live with that.

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    The link you supplied is dead. This one should work:


    Oh, it most certainly IS Juilliard’s. Here’s a quote from the above website:

    The minimum age for that program is 14, so obviously Jackie doesn’t attend it (not to mention the fact that she lives hundreds of miles away…). My point was that as the head of that program at Juilliard, Ms Nubar (1) knows what she’s doing with young singers, & (2) is probably busy, so she wouldn’t waste her time if jackie wasn’t worth it.

    I’m not privy to the information theonejrs has, so i can’t comment on what he says. As he says, he was a singer for many years, so perhaps he knows people in the music industry.

    I’m glad that you appear to be backing off your certainty that Jackie will be gone & forgotten in a year or two. If i were you, i wouldn’t bet against her. Yes, time will tell. As Yoda says, “Always in motion is the future.”

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      The quote from the Juilliard website didn’t copy, so here it is, manually typed out:
      The Pre-College Division’s operatic voice program, led by Lorraine Nubar, offers a comprehensive music curriculum on a day when most high school students are enjoying time off. The program maintains a small roster of 12 to 15 students who shar the commitment to purue excellence, work hard, and spend their Saturdays at Juilliard.

  • TEF says:

    I am not a musician, nor am I medically trained, nor am I an opera critic. In fact I am not even a big fan of opera. But mostly I am not clairvoyant! I am a management analyst and IT specialist who enjoys a variety of music, knows how to research a topic, and is constantly in situations where I watch people for clues as to what they are thinking and feeling.
    Now with my credentials on the line; I am a huge Jackie Evancho fan. I became an instant fan after listening to a free download from Amazon on May 5th of this year, without knowing her age. She is a beautiful, happy, youngster who through an amazing series of events has become at minimum a minor phenomenon
    Unlike the naysayers who have made criticized Jackie, her fans, he parents, her doctors, her voice coaches, her producers, other performers, those who have seen her perform in person, the general director of the Pittsburgh Opera, … well you get the idea. I daresay that if the naysayers are that much more capable then all of these people, in all of their disciplines, I am really impressed (no I am not that gullible).
    I for one pray for Jackie and her family every day. I pray for wisdom and a selfless spirit for those guiding her career. I pray for her spiritual, physical, and mental. Mostly I pray for protection for them against those who would take advantage of them or attempt to elevate themselves with disparaging, and from my research unwarranted, remarks about Jackie and her family. And after that, I thank my Lord for the gift I have received by being able to her this remarkable voice.
    If Jackie were to decide tomorrow to be a veterinarian instead of a musician, I would pray for that as well. Folks, be thankful for what we have and what we have witnessed. If you are not a person of faith, at least wish her a wonderful life and the gift of childhood while she is a child.
    I am not naïve, there are many risks out there and we have seen young prodigies fail many times. But there are many examples of youngsters in the arts growing up to be wonderful adults as well. Richard Thomas, Ron Howard, Michael J. Fox, Selena Gomez, and Kirk Cameron come to mind.

  • Drew Lewis says:

    @ angel

    I hope you looked up ‘peristaltic’ in the dictionary: I believe it denotes the movement of a horse’s bowels. As such I cannot think of a more appropriate adjective to describe the sickly, anodyne pap spewed out here at such inordinate length by the girl’s hysterical admirers.

    This ‘kitchen’, as you call it, is run by Mr Lebrecht. He is the chef and owner here. It is not your business to ask other guests to leave. But in my view you and your gang members are outstaying their welcome.

    • theonejrs says:

      @Drew Lewis,

      actually the Horses Bowels are only an example of Peristaltic action. Movement of your esophagus, and things like that are all descriptions of Peristaltic actions. Literally, the word Peristaltic means “to wrap around”! The word peristalsis wasn’t even in use until 4 years after the word peristaltic.

      As far as your “appropriate adjective” description goes, try looking in the mirror. Unlike you, I don’t see any “hysterical admirers!” I gotta love the “gang members” though, and perhaps a bit “Arch” with the Anodyne. The only hysterical thing I see is a group of Opera Snobs trying desperately to cast dispersions on a supremely talented 11 year old girl, who at the present time is the greatest female 11 year old singer that ever lived. To disprove that statement is very simple. Find an 11 year old singer that can do exactly what Jackie does when she sings, and provide a link so we can all hear her. That’s an 11, not 12 or 13, but an 11 year old girl! I’ll tell you ahead of time, the list is very short, and it only has one name on it, Jackie Evancho!

