Jackie Evancho concert is cancelled

Jackie Evancho concert is cancelled


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2013

The new-teen singer has scratched Sunday’s date in Fresno. No reason given, and no mention of the cancellation on her website.




  • Mikey says:

    just a quick correction but, 13 isn’t “pre-teen”.

    Maybe her voice is finally going? I haven’t heard anything of hers since her “breakout”, and otherwise absolutely loathe child prodigies.

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      Mikey, When you say, since her “breakout”, what do you mean? For most saying that it would mean since her appearances on America’s Got Talent. Is that when you are referring to? If so there is a lot you have not heard of, including several events that Norman has covered in his blogs here.

      If you would pull your head out of your @ss more than once every three years you may hear more.

    • Jim Jorgensen says:

      If you people spent more that two minutes listening to jackie you’d know her voice is doing fine. I was at her concert in Worcester,mass and she is maturing nicely. The only problem I see is she has no new material since her 2 cd’s were made into PBS performances, which are beautiful. I believe her Loveland , Colo. concert was cancels because of terrible floods which devastated the area. By the way the Worcester concert was a sell out . Jackie needs to develop some new material to release a new album I believe, which is supposed to be by next year about this time of year. From what I see Jackie and her family and support team are bringing her along nicely. She has preformed around the world in Japan twice, Russian, Canada, Taiwan, Bali she has played for the President twice. She has done a lot to support several charities. So I suggest most of you “know it alls” who don’t know much should look to see what you had done by age 13 to reach you dreams.

  • David Boxwell says:

    _Nobody_ ever chooses to be in Fresno. This young lady has now opted for more glamorous gigs!

    • Agreed. I once did a week in Fresno and it was a depressing place. In one bar we went into, there was a no smoking inside (this was in the early days of the ban, back in 1998-99) yet no glasses outside after 10pm. The solution was to stand in the doorway, which is what everybody ended up doing. Chaos. There were some incredible stories involving some female members of our local crew but modesty forbids…

  • Mikey says:

    Sorry, I had lost the ink and wanted to post it with my previous comment, but have you read this blog post?


    A brilliant article that says it all.

    • AJ says:

      Sounds like something written by a disillusioned and bitter opera singer. Reminds me of some posters I know. 🙂

      Though the young and upcoming singers are touted by the media as opera singers, many have learnt that they are not. So why feel insecure about these young singers stealing the spotlight.

      • Cindy Sadler is an established and well-respected professional opera singer who knows what she’s talking about. Have a look at this:


        • AJ says:

          I’m sure Cindy Sadler knows what she’s talking about …. her personal perspective on the situation … which is as subjective as it can get. She isn’t stating technical facts but giving her opinion.

          I don’t happen to agree with her perspective.

          • squirrel says:

            I agree — the title “Worship of Mediocrity” is spot on, but it’s downhill from there. Full of silly assumptions and too long by twice.

      • Stan says:

        Disillusioned? Hardly, she’s a working singer. Bitter? She is as positive and realistic as those two attributes allow one to be concurrently. Technicality? She’s as technically sound as anyone in the business.

        Subjective? EVERYONE is subjective, especially someone like you AJ, since you seem to not know anything about the voice or the impact of forceful singing on a young voice like that of a thirteen-year-old. You are Jackie’s handlers’ favorite audience: vapid, brainless, flavor-of-the-month types who consume flash-in-the-pan entertainment, blow a wad of cash, and do the same when the next big act comes along, forgetting the last guy. For Jackie’s sake, may she learn her REAL voice, and sing that way for a long, long time.

        • AJ says:


          I’ve seen a lot of big acts in three years but none compare to Jackie so far. So for her handlers, I’m a pretty good fan. As far as I’m concerned Jackie is singing in her REAL voice and yes may she sing for a very very long time.

          I have no problem being thought of as a vapid, brainless flavor of the month type as long as I get to enjoy the music. You don’t enjoy this “flash in the pan” talent called Jackie Evancho …. then why are you here wasting your time :).

          If you’re not careful, Theodore may label you what he is labeling all the rest of Jackie’s fans assuming your are a “He”. I mean you got to have a reason for taking the time to browse and then respond and get all upset over a post. So why take so much time when you don’t even like the artist !

          • Stan says:

            You ARE brainless! I wrote in support of my friend, Cindy Sadler, the “disillusioned and bitter opera singer” who wrote the article you THOUGHT you were slamming above. She wasn’t slamming the young singer, and neither was I.

            NONE of the operatic rep Ms. Evancho sings is written for her voice. It’s is written for adults whose voices have matured to varying degrees. Her voice cannot bring the subtleties and nuances of these works to proper light. Just like neither Michael Bolton nor Aretha Franklin can bring Nessun Dorma anything of quality. Her ability is not a precocious miracle, just a novelty for now. Real singers can tell. Again, may she develop into a fine artist with a healthy voice, but then you’ll probably give up on her.

            I leave you and your untrained ear to enjoy Ms. Evancho, and Justin Bieber, Josh Groban, and Creed.

          • AJ says:


            Sadly, you miss the point once again !

            I couldn’t care less if the repertoire was written for Jackie’s voice or not. I’d rather listen to her than the screeching subtleties and nuances of those professionals you claim can bring these works to proper light.

            For the record, i don’t like Michael Bolton or Aretha Franklin’s version of Nessun Dorma. Also I don’t like Justin Bieber’s music.

            I’m not interested in what real singers can tell.

          • AJ says:


            Forgot to mention that we have some great opera experts on this forum who by virtue of their superior understanding, have declared that Aretha Franklin and Marie Osmond sing ND better than Jackie Evancho. Curious to know what you think ….

          • AJ says:


            Below are the three Nessun Dormas for your expert evaluation and critique … if you so chose to indulge yourself for the benefit of the ‘brainless”.

            Aretha Franklin


            Marie Osmond


            Jackie Evancho


    • Charles Hoff says:


      By posting that link here, are you intimating that Cindy Sadler’s article has anything at all to do with Jackie Evancho? She is not, nor has ever claimed to be an opera singer.

  • Charles Hoff says:

    From Jackie Evancho’s official fan forum administrator:

    The Fresno concert has been cancelled due to production reasons beyond Jackie’s and her team’s control. Refunds are being issued at the point of sale. There will be notification if the concert is rescheduled. I’m sure Jackie is very disappointed in the fact that this show had to be cancelled.


    The notice was posted here when notified. I would also like to put out there that if a concert is cancelled for production reasons it obviously would be a last minute cancellation. I don’t believe your post about Jackie and her team not caring if people are inconvenienced. Canceling a show is the last thing any artist wants to do. Having said that, if Jackie or her team provide any additional information or letter of apology it will be posted in this thread.


    Tweet from Jackie – “Found out I won’t be doing my show in Fresno  To my fans that had tixs I sincerely apologize & hope we can reschedule. Love you all!!!”

    And from me:

    The Nov 21st Thousand Oaks, California concert in the 1800 seat Frank Kavli Theater is 83 seats short of a sellout as of this (Sunday) morning:


  • Sam says:

    Evancho started her autumn tour on October 11, 2013 in Worcester, Massachusetts. On November 8, 2013 she gave a concert in Cupertino, California with Symphony Silicon Valley, and the next night she participated in the Muzart Foundation benefit for music education in Salt Lake City. She also sang at a wedding in Bali in late October or early November.

    On November 15, 2013 , she sang at the Marin County Civic Center with the Marin Symphony.

    The rest of her schedule, through January (not including television appearances) is as follows:

    November 21, 2013 – Thousand Oaks, California with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic

    November 23, 2013 – Turlock, California

    November 30, 2013 – Portland, Oregon with the Oregon Symphony

    December 5, 2013 – Carnegie Hall with Tim Janis and James Galway

    December 7, 2013 – Long Beach, California

    December 12, 2013 – Seattle, Washington

    December 14, 2013 – Indio, California

    January 3, 2014 – Miami, Florida

    January 5, 2014 – Melbourne, Florida

    January 18, 2014 – Phoenix, Arizona

    • Janey says:

      Ms. Evancho is performing 11 concerts in two months? She is 13! This is an unbelievable and unwise schedule. I am aware that she also has sung other concerts in recent weeks. Most frightening is that the result of all of this singing may not be apparent for several years.

      Why must she sing this many concerts?

      She is a minor who has no vocal coach. This is the new standard for treatment of singers?

      • David H. says:

        11 concerts in 8 weeks? That’s not very much, even for a 13 year old, if this is more or less the same program she is singing.

        • Janey says:

          @David H. This statement is preposterous. She is singing at least 90 minutes. She must travel in between concerts, prepare in whatever form, appear for interviews, and other minutia. I have just seen that she also performed on 8th Nov and 9th Nov, in different parts of the country. I only pray that at age 21 she does not look back and wonder why she cannot perform any longer.

          It is shocking to me that no one at her label or working with her seems to mind the damage this could do. Perhaps she will succeed and shall be fine. Perhaps not. Why take the chance? She has a level of talent that should be preserved and valued.

          “Masterworks” no longer means “masterworks” if they willing to allow this.

          • David H. says:

            I think you are overly dramatic. There are quasi-professional boys choirs, where the boys perform and rehearse daily, for years, at younger ages. Around Christmas time often more than one concert a day. With the right support network and singing technique it is very possible without any damage. She doesn’t even sing out fully, she is always singing with a microphone. Piece of cake, compared to what classically trained kids are doing.

          • Janey says:

            @David H – The key to your comment is correct singing technique. And I wonder, do the members of these choirs have time to go to school?

            Nevertheless, perhaps you are correct. We will not know for several years at least.

          • Janey says:

            Hearing this below does not alleviate my concerns that she should not be singing as she is. Yes, perhaps I am overly dramatic, but something simply does not seem right. Time will tell.


          • Janey, this is why those of you who allow yourself such a peripheral understanding of Jackie develop such an ignorant perspective of what you see and hear. Those of us who know Jackie’s team, including her parents, vocal coaches and doctors, and managers, listen closely to her voice, attend her concerts, and meet and talk with her know she is not suffering from her singing career. Just like you can tell when your own children are in distress, so too can we ascertain if and when Jackie is tired, raspy, petulant, or just simply bored. We rarely, if ever witness such behavior from Jackie, and we have had three years so far in experience watching Jackie grow and mature in her talent and her profession. Until you attend a Jackie Evancho performance, experience the way she not only performs, but how she enraptures her audience in a way only someone who truly loves and engages in what she is doing can achieve, can you begin to appreciate just how incredible this young girl really is. The truly sincere nature of Jackie Evancho comes through every song of every performance. This is why she has so many millions of fans and admirers. This is why Team Evancho has paid so much time and effort to nurture her very sensibly and cautiously in her career.

          • Janey says:

            @Stephen Runnels Thank you for your comment, but I do not need to know her to hear that the placement and breath control are so far off that she cannot sing notes surrounding her break. And yet, she continues to perform songs that require it. Time will, indeed, tell, and I pray you are correct. This child deserves a very long career.

            You say you “know Jackie’s team, including… vocal coaches.” I assume these must be pop singer coaches.

          • Janey, Really? Placement? Breath control? Notes surrounding her break? I think you miss the reason why people sing in the first place. Millions love every interpretative note Jackie sings and are deeply affected by the masterful delivery and artistry of her performances. People love her uniqueness, not technical or manufactured points of tonal reference. It is hard to imagine why you and others enjoy mechanical, structural perfection in rigid conformity rather than allowing the voice, music, and the creative interpretation take you on the journey Jackie is taking everyone else. Is over-analyzing and over thinking really that important to your musical enjoyment?

          • Anon says:

            @ Janey – “do these kids go to school?” – well, yes.

            Cathedral choirs in the UK and elsewhere often have schools attached to ensure a good education (and some are sought after for that value above the music), the African Children’s Choir – away from home for over a year at a time – take tutors on the road and have daily lessons, etc etc.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    Thanks Mikey, it is nice to know there are still intelligent people around. Here is the link to another good article by Anne Midgette cited by Cindy:


    “People who would go to some lengths to avoid attending a performance of Puccini’s “Turandot” or “Gianni Schicchi” fall all over themselves at the arias “Nessun dorma” (now an obligatory vehicle for all male singers, and some female ones ) and “O mio babbino caro” (which fulfills the same role for young sopranos) – when those arias are encountered on the variety stages of shows about the talent pool of various countries.”

  • Mikey says:

    It would seem the [Insert Country Name]’s Got Talent fans have arrived in droves to Slipped Disk?

    This kid, Evancho, does a barely passable imitation of an opera singer. Otherwise it’s horrid. And to go on about how great it is “because she’s young” is simply beyond idiotic. This really is the worship of mediocrity.

    And to those defending this mediocrity, well, sorry, you’re wrong. This kid is crap. Most of them are. Let’s talk in 20 years and see if she’s doing anything serious.

    • AJ says:


      Jackie is not an opera singer. Surely you can tell that. Your mediocrity may be my elitism :). Try convincing me its not.

      In 20 years most opera singers in their dotage will be dead and the new ones coming up are already doing opera and classical crossover. In 20 years opera may not even look what it looks like today.

      • Warren Cohen says:

        Jackie is not an opera singer but the last I checked, O mio babbino caro is an opera aria. The complaint that Cindy Sadler (and many others have) is that they are expected to listen to and praise performances by avowedly non opera singers (like Jackie Evancho) and they are condemned for pointing out deficiencies in the performance. Jealousy is real in music, and people do condemn others out of jealousy and spite. But there are also real criticisms that can be offered that are not mean spirited but come simply out of knowing things. Again, there is a subjective element, no doubt, but there are also standards-standards of control of sound, control of breath, diction-these are not subjective. By singing an opera aria and being famous you put yourself, wittingly or not, into the position where you will be judged by the standards of the business. And you have every right to like the performance, but (as CIndy Sadler aptly pointed out) it is the equivalent of liking Cindy’s casserole better than the one at the three star restaurant-it does mean that Cindy’s casserole is better than the one at three star restaurant, and if a comparison is offered, no one should be offended for pointing out the ways that Cindy’s casserole, tasty as it is, falls short. That is her point, and for the life of me, I can’t see why that is even controversial.

        • David H. says:

          I can whistle “Nessun dorma” and “Vissi d’arte” very well.

        • AJ says:


          No one asked Cindy to give a critical evaluation. She is not expected to make any observation. If she makes a fuss over something then shes going to hear it from both sides of the argument. why make a fuss over that?

          And by the way, singing two operatic arias does not an opera singer make. Jackie sings two operatic arias in a classical style and any and all would be opera fanatics come crawling out of the wood works to offer their two cents worth on operatic technique. No wonder the art is dying a slow death.

          • Warren Cohen says:


            People like Cindy are asked to give critical evaluations of the latest sensations all the time. Most professionals actually hate being asked these things, but it is an unavoidable part of being a professional. In thinking it over, Cindy would have made her point better if she had not framed it in terms of the worship of mediocrity, but more in terms of “please don’t ask my opinion unless you will try to learn something from my answer, which will actually enhance your enjoyment of opera going forward.”

            The other thing she is bothered by is the notion-which I see expressed in these comments-that it is all just a matter of opinion and taste and that all opinions are equally valid. That is hard to swallow when you have spent a lifetime trying to develop your own critical evaluation skills to try to become the best you can be at your craft,

            I would disagree with the observation that opera is dying a slow death, and even if you believe that to be true, I can’t figure out what being of critical of a 13 year old’s imperfect rendering of “O mio babbino caro” would have to do with it. But I would agree that two operatic arias does not an opera singer make.

          • AJ says:


            I don’t have a problem with what Cindy choses to say and she shouldn’t have an issue with how some may interpret her words.

            Your second paragraph refers to all opinions being equally valid or not. Everyone has an opinion whether they’re experts or not. Let me share my perspective. I spent a lifetime developing my taste and preference in music and what I like and don’t like. So it might be a hard pill for me to swallow that what I like and prefer is inferior to what others like.

            One of the key points that detractors and critics fail to understand and keep ignoring …. fans of Jackie’s music don’t care if her technique is inferior or imperfect. She sounds better than anyone else they’ve heard and listening to other technically superior singers hasn’t changed their mind. I’ve listened to Bartoli, Callas, Netrebko, Bjorling, Caruso and a host of others. I can listen and enjoy some of their material but cannot do it for more than a couple of hours. I still enjoy Jackie’s voice more even though she is not an opera singer. Her renditions of OMBC are some of the most beautiful sounds I’ve every heard and no amount of listening to others (I’ve listened to countless versions by the opera greats) is going to convince me otherwise.

            Is Jackie perfect, does she have infallible technique, is she an opera singer. The answer to all is a resounding “NO”. Does it matter to her fans ….. “NO”. Does it matter to some opera die hards …. unfortunately yes ! Why? …. is the million dollar question ….. and I refuse to believe that its merely because opera officianados are concerned about her vocal health.

            I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that when some people have spent a lifetime pursuing a discipline and improving it and becoming the best ….. and then finding out that a little kid is earning the accolades for that craft! That can cause and has caused a lot of bitterness and animosity ( and I am not referring to Cindy)

  • Mikey says:

    because the worship of this type of mediocrity takes away from the actual greatness of the art.

    people are spending inordinate amounts of money and energy on a half-baked child prodigy, when they COULD support the real artists who have devoted their lives to opera (or all music really).

    simply because YOU can’t identify a BAD performance, doesn’t make it good. A bad performance is a bad performance no matter how execrable your taste in music and your ability to judge quality of music are.

    There’s nothing bitter in remarking that this is the dumbing down of culture to suit the lowest common denominator. What’s next? Justin Bieber rapping Lohengrin?

    • Difficult to disagree with any of this, Mikey.

      • squirrel says:

        Well Ted, I’m happy to disagree with all of it.

        I don’t enjoy or support the Evancho singer model as either an art form or a useful development of a child’s talent. But the idea that there are simply objectively good or bad performances is stupid at best. There are no objective, qualitative values for any art form without a context for interpreting them.

        Evancho and the like are not being sold to us under the label of “opera” and the type of singing – whether you like it or not – is neither opera nor pop, regardless of how some audience members may erroneously interpret it.

        Mikey – err, Cindy – spends too much time talking about taste and “good vs bad” to be clear or coherent on this subject. If there is a such thing as “good” writing and criticism, then this drivel isn’t it.

        • AJ says:


          Well said ! Most of what Jackie and her like sing is not “Opera”. Not sure why opera purists can’t understand that!

          I enjoy Jackie’s voice and music but not because I think i’m listening to opera but because her voice is very pleasing to hear and appeals to me. Period ! Its irrelevant to me whether its opera or pop or classical crossover etc. I believe most fans are the same way. They simply like what they hear regardless of genre.

    • Derek Castle says:

      No, just André Rieu in a Paganini biopic (grinning, of course!)

    • Charles Hoff says:

      What type of mediocrity? What art? And what “real” artists?

      Time spent in studying anything is irrelevant. Just because someone has spent ten or twenty years or more years trying to perfect their particular art form, and can’t get anyone to take notice…well, there’s a not so hidden message there.

      You’ve thrown an inordinate amount of diffuse mud against the wall without any specifics. What is a good and bad performance? And to whom? You judge what YOU like. Everyone else judges what THEY like. Even CJ, Theodore, and Mr. Lebrecht. That it bothers you that others are spending THEIR money and THEIR energy on something that YOU don’t agree with is a personal problem. Ranting about it will get you nowhere.

      When a full-spectrum audience gives an extended standing ovation at the end of a performance, it’s usually an indicator that they feel that THEIR money and THEIR energy was well spent.

      And if you don’t like Jackie Evancho, why are you wasting YOUR time and YOUR energy here?

      • squirrel says:

        Thanks, Charles, I was having a classic “Somebody is wrong on the internet” moment – and you’ve totally summed it up!

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      Mikey says “the worship of this type of mediocrity takes away from the actual greatness of the art.”

      Not true because most of those who like this have not and are not going to support ‘the art'(opera) anyway. This is true even in the case of Jackie Evancho, even though many of her fans, like myself are also long time supporters of the arts.

      Jackie is not an opera singer, and has publicly stated many times that she is not an opera singer.

      Mikey says ” when they COULD support the real artists who have devoted their lives to opera (or all music really).”

      Everyone ‘COULD’ do that, but everyone never has and is never going to support what they do not enjoy no matter how much you try to shame them into doing so. And why add the “(or all music really)” since that is what people actually do, they support the music they like.

      And by the way just because some people think opera sounds BAD, does not make it so any more than you and some other people saying Jackie sound Bad make that true.

  • GauchoGirl says:

    Mr. Lebrecht,

    Correction: the cancelled concert wasn’t for “next Sunday” but was scheduled for November 17, today, – or yesterday by the time you might see this. The listing of the event was removed from her official website on Thursday the 14th, but fans weren’t notified of the cancellation until ticket buyers were alerted by the ticket agencies just two days before the concert was to occur.


    My condolences to all those fans who spent their hard earned money travelling to Fresno, believing that the concert was still on. Apparently Jackie’s people who knew to remove the event from her site several days early didn’t know enough to show some consideration and give an early heads up to fans instead of letting them find out later from the venue and ticket companies, when for many it was too late. Unlike with the Loveland, Colorado concert that was cancelled earlier this month, such short notice prevented many from getting refunds on their travel expenditures since those services were already used by the time they were informed of the cancellation.

  • Mikey says:

    Squirrel said “Mikey – err, Cindy – spends too much time talking about taste and “good vs bad” to be clear or coherent on this subject. If there is a such thing as “good” writing and criticism, then this drivel isn’t it.


    I hate to disappoint you, but I’m not Cindy Sadler.

    And I’m far clearer and more coherent on the topic than you could ever be. People like you, with no taste or judgement or ability to discern, are the reason the arts have become a cesspit of disposable pap for the lowest common denominator.

    • Derek Castle says:

      Right on, Mikey!

    • squirrel says:

      Mikey is a mean old man shaking his cane at the world.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      Spoken like a true Salieri (at least the movie version thereof).

      Squirrel was right, I’m afraid. If you’d like to read something that’s somewhat critical of Jackie, yet is coherent instead of being like the incoherent nonsense coming from Cindy Sadler, read this:


      Munro puts it in historical perspective. This haughtiness about “we know culture, you don’t, you’re tolerating mediocrity” has a long, long history in the arts. Just because Cindy Sadler (& people on this blog) is (are) saying it this time doesn’t make it suddenly right.

      What’s more, Munro realizes that not only is technical skill important for the artist, so is emotional connection with the audience. Jackie has that in spades, like few others, despite her youth, & despite technical flaws when seen from an operatic perspective (which I agree is unfair, since she is not, & doesn’t claim to be, an opera singer). She fills orchestral halls all over the US & sells millions of CDs.

