Jackie Evancho, 11 years old, went in for America’s Got Talent and wound up top of the classical Billboard charts. Her delivery, diction and prospects have aroused heated debate ever since. A legion of combative fans promote her as the white hope of classical music. Others maintain reasoned reservations about her lack of training and her over-pushed career. The wires on Slipped Disc have glowed white with rage, and they glowed again when my friend and colleague Tim Page wrote a shrewd critical assessment in the Washington Post.
Tim was on WQXR’s Conducting Business yesterday, together with former child star (and successful tenor) Robert White and classical singers’ agent, Bill Palant. You can here the show here. One small sideline that emerged is that Jackie has quit classical agency IMG Artists for William Morris, who promised her – and secured – a Hollywood deal. Her career priorities are clear.
We will not hear much more by way of opera arias from Jackie – unless the movie crashes and burns. I wish her luck.