      You people have trashed everything that is good about Jackie, her family, her Guidance, her Worthiness, and how she is being raised. I’m mildly surprised that you haven’t attacked her religious beliefs. The thing I can’t understand is how you could have attacked her without knowing anything about her or her family. The most obvious question I have is with all your musical experience and understanding, how you could have possibly missed what virtually every major Music school saw and were excitedly talking about the day after Jackie sang “O Mio Babbino Caro” for the first time on AGT. I love great music. I breathe Great music! I heard it immediately myself. Something was there, that I had never heard before! Not only that, I wasn’t expecting anything special. I had never heard of her, so I was in the dark. I heard her sing before I saw what she actually looked like. I only got the link, and a request to do a review of the singer for some friends in Hollywood, who thought I would be interested, so I had no idea that she was a kid. I was stunned beyond words when I turned around and saw her singing. There were 1.7 million views on YouTube, overnight, and the total views for the official AGT version is now almost 9,000,000! All the uploaders combined is over 16 Million views, the last time I checked. You don’t get those numbers because you are a novelty, you get them because you are great!.

      Here’s a little something to mull those thoughts over. Barcelona, Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe. No Microphones, outdoors in Barcelona. It’s Rock and Opera, and it’s Magic. See if you can find and understand the magic!

      I have to admit that I was impressed with Joe C’s comments about both he and Marie Lamb being classically trained. Then I went to the WCNY website and discovered that according to Ms. Lamb’s short bio it shows only two years of College, and well over 20 years of being a Sound Engineer/Announcer for various stations in the Syracuse NY area. In fact she works for Mr. Lebrecht!

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    @Drew Lewis
    I hope you don’t think peristalsis is limited to horses. We all have it, if we have healthy intestines, even (assuming no significant disease of the alimentary canal) you. This is from

    per·i·stal·sis   /ˌpɛrəˈstɔlsɪs, -ˈstæl-/ Show Spelled
    [per-uh-stawl-sis, -stal-] Show IPA
    –noun, plural -ses  /-siz/ show+spelled”>Show Spelled
    [-seez] Show IPA
    . Physiology .
    the progressive wave of contraction and relaxation of a tubular muscular system, especially the alimentary canal, by which the contents are forced through the system.

    It would be odd indeed if Mr Lebrecht elected to close these threads. The high numbers of posts & hits are clearly in his interest. You, on the other hand, can elect to either come here or not, like all of us. We all have the option of engaging in rational (or semi-rational) debate, regardless of the lengths of the posts.

  • Derek Warby says:

    “Never underestimate the public’s passion for mediocirity.”

  • theonejrs says:

    Thomas P says:
    July 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    ….or proclivity to peristalsis

    @Thomas P,

    Tell me something. Are you aware that the Peristaltic act of Peristalsis includes swallowing food, not just elimination of body wastes? When deciding to enter a battle of wits, it’s best not to come unarmed!

    Derek Warby says:
    July 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    “Never underestimate the public’s passion for mediocrity.”

    @Derek Warby,

    Your remark is good for a laugh, but the laugh winds up being on you. If you knew anything about the Great Music Schools of the World (you have just slapped all them all in the face, BTW), you never would have said that. What you don’t understand is that when Jackie nears the appropriate age, she will be able to pick and choose World wide, which school or Conservatory she wishes to attend. Not one of them would turn her down! Not Moskow, Vienna, or even Paris, who turned down a request from Jenny Lind in 1842 for an audition, after she had already been an established, world acclaimed Opera star for 4 years! Unlike you, all these Great schools know just exactly how good Jackie really is! You do not get that kind of attention from the most Elite Music schools in the World by being mediocre!

  • Let me clarify. The original post drew attention to the Billboard classical chart being topped by an apparently untrained 11 year-old singer from America’s Got Talent. Fans of the singer, eventually quoting her family, maintained that she was studying at Juilliard. I misphrased one of these comments as ‘registered’ at Juilliard, an error I corrected hours later. Juilliard has asked me to point out that she is not studying there.
    This thread is now closed.

  • giselle says:

    I stopped reading the above comments about one third of the way through so I hope I don’t repeat comments made by others. To me it sounds like Jackie’s voice is already showing signs of wear and tear. I’m not even sure she has the range she had when she appeared on America’s Got Talent. I hope she continues to please her fans and improve as a singer. To me, she will never come close to Sissel Kyrkjebo who sang publicly at 14 and went professional at 16. Sissel’s voice changed, too, but the change was for the better. Good luck to you, Jackie, I hope your dreams come true.