      So do Andre Rieu, Bocelli & Sarah Brightman. Their fans don’t care about their technical imperfections, & their audiences leave their concerts very happy.

      Mr Lebrecht constantly documents problems all over the classical music world; there are financial pressures everywhere. Yet some classical music “purists,” including many opera fans, look down their noses at all of classical crossover as an entire genre.

      Well, guess what? Maybe you should be embracing the popularisers, including Brightman, Bocelli, Rieu & Jackie. (Sorry I can’t add Katherine Jenkins to that list – even I have limits, LOL.) They can indeed bring more audiences to classical music in general. Yes, even some Jackie fans, as a direct result of listening to her, have become fans, & what’s more, paying customers, of opera & classical music.

    • TheKingInBlack says:

      You seem somewhat angry about this whole thing. I’m myself am not artistic, creative art has always been mostly foreign to me(I’m entirely left brained). My simple and common tastes are more geared towards what “sounds good”.

      “Classical arts” have been noticing a marked decline over the years and there are a multitude of causes. When changes occur, natural selection allows organisms which are best suited to survive in the new environment, to thrive.

      Adaptation to survive (The organism which does not adapt, dies). “Classical arts” cannot expect the environment to suite their needs. These arts need to adapt and grow into a new role.

      Time and energy would be better spend planning solutions for “Classical Arts”. If time and energy is only spent criticizing those organisms which have adapted and have changed, then you concede yourself to defeatism. One will only appear petty, please have more respect for yourself and this ancient and storied art.

      • Yes Addison says:

        The line “‘Classical arts’ have been noticing a marked decline over the years” has a whiff of received wisdom. We could talk about specific organizations and economic factors and changes in the way people get their music. For example, if you wanted to say, some smaller regional opera companies are doing less well in 2013 than they were doing in 2003, then I could say, yes, they are, and the economy is a factor, and another factor is competition from Metropolitan Opera HD cinema broadcasts that started in 2006 and offer the same operas with casts the smaller companies cannot afford. There’s disagreement about how much of a factor the latter is, but that leads to a discussion. But when it’s just addressed so generally, that people are “turning away” from classical music or opera, all I can say is that classical music and opera always have been minority art forms. When a record of a piano concerto sold millions of copies, as Cliburn’s Tchaikovsky concerto did 50 years ago, this was something remarkable for the record books and it was tied to cultural/historical factors difficult to duplicate. The achievement is that the great recordings and the great performers endure. People who were not even alive to hear Maria Callas sing or Arthur Rubinstein play can do so. Those great artists keep winning new generations of fans long after their own time. So might some active in the present day, Marta Argerich, Jonas Kaufmann, and so on.

        Classical music and opera are going to be what they are. They are not going anywhere. I’m not accusing you of this, exactly, TheKingInBlack, but I’ve frequently seen statements in these skirmishes that there won’t be any opera in 20 years, that it’s “a dying art form,” that it must “change or die,” and really, those statements just strike me as so naive. A kid such as Church or Evancho gets some exposure and does pretty well for herself for a few years, and it’s suddenly the wave of the future? Better cut “Otello” down to an hour, to only the pretty parts, sung softly and amplified, and cast the three leads from the local junior high. I don’t think so.

        Now, over a much more abbreviated span of time, Jackie Evancho’s CD sales have fallen off steeply, have they not? I have not kept up lately, but I was under the impression that the latest one with the movie songs was falling quite a bit short of its predecessor, and I don’t know how much the increasing popularity of digital downloads factors in with her prevailing demographic.

        • AJ says:

          @Yes Addison,

          I think you miss the point. Opera and Classical will stay but they won’t look the same as they do today. Neither do any of the other musical genres.

          • Yes Addison says:

            AJ: I’ll bite. How will they look, in your opinion?

            They already do not look the same as they did 20 years ago. Focusing on opera alone, stage directors have become more important and have their own followings; more singers are good actors in a close-up format; appearance counts for more; fewer studio recordings are being made, more focus on DVD and streaming broadcasts.

            But the essential underpinnings are the same. To have a career in the field, you need to train your voice to project in a venue without amplification and sustain that over the course of an entire opera.

          • AJ says:

            Yes Addison

            You got it as far as the dynamics of opera are concerned.Training will always be a major part of opera or any discipline though the rigors of the discipline have and will change. And finally, the very tenet of opera … projecting your voice without amplification, is slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past. Need I say more.

  • Martin says:

    This topic makes me go mad… about as mad as the guy at the beginningof this opera.

    Starts at about 2 mins in:


  • Ed in Athens says:

    This bickering happens every time there’s an article about Jackie. Apparently some of you intend to run for Congress.

  • Peter says:

    It is astonishing how much energy the topic of Jackie Evancho raises on this blog, and elsewhere.

    I think that part of the controversy is caused by what economists would call a “category error”.

    Jackie Evancho is not an Opera Singer. She is a remarkable and successful Child Entertainer, and a part of her act is to imitate songs sung by opera singers – thus the confusion. As a child entertainer, she inspires, warms and captivates many people’s hearts. A big part of her act is the incongruity of an adult-sounding voice coming from a child singer. In that context, her technical limitations and interpretation are of secondary importance, and beating her up about it is not fair.

    Like many of the “xx Got Talent” stars, their attraction is not in their expertise, it is in their charming and entertaining incongruity. Everyone loves a freak-show. Ashley and Pudsey is a wonderful dancing dog entertainment, but Pudsie would never be billed as “a dancer”, nor would it be sensible to criticize Pudsey for his dance technique.

    Paul Potts and Susan Boyle touched many people’s hearts because of the incongruity of their tubby, frumpy, ordinary-person-in–the-street appearance, their bravery and their surprising singing ability. Had they been billed as opera singers, they would not stand out, and their technical weaknesses would be all too obvious to those who care to look.

    Among the other entertaining freak-shows that feature on Youtube, we have recently seen Football playing elephants – they may be popular and likeable, but they are not “football players”.

    But Jackie Evancho does have one big problem, which the dancing dogs, and football paying elephants, and even singing car-phone salesmen do not have. In a few short years she will not be a Child Entertainer any longer. If she wants to become an adult opera singer, she may not be preparing for it in the right way.

    I have no idea what her aspirations are – is she also studying so she can go to college and eventually pursue a career outside entertainment ? Or is she planning that her wide fame and celebrity will open doors in the entertainment world an adult ? – she may be right ! Or is she earning so much now, that her parents think it is best to keep going and let the future take care of itself. I have no idea, and there is no reason why she should make this public, but I hope she and her parents are planning her future, and I wish her well.

    • What a breath of fresh air, someone commenting on JE who has a disinterested and sensible view of Evancho, her appeal, limitations, and challenges. (Unless you object, Peter, I’d like to republish your comment on my website.)

      The only word in your post that made me uncomfortable is opera. I wonder if JE’s parents wish, as I do, that the girl had never tried to sing an aria. There would then be no excuse for certain crackpots who claim to care about classical music to obsess about her.

      From what I can see, the only business classical music aficionados have in discussing this thirteen-year-old singer is the broader one of the impact so-called classical crossover music has on the health of the classical music industry. It’s a genuine concern and one I share.

      Some of us who admire JE have hundreds of classical albums in our collection, but, except for Jackie, not a single classical crossover singer’s album. Which is to say that JE’s audience is less homogenous than certain crackpots would like to think.

      Mr Lebrecht, to put the best face on it, continues to provide a platform for said crackpots not because he wishes to encourage serious discussion but because he has adopted JE as a kind of voodoo doll to punish classical crossover with. The wielder of the pins is, well, you know who. Would that this travesty of a public discussion would come to an end.

  • I’d not heard Jackie Evancho before listening to that mawkish July 4th YouTube offering so had no opinion one way or the other concerning her voice. The basic voice is OK but riddled with technical shortcomings which, considering her age, is only natural. Seeing a little girl trying to sound like a woman was rather grotesque, though, a bit like a Disney remake of The Exorcist.

    • David H. says:

      My sentiments exactly. It would be unacceptable if the travesty were more visibly obvious, if she would be wearing adult women’s apparel and make up. It’s a form of soft pedophilia, hard to argue this in view of her old gentlemen fan base.

      • AJ says:

        David and Theodore,

        As grotesque and unacceptable as it may be to you, you cant help watching it repeatedly or comment on it. I wonder why?

        • I watched it once. I’ll never subject myself to her art again.

          • AJ says:

            You watched it once but can’t stop commenting on it….what an obsession. My sympathies.

          • @AJ – My last word on this thread and on the subject of Jackie Evancho: I’ve watched one video of one performance and have commented on my findings once. Both subsequent posts were replies to you. This information is freely available to anyone in possession of a scrolling facility on their computer.

            The sound this little girl makes I find horrifying, but not as creepy as the drooling old pervs who sing her praises every time Norman Lebrecht posts a story about her. I’s all incredibly unhealthy.

          • AJ says:


            Don’t distress yourself over the sound of the little girl. I get horrified by the sound of creepy, demented critics as well as some of the world’s premier opera singers. I don’t go to their websites and tell everyone how horrified I am or how disgusted for that matter.

            You are extremely judgemental in rushing to the conclusion that all her older fans that praise her are pervs. Why? You don’t think that Jackie is worthy of any praise for her accomplishments that are the envy of any professional in the music business ? You don’t like her music or voice so you conclude that anyone who does has got to be a perv. Wow !

            Could you tell me what is wrong with saying that Jackie is an extremely talented young girl who shows every promise of becoming an extremely beautiful young lady with an even more beautiful voice.

      • ron van wegen says:

        I listen to a beautiful child with a remarkably beautiful voice singing a beautiful song and I’m called a paedophile. We often accuse others of what we secretly fear in ourselves. I’d be more careful if I were you.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Technical shortcomings for what? Opera? A competition? She’s not an opera singer! And, perhaps we can agree on this, hopefully she won’t ever try to limit herself to that very specialized and narrow genre.

      She sings how she sings. And she imitates no one. No one else sounds like her, young or old. You don’t like her voice? Don’t listen. But to go out of your way to diss and dismiss only makes you that much smaller.

      And David H: Travesty? Pedophilia? Really? I have no words beyond that. No wonder you’ve remained anonymous. Where is your line, Mr. Lebrecht?

      • It’s borderline offensive, in the general area of Graham Greene’s review of Shirley Temple. If others feel it has crossed the line, we’ll redact it.

        • Then could we also be more severe with people who call Michael Schaffer a p**** and a c*** and allow someone else to s*** in someone’s cornflakes?

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            I missed the cornflakes thing – was that directed at me? :-O

            I can see why some might find David H’s comment borderline offensive – or does he maybe have a point, however provocative it may be? I found what Greene wrote about Shirley Temple quite interesting – and no, I had no idea he wrote that before I read Norman’s post and looked it up. Can it not be that there is an element of that “soft pedophilia” there at least for some of her fans? That doesn’t mean anyone who likes her is automatically “guilty” of that. But some may be.

            Remember how many abuse cases in music schools were reported in this very forum here recently.

  • People, of the 60 or so songs Ms. Evancho has recorded or performed, how many were from operas?

    The answer is three.

  • She has recorded more Broadway songs than Opera songs.

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    These are approximate sales figures for Jackie’s upcoming concerts:

    Date—-City—————–Capacity—Seats available-Percent sold/unavailable

    11/15—San Rafael———2000———-386—————-80%

    11/21—Thousand Oaks—1800———–99—————-95%



    12/5—–New York———–2804——–1890—————33%

    12/7—–Long Beach——–3051———-348—————89%






    I really hope the “formatting” (such as it is) comes out semi-readable, because I tried to improvise.



    The New York date is at Carnegie Hall with Tim Janis, where Jackie is just one of a number of performers.

    It appears that Jackie’s recent cancellation likely had nothing to do with lagging ticket sales (if that was a question), given that she’s doing reasonably well in multiple locations.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Peter I also agree with most of what you say but have a reservation about this statement: “part of her act is to imitate songs sung by opera singers”. Actually, in “Lovers”, not an aria, she is imitating an opera singer, Kathleen Battle! She actually started out with a mimic of “Phantom of the Opera” at the age of 10. Her “Pie Jesu” a little later is remarkably like Aled Jones in delivery and phrasing. Youtube presumably provided a gold mine of artists to follow, just play them over and over until the kid can do it exactly like them. This is not unusual for children and in fact most of the kids singing adult rep on youtube or any of the talent shows with the possible exception of Patricia Janecova are doing just about the same thing, lowering and darkening their voices to sound older.

    To be fair if someone is going to copy Battle or Brightman to such an extent, it would be only right if credit were given. No! Instead, a mythology is promulgated that this talent dropped from the heavens.

    The real technical concerns are magnified in arias. All the difficulties in breathing, jaw problems, etc., are symptoms not causes. Her fans seized upon this idea that she is being persecuted for singing arias in a bad way, but it is the same incorrect technique all through.

    For me personally and others of a responsible and astute sensibility, the adultation and obsession of her fans are really over the top, not healthy for them or for her. And who are they? The nutcases are mainly middle to elderly men. Would someone in their right mind or parents for that matter have their young daughter cater to that sort of audience? They say it’s the connection that counts, the child sounding like a woman “who loves us as an aggregate — as a kind of amorphous metaperson out there beyond the stage lights…

    A hyperfan might come to feel like he/she had a personal relationship with Jackie.” Who are we talking about, the Virgin Mary?

    Let’s put it this way, if she sounded like a kid all this time would there have been half or even less of this hysteria?

    Don’t you have enough pictures of Jackie, BOJOW, that you have to post more to oogle at? What do they have to with singing?

    It’s obvious why you can’t stand those who see right through this whole game. I am not the only one as per other comments above and the articles by Munro and Cindy Sadler.

    • JoyceG says:

      . . . and you call others “nutcases” CJ? Time to look in the mirror.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      Whatever you do, cj, don’t let the facts get in the way of your preconceived notions.

      Jackie has always given credit to Sarah Brightman. In her first TV interview with WPXI, after her first AGT appearance, she explicitly names SB, SB’s vocal coach (hopefully she’s since changed that opinion, LOL…) & Andrea Bocelli as her idols.


      I tried to cue it up to that point; I hope it works. She also sang a brief bit of Panis Angelicus during that interview, where you can hear her essentially unprocessed voice (Jessica Fera, the interviewer, doesn’t step on the end of this one):


      For the finale of AGT, Simon’s minions brought in the real SB to do a duet with Jackie. She basically tells Sarah “you’re the person I learn all my songs from” (again, I attempted to cue it up) It’s tough to imagine Jackie’s giving much more credit to Sarah. After all, there were 15 million people watching.


      On the larger question of children’s using YouTube to learn things (songs or otherwise), so what? Young musicians & singers have always imitated their elders. The advent of recorded music was a much bigger step than the one to YouTube. YT is just a minor step along an ongoing continuum.

      Yes, children imitate older singers, but that doesn’t make them Jackie. Amira Willighagen, a subject of another of Mr Lebrecht’s threads here, has clearly learned to make her voice sound older. But is it as pure, “integrated” & beautiful as Jackie’s? Sorry, not even close.

      Jackie actually saw Phantom when she was 7, & began imitating the songs around the house at that age. She turned 8 during her first competition, Kean Idol in March-April 2008. BTW, she mentions Emmy Rossum (Christine Daaé in the movie) by name quite a bit, too.

      Jackie is still very young, & she’s only beginning to find her own artistic muse. The transition from prodigy to adult can be difficult, because prodigies just do things that adults do at young ages. To be a truly accomplished & recognised adult singer or musician, though, you have to find your own unique way to contribute. Time will tell if Jackie is able to successfully make the transition.

      Jackie’s jaw waggle was mild during AGT, then became more prominent. It’s now diminishing again. If you can’t see that, seriously, cj, you need to see your ophthalmologist.

      Jackie is still going thru adolescence, with the inevitable vocal instabilities that implies. Yes, she has sometimes been inconsistent with her breath support, pitch control & timbre over the past year or so. No, she’s not perfect. But if you can’t hear (at least halting) improvements in all 3 of these things lately, cj, you need to see your otolaryngologist or audiologist. Get your hearing checked.

      Lastly, others have pointed out many of the problems with your criticisms. Jackie has sung 3 (count ’em, THREE) operatic arias, & for more than 2 years has only sung 2 (TWO). It’s a very small fraction of her output, less than 5% of the songs she’s recorded. Why the obsession? Why would you even care?

      I don’t much care for Justin Bieber, but trust me, I don’t go around the web criticising him or his fans.

      Perhaps we should quote JoyceG:

      . . . and you call others “nutcases” CJ? Time to look in the mirror.

    • KnightlyOnce says:


      You remember NL last blog on Jackie, the one about her moving to Masterworks? Maybe you recall our chat there.

      You were ranting about finally discovering the secret to the puzzle that had held you to Jackie, and how now that you had actually answered the last of your doubts about her, that she is just a mimic with a fake voice, and no longer of any interest to you, none at all.

      To which I, after I had stopped laughing, replied BS to your discovery and claims of no interest. I again pointed out what everyone knows, you are a OTT obsessive and when it comes to Jackie you have no control, and never will.

      I said you can not stop yourself from posting comments on anything concerning Jackie, that you would continue to post on that blog until NL closed it, AND that as soon as he started a new blog about Jackie you would be there.————Peek-a-Boo—-I see you.

      You can not stay away, and are doomed to keep repeating the same tired rants.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop Conceivably some of the ticket holders from the cancelled concert in Fresno have been moved to other venues in California.

    • AJ says:


      Sorry to disillusion you but no the ticket holders were not moved to other venues.

    • @CJ – Just let this bunch carry on drooling into their Drambuies. They’ll never listen to what you have to say.

    • KnightlyOnce says:


      They will be given refunds. I do not understand how it could be “conceivably” to move Fresno any ticket holders to any other venues in California, or anywhere else. People have their own lives to lead, and if they want to and are free to attend a concert at a different time and location, that would be up to them, not the promoters.

  • Peter says:

    Thank you @bestofjackieontheweb – you are very welcome if you find it useful.

    The good thing about music is that it does not get damaged when it is “borrowed” by other genres. There are many instrumental arrangements of popular operatic arias, opera composers have borrowed themes from folk music, popular songs of the day, and instrumental works. And Broadway borrows from all. I think that Child Entertainers (and all other singers) should be at liberty to sing whatever songs they wish, in whatever arrangements. And in so far as it brings happiness to some (even if only to their parents) – then it is good.

  • Ehkzu says:

    Something those who have not attended any of her concerts might not know is that a majority of the audience is female–mostly mature women plus a healthy sprinkling of girls.

    A majority of comments on fan forums come from men, but I suspect that’s reversed if you go to the FaceBook sites that deal with Jackie Evancho–and which probably have many more participants than the non-FaceBook fansites.

    I’ve been to three concerts and made the video posted above in this thread. and that’s what I’ve seen at all three concerts.

    This is entirely consistent with the demographics of the Classical Crossover market in general–the major consumers of Light Rock, Light Classics, and Classical Crossover are adult women. Jackie has extended that to include men and girls, but it’s still majority women.

    My wife is a perfect example of Classical Crossover’s core demographic. Light rock, light classics, New Age (think Enya and Mark Isham). She does now love Philip Glass’s Aguas Amazonas as performed by Uakti but isn’t keen on other minimalist stuff. I’ve dragged her to many operas. She tolerates them but only goes because of me. Her favorite Classical Crossover performer is Josh Groban, followed by Andrea Bocelli, followed by Jackie Evancho. No Brightman, no Jenkins. She does love musical theater, non-radical Jazz, and many kinds of world music. Her favorite songs by Jackie do include one aria–Ombra Mai Fu–but she most loves Jackie’s duet of The Prayer with Susan Boyle and Come What May with The Tenors.

    Nothing Jackie has ever done or will do will lead my wife from opera to Classical Crossover. I’m pretty certain that this is true for over 95% of Jackie’s paying customers. And for her paying customers who do love opera–like me–the notion that she’s reducing my love of opera is equally absurd. I love ice cream and I love Chicken Vindaloo. I never have ice cream instead of Chicken Vindaloo, and vice versa.

    Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the music industry would know that the Classical Crossover main demographic is mature women like my wife. The male hyperfans are outliers. I’ve been active on her fan forums for over three years. In that time I saw one fan who expressed pedophilic interest in her, who was quickly driven away by everyone else. One other fan kept talking as if he knew the Evanchos personally, but did not show any signs of pedophilia in his writings. He turned out to be crazy and wound up murdering a neighbor in some dispute having nothing to do with Jackie or anything else musical, and then committed suicide.

    Most of the other “frequent posters” are politically very conservative husbands and grandfathers who have not been fans of any other performer, child or teen or adult, most of whom welcome Jackie’s departure from the world of child performers–which happened about six months ago BTW–because she will be exercising more and more control over her song choices–though not even her most enthusiastic fans can predict just which way she’s going to go artistically. She has stated repeatedly that she plans to continue performing within the Classical Crossover genre.

    Pedophilia is not an interest in children in general–it’s almost always confined to a specific age range, linked to the stage in life at which the pedophile’s maturation got blocked. Anyone who was interested in Jackie in that way when she was a 10-12 year old would not be interested in the postpubescent 13 1/2 year old young lady she is now. I’m not a musician but have a degree in the social sciences, but no need to trust me on this. It’s easy to confirm with a few hours’ research on the Net.

    It’s a common human failing to presume that having considerable expertise in some specialty confers equal expertise in unrelated areas. People rarely claim this–but they often act as if they believe it. I would hope that before accusing someone of being a sociopath and at least a nascent criminal, one would take the time to learn something about whatever one is accusing others of. To do otherwise is a major breach of the rules of civilized conduct. As a lifelong lover of classical music, I’ve always assumed that classical music lovers were generally classy people who would not do something so irresponsible.

    “1 JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”

    —Matthew 7:1-5 KJV

    I’m not religious myself but Matthew makes sense to me in this regard.

    Lastly, I think classical music lovers who don’t “get” the adulation directed at a 13 year old soprano need to realize that Jackie Evancho is a cultural phenomenon and not simply a musical one. I love Glenn Gould’s performances but the man was not someone I’d admire apart from that. Jackie Evancho is–and is become moreso as she matures–someone destined to be a cultural icon due to the total package–the life story, the discipline, the music, the comportment, and her having the kind of beauty that Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman had–beauty with a touch of nobility. The young Queen Elizabeth had some of this as well. A certain classiness.

    It’s utterly unfair that one person would get everything–talent, looks, situation, luck, lovability, etc. But life never claimed to be fair. It never claimed anything.

    And Jackie’s more conservative fans (I’m a liberal so I’m not speaking about myself) have been hard-pressed to find a singer whose values are as close to theirs as hers appear to be. So she gives them hope that the values they revere have not vanished from the current generation. Which adds to her cachet. There is a reason why she has been invited to perform for both the President of the United States and his family and the Emperor of Japan and his family. Miley Cyrus is not about to get such invitations…

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop It’s amusing to read from a person who can hear passaggi that no one else does or even cares about: “But if you can’t hear (at least halting) improvements in all 3 of these things lately, cj, you need to see your otolaryngologist or audiologist”. Even fans admit that her top notes, not that high anyway, are thinner than before (re: Imaginer in Cupertino). And she can barely hold notes over a measure or two.

    But here we go again, it seems that Jackie fans are incapable of rational or civil discourse. They cannot accept agree to disagree, only sling insults when they get frustrated.

    Learning from someone is not the same as copying or mimicking. To copy every nuance of a song such as “Lovers” to me is a form of plagiarism.

    As for nutcases such pomposity is the norm rather than the exception in Evancholand: “even if Jackie recognizes some of the regulars who show up at her meet and greets and inhabit those front two rows regularly…they still have 0.00001 of a relationship with her.”

    BTW Meet and Greet before the concert costs around $500-$750. And the bumped off ticket holders in Fresno just have to grin and bear it with NO recognition on any of the main sites? Really you all attritbute to much virtue to the Holy Family and not bottomline shrewdness.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      Jackie’s high notes WERE thin (every time), as well as occasionally off pitch (often flat, at least at first) over the past year or so. Yes, she was, & still is, going thru adolescence, with significant vocal challenges.

      Now, although she’s not 100% consistent, most of her high notes are much fuller & better supported. They’re on pitch. She’s not tilting her head to the right every time. Her registers are more similar. She takes breaths less often & holds notes longer. Her chin waggle is diminishing.

      I’m sorry if you can’t hear/see, or won’t acknowledge hearing/seeing, these things, but they are objectively there. Jackie is working her way thru a very difficult time, adolescence, both vocally & in terms of everything else, all the things every 13 year old girl must work thru. It’s remarkable that she’s doing as well as she is.

      Maybe we should cut her a bit of slack as she continues to work her way thru this difficult time. Her voice will return. And, of course, she continues her remarkable emotional connections with her audiences.

      • Derek Castle says:

        Is “thru” an American thing?

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

          Derek C

          Re: “thru”

          I was under the impression that it was originally adopted after an international conference that involved people from multiple English-speaking countries, but could be wrong about that.

          It appears to be primarily a US variant, so you are correct. The Free Dictionary says these things:

          thru [θruː]


          (adverb, adjective) Chiefly US a variant spelling of through

          thru (θru)

          prep., adv., adj.


          usage: The spelling thru, advocated for over a century by various spelling-reform groups, is now used chiefly informally or in headlines or signs. However, some periodicals use thru as a standard variant, regardless of context.

          • Derek Castle says:

            HSL, thanks for that. It’s even in my 1971 Chambers, I’ve discovered. Variants are the spice of language, I suppose. I get goose-flesh when I hear ‘dove’ and ‘pled’, even though the latter is the dictionary as an alternative to ‘pleaded’ under “Spenser, Scot., U.S. and dial.”

            Fusty old Brit (but trying to be flexible).

            PS. Other weak/strong verb forms are equally common in the U.K., e.g. ‘dreamed’ and ‘dreamt’ or ‘leaned’ and ‘leant’.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

            Derek C

            I’m a bit of a crusty old American myself, also trying to be flexible. 😉 One of the few useful things I learnt (I love those Brit variations myself, LOL) in high school is that languages simplify grammatically over time.

            I’m not a tweeter, but in the twitterverse, the 140-character limit forces people to be economical with every single character. It’s possible that “your” will eventually be acceptable for “you’re” as well as “your.” Or maybe even “yr” or “ur.”

            Ouch. Personally I’d hate it, but those kinds of things are probably coming. 🙁

          • Derek Castle says:

            Mon Dieu! As it is, it takes me ages to decipher text messages on ‘cellphones’ (see, I am trying) from friends even slightly younger than myself – u, ur, btw, imho, even lol! Only recently did I discover what ‘milf’ stood for (and it’s certainly not ‘Mummy, I love foie gras’!)

          • @HSL – Just a quick question: If you take the time to spell every other word correctly, why abbreviate ‘through’?

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      BTW, the fact that you can’t hear at least some of Jackie’s register changes & passaggi is actually evidence of how good she is. Her range may be somewhat smaller than it was in the past as she works her way through adolescence, but she’ll be getting it back soon. She’s already improving in multiple areas, even though she’s not perfectly consistent yet.

      The old joke is that the 2 worst years of a woman’s life are when she is 13 & when her daughter is 13. This is a difficult time of transition, both in general & for the voice. I maintain that Jackie is actually doing relatively well right now.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @bestofjackieontheweb For a self-declared English teacher, hackneyed expressions come to mind (strip-mall teacher? hmm…) “The voice teacher who thinks her opinion is gospel, who looks down her nose at the great unwashed, who fails to understand that her opinions are subject to prejudice is a fraud…There are those who teach art (be it literature, music, or the plastic arts) whose eyes and ears are no better than yours or mine. Their judgements are faulty. Their assessment of value is worthless…As with any art, appreciation of great singing requires humility, the acceptance that the unexpected is possible, that someone could come along who, though untutored, might in her few years know more about art than the self-declared expert will appreciate in a lifetime.”

    1) For the “great unwashed” (whatever THAT is), soap is relatively inexpensive.

    2) Those who teach English have worthless opinions about literature. OK, I’ll buy that. Thanks for the morning laugh.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Ehkzu Another pompous sermon. I thought that fans were interested in her singing, not in having a personal relationship with her. Sorry but this is hogwash. “Pedophilia is…almost always confined to a specific age range, linked to the stage in life at which the pedophile’s maturation got blocked. Anyone who was interested in Jackie in that way when she was a 10-12 year old would not be interested in the postpubescent 13 1/2 year old young lady she is now.” What difference does it make what stage of development or both?

    Postpubescent? What business is it of yours or anyone else’s besides her family?

    From Amazon.com “How Old are Jackie’s Fans?” Demographics… AGE 65 or above 6% of these 80% male 20% female AGE 55-64 37% of these 70% male 30% female AGE 45-54 31% of these 70% male 30% female AGE 35-44 11% of these 65% male 35% female. A Lewiston poster said that about only 35% were under 50.

    Another Jackie blogger admits her music is not geared for kids who like upbeat stuff. Practically all the persistent, obsessive, self-righteous fans who cram Jackie sites, youtube vids and blogs are elderly men. I’d say that were creepy. I would not like that if it were me or a member of my family.

    • AJ says:


      I know I’ve said this before but comprehension appears to be your biggest challenge.

      Jackie’s fan base will always be skewed to an older crowd because of the repertoire she sings. Can you tell me of any other singer her age who sings her type of repertoire and has a bunch of screaming, yelling teenagers for fans.

      Thankfully, Jackie is on her way to becoming a young adult but for folks like you the creepiness will never go away. Rather that than accept the fact that a young child / teen is having a career that most adult professionals (opera or otherwise ) can only dream of. Yes it hurts to know that whereas you have spent decades in rigorous training, practice, and the pursuit of knowledge and remain relatively unknown, you have a 13 year old sing only two operatic arias and gain world wide attention (poor technique and all). Yes it can hurt and seems so unfair …. but such is life. You either deal with it or move on … otherwise it will slowly eat you up and sour your perspective on life and your career. Hope that’s not the case …. though it would be hard to convince anyone to the contrary.

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      garbagejuice, the in house comic, one liner of the day, “I’d say that were creepy.”

      The Jackie blogger who “admits” her music is not geared for kids, also “admits” the moon is not made of cheese, and “admits” cabbabejuice is the most persistent, self-righteous, OTT obsessive person ever.

  • dj says:

    Oh my! Been a long time since I have read this forum in regards to Jackie Evancho. From my

    point of view, the vast majority of Jackie’s critics can’t stop thinking about Jackie! Jackie

    seems to occupy considerable space in their brains. Why devote so much energy and effort?

    I think I know why.

    • Everett Cox says:

      Why? Please do enlighten us…

      • dj says:

        When I first heard this girl sing, my first impression was this girl has the most

        beautiful voice that I have ever heard. I still think that. Perhaps my ears/brain are playing

        tricks – but I don’t think so.

        There are countless singers that can hit all the notes, high and low, etc…, but most

        lack the beauty in tone of this girl.

        The vast majority of people that have heard Jackie sing have a very positive response

        to her. However, since the first time she became nationally/internationally known there

        have been her harsh critics. In my observation’s, I have noticed that the harshest critics

        have come from female singer-teachers and I think I know why.


        There are 3-4 reasons, but I will only touch on one.

        – her beautiful tone

        They can only dream of sounding that beautiful and certainly would not want to be

        compared side by side with her.

        I would love to have a singer-teacher who is a harsh critic post themselves on YouTube singing a song that Jackie has sung so we can all learn how “real” singers sing.

        How about a song that has been done a million times – Danny Boy or When I Wish Upon A Star, etc…. although the song does not really matter. I want to see and hear the proper way

        to sing from one of Jackie’s harshest critic as seeing and hearing is a better tool than words on a social media blog.


  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Mr, Jeff replies:

    I knew it wouldn’t take long before the often vitriolic comments of miss Juice would appear on a thread about JE. as she doesn’t seem able to resist entering the fray with negativity. I don’t know why, since she thinks so little of JE, that she insists on throwing brickbats at such a sweet young girl and her fans. CJ so often regales us with her “expertise” on the development of the adolescent female voice from the perspective of a seasoned voice coach, but she insists on the use of a pseudonym and artfully dodges any attempts to learn her true identity. What exactly is it that you have to hide?

    As I have suggested on a previous thread on this blog, why don’t you provide us with some examples of your own performances or those of your best students so as to silence those of us doubters who question your claims.

    • JoyceG says:

      I think the explanation is quite simple. CJ is a person of modest talent and some knowledge whose OCD has fixated on Jackie. As we all know, CJ obsessively repeats, ad nauseum, the same half-baked largely inaccurate (and sometimes offensive) points. Her only influence or affect is what she can get by posting nutty comments on the web, but there is no light, it’s only noise.

  • This is not addressed to CJ and the response I anticipate she won’t be able to restrain herself from giving is neither invited nor welcome.

    Mr Lebrecht, by permitting her to post, and those who respond or address comments to her may be enabling someone who, seriously, needs the sort of help it’s not ours to give.

    She continues to get the negative attention she evidently craves by dividing her ever-increasing word count between juvenile insults, prurient comments (yes, I know what the word means), and points she’s made many, many times before.

    Mr Lebrecht might consider rescuing the comment section of his posts on Jackie Evancho exercising his prerogative: direct her to stop posting unless she has something new to say.

    Speaking only for myself, I’ve heard enough from her and won’t enable her syndrome, whatever it is, so, trust me, this is my last mention of her.

    • Ehkzu says:

      Many divorced people discover the concept of “negative intimacy” the hard way. The dynamic is simple, the rewards a bit less so: you insult someone with vicious ad hominem attacks and then bask in the angry responses.

      The reward is that you have then gotten someone else to care about you and respond to you, thus validating your existence–and you’ve done so without psychological risk.

      See, if you tell someone “I like you” you’ve made yourself vulnerable to them. They can say “Well, I don’t like you.” And you’re crushed and humiliated to boot. But if you tell someone “Dude you suck” you’ve risked nothing.

      Psychologically normal people don’t enjoy angry confrontations, of course. But emotionally damaged people can find that it’s the only form of strong human interaction their egos can bear, because they can’t bear to make themselves vulnerable and thus risk rejection, but they also can’t bear to withdraw from human contact, which is something nearly everyone who isn’t a drug addict needs.

      This is the psychology of the Internet troll. It’s easy for a moderator to ban the typical troll, who usually knows nothing about whatever the topic of a forum is.

      But Mr. Lebrecht faces a more difficult issue with the person in question, who does know something about the subject at hand, and whose invidious comments generally are on-topic.

      Grounds for banning such a person would have to devolve around:

      1. Sheer repetitiveness.

      2. Resorting to personal attacks instead of or in addition to arguments about a given thread topic.

      3. Making personal attacks which would be legally actionable outside Internet anonymity.

      Slander law generally protects the owner of a website from being legally exposed by statements made on threads, but I’m not sure it does in all cases.

      One of the most liberal forums out there in which musical topics are discussed is the Amazon.com product forum area, which I think most readers of Slipped Disc are familiar with. Here’s what their guidelines forbid that are germane to this situation:

      “What shouldn’t I post?

      Behave as if you were a guest at a friend’s dinner party. Please treat the Amazon.com community with respect. Do not post:

      Profane or obscene, inflammatory or spiteful comments

      Messages that abuse, denigrate or threaten others

      Repeated posts that make the same point excessively

      Repeated unwelcome messages that harass or embarrass other customers or participants”

      Unfortunately, the person in question has violated several of these standards, and done so frequently. These are a different forum’s standards, but I cite them here because Amazon is known for being a relative free-for-all–yet the person in question would even violate Amazon’s standards.

      However, if I were Mr. Lebrecht, I wouldn’t ban her just yet. I would email her a warning citing the areas where she’s in violation of this forum’s standards of conduct, in effect putting her on probation–and inviting her to continue to participate as long as she comports herself in the civilized manner appropriate to the best-known classical music blog out there.

      It may be that she’s wandered into troll territory in the heat of argument, and that if given a chance to cool off and reread what she’s written that she isn’t advancing her arguments effectively when she violates guidelines typical of civilized forums.

  • GauchoGirl says:

    This blog post was mentioned in an article written by Fresno Bee journalist Donald Munro.

    “Where was Jackie?”


  • Everett Cox says:

    I call on you, Norman Lebrecht, to ban this “Mikey” until such time as he/she can refrain from calling a 13 year old singer “crap”. It is vicious and uncalled for. And please delete that comment.

    • This isn’t a JE fans’ website, it’s a discussion forum. Deal with the fact not everyone goes gaga in the face of this girl.

      • Everett Cox says:

        I know you don’t like her and I couldn’t care less. Resorting to that kind of name calling should be grounds for dismissal. I don’t read YOUR rants against her so do you call her singing crap or what?

        • Your second sentence makes no sense. If you want to know what I thought of the one song I’ve ever heard her sing, scroll up and have a look. Then ask yourself honestly if it qualifies as a ‘rant’. Mikey’s words were maybe not the most delicate but he didn’t say anything that warrants censure.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @bestofjackieontheweb & Ehkzu Most of my comments have to with Jackie’s ridiculous fans and answering their vitriolic attacks on me. As Cindy Sadler wrote the expertise itself is regarded as a threat. So anyone who disagrees or has rational criticism automatically becomes a hater. I never mentioned the word pedophilia but others have. You and others like you don’t like facts challenged, so can only demean the source.

    I never threw brickbats at Jackie. Saying so doesn’t make it true. I just don’t feel in this stage of her vocal development she should be singing professionally and gave the reasons why. Others have stated the same concerns.

    When it comes to a multi-million dollar business enterprise, I don’t feel the need to tread lightly on it. As for being needlessly repetitious, check out AJ’s comments on this one thread. I won’t go into the millions of words of effusive praise showered on Jackie in contrast to a few reality checks.

    The original premise of the thread was the cancellation in Fresno. This now is the fourth major one in a little more than a year. They are often done arbitrarily with NO explanation on any of the major websites including your own. Just a tweet from Jackie, that she “just found out” but she still “loves you”. A loving word is supposed to compensate for disruption of schedules, losing money on plane tickets and accomodations. A smile or kind tweet should appease and be enough for the fans.

    As for those who can’t separate art from reality, they have an even bigger problem than your slanderous allegations of me. Here is the explanation!

    A performer LOVES to be on stage, LOVES being in that momentary bubble, a peak experience, giving and receiving the feedback of an audience. But it is not reality! It is not something a person is supposed to take home and dream of having a relationship with. The facts remain that teenage guys and girls are not the ones going twitterpated over her. They are not the ones collecting hundreds of pictures of her and maintaining sites that delve into just about every detail of her being including the physiology of her throat and vocal cords. As I mentioned above, it is really none of your business if she is pre or postpubescent. It is inappropriate, crossing the line of decency. Such people are the ones to be singled out for pathology.

    As for the “what a nice guy I am” act, I don’t buy it at all. Men, that is MEN, a seeming vanishing species, not snotty little boys, don’t make accusations (my opinions are worthless, I am a grinch) and then run to mommy or daddy and say, “She hit me! Get her back!”

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Re: Carnegie Hall sales

    In a previous post I said that the 5 Dec 2013 event, with Tim Janis, Sir James Galway, Cindy Cruse Ratcliff & Jackie, was ~33% sold. It now appears this is an underestimation. This is the ticket site:


    I didn’t count each seat, but the hall appears to be ~50% sold/unavailable. It appears that sales are going moderately well.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop I should really bow to your superior opinion. I have been working with women’s voices for more than 30 years & coached choirs. I also served to screen voices in choruses, since some untrained singers may think they are sopranos when they are mezzos and the same with men who can sit in the wrong section for years. It also helps that I am a woman myself and was a girl too so know what the problems are intimately. (My teacher gave me permission to work with men’s voices 15 years ago. Nevermind.)

    A time of transition is NOT the time to work through problems ON STAGE. Joanna, if you remember, said she should take off for at least 6 months. I think it should be longer.

    Personal experience is something not really transmissable to those who don’t sing. I can tell you it is DARN uncomfortable to sing with a slightly off technique. A feeling of panic ensues when you feel you don’t have enough breath to complete a phrase. (Ideally, one should have a little left over AFTER the note, not to go down to zero.) Not being able to control registers is highly unsettling. Also, as in most instrumental training, bad habits are notoriously difficult to eradicate. They come back to haunt any time there is stress or uncertainty. One can buy a new instrument or change the strings or reeds but one CANNOT buy now vocal cords once they are damaged.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      I respect your experience & knowledge with singers. Obviously you have a right to your own opinion. My opinion is only based on what I see & hear with Jackie.

      Sometimes you make errors of fact, so I feel the need to point those out. As an example, you said Jackie doesn’t give credit to older singers, so I pointed out that she has always given credit to Sarah Brightman (among others), & posted the videos to show that.

      Jackie just did take 3 months off from performing this (2013) summer & fall. Perhaps that wasn’t long enough, but I think her subsequent improvements are obvious to an objective observer. She’s not perfect, but she’s a lot better. Evidently you disagree.

      The decision about a singer’s fach is often a difficult one, as you’ve pointed out previously on other threads. Time will tell whether you’re right that Jackie will be a light soprano. I’ll just wait, listen & see what happens.

      Ironically enough, I’ve always agreed with you & others that Jackie should have classical vocal training & coaching. (Their functions are different, but they overlap somewhat; she should have both IYAM.) I’ve just pointed out that the claim of “no training” has a long history in the arts. I’ve also pointed out that Jackie has indeed had lots of professional help with her voice, including regular singing lessons when she was younger & ongoing help now.

      Time will tell whether I’m right & Jackie is improving. Time will also tell whether you’re right & Jackie irreparably damages her voice.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop You misunderstand me if you think I need to be right. Maybe you do. I never said that she will damage her voice irreparably. I leave the door open for improvement but only if done in the right manner. So if, when and to what extent she improves will not make us neither right nor wrong, but only bystanders.

    I already said there is an important distinction between learning from someone and copying. So it is not an error of fact to point out that the basic method of learning has not been acknowledged, playing videos until they are assiimilated to the point of being able to reproduce them perfectly and with confidence. A comparison Battle/Evancho video was pulled from youtube being simply too obvious and too close for comfort.

    It was a shock and disappointment to find that out since I thought that the phrasing and nuances in Lovers were her own. I did give some credit and benefit of the doubt which I now withdraw. The copying business with her and all the others, including Amira, mught be good as an incentive but should be discarded as any crutch would be. The inflexibility of the current repertoire is explained by how it was built up in the first place. learning new things would possible entail a new technique and timbre that might be too far from what everyone is used to. It may be to unsettling for all, including the singer herself.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      You said

      “…the basic method of learning has not been acknowledged, playing videos until they are assimilated…”

      Huh? When Jackie first met Sarah Brightman, within seconds she said “you’re the person I learn all my songs from” (OK, she could have said “you’re the person from whom I learn all my songs” – but she didn’t). How else COULD Jackie have learned from SB, except by video or audio recordings? Of course she was acknowledging that she’d used them to learn her songs. She’s even said so about other songs, in other settings; she said she’d learned Lloyd Webber’s “Memory” from videos of Barbra Streisand.

      However, that doesn’t mean her phrasing is inflexible, or that she doesn’t add her own interpretations to what she sings. All you need to do is listen to the 2 versions of “Time to Say Goodbye” from AGT, the first solo & the 2nd the duet with SB. They’re completely different; they’re even in different keys. The solo version has all these ornaments & glissandos, while the duet is strictly as written. Every time she sings a song, it’s a bit different. It’s unfair to say she only copies & never adds anything.

      As far as timbre, she used her “pop” timbre on “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” avoiding her “darker,” more “adult-like” sound. She uses whatever timbre is most appropriate for what she’s singing. It won’t “unsettle” her, or her audience, if she sings something with a different timbre. She does it all the time already.

      BTW, lots of people think Jackie’s version of “Lovers” is better than Battle’s.

  • AJ says:

    For those who have not heard …. Below are the two performances of “Lovers” from the movie “House of Flying Daggers”. Both renditions extremely beautiful; one by the acclaimed 60+ year old coloratura soprano, Kathleen Battle and the other by an 11 year old prodigyy, Jackie Evancho.

    Kathleen Battle


    Jackie Evancho


  • Sheriff Sims's Deputy says:

    First of all I just wanna say that I’m someone who deals in facts.

    Facts are important.

    That’s something I learned from my boss.

    Along with writing all my Posts as if I‘m trying to write a sonnet.

    The fact is that there’s No reason for true Jackie fans to post here.

    The regular Readers of this blog don’t like Jackie.

    They don’t care about Her or her music.

    They are against everything Jackie and her music Stand for.

    So if you’re gonna say that you’re a Fan and than post here

    I have to question what Your motivation is.

    Who are you? Why are you here?

    A true Fan doesn’t contribute to spreading rumors

    They don’t feed the Nonsense from CJ and others haters

    If you’re gonna be supportive than you don’t come to this blog

    Have some discipline and Self Control and stay away.

    That’s what my Boss does and he is a True fan.

    That’s all I gotta say on this Topic.

  • KnightltOnce says:

    New on youtube from Thousand Oaks concert.


  • KnightlyOnce says:

    From Jackie’s Thousand Oaks concert, When You Wish Upon A Star.


  • cabbagejuice says:

    It’s such incredible nerve to say that Jackie’s version of “Lovers” is preferred over Battle. If it weren’t for the first to copy, there would not have been the second. The same with Aled Jones’ Ombra Mai Fu, Pie Jesu, Sarah Brightman’s Nessun Dorma, etc.

    The very idea of all these kids’ mimicking videos is such a turn off for me. They can enjoy the karaoke experience in their own homes, schools or at birthday parties. To learn from someone implies there is a core of knowledge already. Lacking that, it is inevitable that uninformed copying will NOT cover all bases. The slips will be showing. At least one can understand every word that Battle sings. She doesn’t have a tremolo in the lower notes because her voice is developed enough to handle the song. The same with the aformentioned Nessun Dorma sung by an 11 year old with a jaw trembling like a leaf.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    To Sheriff Sims deputy,

    You are right of course. I don’t know what compels me to come to this site and spar with the likes of CJ and others. I suppose I might be a trifle OCD when it comes to defending Jackie. To be truthful I attended Her performance in Thousand Oaks last night and as big a fan as I am of JE I have heard her perform better. Since she has recently returned from a long break what I detected was a self imposed limit of her range especially the high end. She seemed to sing effortlessly and still beautifully but not in her usual jaw dropping fashion. Referring to her recent long break, I doubt that she is suffering from fatigue and I certainly believe that she is receiving some form of advice/coaching to not push herself to the limit.

  • Casual Observer says:

    I only somewhat remember this kid from her appearances on America’s Got Talent a few years ago, and even then I just remember her getting the usual buzz these shows create over at least one contestant each season. Since then? I have no idea, and that disqualifies me (thankfully) from quibbling over every last detail about her.

    What I can talk about is the impression her singing leaves on a casual observer like me. I watched some of these newer videos and didn’t like them. It made me try to remember what the buzz was about a few years ago, so I watched a video of her singing “Ave Maria” on the talent show, and remembered what the buzz was about. On the show, she sounded natural, and it was very pleasing, and certainly made the listener imagine the potential that could come with good training.

    In these newer videos, I didn’t hear what I think people would have expected three years after the talent show. It’s obvious that she hasn’t spent three years training. It sounds like it’s been three years of seeing how this singer and that singer sound, and trying to sound the same way. The very pleasing natural sound she used to have, which worked for this music, has been replaced by this thick and darkened mash-up that someone convinced her is right for the music she sings. It isn’t, in my opinion.

    Maybe if she gets some training, from someone who can bring out her natural voice and convince her to unlearn this forced pseudo-classical sound, she could attract a broader audience. Let the kid be herself and see what she does with music.

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      Casual, no one can hear what is so impressive about Jackie’s voice from a video clip on youtube. Not the best CD’s, nor Blu-ray DVD’s, can come close to hearing her sing at a live performance.

      Her voice on AGT pales in comparison to her voice now.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    To Casual observer:

    I too first discovered Jackie on you Tube. I never watch network television so I didn’t see her on AGT. I went out and bought two of her CDs and the DVD of Dream with me from her first PBS special. I quickly discovered that you Tube vids of her live performances taken by amateurs in the audience with small hand-held devices aren’t worth watching as they are incapable of capturing the true sound of her voice. Since that time I have attended three of her concerts (yeah, I am definitely smitten) and as a result I have learned that you can’t truly appreciate her talent without witnessing it first hand. CDs are great, but anything done in a recording studio obviously allows the artist to “touch up” the recording to remove voice cracks and other flaws. I heartily recommend that even her admirers attempt to see her live at least once. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    I feel compelled to respond to the critics on this thread(including CJ) that allege that Jackie is copying other artists she must be watching on you Tube. Whom is she attempting to copy on Pure Imagination, Gene Wilder? The same goes for Can you see the love tonight. Is she copying Elton John? Lastly, I suppose she is copying Jiminy Cricket on When you wish upon a star! Lets not also forget that she has recorded two Christmas CDs(one of which went Platinum) on which she sang traditional Christmas songs and carols. Which artist is she attempting to imitate on those highly successful CDs?

    • Janey says:

      It is my belief that Ms. Evancho’s Pure Imagination owes a great debt (perhaps a total debt) to Michael Feinstein’s earlier cover, while When You Wish Upon a Star is very much in the style of Julie Andrews and many others. Ms. Evancho’s skill is not originality. Only those with limited musical experience would believe otherwise.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ That’s just the point. Jones, Brightman, Battle, Barbra Streisand (Summer Knows), etc., developed their own style based on the possibilities of their voice and range of expression. This is called interpretation. There weren’t hundreds of videos online for kids to repeat over and over until they were assimilated. Maybe some people think or thought that imitation can take the place of a real teacher.

    @Laptop And as for acknowledging a debt to Brightman without being too specific, I hardly think this was spontaneous. I would bet that saying that was part of a deal that the older singer may have even demanded.

    • AJ says:


      I guess then we could split hairs all day long on who developed their own style and who did not. When you can show me an 11 year old could can sing Lovers, Nessun Dorma, Ombra Mai Fu like Jackie does we can talk about developing style and range of expression.

      And whether you think the debt to Brightman was spontaneous or not is once again your perception…..not a surprise that you think as you do.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      “And as for acknowledging a debt to Brightman without being too specific, I hardly think this was spontaneous. I would bet that saying that was part of a deal that the older singer may have even demanded.”

      ROFLMAO! I needed a laugh today, cj; thank you.

      You think that a wide-eyed 10 year old, meeting her idol for the first time, could actually say something pre-planned? She looked totally flummoxed. How could she even remember what to say? And you think that Sarah Brightman, after selling 40 million albums & practically inventing the modern classical crossover genre, would somehow need a 10 year old to acknowledge her like that? Seriously??


      I’m sorry, cj, that’s just silly.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Jeff Rogers The Christmas question is easy to answer. Check out Charlotte Church’s “Dream a Dream”. http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Charlotte-Church-Holy-Land/dp/B00004ZDPO Even the name is derivative.

    As for a live voice being So different from a recorded one, I don’t buy it.

  • Jeff Rogers says:


    Oh goody, I get to spar with someone other than CJ. I checked out Michael Feinsteins rendition of Pure Imagination and I will admit it is very close to JE’s. Of course, as you would expect, I prefer Jackie’s version. My attempt at sarcasm in my reference to “Jiminy Cricket” obviously missed the mark. I never claimed that Jackie’s forte was originality. I just think that it is disingenuous to claim that she has no originality. I again refer to her Christmas CDs which, by the way, were her most successful. For the life of me, I don’t see evidence of her copying anyone. My musical experience is in fact limited, although my father(rest his soul) enjoyed a successful career as a classical voice coach after being the featured male vocalist with several orchestras during what has come to be remembered as the “Big band era.” I can refer you to some of his recordings on you Tube if you’re interested.

    In closing, I would bet my hat and overcoat(an old expression) that neither you nor CJ have ever seen a live performance by miss Evancho.

  • Everett Cox says:

    I would be interested in hearing what the opera enthusiasts think about this woman’s voice. I think it is a very beautiful voice; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLNzlsPK49E

  • RobinB says:

    Opera attendances have been declining since 2008: this is an artform in decay.

    When Jackie releases her version of Rachmoninoff’s vocalise late next year and brings the masses streaming back to the dusty Opera halls, will you still deny her genius?

    • Beatrice Hannigan says:


      Alright, I’m cancelling my cable TV service and divorcing my husband. You cannot get better entertainment than what’s to be found right here on this blog. Keep those Jackie Evancho updates coming. 🙂

      • Fred Obelisk says:

        Note to file 10 August 2015

        Sadly, opera houses continue to close or merge, and attendances are declining.
        See “More than 40 percent of Pittsburgh seats go unsold” SlippedDisk 15 March 2015.
        Jackie performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Feb 13 2015.
        Attendance was over 90%.
        She sang Vocalise.

    • Derek Castle says:

      I’m so tired of hearing this argument. My mother loved Aled Jones, but she had absolutely no interest in ‘classical’ music. What is the connection between a pretty girl singing a pretty tune for 5 minutes and the ‘masses’ storming the opera houses? Will they suddenly be converted to Tosca and Cenerentola? (because Jackie certainly won’t be able to sing these roles). I love the sweeping ‘statistic’, too. Opera may be dying in the US, but it’s alive and kicking here in Britain – perhaps because we have so few opera houses (check Germany!)

      • Martin says:

        Rather the contrary. I’ve heared too many youngsters announcing that classical music is lame (or shit or whatever negative comment a youth would make) after they heared Rieu or other showstars.

        • Derek Castle says:

          I agree. A lot of young people don’t ‘get’ (have they ever) classical music, but no young person I knaow has ever enthused about André Rieu (for which I remain eternally thankful).

          • Derek Castle says:

            Sorry, typo. “I know”.

          • Everett Cox says:

            And yet he plays to enormous packed stadiums everywhere he goes. I think the smallest venue he plays is Radio City Music Hall(NYC) which only holds 6000 and change. He also employs very fine singers such as Kimmy Skota(SA), Mirusia Louwerse(Australia), Carla Mafioletti, Suzan Erens and others.

            He brings Classical music to the masses, such as your class of Brit, which no one else is doing as he is doing it. He should be praised not sneered at by you lot.

          • Derek Castle says:

            Yes, Hitler managed to mesmerise the ‘masses’ in Nuremberg. If J. Strauss were still alive, he could probably sue for ‘defamation of character’.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            “He brings Classical music to the masses”

            No, he doesn’t. He brings them cheapened down, industrially processed music tailored to the lowest common denominator taste. Saying that is like saying McDonald’s brings fine cuisine to the masses.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    The Vocalise by Rachmaninoff is not opera.

    • AJ says:


      And Jackie is not an opera singer and nor has she claimed to be one :).

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      Indeed not. I wonder what will happen to all those masses that Jackie will send streaming back to the dusty old opera houses when they find that out, too. Where will they go?

  • RobinB says:

    Her passion was ignited when her mother took her to see a famous musical at the age of eight. At age nine she started auditioning, but was initially rejected.

    Finally, at age 10 she was accepted into the industry.

    Her unusual, gentle style brought much criticism from the establishment.

    See was considered technically inferior by the purists, for her incorrect posture and her use technology to correct a weakness – this was considered cheating.

    However, some leading producers of the time saw something special, and encouraged her, leading to significant popular acclaim.

    She brought additional criticism from the establishment by declining to train and perform in the popular style of the day, preferring instead her own more gentle, ethereal style.

    Later in her career, she toured extensively, performing often for charity, involving young children in her performances, and encouraging popular appreciation of her art form around the world.

    Her name was Anna Pavlova.

    Many now consider her to be the greatest ballerina of all time.

    Her use of the block to support the pointe toe is no longer considered cheating. It is standard practice, and has allowed ballet to reach new artistic heights. The ‘old way’ is no longer practiced.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @RobinB How nice you mentioned Anna Pavlova, as I have various books about her, Nijinsky, Diaghelev and the Ballet Russe! I reserved a special interest for ballet even if I had to regretfully choose between piano lessons and dance at the age of 10, opting for the former. Probably it was the easy way out since ballet seems more rigorous in its discipline. No days off!

    Anna saw the Sleeping Beauty with her mother. They didn’t have “musicals” back in Imperial Russia. Nor was ballet an “industry”, instead subsidized by royalty as was classical music up to the 18th century.

    She was probably the most individualistic ballerina then an perhps for all time, having the courage not to be an acrobat (I wonder about today’s dancers), instead emphasising her own qualities of lyricism and sensitivity.

    Pavlova choreographed many pieces for her own iconic style that are difficult to reproduce by other dancers, at least not in the same way. Great ballerinas put their own stamp on the “Dying Swan”, for instance.

    However, Anna was an accomplished dancer before doing any of the main roles.

    She did not copy her teachers or coaches nor was encouraged to do so.

    The bad part of kids imitating singing from youtube videos and I will include Amira, the infrastructure is not there. So technical flaws will abound together with diction problems because they did not study how to produce each vowel and consonant, how to breathe properly, etc.

    Anna could not have done any role without the intense training and the same goes for wannabe kids who think they can just dive into Nessun Dorma or Ombra Mai Fu. Copying the inflections, nuances, phrasing of various performers and passing them off as your own to me is not ethical.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @DerekCastle Part of the explanation is “See, we can beat you at your own game, and all it takes is a girl with preternatural talent to do it.”

    I am amused to read “opera snob” and all the other terminology such as “opera anthusiast” when I am actually not one myself. I just like good singing. What they have against opera I don’t know although one can hate something one does not understand. There is definitely a strong current of anti-intellectualism operating which endears me to such people even more…

    • Derek Castle says:

      CJ, you do rant on a bit, but I completely agree that there is a streak of anti-intellectualism on this blog. I hate the term, I come from a very simple, working-class background, but over the years I’ve come to prefer quality over trash, be it in music (my main hobby), the theatre or TV, food or hotels. Are football fans ‘snobs’ because they prefer to go to a Manchester United match rather than a game in the second division?

  • Casual Observer says:

    I’m surprised to hear anyone say, “Oh, but you have to hear her live” and “Recordings don’t do her justice”. So why buy any of her CDs? I haven’t heard anyone live in concert whose music is in my collection, but the acts are still in my collection. Why might that be? The concert experience in general may be fun, but it doesn’t change an artist’s abilities. If that were true, artists would record all their CDs at concerts only. What a crazy idea. I was talking about how she sounds, not what she does on a stage.

    To me, she sounds the same on everything, and very unnatural. It doesn’t sound anything like a natural voice singing this music just as her own natural voice might happen to make it. It sounds like a kid trying hard to sound like someone told her she should sound. I hope she gets a chance to give her own voice a shot before it’s too late to unlearn whatever she’s doing now to make her sound like she does.

    • AJ says:

      Casual Observer,

      I guess its too bad you can’t get to enjoy what the rest of us do in her voice. I hope she continues to sound the way she does. If Caruso, Carrerras, Callas, Bartoli sang in their natural voices nobody would want to hear them.

      For many of her fans she has one of the most beautiful voices they are likely to hear. Heaven forbid she unlearns anything she has learned to produce with her voice.

      • Casual Observer says:

        No need for an elitist attitude, implying that I’m somehow missing out because I find her voice unpleasant. I could counter that and say I guess it’s too bad you can’t hear the shortcomings that I do, but that would be childish.

        For me, there was a period of years between hearing her on the talent show and hearing her now, and I would have expected something very different three years later. The only thing that makes sense to me is that she’s sold her fans on charm more than anything else. It’s show business, after all.

        • AJ says:

          Casual Observer,

          I would suggest you review your posts. The elitist attitude is not on my part. And yes in my opinion you are missing out since you keep pointing out the shortcomings. Yes, you are right, I don’t see the shortcomings. I actually like the way her voice is maturing and how she sounds today versus what she sounded like 3 yeatrs ago.

          Has she sold her fans on charm. You bet …. that is a huge part of her persona but not the only reason …. What’s not to like about her. She is extremely talented, humble, down to earth, one of the best dressed 13 year olds in the business with a phenomenal voice. Her connection to her audience is undeniable. What’s there not to like?

          • Casual Observer says:

            Since I’ve only mentioned her voice, that would be my answer to “what’s not to like?”.

          • AJ says:

            Casual Observer,

            As I said before, unfortunate you can’t enjoy what the rest of us enjoy in listening to a talented young lady. Perhaps, in a few years you could return and find that in her voice which you find lacking today.

        • Everett Cox says:

          Funny…when I clicked on “leave a reply to Casual Observer” it changed to Cabbage Juice. You are so busted LOL. 😀

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Cox Shapplin still around? Well, she sounds better than Brightman in a style abhorrent to me, that should be called “caricature of opera” with all the possible cliches and more. It’s funny as she was introduced as an opera singer but I don’t remember her actually singing in any real opera. The hallmark of her singing about 10 years ago or so was theatrical pathos, sprinkled with stratospheric high notes that the public then went gaga over.

    • Everett Cox says:

      You might be interested to know I saw her name mentioned in the comments on a Jackie Evancho youtube video. I had never heard of her before and watched her yt vids. Beautiful woman with a very beautiful voice. But of course she sings in genres you sneer at as shown in your snide post above. You must buy Tums by the palletload…

    • Everett Cox says:

      BTW per her “stratospheric high notes”…she’s a SOPRANO. That’s what Sopranos DO. You’re a voice teacher(or so you say), so I shouldn’t have to tell YOU that.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    This must be the quote of the month: “If Caruso, Carrerras, Callas, Bartoli sang in their natural voices nobody would want to hear them.” AJ

  • AJ says:


    Please make sure that you remember the above comment in its context. I stand by what I said :). !

    I was hoping you were going to say more that just repeating my comment. I thought you would say “explain” or “How” :).

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ Why bother to explain if the objective is to knock down the arguments? It’s funny to be accused of being obsessive when asked to answer provocations. I suppose the contrast could be between highly developed natural voices to uneducated, imitative ones.

    • AJ says:


      Good reason not to listen knowing that it is going to knock down the argument. I doubt anybody accuses you of being obsessive because you answer provocative (perceived on your part) statements. Its that you can’t seem to stop criticizing repeatedly that which you don’t like. Imagine a person who keeps pacing a room back and forth saying “I’m not crazy … I’m not crazy… etc!”

      By the way, define “highly developed natural voice”. :).

      The we can get to Aled Jones’ uneducated imitative one which he lost during puberty.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Cox A caricature is a sneer at a genre. If it weren’t for opera there wouldn’t be such spinoffs as maudlin divas emoting melodrama, with such gimmicks as coming onstage barefoot or surrounded by hundreds of lights such as Brightman. The backup choir in the video were there to rev up the excitement as well as the repetitive drumming, also contrived.

    Shapplin and Clayderman for that matter are free to use their talents in whichever way they want. Tinkling the ivories in another mockup of a typical piano virtuoso is just what those who mine opera for effect but don’t provide the substance.

    • Everett Cox says:

      You obviously have no idea what a caricature is or means. Google it. As for barefoot singing, Jackie did it when she was wearing more-than-floor-length gowns so she wouldn’t trip with heels. I’m assuming the same reason for Emma when she came out with that HUGE gown.

      The male choir brought richness and depth to the performance. I loved them. I didn’t hear any “repetitive drumming”.

      Clayderman reminds me of Liberace, just not a showman. I would much rather listen to piano prodigies like Conrad Tao, Alma Deutscher, Emily Bear, Kit Armstrong and Benjamin Grosvenor. Do YOU have any prodigies among your students? Do you even HAVE any students?

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop Not only silly but incredibly naive to believe so much of what is said is NOT intensely coached, similar to repeating the vids over and over again until the songs can be reproduced by rote.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      Obviously plenty of things they say on Simon’s shows are coached or otherwise contrived. But not that particular scene, with a wide-eyed Jackie meeting Brightman for the 1st time. And I don’t believe Sarah needed any particular planned recognition from Jackie.

      I truly don’t understand your obsession with the evils of learning from videos. So what? You think young singers haven’t been listening to recordings of their favourite singers, imitating them, for decades? No young singers imitated Elvis, or Billie Holiday, or Frank Sinatra, or Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney, or whomever? Or, for that matter, Caruso or Sutherland? Seriously?

      Young singers & musicians, not to mention other performers, have always imitated their elders. The advent of recorded music allowed it to be much easier & more widespread for singers & other musicians. Watching performers on TV transmitted still more information for young people who were learning. Watching videos on YouTube is just another small step on that continuum.

      We’ve already established that Jackie has had teaching & coaching, past & present. Videos aren’t the only way she learns. Videos have enabled young people around the world to learn more about performing. They don’t mean you don’t need, or don’t have, teachers in addition. They’re just assistive in learning.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ Just the facts, Mr. Tube: I just scrolled up and found 20 comments by me, most of which are not about Jackie at all, and if they are, they are not necessarily critical. You, by comparison have 27 that are like a broken LP in their repetitiveness.

    If you don’t know what a highly developed natural voice is, I am not going to bother to educate you. If the singers you mentioned were singing in anything but their natural voices, they would not have had such extensive careers. As for Aled Jones, that was a nasty inference by you. Boy sopranos do lose their high notes. This is common knowledge. He seems to have been coached well during his teens. You like CC, good for you! Why don’t you pack up your venom and git?

  • Charles Hoff says:


    Where you or any of your students performing in public anywhere this week? Still no? Any with success at free auditions? At paid auditions (what a wonderful concept!)? I’ll check again next week.

    The Empress still has no clothes.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Hoff Your comments are really pathetic. My piano students will be performing at the end of the week. At least they don’t book halls and cancel the last minute because of poor ticket sales. What’s your point?

    • AJ says:


      Where are your students performing and what ?

      When one gets a chance to book a hall once in a lifetime, cancellations are tantamount to a severe setback to one’s career.

      When one has done over 60 concerts in 2.5 years, two PBS specials and a possible upcoming third special, travelled and performed across the ocean, rubbed shoulders with diplomats, dignitaries, royalty and heads of state, released 5 albums, have several top 10 debuts on the Billboard charts, performed with musical legends and all of this by the tender age of 13 …. Well what can I say. A few concert cancellations are inevitable and are viewed as rather unfortunate but unavoidable. The show must go on and it does so far.

      Perhaps you didn’t hear of the 3 or 4 concert attendances after the one cancellation. Restores one’s faith in the incredible talent of the prodigy!

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      CJ, will that be in your parlor or their grandmother’s this week?

  • AJ says:


    Well I didn’t realize that I could actually make you work. Kind of gives one a sense of power. My comment actually made you go back to check how many comments I had made.

    My assertion regarding our obsessive criticism was not in reference to this post but all posts regarding Jackie Evancho. That means you may have quite a bit of homework to do.

    The overwhelmng majority of your comments regarding Jackie are critical. Thats a fact. You are entitled to your opinion of course.

    You have an unfortunate habit of resorting to name calling when you are upset. I suggest you use your 30 years of choir teaching and put it to good use by singing when you are upset. It should take your mind off of my comments and calm your nerves down. I suppose nothing could be more comforting than to hear the sound of your own voice and convince yourself that yes you can sing well even if no else thinks you can since the public at large is quite unaware of your talents which you claim to be quite prodigious and they may be …. but we’ll never know.

    If you are atttempting to convince me about the “highly developed natural voice” I’m not

    convinced at all. Your prevarication only convinces me that you are either unable to articulate the concept or you have no idea either what it is except that it sounds nice and elitist to say it.

    The reference to Aled Jones was factually correct. He did lose his voice during puberty (whch is why in my original comment I used that term). He has a great baritone voice now if I’m not mistaken and is relatively successful in his career. Prior to puberty, he had a beautiful voice and sounded like a little girl….. which is why I fail to understand why you keep comparing him to Jackie since Jackie doesn’t sound like a little girl and she seems to be faring better through puberty than Aled did. Your inference that he was coached better may be correct but it didn’t stop from changing his voice and technique.

    I like CC and Opera too. I can’t believe you’re envious because you think my venom is better than yours. I would say its all in your mind.

  • Robin D Bermanseder (robinb) says:

    A Tale of Three Puddles

    Freefora: A land of waterlillies and butterflies

    Discordia: The land of bullfrogs

    Amazonia: A jungle of many creatures

    A small cloud appeared one day, and brought a gentle rain.

    The butterflies of Freefora wept at the beauty of the rain; “A gift from heaven to the world!” they cried.

    The bullfrogs sang loudly, “This is not Rain! This is not Rain! It has no Power!” And they wept too, at the beauty of their own voices.

    And in Amazonia, the various creatures dissected the raindrops, to see what water is made of.

    The little cloud rained on, ignorant of earthly things, and changed, growing here, diminishing there, and let her droplets fall.

    Down below the rain and the tears flowed together, filling the puddles til they merged and flowed and ran together into a great web of waterways, and the animals ventured forth and met.

    The butterflies expounded their wonder to all, and sang of the beauty of the jewels that fell from the sky.

    And the jungle creatures gnashed their teeth and saw and studied and expounded on all things.

    And the bullfrogs made war, for they love high drama.

    The little cloud , oblivious to the world below ,moved gently on in her own course.

    Soon no drops fell in these three places, but few noticed.

    The creatures wept on, each to their own purpose, but tears alone were not enough to fill the drying places,

    and soon only dry words echoed between them, for the web was lost and the cloud was gone, following her own destiny.

    Above them all the mighty sun, giver of life, maker of clouds, shon ever on,

    Indifferent to the tears of the world.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Robin What does this story have to do with Anna Pavlova? Kind of OT, no?

  • AJ says:


    Incredible post !! My hats off to you ! Enjoyed reading this one :).

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ Those who point one finger at someone have three pointing back. Who wrote this? No one but you! “Sounds like something written by a disillusioned and bitter opera singer.”

    “If you are atttempting to convince me about the ‘highly developed natural voice’ I’m not convinced at all.” This comes from the same person, you, who said that no one would listen to Callas and Caruso in their natural voices.” (!) “Your prevarication only convinces me that you are either unable to articulate the concept or you have no idea either what it is except that it sounds nice and elitist to say it.”

    “Natural” in the sense that all the components are in working order and a free sound is produced, uninhibited by tight jaws (or waggle), not pushing the sound into the resonators but letting it sit on the breath, having a relaxed throat that does not veer to the right or left when producing high notes, and other characteristics that I won’t go into here.

    Prevarication is lying (about what?) that perhaps you don’t know the meaning of the word. Your attempts at gaslighting are really pathetic, even laughable..

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ “Where are your students performing and what?” At least they don’t “learn” music by copying videos hundreds of times. Their interpretations are personally worked through, not lifted from others. This might be harder but the results and benefits are longer lasting.

    • AJ says:


      The problem with your assessment of your own students is that we wouldn’t know any better about them since we haven’t heard them. Actually we don’t even know if they exist. Its like telling everyone that you have your own personal Easter Bunny that no one can see but you want everyone to tell you how cute it is.

      And comparing them to Jackie is like saying my Easter Bunny is better than the real bunny :). Only a child under 4 may believe that …. the rest will probably ….. well you know what I mean !

    • knightlyOnce says:

      cabbagejuice says:

      November 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      @AJ “Where are your students performing and what?” At least they don’t “learn” music by copying videos hundreds of times. Their interpretations are personally worked through, not lifted from others. This might be harder but the results and benefits are longer lasting.

      cabbagejuice, Why Post AJ’s Question If Your Reply Is Not Going To Address The Question?

      You ‘say’ they are not learning through copying videos, but who knows? You say their interpretations are personally, not lifted from others, but who knows? It took you 2 years of stalking Jackie and of someone else posting a video comparing Jackie and Ms Battle singing “Lovers” before you came up with your claim that Jackie was doing it. So I doubt that you have sufficient knowledge of all videos, recordings, and movies ect., to be certain of who is or is not learning what from were.

      And if learning the hard way gives longer lasting results and benefits, what are they?

      But before addressing any of my questions, please answer AJ’s question…..

      “Where are your students performing and what?”

  • AJ says:


    I’m glad you recognize the futility of pointing a finger at someone when you have three pointing back at you. Please remember that when you point at Jackie and criticize :).

    “Natural” – You describe this as if you were describing the engine of a car. LOL! You tend to describe everything in the same way…..tight jaw, jaw waggle, not pushing the sound into the resonators, lack of breath support etc. In other words the same old stuff …. Sorry, doesn’t help !

    Please look up the meaning of Prevaricate. It appears you don’t understand the meaning of the word. Look it up on g..o…o…g…l…e. Then you can come back and explain what I meant to everyone though I doubt anyone really cares.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ You’re right, no one cares.

    • AJ says:


      That means you looked it up and realized I was right but don’t want to admit it.

      No worries. We don’t have to make a spectacle of the whole thing. We’ll just keep it a secret…that’s all 🙂

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop The extent of copying is much more now than ever and it is replacing training, not an assist as you say. Here’s an article that talks about it:


    “…when I was a child I could do an absolute killer Cher impersonation. Specifically, “The Shoop-Shoop Song” …I figured out that if you practically swallowed your own tongue you could make a very deep, throaty, backwards sound that was a dead ringer for Cher’s distinctive, gutsy tone…Today’s 8-year-old has put aside the Cher (and it has to be said, Judy Garland) impersonations because nothing gets you noticed quite like impersonating an opera singer.”

  • AJ says:

    So who was Jackie impersonating singing Nessun Dorma ?.. Brightman ? Aretha Franklin? Deanna Durbin? Marie Osmond? I can’t figure that one out because she sounds better than all of them. So if she is imitating someone else for the last three years, she’s got to be the best imitator and the most successful one delivering concert after concert … imitating others :).

    I wonder if anyone will believe that logic … that she is no more than simply an impersonator who mimics others!

  • cabbagejuice says:

    I will be very busy in the coming days with exams and student concerts. Therefore, I will not have time to answer needless and repetitive provocations. It’s time to put an end to them anyway. People like AJ, Cox and KnightlyOnce do not contribute anything of value so it is not worth answering their questions which are usually traps anyway.

    To sum up, I am truly sorry but if training were more than copying videos, flaws in breathing, jaw tension and diction (which is a function of the first two) would have been nipped in the bud. It’s really as simple as all that.

    I am sorry I did not see it a long time ago but I gave credit for a certain amount of originality and knack for phrasing (that still may be the case) until all these videos kept coming out of the woodwork. Hearing Battle’s “Lovers” was a shock for me and a big disappointment as well. This is a wrong way to launch a singing career and I do hope together with Casual Observer that somehow this detour into sounding like an adult with all the compounded bad habits will be reversed. That is all.

    • AJ says:


      Rest assured, Jackie will still be here after you’re done with your exams and what not. I’m sure you’ll be back to repeat the same thing that you just repeated that you’ve been repeating for 3 years.

    • KnightlyOnce says:


      CJ says…”That is all.” To which I again reply, BS.

      If you were not a completely OTT obsessive, who has made many such claims over the last two years, maybe we would believe you. But we know better, and so do you!

      See you soon, you little ninny. 😉

      P.S. Thanks for mentioning me by name in your self claimed “last rant”.

      P.S.S. Again, BS. To paraphrase a well know quote, “You’ll be back”, even though you do not want to return.

  • Listening to the various comments, and given Miss Evancho’s age, I am beginning to feel sorry for her. Sorry because unlike her, at her age I had singing teachers around me who told me I had time and let my voice go through its transition without the pressure of singing Puccini Arias that are completely unsuitable for a young person of that age however precotiously talented.

    Unlike her that I refuse to teach unsuitable music to such young people and I let their voices establish their adult type male or female and gently introduce suitable repertoire that fits the voice without any pressure to earn money by going on High-Pressure and High Exposure Tours.

    Because I am a mother who allows her children to grow up how they want to grow up and allow them to be 12, 13, 14 with some say in what they wear and what they do and who they are allowed to play with. That they do not have interviews on intrusion from the media on a regular basis.

    That as a singer my own voice was allowed to develop at its own pace and as a result I am able to pass on that wisdom to others.

    I might not earn her mega-bucks, but I have always wondered at the cost to Jackie. Personally I’d rather not earn the bucks and be spared the emotional cost long term. My voice still works well in my mid forties. If Jackie is not careful she may not have one.

    • Ha! Even Cabbages never had the temerity to compare herself to Jackie! Not to offend, but even at an offsetting distance comparing yourself and your life to Jackie Evancho is like comparing a model airplane to the Space Shuttle. Believe it or not, Jackie’s life, parents, coaches, teachers, managers, talent, and experiences are at a quality and level obviously beyond your comprehension. Your own personal conflicts and setbacks really should not interfere with your appreciation and enjoyment of a young girl who gives so much magnificence of voice to so many millions of people around the world. Otherwise you might turn into another sour cabbage lamenting the fact a little girl has done what you could never, ever accomplish.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      Jackie *is* careful with her voice. She always sings with a microphone when performing for an audience. She never has to contend with creating the decibel levels necessary to overcome an orchestra or be heard in the upper reaches of a balcony without amplification. When in concert her sets are limited in length, with rest periods where the orchestra and her conductor perform. Encores may be zero, one, or two depending on how she feels. Nothing is forced.

      SHE IS NOT AN OPERA SINGER, nor is she ever likely to pursue that rigorous course of training (though anything is possible). She is in her own unique place on the bell-shaped curve, presenting her own unique product in her own unique way (contrary to CJ’s continuous ranting about mimicry and imitation). No one sings quite like her, and no one sounds quite like her.

      The multiple-gold winning high school choir director who accompanied me to Jackie’s sold-out Thousand Oaks concert said that “she has a natural voice – clear, present, and incredibly pleasant to listen to. Her pitch sense is stunningly good, and her vibrato is measured and used appropriately. Wow! And she certainly looks like she’s enjoying every second that she’s on stage. How she absorbs herself in the music while she sings is remarkable.” He was watching her from the third row. And watch he did. The other choir director who was with us said “my eyes will still be puffy all day in class tomorrow while I think about this evening. Thank-you for asking me to come.” She handles 70 middle-school children who come to school an hour early every day to be in her choir.

      Jackie has made it clear in interview after interview that she is doing exactly what she wants to be doing: Singing in front of audiences. The applause she receives is her personal reward. And the audiences do applaud: loudly, vociferously, and on their feet. Her parents have repeatedly stated that she is having fun doing what she is doing, and that should it stop being fun, she will simply clam-up and refuse to sing. Thankfully for the rest of us who enjoy her product, she’s having a blast. I could see that for myself when I took pictures of her on the “blue” carpet at the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas prior to her appearances in “One Night for ONE DROP”, where she appeared in Cirque du Soleil’s magnificent “O” Theater as the only live singer in front of a decidedly upscale audience (seats were $1500/up). She regaled them with her rendition of “Bridge Over Trouble Water”, followed by her appearance portraying “Nouit – Representative of the Starry Sky, who is a singer and the incarnation of the Great Goddess, Mother of the Sky” – starting 100 feet above the stage, and performing 50 feet above it. Tell me, Johanna, wouldn’t you want your children to have such an opportunity?

      The other three siblings in Jackie’s family (an older and younger brother, and a younger sister) are living their “normal” lives, attending public school, and pursuing their own interests – just as Jackie is pursuing hers. The entire family accompanies her on her international travels, which expands their horizons. Grandparents have even accompanied Jackie to some of her performances. Her uncle, who has a Master’s Degree in musical composition, contributed one of the songs included on the” Dream With Me” album and PBS concert.

      Mom usually accompanies Jackie to her appearances, and Dad stays home performing management duties (saying “no” to a substantial number of Jackie appearance requests), as well as running the household and supervising the other three children. A practical arrangement in that it’s much simpler for a mother/daughter to share a hotel room. Their home life is private, with no media intrusion save for the occasional telephone interview. They moved from one house to another to be better able to maintain that privacy. Summer is family time, with no concerts scheduled.

      I’d say that they’re doing an admirable job at maintaining grounding, and a strong family life while having a daughter who was invited to, and has performed for: the Japanese Imperial family, at the Hiroshima Peace Arch Memorial, joined José Carreras to sing in Taiwan, Sumi Jo and Dimitri Hvorostovsky in St. Petersburg, for the President of the United States twice, for the David Foster Foundation, Starkey Hearing Foundation, twice for Muhammad Ali’s CelebrityFightNight Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States, Tony Bennett twice, starred in two PBS Great Performances concerts, David Foster and Friends (including a David Foster and FRIEND concert), three years of personal concerts (including three at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo) backed by full orchestra, and numerous television appearances in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and the U.K. I should add private appearances such as at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago, and weddings such as the one at the Ringling Museum (www.yarasway.com), or the one that took the entire family (as well as her conductor John Mario Di Costanzo) to Bali last month. Yes, she has her own personal touring conductor who also specializes in preparing opera singers for Italian-language roles.

      All of the above done without flashy lights, bootie dancing, explosions, twerking, or any outrageous behavior or other distractions. Just a young lady in a pretty gown with a microphone, backed by a real orchestra, giving to the audience what comes from her heart in her own unique way.

      Now tell us truly, Johanna. If any of your children were *good* enough, and offered the opportunities that Jackie Evancho has been offered, would you keep him or her at home…to play? Seriously? Or would you do your best to balance that home life with those opportunities such as the Evanchos have done?

      CJ and a few other bravely anonymous posters who inhabit this blog have finger-in-throat, gagging at what I’ve written. But Jackie’s success is what it is, and is already far beyond where most of her detractors have predicted. Their point-of-view is obviously from the pond they splash-about in, where rules-is-rules, and years of grueling practice, rigid attention to technique, repeated audition rejection (after PAYING no less), perhaps catching the occasional role – but having a real job to pay the bills – is the norm, and requirement. Now a young, untrained, natural singer with a bushel of stage presence, poise, and humility has dared to touch a toe at the edge of that pond, and the staffs are all out pointed and thrusting in her direction. She sings three arias in her own unique way, and the defenders of the realm are clamoring to behead her, and place it on a staff to be paraded for all to see as a warning to others who might dare venture close without “proper” credential.

      It matters not that her audiences approve, for they are all fools, and have been duped by a mere imitation and mimic of “real” talent and her all-powerful P.R. machine. Post after post, denigrating and demeaning to both the singer and her supporters. Ad hominem attacks aplenty. What’s wrong with this picture? If you don’t like her, ignore her, and go about your business.

      And why, Mr. Lebrecht, the tabloid-worthy title and (lack-of) follow-up of this thread? I truly expect more of you.

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      Joanna, I respect your opinions, because in the past you have shown yourself to be open minded and fair when speaking of Jackie. I truly believe that you wish her well. And I hope you are not offended by others replies.

      I know your concerns are honest, though missed placed. Jackie is not like anyone you have ever meet. She can not be lumped in with normal students, nor even the most gifted student you have ever had. In fact I would be surprised if you have even seen more than a handful of individuals with a vocal gift equal to Jackie’s. Vocal prodigies of her level are extremely rare.

      Jackie’s mother is allowing Jackie to grow up as Jackie wants, though holding her back to allow her to have a more balanced childhood. It would be abusive to refrain Jackie more. Her musical genius must be allowed to express itself and to grow.

      Mike and Lisa are on top of thinks and have been since very early on.

      What is good for most children, can be poison to another.

      Have faith that the people who love and care about Jackie most, have been given the knowledge how best to protect both Jackie and her gift.

      • Derek Castle says:

        Especially for letting her sing in vast arenas for, presumably, lots of dosh.

        • Everett Cox says:

          Would you prefer she sing in small churches? Pass the plate for her? And “dosh”??? LOL

          • KnightlyOnce says:

            He would prefer she did not sing at all, and dosh is low british slang for money. He knows nothing about Jackie. Not worth reply.

          • Derek Castle says:

            KO, your supernatural knowledge amazes me, as you are certain that I don’t want Jackie to sing at all. I couldn’t care less. But the fanatics on this thread do have astonishing self-belief. I’m just a little concerned when a little girl becomes big business.(The authorities soon banned 13-year-olds from playing professional tennis, for example). Are all the promoters, agents, etc. in on this act just for love, or are they after some of Jackie’s dosh, too? (Forgive my ‘low’ British slang).

          • AJ says:


            Its a little bit of both. For the promoters, agents etc it is about money first and foremost. Its a business . They are not into this for charity. Naive to think that they are simply in it to fulfill a little girl’s dream.

            The parents are there to protect Jackie’s interest and ensure she gets to do what she loves doing best without detriment to her well being. You can now debate what the well being should be and where does one draw the line.

        • KnightlyOnce says:

          DC you seem to be easily amazed and concerned. There are Child Labor Laws in the United States, but even more to the point are Jackie’s protective parents. So rest easy.

          As is the case with all performers, members of her staff, also receives pay checks.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Joanna D

      Others, especially Charles Hoff, have given very cogent & detailed responses to your concerns. I just wanted to point one other thing out.

      Jackie sometimes sings ONE Puccini aria, OMBC. She hasn’t sung Nessun Dorma in more than 2 years, which is quite a long time for a 13 year old. She only sang ND 6 times in public.

      At her recent Thousand Oaks concert, she didn’t sing O Mio at all – that meant there was NO Puccini. Lloyd Webber, yes, but not Signore Puccini. She has often skipped it at her other recent concerts, too.

      Jackie has struggled with the expected vocal changes of adolescence, but she’s actually doing quite well in working her way through them. Her upper register is returning, in tune, with more power than ever (though she’s not yet perfectly consistent). Her breath support is much improved. Objective observers can see that her chin waggle is much reduced & hear that her diction is improved.

      Like others, I respect & value your contributions here. I just wanted to add my two cents (or pence?? LOL).

  • AJ says:


    You make the same mistake that other opera singers and teachers make…..they compare themselves to Jackie! and then try to encapsulate her experience in their own bubble.

    Your implication is that you are a better mother than Lisa Evancho is to Jackie without knowing the relationship between them and without being privy to the daily interaction between Jackie and her immediate family.

    She sings only two operatic arias in about 20 concerts a year with the aid of a mic. You can probably tell how strenuous that is compared to the practice regimen of an opera student.

    Jackie is a prodigy and /or musical genius. Not every student or teacher of opera is. For me, and speaking for myself, that sets her apart from opera teachers and your run of the mill student who will spend a lifetime practicing an art they may never receive acclaim for to match Jackie’s.

    • Derek Castle says:

      ‘musical genius’ er..now you really have made my day! (And I always thought you might just be being provocative).

      • KnightlyOnce says:

        Derek, are you being provocative by pretending you do not know Ms. Evancho is an acclaimed musical genius, or do you make it a habit to make uninformed comments on public forums?

  • AJ says:

    @Derek Castle,

    How do you know I’m not being provocative :).

    To many Jackie is a prodigy, musical genius and much more! You sound as if you didn’t know she was being labelled as such.

    To rap enthusiasts Tupac was a genius and still is considered an icon. Whose to say they are wrong :). BTW rap is probably one of two genres that I cannot develop a taste for no matter how hard I try.

    So do you think Aretha Franklin or Marie Osmond sang ND better than Jackie. Opera teachers and enthusiasts seem to be silent on this query.

    • Derek Castle says:

      AJ, at my age life is too short to listen to Ms Franklin or Ms Osmond singing anything, let alone Nessun Dorma !! I think it’s time to wind down this thread and let Ms Evancho rest in peace.

  • AJ says:


    The best thing about all this is that Ms Evancho IS in peace. She is either oblivious to all this commotion or cares very little over the musings of a few blog members. She continues doing what she does best … performing and singing for the fans.

    Don’t miss her rendition of the National Anthem on Thanksgiving Day for the Packers/Lions game with an estimated viewing audience of 27 million.

    PS : I guess my query about ND still goes unanswered! Not surprised!

  • KnightlyOnce says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Charles Hoff,

    Bravo! You definitely covered all the bases. I don’t think anything more needs to be said. That is unless CJ pops up again on this thread. Lets hope not!

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Joanna Debenham,

    You recently posted a very complimentary entry regarding Jackie’s progress through adolescence on another blog which I thought deserved cudo’s. I returned to this blog and find that you have artfully pulled another 180. Will the REAL Joanna please make herself known?

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Joanna Debenham

    Your exact comment that I am referring too is as follows: “I am normally a skeptic as far as young singing prodigies are concerned, but there is something about Jackie Evancho’s technique that does not set off my”oh dear radar” and believe me, it is normally set off very easily….”

  • Jeff: Jackie is now 13 and cancelling concerts. Voices develop, and she is at a very delicate stage of her vocal journey right at the moment.

    Children grow up, get older, and when they do hormones start to act on their voices as well as other areas of their bodies.

    I see nothing inconsistent with what I have posted that cannot be explained by six months and this thing called “vocal transition” that hits both girls and boys.

    It might not be quite as dramatic in girls than in boys, but it still occurs.

    My “oh dear” radar is now being tripped, as these concerts are still in the schedule. It is quite simple.

    • H-stura says:

      JD, “I am normally a skeptic as far as young singing prodigies are concerned, but there is something about Jackie Evancho’s technique that does not set off my”oh dear radar” and believe me, it is normally set off very easily….”

      JD, “My “oh dear” radar is now being tripped”

      How does a cancelled concert affect your opinion of her vocal technique?

      She had something like seven concerts in California in one month, I would think that lower sales on one of them would have caused the cancellation.

      • Everett Cox says:

        Doesn’t get any better than that does it? I didn’t even listen to Mary J Barf sing it here in the ATT Stadium in Arlington. I knew from listening to her try to sing it once before that she would butcher it and she did.

    • Charles Hoff says:


      The Loveland, Colorado may well have been cancelled because of low ticket sales. The area had been hit by massive flooding, with over 1100 homes damaged or destroyed, and miles of roadway impassible or gone. Folks were still salvaging or washing mud from everything left.

      Her Fresno Nov 17th concert was cancelled for production reasons. No other explanation has been given, but it was likely nothing to do with her voice.

      Nov. 19th, Jackie performed two numbers (O Holy Night and Music of The Night) for The Queen Latifah Show, at Sony Studios in Culver City, California. Her voice sounded marvelous, and brought an almost completely unfamiliar audience to their feet. Two days after that was her virtually sold-out Thousand Oaks, California concert. Her voice was strong. Nov 28th, she sang the U.S. National Anthem in front of over 60,000 football fans in Detroit, Michigan. Likely the best it has been performed in a long time.

  • AJ says:


    In the last 11 months I’ve heard of two concert cancellations. None because she was having problems with her voice. The concert cancellations were due to schedule conflicts or as some believe due to lack of sufficient seats sold.

    Even the most ignorant fan understands that puberty is most likely going to change her voice to some degree and many can tell that she is going thru changes and trying to adjust.

    In my three years of following Jackie’s career, one thing remains the same.

    Those that come on board with “I’m an opera teacher / singer and am concerned about Jackie’s voice” quickly trip the “Hey do you know who I am and how good I am and how much I know” radar.. Never fails ! Sort of the Miley Cyrus syndrome !

    There is a lot of value to your statement that your “Oh Dear” radar is being tripped. You may notice flaws that the average person like me may not. But other than that statement, everything else makes little sense.

  • Jeff Rogers says:


    I appreciate your insightful responses to my inquiries. I was in attendance at her most recent concert in Thousand Oaks. As I have stated before, to my untrained ear, she seems to have “dialed it back” considerably since her recent hiatus. Her program seemed to be limited to pieces that were well within her present range. I suppose these decisions could be her own idea but it seems more likely that they are a result of some form of tutelage.

  • AJ says:

    Here is the updated link to Jackie’s Performance of the National Anthem (a capella).


    • Everett Cox says:

      Notice @1:35 the woman standing beside the man in the red shirt is Jackie’s mother Lisa. Also at the end which we didn’t see in this vid is the Detroit Lions head coach coming over to have a word with Jackie. He’s obviously a fan! 🙂

  • KFrost says:

    Gosh, so much sad and unpleasant commentary on this young woman. I love opera, and can always appreciate fabulous singers, and I have to say this child’s Nessun Dorma gave me chills…I’m sorry, but it did. Haters, hold your fire! She does seem in deep waters in more recent videos, which makes sense. Adolescence is a challenging time, physically, and singing is a physical thing. As an uneducated lover of music, I know nothing of technique. But as I read through this, I see a recurring concern about her technique. Google “bad vocal technique, jaw wobble” and it seems that these concerns about technique are not just nit-picking, but truly worrisome; these technical problems may have negative long-term effects on the voice itself.

    Perhaps a vocal teacher could come onboard and explain the problem, instead of just criticizing or pointing out the flaw, or casting aspersions on her artistically. Drop the rancour, and just please, someone explain this? She seems like such a lovely child, so much love for the music, regardless of what labels we want to put on her. Is she possibly setting herself up for long-term damage to her voice?

    • Everett Cox says:

      Jackie’s Nessun Dorma is the best I’ve ever heard a female sing it. The fourth Vincero at the end was a stroke of genius. She has sung it six times I think. Her two best live performances IMO are #1 her invitation to Britain’s Got Talent and #2 her return to where it all started for her; America’s Got Talent. Her only studio version was for her Dream With Me album. That recording is as close to perfection as one can come. Her fans are waiting and hoping she soon inserts ND at the end of her concert setlist like Pavarotti did. She has not sung Nessun Dorma since her 2011 AGT performance, I would guess because her Otolaryngologist advised her to stop singing it because it puts too much stress on her vocal apparatus.

      As for technique, some say her dropping of her larynx to make her sound darker and more adult-sounding is wrong. Yes she has done far too much chin wobble, but she has almost completely stopped that now. She is cocking her head to the right now to hit her high notes and she never used to do that before. I see less of that now too so either her mom(who is her vocal coach now) or her Otolaryngologist must be on her case about it.

      Regardless what the nattering nabobs of negativism say here, Jackie will have a long, great career. She sees her Oto, Dr. Scott Kessler, twice yearly. The walls of his office are lined with photographs of the top singing talent in the world he ministers to and mentors. She could not be in better hands.

    • AJ says:


      Her vocal health has always been and will always remain a concern because of the nature of the music she sings. Its always the same people on this forum and elsewhere predicting doom and gloom for what they referred to as a flash in the pan artist who would not have a voice by the time she was 13. That was 3 years ago.

      Her parents have gone to extreme measures to provide her with the best care for her voice. The only thing that remains shrouded in mystery is whether she is undergoing rigorous vocal training or not.

      As you said, she is going through puberty and changes to her voice. Not a big surprise. Everybody expected it. Her voice will continue to change. What was and is of interest to fans is how her voice sounds as she goes thru these changes. So far, the quality and tone remain unmatched … spine tingling and breathtaking vocals! I’ve personally seen her in concert several times. Her voice continues to mature and effects people the same way it did before whether its fans or casual listeners.

      What the future holds for her is anyone’s guess but sitting her today looking at tomorrow, it looks pretty bright !

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @KFrost That’s just the point, opinions other than blind adulation are seen as rancour and hating. If you have the possibility to click on the links cited above or read some of the previous threads, explanations abound. However, they are not only sneered at but insults are gratuitously slung at their writers. The sad and unpleasant come from disgruntled fans. If you can show one instance of “hating” from a non-believer, please cite it. Just saying there is hate doesn’t make it so. Now, getting that out of the way, the physiology is quite simple.

    The vocal cords are delicate and should be protected from the get go as EVERYTHING depends on their ability to bounce back after stretching. The idea is to distribute the pressure onto other muscular systems, In the above National Anthem the breaths are audible after every phrases, meaning the breathing is not low where it should be. Coordination comes from extensive training with a good teacher and not from a childhood spent in imitating youtube videos.

    This kind of breathing may not be necessary for your occasional local high school musical but for a singer who does many concerts a year, public and private. A symptom of pressure on the cords is an unnatural vibrato which to my ears is very much present in the above clip but somewhat suppressed for a two minute song.

    As for the Nessun Dorma, this should never be sung by an 11 year old boy or girl. Yes, there is raw talent and emotion but heavy copying from videos, Sarah Brightman seeming to be the closest model in this case. Talent is raw material that has to be shaped and controlled, not thrust right away into the public arena. There is a risk for early burnout for singers, precisely because of the vocal cord vulnerability.

    • AJ says:

      The inevitable question …. “Did Jackie sing ND better than her female adult counterparts” remains unanswered by the critics :).

      We know she sounds better than any of the other females who sang ND but technically did she sing better, same or worse than Aretha Franklin and Marie Osmond?

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      You say

      “…the breathing is not low where it should be.”

      Firstly, whether the breathing is diaphragmatic or not does not reflect on whether it’s audible by microphone. Secondly, her breath support from below can be heard & seen to be outstanding.

      Her transition from modal to falsetto register (“middle to head voice” – though I always define “register” as “pattern of vocal fold vibration”) at Eb5 (“…free”) was seamless, with excellent support & blending. Then with the high note, Ab5 (“…free-EE”), the video shows Jackie using her entire truncal musculature to support the note. It’s obvious when she releases it. Her breathing most assuredly IS from below, as any objective observer can see.

      The majority of young singers who injure their voices do so by roaring, screaming, growling or even just belting in the upper modal register. Jackie never does this. Jackie is risking her voice less than thousands & thousands of young singers who are belting out the likes of “Annie’ during their school plays, or cheering their school football teams – or, for that matter, imitating their favourite rock singers in front of the mirror.

      It’s also clear that Jackie’s chin waggle is becoming less prominent. Overall, she is navigating the difficult waters of adolescent vocal changes very well.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ The question has been unanswered because it is so silly. Jackie did not sing Nessun Dorma better than any female or male artists for the reason that a child’s voice magnified by electronics cannot even hope to compete. There is no difference of style either, a general non-discriminatory sort of melodrama extended to Ombrai Mai Fu and O Mio Babbino. Rather it is imitation of an opera style that other CC performers deliver to the public. This is exactly what Cindy Sadler was talking about. There is nothing to be done about what the public amy like but it doesn’t make it good especially when imported in a second or third handed manner from another genre. In other words, you like it, so what?

    • AJ says:


      Great way to avoid answering the question. You’re being evasive. A child isn’t supposed to sing it but a child did and did it on national and international TV in front of millions. So either she sang it better or she didn’t. Its that simple. You either like it or you don’t. Most of the listening public is awed by her performance especially the ones that are going to spend money on her CDs and concerts. Whether you think its cheap or not doesn’t matter because you are not buying her CDs or concert tickets. You’re just getting a free ride listening to the music on You Tube :). Nothing wrong with that though.

      I, and millions of others not only like it but would like to know if anyone to date (female) has done it better. So who do you think did it better … in your expert opinion !

      The question is still unanswered. You can chose to ignore it and leave it unanswered until we come to the conclusion that no other female sounds better to date than the then 11 year Jackie Evancho who sang it 6 times in public.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @AJ The obvious answer is Deanna Durbin who sang it best. Most sopranos don’t do it because of the silliness of the text when sung by women. So there is not a lot of competition. One can only stretch an operatic aria so far – what lady would sing “La Donna e Mobile”? But for Deanna there was an adequate English translation that worked for her.

    Jackie fans thrive on hyperbole. The facts are that CD sales have been falling off. In the heyday of Charlotte Church the recording sales were much higher. The hits on youtube are much less than last year or a couple years ago and the likes even fewer. “Most of the listening public” who go to the concerts are the same middle to elderly fans who spend everyday writing reams of commentary as well as trade with one another the latest gossip on websites and forums. This is really an inverted phenomenon of fan club behavior that used to be young girls (not guys so much) idolizing their somewhat older Elvis or favorite Beatle. I am not the only one who finds this behavior not only childish but inappropriate.

    • AJ says:


      Why is it the best … I mean Deanna Durbin’s version. Most people don’t even know who she is. And….the worst crime (as per opera buffs) …. she sang it in English :).

      You seemed to have switched your opinion from Aretha Franklin and Marie Osmond whom you claimed sang it better than Jackie. Perhaps that was a emotional knee jerk reaction. Understandable.

      Your analysis of declining CD sales and You Tube hits are taken out of context. CD sales in the entire industry have declined. Jackie has not released a new album in over a year. Also her type of music isn’t one that will garner a few million hits in a few days.

      Most of the listening public is the same perhaps but the number of critics are not the same. You don’t find that many any more and the ones remaining have little credibility left.

      Care to explain what is inappropriate about the inverted phenomenon ….. you know for the benefit of the rest of the forum ??

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop I’m glad you were able to observe the mechanisms of Jackie’s breathing from below and speak so assuredly about her vocal folds.

    In music my approach is more pragmatic than biological. I go according to the sound and am concerned about that on the top of the list. One should NOT hear breathing. Jackie usually floats the occasional high notes that in most cases (as this one in my opinion) are not fully supported.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      I’m sorry, I can’t apologise for what I can hear & see in the video. Do you not see her entire trunk contracting to support the Ab5, then relaxing when she finishes the note? It’s like she’s doing sit-ups, or leg lifts on the rings that gymnasts use. It’s right there in the video for all to see.

      BTW, I’ve never heard a singer (soprano, mezzo, tenor or counter-tenor; the others don’t usually need them) where I CAN’T hear the register transitions (i.e. across the passaggio) if I spend a bit of time listening, even in highly trained opera stars. Again, I can’t apologise for what I hear. Women are of course much more difficult to hear than men, but even some excellent opera stars are obvious when they make the transition. What’s remarkable is that some tenors can retain their rich timbres above the passaggio, in falsetto register (again, I can’t help what the registers were named; would you prefer “loft” or “light mechanism”?). With most men, the changes are very obvious.

  • Everett Cox says:

    “…I, and millions of others not only like it but would like to know if anyone to date (female) has done it better. So who do you think did it better … in your expert opinion !…”

    She will probably say it’s a male aria which shouldn’t be sung by a female in a non-opera setting, away from the whole story. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the first female to sing Nessun Dorma was Deanna Durbin(RIP) way back in the day. Jennifer Rush never sang it(although she certainly could) because even though her father, Maurice Stern, was an opera singer, she never wanted to be. Before Jackie sang ND, the best I had ever heard was Sarah Brightman.

    • AJ says:

      Yes, you got it. The response is predictable since its the same thing she said 3 years ago. You are probably correct. Deanna Durbin was the first to sing it (at least publicly to record it) and she sang it in English.

      Jackie’s version still remains the best one performed IMO regardless of whether a soprano is supposed to sing it or not.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    BTW, I listened to the above JE Nessun Dorma and the lower notes are trembling like leaves. This fact alone puts it out of the running (that is if there were a competition). Also the diction has little to nothing to do with Italian. But hey, the fans wouldn’t know the difference anyway!

    • AJ says:


      I noticed that you carefully avoided mentioning Aretha Franklin or Marie Osmond. :).

      You’d be right that the fans wouldn’t know the difference and more importantly, care even less. Jackie’s voice is just too beautiful to notice much else. Check some of the comments on her latest National Anthem performance.

  • Knightly Once says:

    @cabbagejuice AGAIN I say, Peak-A-Boo to my favorite OTT Obsessive

    November 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm


    CJ says…”That is all.” To which I again reply, BS.

    If you were not a completely OTT obsessive, who has made many such claims over the last two years, maybe we would believe you. But we know better, and so do you!

    See you soon, you little ninny. 😉

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning me by name in your self claimed “last rant”.

    P.S.S. Again, BS. To paraphrase a well know quote, “You’ll be back”, even though you do not want to return.

    IN ADDITION TO: …..{As Well As many before this one}

    You remember NL last blog on Jackie, the one about her moving to Masterworks? Maybe you recall our chat there.

    You were ranting about finally discovering the secret to the puzzle that had held you to Jackie, and how now that you had actually answered the last of your doubts about her, that she is just a mimic with a fake voice, and no longer of any interest to you, none at all.

    To which I, after I had stopped laughing, replied BS to your discovery and claims of no interest. I again pointed out what everyone knows, you are a OTT obsessive and when it comes to Jackie you have no control, and never will.

    I said you can not stop yourself from posting comments on anything concerning Jackie, that you would continue to post on that blog until NL closed it, AND that as soon as he started a new blog about Jackie you would be there.————Peak-a-Boo—-I see you.

    You can not stay away, and are doomed to keep repeating the same tired rants.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @KnightyOnce AJ repeated yet again: “I, and millions of others not only like it but would like to know if anyone to date (female) has done it better. So who do you think did it better … in your expert opinion!”

    KFrost wrote: “It seems that these concerns about technique are not just nit-picking, but truly worrisome; these technical problems may have negative long-term effects on the voice itself. Perhaps a vocal teacher could come onboard and explain the problem.”

    It’s none of your business if I care to answer these or any questions.

    Peek-a-Boo, Easter Bunny, ninny, etc., I gave you people too much credit when characterizing you as childish, you are actually infantile.

    Your above rant truly fits the definition of one, not my usually informative posts.

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      @cabbagejuice You are so full of it. Do not act so stupid.

      If you were able to stay off NL blogs on Jackie NONE OF US would be asking you anything, nor replying to your ridiculous post.

      But go ahead and pretend you are too simple minded to understand that.

      Your OTT Obsession is so bad you would rather people think you are as dumb as a rock, than stay away as you have promised to do so many times.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @knightlyOnce I never promised to stay away. I was busy last week . When I discovered the extent of the copying that seems very much to me INSTEAD of proper training, i realized that so much speculation and even giving benefit of the doubt were misplaced.

        I admitted that I was turned off by the whole business (of other kids imitating videos as well for talent shows) but never said that this was my last word on the subject. There are other subjects being discussed here.You don’t have to read mine or other posts if they bother you so much. If you are so disturbed, why don’t you go away?

        • KnightlyOnce says:


          Saying you never said something does not hide all the comments in which you have said it.

          You are getting worst, now you are delusional as well as OTT obsessive.

          I am not the one who is disturbed. If you continue to decline at your present rate, in a couple of years you will not be able to make a single coherent statement.

  • I have real problems with her performance of the Star-spangled Banner on Thanksgiving.

    1) Her low notes demonstrated little support and were cracking.

    2) She breathed in some rather dumb places – e.g. in the middle of “Star banner

    3) She now has whopping break between her chest voice and head voice.

    Any decent singing teacher would work on correcting these fundamental faults, regardless of Genre.

    She has a pretty voice, I would not want hear it wrecked, yet when I point out my concerns, I’m panned.

    • AJ says:


      You’re not being panned for pointing out vocal concerns. Its for thinking you can raise Jackie better than her mother.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Joanna D

      I’m puzzled by your comments. I don’t hear Jackie’s voice cracking per se. She’s also breathing in the same places all singers who sing this song breathe. Some who are more experienced may hide their breaths better, but they still breathe in the same places.

      As far as a break between her modal & falsetto registers (again, defining “register” as “pattern of vocal fold vibration,” which also means characteristic changes in vocal timbre, volume, etc, that training helps to reduce), it’s much, MUCH better than it has been recently.

      When Jackie was younger, after she’d had some singing teaching, her modal & falsetto registers were similar. Then with adolescence over the past ~year plus, she had more trouble with her falsetto register. It was quieter again, with a more pronounced difference in timbre, & sometimes sounded inadequately supported. She also had trouble with pitch control at times, starting notes flat before correcting them. All these changes were expected with adolescence.

      In this Star Spangled Banner, her modal & falsetto timbres are once again similar. When she sings the high note near the end (Ab5), you can see her entire truncal musculature contracting to support the note. She is holding her left hand on her stomach again, which she hasn’t done for almost 4 years. Not only does it look well-supported, it sounds well-supported.

      I’ll grant you that for Jackie, singing Eb5 in modal register here is very high. She usually switches by that time. Yes, I know that’s lower than most adult female singers, but that’s what Jackie does. She can’t come anywhere close to F#5 in modal register like most sopranos.

      All in all, Jackie is navigating the vocal changes of adolescence quite well. She may not be completely consistent, but if you’d heard more examples of her singing over time, I’m sure you’d hear the marked improvements recently.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @Laptop I was also jolted by the unusual breath between those two words. And the breathing is loud when it shouldn’t be. There also should not be such a break between the upper and lower notes, instead, one continuous line especially at her age.

        My opinion about why there is such a difference between timbres is probably already known but bears repeating even if very simple. The middle smoky timbre is a manufactured one and has always been. That is why the lowest tones shake and why the breathing is high so as to push it into the resonators. (There would be no trouble with any note over a Eb, so I respectfully dismiss your speculations about it.) The light speaking voice gives the game away completely. And putting a hand on one’s stomach is not a substitute for muscular support.

      • I’m simply stating what I heard.

        The timbre of her lower voice is somewhat forced for a person of her age and the appearance of a break between chest and head voice confirms their is a problem with her technique consistent with over-singing in the lower voice.

        This is not natural, or even desirable in a thirteen year old girl.

  • AJ: I said, “Because I am a mother who allows her children to grow up how they want to grow up and allow them to be 12, 13, 14 with some say in what they wear and what they do and who they are allowed to play with. That they do not have interviews on intrusion from the media on a regular basis.”

    Now I’m glad that this is the way of life for my sons. Personally, it is what I think that most 12-14 year olds want and need. I’m not “the Perfect mother”, I get things wrong – I have foibles, but I do a good enough job, and they are a pretty well grounded set of lads.

  • AJ says:


    From the point of view of a fan what you just said (by inference) in a nutshell, is “The Evanchos are money grabbing parents who are robbing Jackie of her childhood”.

    As a professional music and vocal teacher, your comments regarding such disciplines are worthy of note and merit consideration. As a mother, critiqing parenting of a child prodigy belonging to someone else, without knowing all the facts and personal details, its well ….

    I don’t question your parenting because I have no clue what your personal life is like and based on what you stated I am sure that you are a great mother for your kids.

  • I just experienced another Jackie Evancho Concert. This time in Portland, Oregon. Honestly; those of you who prefer the constipated mechanical mindset of music theory over the true nature and beauty of such an incredible voice really need to make the effort to experience for yourself, in person, this young lady. I’m sure you feel satisfied in your ability to pull apart, note by note and cut into semi-quavers every piece of music you hear until it’s nothing but cataloged white noise shelved in your brain in nice, neat little packets. But just for the sake of a real honest musical experience please leave your jaundiced, judgmental, and sour demeanor at home and just once allow yourself the pleasure of letting the music take you where the music, the voice, and the experience is meant to take you.

  • @Stephen: I can listen, do listen to music and enjoy it.

    However, I am a singing teacher with a specific interest in children and adolescent voices, and my criticism of Miss Evancho is made with that hat on.

    There is no jaundice, and I do not have a sour demeanour. I do judge, but I judge using my critical ear, knowledge and experience. I do so as I actually believe the young lady has a promising future and is currently placing that at risk.

    I can assure you there is nothing constipating about music theory. As someone whose degree required me to have an intimate knowledge of Historical Musicology, I can assure you that musicologists are actually quite nice!

    I teach music theory to children and young people as a supporting subject to their instrumental lessons. It greatly enhances their understanding and enjoyment of music.

    I spend the majority of my time spreading joy to other people either through singing or by sharing my love of music and my musical skills.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop Sorry, but on the high Ab of the SSB, there is tension in the face, jaw and the neck is veering to the right. The note itself is shaking as well as many others. Muscular support in singing is like the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s quietly there, not visibly shaking like Mt. Etna.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      On Ab5, that’s just Jackie’s emotional expression; evidently we’ll have to agree to disagree. She doesn’t always tilt her head to the right any more, either, as you can see on her videos from her recent Cupertino concert.

      Evidently we’ll also have to agree to disagree on her low now, because I just don’t hear shaking. (You hear shaking, Joanna hears cracking – are those the same? They don’t sound the same to me. I might buy cracking, but would want to hear her unamplified.) Her Ab3’s are all steady. When she gets to Ab4, she starts off steady, then adds vibrato in a pop style (as opposed to operatic, where the vibrato is usually continuous). Her breath support, which honestly has been imperfect lately, as expected with adolescence, is markedly improved.

      On the day that Jackie sang the Star Spangled Banner at one football game, the R&B singer Mary J Blige sang it at another game. I can’t find a good video of that performance, but here’s one from Game 1 of the baseball World Series, 24 October 2013.


      Note that although her breathing is quieter than Jackie’s, she breathes way more often. WAY more. She’s been an established R&B singer for more than 20 years, & does a much “bluesier” version than Jackie does. Just at the start, she sings this:

      Oh say can you (breath) see (breath)

      By the dawn’s early (breath) light (breath)


      That’s twice as many breaths as Jackie takes on the same lines. Jackie breathes where most singers breathe, MJB breathes more often. Part of that is because of her “bluesy” rendition. In any case, it’s hardly fair to accuse Jackie of breathing in inappropriate places.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @Laptop Mary Blige does a kind of improvisation on the note after the breath, sometimes long. Jackie was supposed to have done a straight version and of course is the world’s most perfect 13 year old singer! I don’t care about the number of breaths but having to hear them. As you said you hear things others don’t, well, I hear what professionals do. The low notes were always airy and there is an unnatural vibrato now on practically the rest of the scale except for the high Ab that was pushed out.

  • AJ says:

    The Rock of Gibraltar isn’t going anywhere and doesn’t do much good.

    Mt. Etna gets more attention. So for a career, better to be Mt. Etna than be the Rock of Gibraltar.

    Look how shook up some of the opera critics are over what Jackie has done ! 🙂

  • cabbagejuice says:

    Opera critics are shaken? They couldn’t care less about poor imitations by CC singers.

    • AJ says:


      Since you’ve taken the responsibility of representing all opera critics and asserting that they couldn’t care less about poor imitations, its only fair to say that I take your actions as also representative of the whole opera community. And your actions indicate that you care a lot about poor imitations which means so do the rest of the opera critics. I mean look at the amount of time you’ve spent on Jackie. You could virtually have done a Phd on the subject :).

      Of course Jackie doesn’t do opera and is not an opera singer, so why would the community you represent be so critical of the girl (I mean critical through your actions of course since you represent them).

      • Jim says:

        Because cj is an idiot with nothing else to do. sad

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @AJ What a goofy idea there is an “opera community”! Thinking thus does not prevent fans from actually comparing Jackie to Callas and Jenny Lind. If the girl is not an opera singer as you all keep repeating, why compare her to the most developed voices of musical history?


        I am not so much interested in Jackie (especially after finding out the extent of downright copying from other singers) as I am astonished by the anti-intellectualism of the fans. Of course the arguments have to be framed in black and white, not anything in between like Maria Callas benefitting very much from her mother’s insistence on her learning piano. Evangelia was the catalyst in bringing her to Greece to study with a great singer and teacher, Hidalgo. As for the young Maria having to sing for money, this has been discredited and perhaps a little melodrama cooked up by Callas herself. It seems that her father did not want her to appear so surreptitiously she entered in a talent contest at the age of 10, but did not do anything serious until her teacher permitted it. The same was for Andrews, Sills, Freni and even Jenny Lind who went off the radar for a couple years during the adolescent transition.

        The actual temerity in comparing a girl without a stable technique yet, is simply mind-boggling. To compare a few tunes, most of them copied from other singers, to a a lifetime career of singing full length operas is sheer nerve but also ignorant. As for the hysteria that Jenny Lind produced it could only come from the machinations of PR artist Barnum. But Jenny Lind was not just a pretty face with a nice voice, she was an accomplished vocalist who deserved every ounce of fame and praise she received. .

        • AJ says:


          Nowhere did I read of comparisons to Callas, Jenny Lind, Julie Andrews, Beverly Sills etc, being made based on technique. The comparisons are on skill, ability, voice, public recognition, and age and in Jackie’s case, her connection to the audience.

          No one who has seen Jackie has ever described her as just a pretty face with a nice voice. Rather, she is often referred to as an extraordinarily beautiful young lady with a phenomenal voice or the only thing more beautiful than her face is her voice. There are a ton of other compliments about her voice and her face from fans and non fans alike.

          Your mind tends to get boggled by the most obvious of facts regarding Jackie Evancho. One would think that after 3 years of devotedly following her career, you would be used to her and her fans.

      • KnightlyOnce says:


        Just to be clear, though the amount of time and the word count of her rants, would be enough to do a phd dissertation, it would not earn a Phd, because most of it is wrong.

        • cabbagejuice says:

          @KnightlyOnce Why don’t you write a one page Phd dissertation on what is wrong with my posts? Typical statement of a delusional: “I am not the one who is disturbed.”

          Your attempts at gaslighting are as quaint as they are amusing.

        • AJ says:


          “Just to be clear, though the amount of time and the word count of her rants, would be enough to do a phd dissertation, it would not earn a Phd, because most of it is wrong.”

          Yes it might be wrong but the amusing part would be that it wouldn’t stop her from trying 🙂

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      cabbagejuice says:

      December 3, 2013 at 5:05 am

      In your last reply to me, your final words questioned “…,why don’t you go away?”

      I will go away if, and only if, you will post a video of you singing. Then the world will know that Jackie sounds so much better than you. Of course you and I have known that from the beginning.

      Tell you what. I do not expect you to embarrass yourself by posting a video, so I will go away if you will admit Jackie sings so much better than you ever did, or ever will.

  • To come to CJ’s aid over muscular support, and yet put my perspective from someone who teaches singing to this age-group.

    Muscular Support is like the “Rock of Gibraltar”, yet a girl of Jackie’s age needs to have this taught to her in a way that is sympathetic to her physiology as she is 13 and not 30.

    When teaching young singers, I concentrate on the diaphram for inspiration and the transverse abdmoninus (that works in partnership with the multufidus) to support the breath on expiration.

    Most children as young as 6 and 7 can identify these muscles, they know when they have hiccups that after a while the area around the diaphram begins to ache, and often they have attempted a “sit up” and know it is the transverse muscle that does the work.

    They all know where their belly-button is, and if encouraged to lie on the floor (I do give them a yoga mat for comfort) you can get them to lie in such a way that their spine is neutral and zip their belly-button towards their back-bone (hence identifying the transverse muscle and contracting it!)

    They can all shake their knees out and hold them soft rather than like a tin soldier, and I would encourage them to wear flattish shoes. Flattish does not mean un-ladylike. Sensible shoes for singing can be pretty and go with a pretty dress.

    There are loads of vocal exercises designed to get rid of a break in the voice, sirening is the most obvious, and kids love this especially when you encourage them to imitate motor-bike noises.

    Their is no need to touch the pupil, the most I’ve done is a gentle hand on the shoulder to prevent lifting.

    To get the palette in the right place to encourage an open-throat, the singer needs to “drop the jaw open” rather than anything else. To encourage a low-larynx, the sound encouraged in a classical sound, a sigh or yawny sensation without going into a full yawn.

    Nothing should be forced, all should be gentle and without tension. Strength and stamina is built by practice. Short regular practice sessions are the order of the day with kids until they are ready to work for longer.

    Now that Jackie is clearly entering the critical stages of vocal transition she needs to take things slightly gentler for a bit and work on keeping things even, avoiding vocal extremes yet working all areas of her voice that she finds comfortable.

    This is my advice as a singing teacher. I don’t wish her any harm. I think she has a lovely voice and loads of potential. I’d just like to see that potential maximised for the long-term.

    I’m certain she has had plenty of fun doing what she has done, yet along with many child performers there is a delicate balance between enjoying yourself and potentially burning out. I’d hate the latter to happen. She is a 13 year old girl at the end of the day.

    • KnightlyOnce says:

      Joanna, thank you for your very informative, and well said comments.

      • Thank you.

        I try to be constructive when I criticise. I do not wish this young lady any harm, but as I have an informed perspective, I do feel it is my duty to state my concerns in light of this.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


        Yes, Ms Debenham’s posts are usually balanced & informative. Her criticisms are constructive. They are appreciated.

    • Ehkzu says:

      re: “she needs to take things slightly gentler for a bit and work on keeping things even, avoiding vocal extremes yet working all areas of her voice that she finds comfortable.”

      It’s my impression that she’s doing exactly this. Her current CD is musically less challenging than her first was. She sings well inside her “practice range,” her concerts are spaced comfortably, her songs during a concert are also spaced, with orchestral interludes interspersed, and of course she always sings mic’d and never, ever belts. She hasn’t sung Nessun Dorma for over a year, and the only other two arias in her repertoire are not difficult.

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


        Agree in general, but I have a minor correction. The last time Jackie sang Nessun Dorma in public was Sept 2011 for the finale of AGT that year. It’s been more than 2 years since she sang it in a public performance.

  • Knightly Once says:

    Here is a video of Jackie singing Music of the Night on the Queen Latifah Show today.


  • LoneStar says:

    oh…she is quite bad. reminds of Sarah Brightman’s attempts. I give her time till she’s 18, tops-

    PS: she is obviously dubbing in this Queen latifah show video. And not so good.

    • Charles Hoff says:

      No, she was not dubbing. She was singing live to a backing track. I was in the audience at Sony Studios in Culver City for the recording.

      And “quite bad” is your opinion, which you are entitled to. But who are you with your bravely anonymous post of disdain? Why are you here posting, and wasting your time? Do you now feel somehow superior in dissing a young lady who has done nothing at all to you, but HAS pleased tens of thousands of paying concert audience members, and millions of television viewers and purchasers of her albums? “Silly” comes to mind.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      “…quite bad… obviously dubbing…”??

      Actually, what’s obvious are several “Persian flaws” in this performance that would have been re-recorded & fixed if this weren’t live. Most obviously, the high note, Ab5, starts off a bit flat (expected during adolescence); Jackie quickly corrects it.

      What’s “obvious” here is that it’s not Jackie’s singing that’s “quite bad”; perhaps it’s someone’s hearing.

      What’s notable is Jackie use of tempo rubato & portamento in emotional expression, the improvement in her voice over time, the blending of registers at Db5 & Eb5, the virtually inaudible passaggi between them, & the diminishing chin waggle, which is more of a lip quiver now. Her breath support is good.

      • Ehkzu says:

        Jackie has said in interviews she used to be hurt when people accused her of dubbing, because she values her integrity so much. But I think now she realizes it’s actually a great compliment.

        On the other hand, someone who can’t tell when someone’s dubbing is obviously out of his depth making comments about singers–particularly since the performance contains some flaws that wouldn’t appear in any studio-produced recording of a singer in Jackie’s position as a Platinum-selling recording artist.

        Especially when he compounds the error by comparing Jackie to a singer who admits she didn’t get trained in voice preservation at Jackie’s age, while Jackie has gotten such training; and since, despite this, she continues to tour successfully in middle age (though her voice has admittedly deteriorated). Brightman lasted far beyond her 18th year, so even if the comparison were apt the conclusion would be off by decades.

    • Everett Cox says:

      LoneStar you must live in Texas. So do I and I see double-digit IQ people like you at least once a day.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    Oh the prophet of the Evancholists is back. Wanna tell us, Ehkzu, about about your satori experience or what “Jackie thought” is all about? (I’m not making this up.)

    • Jim says:

      cj you need profession help, there is no reason for you constant verbal vomit on here. very sad.

    • Knightly Once says:


      In your reply to me dated December 3, 2013 at 5:05 am, you asked, “…,why don’t you go away?”

      I did not answer your question, but I did offer you a deal. Since you did not reply to my offer, I guess you missed it. So I will repeat my offer.

      Since I know posting a video of yourself singing would be way too embarrassing for you, I will go away if you will just admit that Jackie sings so much better than you ever did or ever will.

      There is no shame in admitting it. Go ahead, do it. You and I know it’s true. And of course we are not the only ones who know it.

      My guess is you will either ignore this post as you did the other, or you will post a lame reply suggesting it is beneath you to respond such a challenge/baiting.

      Well we know the truth.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @KnightlyOnce And I have a counterdeal for you! If Jackie has her unadulterated voice at my age, then I will go away! My teacher has his into his 90’s, so he must have been doing something right. He passed on his comments on vocal technique through his granddaughter published by Oxford University Press.

        BTW, does your username imply that you were Don Quixote – you know, a self-styled knight on a white horse looking for damsels in distress to rescue?

        • Knightly Once says:


          Talk about a one sided deal. You will be away when Jackie is your age.

          But I accept.

          Don Quixote? So you really haven’t figured out why I am yet? I guess I gave you too much credit.

          Anyway,… now I have accepted your terms for your departure, it is your turn to send me away… All you need do is admit that Jackie sings is better than yours. Hell, that is a given for anyone.

          • Knightly Once says:

            it’s, “Jackie sings better than you” of course

          • cabbagejuice says:

            @Knighly Obviously you don’t have extensive musical or vocal experience. If you did, you would realize that a pretty or even beautiful voice is not a rarity. Talent abounds too like Martha Graham said. Only it is a question of what one’s does with it, and that means work. I see as Joanna does in Jackie much potential, still unrealized. Also, one cannot compare different genres. I don’t sing CC, never did, but felt at ease with much of the high, light repertoire for soprano such as the Vocalise by Rachmaninoff and the Flower Duet that I did in a concert.. Nowadays I am concentrating mainly on piano chamber music.

            I don’t know what useful or constructive points you are trying to make except score useless ones that no one cares about.

          • Knightly Once says:


            It is true that talent abounds. But your vocal talent was always lacking, which is why you had no success performing. You said you never sang CC, “but felt at ease with much of the high, light repertoire for soprano such as the Vocalise by Rachmaninoff and the Flower Duet that I did in a concert…” . Maybe you felt at ease, but the listeners did not.

            Thankfully for you, you remembered what you had learned well enough to profit from your training.

  • Having watched the video of Jackie singing “music of the night” I can state that clearly was not dubbed.

    I am concerned about the height of her heels as it is affecting her core-muscles and thus meaning she is having to take extra breaths.

    The outfit was rather “grown-up” for a 13 year old girl. Charlotte Church has just spoken out about this kind of thing. Jackie take care, keep hold of your innocence.

    The bottom note was one she struggled at, but the voice was more even than in “Star-Spangled Banner” – maybe this was because the sound engineering balance was better.

    This song has a wide range, it maybe worth restricting the range of songs further for now until her voice opens up more.

    I don’t like seeing a trembling bottom lip to gain vibrato and the continued dropped head is not encouraging.

    I think Jackie would benefit from some lessons in Alexander Technique as this would enhance her singing.

    • cabbagejuice says:

      @Joanna That was a very interesting post about teaching young singers. My students tend to be older. I may have oversimplified support by characterizing it as a rock. In fact, this was a source of confusion for me for many years until I realized that it is a flexible rock, like the bellows of an accordion, but not quite. It is so difficult to put any of these concepts into words and the best is learning by doing. That is how I discovered how one actually can plan and build up the support during a song or aria, not wait until the culminating high note to start activating one’s muscles. For sure as much tension sent down to the center of the body will relieve the pressure on the upper systems. To join all that up with interpretation is a lifelong study and interesting too.

    • Ehkzu says:

      re: “The outfit was rather “grown-up” for a 13 year old girl. Charlotte Church has just spoken out about this kind of thing. Jackie take care, keep hold of your innocence.”

      Seriously? True, she didn’t look Amish. And someone in the Taliban would be appalled. But if you think her outfit was what Charlotte Church was talking about, that’s preposterous. Church was talking about Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna–musical celebrities who have appeared in public nearly naked. And of course Church was talking about her own previous choices, which she now blames on others.

      Here’s an easy way to see this. Google “Charlotte Church,” select “images,” and scan the first hundred or so photos. Then scan “Jackie Evancho” and do likewise. There’s no comparison, even if you exclude the images of Church after she was an adult.

      Without a doubt the music industry looks for beautiful singers who are also beautiful in appearance, and then seeks to “sell” that beauty. It’s the profit motive at work. But Church seems to be glossing over the fact that, as she now says, she didn’t want to be singing what she was singing, didn’t want the innocent image she first had, and did want to do whatever she felt like–as her adolescent antics soon revealed. I think you’ll find that Evancho feels more self-actualized and less rebellious than Church felt at the same age, and thus is less inclined to act out.

      You warn Jackie to “keep hold of your innocence.” Did you know that she wears a Purity ring? I think at this time she’s the only professional singer not in the Christian music genre who does so. No one wants to see her married and pregnant at 16, but at the same time no one should seek to keep her a child either. She is not a child now, and never will be again. She’s an adolescent. A teenager. And I think most would agree that she dresses toward the conservative end of all American 13 year olds.

      It is as bad for teenagers to be forced back into childhood as it is for them to be forced forward into adulthood. Society still hasn’t outgrown the peculiar notions of girls as fragile porcelain dolls perpetrated by Anglo-American Victorian culture. Nobody matures instantly. They have to somehow bridge the difference between innocent childhood and knowledgeable adulthood.

      We should all hope that Jackie Evancho gets the support she needs to make that transition, such that when she can sign contracts herself and is legally responsible for herself, that she then has the tools and maturity she needs to do so. Gaining those tools can’t start at 17.9 years of age.

      re: high heels make it hard to breathe for singing

      So opera stars always wear flats when they sing at concerts? That’s not my recollection. But perhaps that’s a compromise they make. Do you have any scientific evidence for this assertion? A link perhaps? I’m not saying you’re wrong but I’d like to see more than a simple assertion of this.

      • I’m glad to read that Jackie Evancho wears a purity ring; nice to hear someone in the music can stand up for morality.

        As for heeled shoes. Jackie is 13 years old and not physiologically and adult. To sing wearing heels, the pelvis needs to be tilted in order to be anchored to provide support.

        This requires a strong core. It is easier to have a strong core in flatter shoes.

        I have and do wear heeled shoes to perform. I have also sung wearing split-soled Jazz Shoes that are flat. My core is strong, and I can tilt the pelvis to anchor the breathing mechanism. I practise in my stocking feet as there is less strain on the body.

        For the record, like many singers, my warm-up and practise range is larger than any I would air in public. Some of the lower notes are there to add weight and warmth to the lower performing range, and the higher notes are so ridiculously high that they are only used to ensure my highest performing notes are secure.

        Again, I have an adult voice where working the extremes is not a problem, still they are not worked much, in a voice in transition one just does not go there, as soon as the voice begins to struggle one stops.

        There is a huge difference between an adult and an adolescent in terms of what physically they should be doing as an adolescent is at their maximum growth faze and there is great potential for damage to be done.

        It is ironic, therefore that it is precisely at that age that there is the desire to start wearing heeled shoes. I’m glad I resisted until I was 17-18.

  • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

    Re: Young singers singing dangerously

    If you want to worry about a young singer who’s risking her voice, one of the 5 finalists on The Voice is 16 year old Jacquie Lee. She’s mentored on the show (which they do with everyone) by Christina Aguilera.


    She doesn’t roar or scream, but she certainly belts in the upper modal register – a lot. She’s risking damage to the vocal folds..

    This is the kind of thing that Jackie E never does.

  • There have been contestants on the Voice UK who I’ve been concerned about too. The Voice is a “baby instrument” until about the age of 24. One needs to really look after it.

    From the emergent adult voice stage, there are safe ways in which to belt, but care still needs to be taken. At 16, it is normally considered “safe”. I would still err on the side of caution.

    It very much depends on the singer, his or her voice, how open the throat is and how the “belt” “belt/mix” technique is being approached.

    It is worthwhile reading what both Jeremy Fisher and Gillyanne Keyes have to say on the subject as this really is their area of expertise.

  • Everett Cox says:

    Do you have a link to their articles? I would like to read them. I’m glad you, as a real voice instructor, have weighed in on the subject of strengthening core muscles and the other things. I had no one to teach me.

    As to how Jackie dresses…you don’t have to worry about that. Her mother makes sure she is always appropriate. This outfit is the farthest away from her normal gowns I’ve ever seen her wear onstage; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-qn69SVXJk

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Although I swore to my self that I would not get down in the mud with Miss Juice again, I have to at least point out that the oldest film of Deanna Durbin (in which she appeared with Judy Garland) was done when she was 14 years old. She had a beautiful voice and was obviously performing through her adolescence with no apparent harm to her voice. Also, I find it interesting that we are traveling 75 years in the past to find someone comparable to compare Jackie to.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Joanna Debenham,

    Since I humbly acknowledge your expertise after resorting to visiting your website, I do have a serious question about the adult singing voice since we can name hundreds of adult singers who did irreparable damage to their voices later in life. No soprano ever hit and sustained high Ds and F sharp’s and even the occasional Grand C like Joan Sutherland did without forcing it. Or, maybe she did. She certainly was able to perform these almost super-human feats for a good portion of her career. How, in your opinion, was she able to do it?

    • Jeff, I hit and sustain a high D, and have had my vocal folds examined by a laryngoscope. There is no damage. I regularly hit, F6, F#6 G6 G#6 and even A6 and still have done no damage.

      I can assure you there is no force necessary in obtaining those notes. It is simply due to the way I’m built. Years of singing notes around a High C (C6) have taught me that it is possible to produce that note triple pianissimo, crescendo to forte and do this without strain. However, in order to do this one firstly needs a vocal instrument that allows one to do so, and secondly needs the technique, especially the respiratory support in order to make it possible.

      What you have said is poppycock! There are sopranos at most conservertoires who make what Miss Evancho do appear every day, and not super-human. It is not wise for a 13 year old to attempt what she does as teenagers are not “little adults”. They lack the physiological development to make it safe.

      How many times do I have to state her voice is in transition. Read Lynne Gackle’s work on the adolescent female voice if you want an expert opinion. (amongst others). Sure there are singers who have done damage and do do damage, but not on my watch.

      I don’t sit at my laptop, and pour vitrol. I make pertinent observations based on experience. There is a huge difference.

  • Jeff Rogers says:


    I proof read my prior entry where I referred to a “grand C.” I obviously misread my source.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    I just got home from JE’s Long Beach concert. I will no longer waste my time on this blog jousting with the likes of cabbage head and Janie nor will I worry about the radar of miss Debenham Jackie was SPEC-TAC-U-LAR. The best I have seen her to date on any medium. She performed a couple of her standards from both “Dream with me” and “Songs from the silver screen.” and added three carols from her previous Christmas albums. She received at least 6 SO’s, and I don’t mean from the usual front two rows of Jackie junkies, I mean from the entire venue!

    You CRONES can sit at your dusty laptops and spew vitriol till the cows come home but Jackie will be going “on and on and on” long after you lot will be dust,

    • Jim says:

      You are in my head Jeff. I feel exactly as you do. I know what i like and I was at Jackie’s concert in Worcester,Ma this year to a sold out house and enjoyed the experience immensely . I appreciate your feed back on the Long Beach Concert. I feel bad for most of these people in here. I don’t they like anything or anyone. Thanks again

    • Everett Cox says:

      Well said Mr. Rogers! Wish I could have attended but circumstances prevented it. 🙁 I’m hopeful the day will come while I’m still alive that Jackie will incorporate Nessun Dorma as her closing number in her concerts.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      There are a few vids coming in from Long Beach. They’re just from cell phones, so audio is not good & video is worse. The first includes Lovers, then When You Wish Upon a Star.


      This is Imaginer:


      Here’s Jackie, using rubato & portamento to great emotional effect. Her lows are richer & her highs are clear again, with good breath support, after a year or so of adolescent transition.

      I wonder where Jackie “copied” all of the tempo rubato, portamento & emotional expressiveness? Is she just imitating what she’s seen on videos? If so, whose?

      BTW, Jackie’s the only professional to ever sing Imaginer AFAIK. The original song was Broken Vow, but Lara Fabian wrote special lyrics (suitable for the 10 year old she was at the time) in French for Jackie. Whom did she copy?

    • Exactly the emotional response you get from a Jackie Evancho concert experience. The “Crones” as you describe them of course have absolutely no comprehensive idea of the subject matter they feel they are qualified to criticize. Being cloistered in the mechanics of constipating musical theory they will never, ever allow themselves the gift of what music is really supposed to be.

      • Derek Castle says:

        “the gift of what music is really supposed to be” – Mm…I’m glad you know the answer. I get satisfaction from hearing, say, a consummate artist like Callas singing “Vissi d’Arte”. I’m happy to spend my hard-earned money on going to see a full opera production (warts and all) rather than over-priced “An Evening with……Fleming, Kaufmann, Terfel, et al.” singing ‘bleeding chunks’…..let alone J.E. or a grinning fiddler. But as this over-extended discussion has shown, it takes all sorts……

        • I think I am safe in assuming a musical artist’s creations, inspirations, and interpretations were never meant for the coroners of musical theory to dissect and pontificate over.

    • It is Mrs Debenham not “Miss”. I tolerate, “Ms” as does not indicate whether I am a married woman or not, but Debenham is my married surname and not my maiden name, and my husband and children would rather that is at least acknowledged.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @KnightlyOnce Let’s explode once and for all, the false premise that you and other trolls like you are standing on, that is, your belief that if someone makes more money or has more exposure in music makes them better. Pop stars, crooks and bums can be way richer than your average hardworking salaryman, orchestral player or teacher. The fallacy operating here is that the rest of us are so jealous of “success” and you are all congregating here to rub it in.

    Sorry, there is no real competition in music. Everyone more or less is doing what they want to do (if they are lucky like me) and deriving great satisfaction from it, better than earning more money by not practicing this art.

    Lucky, because I do get paid for teaching not only singing, but piano, and am a sought after accompanist and coach. So what I do may not be good enough for you but it is well recognized by my employers, and my main teacher, a Bolshoi Opera star, approved of my singing.

    Your attempts at smearing me are pathetic. At least I don’t need to make an empty life meaningful by glomming onto the activities of a 13 year old girl.

    • Knightly Once says:


      I do not speak for others, but between you and me, it is you who is replying based on a false premise. I am not saying Jackie sings better than you, or only one else, because she make more money at it, or because she has more exposure. The only reason I am saying she sings so much better than you is BECAUSE SHE DOES. It is a simple fact. And if you keep bragging about your skills with ” the high, light repertoire for soprano such as the Vocalise by Rachmaninoff and the Flower Duet that I did in a concert..”. I promise I well show everyone and they can decide for themselves who sings better.

      • I would not call Rachmaninov’s Vocalise as “light repertoire for Soprano” it is a technically exacting piece that many would not attempt. The dynamic range, and vocal range and colours required to perform it (I do, and would not have attempted to learn it before the age of 30) make this a decidedly tricky piece of music.

        • cabbagejuice says:

          @Joanna, well depending on who is singing it. Anna Moffo was a lyric soprano and did the Vocalise about as perfect as could be. (I should have said “lyric” instead of “light”, not meaning “soubrette” at all which I am not either.)

          • @ CJ: I’d admit that a good Lyric Soprano can sing it. A spinto with a lyric tone but decent weight in the lower voice and the ability to float notes at the top can sing it too. However it requires exacting breath control that I’d expect from a mature singer. Now whether that is from a lyric soprano or one with a slightly bigger voice is immaterial. Compared with the issue of a young lady who is potentially wrecking her instrument, this is hair-splitting.

            I don’t think the two of us have any major issues here.

          • Everett Cox says:

            @Joanna Debenham; Do you know who Dr. Scott Kessler is? Are you aware that he is Jackie’s vocal physician? Are you also aware that he has given Jackie’s voice a clean bill of health? Given those facts, who are YOU to say she is “wrecking her voice”???

            You need to stop listening to the Juice Lady and research the facts for yourself.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @KnightlyOnce To second what Joanna said about singers in and out of music schools, there must be tens of thousands of sopranos if not more, who can do the Vocalise and Flower Duet superbly. I don’t want to make odious comparisons, so i won’t.

        • Knightly Once says:


          You always avoid the comment made and answer a question not asked.

          I am sure Anna Moffo, Deanna Durbin, and the “tens of thousands of sopranos if not more” also sing much better than you. But I was only comparing Jackie’s superior talent to your run of the mill vocal abilities. I can make that comparison.

          And if you insist on insulting me I will enable those on this blog to make the comparison and decide if my view is in anyway false or odious.

          There is no shame in not being able to sing as well as Jackie. I would not be insulted if you were to say Jackie sings so much better than me.

          And I would not try to devalue your claim she sings better than me by saying I do not sing CC, are that I am comfortable what sopranos sing. I would just say you are right cabbagejuice Jackie does sing so much better than me.

          But if you are going to continue your tried rants, at very least you should acknowledge that Jackie sings better than you.

          • Knightly Once says:

            Correction to above post,

            And I would not try to devalue your claim she sings better than me by saying I do not sing CC, or that I am comfortable singing what sopranos sing.

            Maybe I should start proof reading before posting

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Jeff Rogers Do you always bite the hand that feeds? You humbly ask for information and then sneer upon the person you are asking, calling her a CRONE. I remember back then when Richard Clayderman was an item, some of my piano students went to his recitals and reported that it was fantastic. These would be the same who are awed by the sound and light machinations of a Sarah Brightman concert.

    Otherwise it is doubtful that high level singing would make an impression to the CC enthusiasts or if anyone could explain it to them. These statements speak for themselves: “we can name hundreds of adult singers who did irreparable damage to their voices later in life. No soprano ever hit and sustained high Ds and F sharp’s and even the occasional Grand C like Joan Sutherland did without forcing it. Or, maybe she did.” Really, who are they?

    As for Deanna Durbin the comparison was with her singing Nessun Dorma that she did much better than Jackie.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    I was not referring to miss Debenham when I used the term “crones”

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    I am referring to all types of vocalists, not just opera or CC singers. Do you really expect me to produce a list of singers of all genres who developed nodules on their vocal chords requiring surgery in some cases and retirement to others? To use a Cabbage Juice term, puhleeze!

    And, by the way, Deanna Durbin was in her late teens or possibly her 20’s when she performed Nessun Dorma in a film in English. The only times JE performed it was when she was 11.

  • Jeff Rogers says:


    I double checked. Deanna Durbin was 23 and in her prime when she made the film which featured her performing Nessun Dorma. I don’t know about you (in more ways than one) but I doubt if I will be around to hear Jackie sing it at 23. One can only hope.

    I know I said I wouldn’t post again but I guess I’m as over the top OCD as you. We just happen to be 180 degrees opposed.

  • Jeff Rogers says:


    By the way, a singer that you have expressed admiration for recently Dame Julie Andrews experienced an abrupt end to her singing career when surgery to remove nodules from her vocal chords was unsuccessful!

    • cabbagejuice says:

      @ Jeff Rogers Yes, after a 50 year career that no one would call Andrew’s an abrupt end. What are you trying to prove? Was she singing high F#’s above the treble staff (which happens to be higher than the eponymous high C of a soprano). Nodules can result not only from singing.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    I got so wrapped up in my jousting with CJ et al that I forgot to finish my report to my fellow Jackie junkies about her performance. She did two encores as opposed to her normal one and sometimes none. The first encore was “To where we are” and the second was the one that left me in tears: “believe”. I just can’t listen to that one without tearing up. I hope all of JE’s fans get the chance to see her live, at least once. I’m lucky to live in California where I got the chance to see her four times (once in Las Vegas). Merry Christmas to all. This really is my last post no matter what.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    My bad. I meant “To where YOU are.”

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop I heard the clips and while this might be an accepted style for CC and people may enjoy it, objectively it is not good singing. The means used for emotional expression and applied to Imaginer is pressing on practically every note but hardly ever joining them as in a legato. Quite a lot of breath is needed to push them into the resonators to get that musky sound so there is plenty of audible breathing. Beyond the whopping break that Joanna mentioned are equally pushed but not adequately supported head tones. Belting is not the only wrong and dangerous technique that can ruin a voice.

  • I will not include a link to either Gillyanne Keyes’ nor Jeremy Fisher’s work, as it is quite clear that the people requesting I do are perfectly capable of placing their names into a search engine and doing the research for themselves.

    As far as belting is concerned, there are safe ways of singers to belt, but not when they are thirteen, this technique can be re-introduced again once the voice has settled, but attention does need to be paid into how the vocal mechanism works.

    As a general observation, both Charlotte Church and Aled Jones have been referred to.

    There is no comparision between either of these singers. Charlotte Church sang with an overly developed voice (as far as force of sound) too early, and her sound suffered to, whilst Aled Jones made his career in his early teens as a Treble. He stopped singing in public when his voice hit transition, and he is now performing as a Tenor with an adult voice. That Charlotte Church has taken the pop route is her choice.

    The delicacy of the vocal mechanism during transition should not be underestimated male or female. Trotting out the names of adult singers or singers who did “go light”- as far as their performance career was concerned after performing as children is pointless. The fact is that Jackie Evancho should not be pushing the envelope at this point.

    The fact that she is planning to perform the Rachmaninov Vocalise next year is nothing short of ridiculous. This is a piece I’ve already stated is best suited to singers who are at their very earliest in their late twenties and not their early teens.

    The number of so-called fans who see a pretty girl and a pretty voice, yet will not listen to the dangers of over-singing on a developing voice do not see the potential for harm. Let her grow up for a few years and her voice settle.

    • Derek Castle says:

      Yes, but would she still be the same ‘cash cow’ when she grows up? We don’t know. Would she still be able to pack ’em in (meaning people who are attracted to child stars) without the ‘Jesus-loves-me’ persona illustrated at the top of this blog?

      • Derek: All I can say is I’m not responsible for “Team Evancho” and therefore it is not my problem.

      • AJ says:


        Most of Jackie’s fans have little or no interest in child stars. I have none in other child stars that pop up every so often on talent shows or you tube channels. Jackie’s voice even at 10 was nothing like a child’s by any stretch of the imagination. That’s one reason why she has so many older fans. The other reason of course because of her repertoire. Most kids don’t sing the repertoire that she does and those that do in music schools, we don’t really get to hear so often. The few that I stumbled across on You Tube don’t even come close to Jackie !

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

      Ms Debenham,

      “Spelling is not my strong point.”

      Yes, we know this. 🙂 It’s just that the content of your posts is usually very good, so a misspelling here & there doesn’t matter.

      I have to bring up a couple of points here, though. Firstly, Charlotte Church’s voice is FINE. It’s gorgeous. She had some trouble during & after her pregnancies, notably with breathiness, but that’s resolved now. We’ve posted videos of her on other threads, & the beauty of her voice hasn’t diminished (it’s actually enhanced because she’s older); it’s just that she chose to switch genres & sing pop instead of classical.

      Secondly, we really don’t know if Jackie is going to perform the Rach Vocalise. She posted a very brief Keek video (these can’t exceed 36 seconds) of her practising it, but that doesn’t mean she’d perform it in public, put it on a CD or even try to learn it in its entirety. They go through a long process to decide which songs to record & perform. I’m sure that singers & musicians sing & play lots of things in practice that they wouldn’t consider performing in public.

      Also, they’ve already talked about delaying the next album till fall 2014, & part of this may be to let her voice settle further. I’d argue that it’s already settled quite a bit, though the process isn’t finished yet.

      Your comment about the Alexander Technique was interesting. It’s been mentioned on the Amazon forum, which Jackie’s mom Lisa usually follows, so who knows? Maybe they’d consider it sometime. On multiple occasions, things have been mentioned there that caused almost immediate changes in the Evanchos’ practices.

  • We must again be reminded of the tremendous amount of precise and loving attention given to Jackie and her career from her parents, her doctors, vocal coaches, and everyone else directly involved in nurturing a growing talent. It is exciting for Jackie and her supporters to be made aware of her ability and readiness to make Vocalise a part of the next Jackie Evancho experience. You certainly have the right to believe your opinion and capabilities are superior to team Evancho, but you must also recognize your observational understanding as far outside those of us who see Jackie as extraordinary in the musical realm and priceless in what she represents.

    • Stephen: I sing the Rachmaninov Vocalise. I know every single semi-quaver of the vocal part, each nuance of each hairpin and how it relates to the piano-part. (It was originally composed as a vocalise with piano accompaniment – the orchestral version was later). I know how it fits together nut and bolt and every technical and musical demand it places on a singer. Now I would not give this to a 13-14 year old to sing even if she was the most talented singer in the world and I was about to be Sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

      Do I make my point!

      • AJ says:

        Its pretty much a given that Jackie is going to record Rachmininov on the next CD. Much as she did ND at age 11 ( Groundbreaking in my opinion), she will do Vocalise at age 14 and do it in her own style, imperfections, mistakes and all. Like ND, Vocalise will once again create controversy and speculation not to mention, incense the opera community. My take is that Jackie is going to do what she is comfortable with and what challenges her ablities. In other words she’s going to sing what she wants and what the fans want ….

        Some of us are thrilled, others appalled and still others disgusted but all of us await with aniticipation :-).

      • Joanna, actually, you make my point. You know every semi-quaver, each nuance of each hairpin and diminuendo, calmando, crescendo, and every technical demand of a musical piece so thoroughly stripped of the magic and essence the vocal aria was painstakingly designed to convey there is no doubt you fear for the welfare of Jackie being handed that bag of nuts and bolts of which you think a musical piece is comprised. I cannot imagine the Vocalise you personally would produce that would differ from a computer program. It certainly could not come close to what Rachmaninoff intended. Jackie Evancho, on the other hand, will no doubt be compared to Anna Moffo when she records “Vocalise” in a style, interpretation, and grace that will be remembered long after you and I are dust.

        • Derek Castle says:

          Omniscient Stephen, now you really are taking the p**s, possibly just to wind up the sceptics. Not only do you know what Rachmaninov intended with his Vocalise, but you can forecast the greatness of Jackie’s ‘interpretation’ before she has even tackled it. You’re pulling our legs!

          • AJ says:


            Rachmaninov died in 1943. I’m just curious to know how anyone would know with any degree of assurance what he intended with Vocalise (a piece that doesn’t even have any lyrics).

          • AJ: fortunately he left us with a score. Mozart died in 1791, yet most musicians have a fair idea how to approach his music as he left us with manuscripts that contained details over how to perform them, letters, and other documents.

            You behave as if Historical Musicology was purely a dry and dusty pursuit. Most musicologists become so because they originally have learnt to play an instrument. (I include singing as an instrument).

          • AJ says:


            Exactly my point. Musicians have a fair idea of how to approach his music. Replicate what he wrote but not exactly what he thought. There is always room for adding individualistic nuances to the performances.

            You err in assuming what I think ! I have a profound respect for musicians and music. I am not a musician and my understanding of theory and practice is a hobby that I work at getting better at because I love music.

            I just take exception to elitists who flaunt their knowledge …. and I don’t necessarily mean you.

            I have never challenged your knowledge or CJ’s for that matter, regarding voice and technique. But I will always challenge comments made in poor taste and that I deem unfair and provocative.

          • Firstly – Thank you AJ for not “necessarily” meaning me in your list of “elitists who flaunt their knowledge”. Firstly, given my work, I don’t see myself as “elitist”, not I “flaunt”, merely share my knowledge.

            Having respect for musicians does include the amount of training they undertake, together with the knowledge and experience they accrue as part of the process.

            As far as comments in bad taste are concerned: there have been enough of those from the “pro Jackie” camp. If I am guilty, this has been as a response to unnecessary invective directed in my direction.

            As far as young performers are concerned, a family friend has a son who works in the film industry. It is necessary for people to look right on screen, and they will have to do interviews. I am impressed by the families attitude over life-work balance, and the father’s desire to chaperone where necessary whilst allowing his child an opportunity to simply be. It is not, therefore, that Jackie Evancho performs that causes me a problem, more what I perceive as the potential exploitation of this young lady. She may have a team of ENT doctors and Vocal Tutors in addition to her parents, but IMHO she is simply doing too much given her age, and from what I have listened to.

            I took major objection to the possibility of JE performing and recording the Rachmaninov Vocalise on the basis of knowing the demands of this work as someone who performs it. You are quite right in that each performer needs to make it their own, but the Anna Moffo/Leopold Stokowsky performance is one of those rare moments that even great performers rate. Without the need for pastiche, it is one that does influence other performers in addition to the nuts-and-bolts contained in the score.

        • In order to make a musical performance of a piece of music Stephen, the performer normally becomes intimately equated with it first. It is not a case of mechanically reproducing the notes like a robot, it is a case of getting to know the music inside-out and know what demands it makes of you a performer.

          I visualise butterflies flitting around a meadow when I sing this piece due to the lack of words – it is a Vocalise. I’ve learnt to play the piano part, and played it on the same sort of piano that Rachmanionov owned. Pianos have subtle variations in colour, and depending on the attack, and musicality of the player can sound very different.

          Simple things, such as knowing how the opening and last section relate to each other provide insight to how one might approach this work as a PIECE OF MUSIC.

          You have not heard me sing, so how dare you presume anything about how I approach a piece of music. I totally immerse myself in a piece of music in order to perform it well. I try to find each nuance that my vocal instrument can bring to a performance and communicate that effectively to an audience. Where there are lyrics, I get inside the poetry: the sound world, the imagery, and quite what the lyricist was striving to achieve. Where a song is part of a greater work, how it relates to the whole is as important when it is being performed as an extract as context is important.

          Derek Castle is right, your posts appear mainly aimed to wind-up, or troll rather than gain an informed comment.

          • Joanna, my post are aimed at getting you to let go and just enjoy what you hear, not judge it. If you can visualize butterflies and meadows and allow others to take that musical journey with you when you perform, you should be able to allow Jackie to take you on the journey she is traveling when she performs. If you listen to Jackie sing, you will realize she is not parroting the music she performs, but knows the music intimately. A wonderful example is this performance recorded in Japan last year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xCu-KB0vmI Again, I ask you to leave the teacher behind and let Jackie take you along with her.

          • Derek Castle says:

            Imagining butterflies just didn’t do it for me, I’m afraid. At the risk of hurting your obvious sensitivity – this is just boring and banal. Who was the poster who said he was proud to be elitist? May I join you?

          • Derek, that is just an image I find useful when singing the Vocalise. It helps me cope with the lack of words (singers are used to using words) and capture a mental image that describes the patterns in the music.

            Stephen, it is not necessary to communicate that idea to an audience, simply use the image to help as an aide-memoir The interplay between the vocal line and its accompaniment, the shapes of the musical phrase, the dialogue between singer and either: conductor – working with an orchestra, or pianist is more important.

            A performer is there to make music, and bring that music to the audience. Derek, sorry the Butterflies did nothing for you, I really imagine some spectacular images – certainly not banal and boring. I’d rather deliver a decent Vocalise than bore you with the inner workings of how I get there.

          • Derek Castle says:

            Sorry, Joanna, I didn’t realise it was you who imagined butterflies to get you in the right mood. I don’t mind what artists get up to, as long as their music is good. No, my ‘banal and boring’ comment referred to the link that our ecstatic friend sent to us, meant to shed some enlightenment on Jackie’s magnificence. Well, if that’s all it’s about, I’m obviously living in the wrong world and it’s time for me to say adieu – at least to this discussion. (PS. Just listening to BBC broadcast of ROH’s Parsifal on the radio. Now that’s what I call music! – Just so that the ‘elitist’ boot can be aimed at me for one last time.)

          • AJ says:


            Re : Respecting musicians and what not

            I have a profound respect for musicians (singers, conductors, music directors, teachers etc) especially because I love music and am NOT good at any of the music disciplines.

            Anyone who has spent a few decades in any profession can be a subject matter expert. I am one too in my own chosed field (not music). So I understand the value of experience gained over several years.

            It would be folly to debate vocal technique with you or CJ for me or anyone who knows as much as I do about voice, which is practically next to nothing. Other than those who know about the subject matter (and there are some here who seem to), I don’t see very many instances of people challenginng your opinion on technique.

            The bulk of the critique about Jackie’s technique is based on fan videos from cell phone recordings with amplification and distortion packaged together. Therefore blanket opinions about Jackie’s voice are accepted by fans with a touch of skepticism regardless of the professional expertise of the critic.

            Your concerns regarding exploitation are valid and your are not the first one to voice them. There is always that possibility particularly in the entertainment business. There are many cases to support that viewpoint but just as many that don’t. Hence such accusation are also met with skepticism.

            Here is something that you will most likely find offensive but my intention is not to offend but to offer a different perspective. I have no animosity towards Mr. Lebrecht or you.

            If Jackie is being exploited by her team, then so is she by Mr. Lebrecht and by you.

            I could certainly be wrong but I believe that Jackie’s posts bring a tremendous amount of hits to this blog. Jackie is not an opera singer or a classical singer but she has been the cause of much debate everytime anything is posted on this blog. It takes a conscious choice to post topics on Jackie. So is it about journalism and informing the public or about generating additional traffic to the blog.

            You post here under your real name and are very open about your profession. So one would ask if you post here with the sole intention of preventing exploitation and educating the public or garnering additional recognition for your career through indirect advertising on this blog.

            Music is serious business for you but its entertainment for the rest of us. You listen for technique, precision and strict vocal standards, we listen for pleasure. All the imperfections in Jackie’s voice don’t diminish the beauty of her voice and the effect she has on her audience.

            Jackie’s performances at her first public concert in Houston with Houston Chamber Choir was mindblowing for the 700 or so audience members. I’ve personally met a few who were there who to this day are unable to express adequately what the experience was like hearing a ten year old (a few months short of 11) sing a difficult repertoire with a voice that defied description. They don’t necessarily describe her voice as being mature but rather that it was among the most beautiful voices they had ever heard.

            Nothing wrong with judging Jackie Evancho but don’t be surprised by the reaction of the fans …. its like telling a mother her child is ugly ……

        • Quote: Jackie Evancho, on the other hand, will no doubt be compared to Anna Moffo when she records “Vocalise” in a style, interpretation, and grace that will be remembered long after you and I are dust.

          Derek, CJ and Joanna: Reasoning is futile is this is the level of argument you’re up against.

          • just listened to Anna Moffo singing the Vocalise – when a singer of Kathleen Battle’s distinction is compared with her and I enjoy both performances for differing reasons, the Theodore, you make your point well.

            Having just listened to the Moffo/Stokowski recording, it was the one I was most conscious of when growing up – a bit like Flagstad’s Liebestod – one that has been in the fabric of classic recordings that all performers look up to with awe.

            I very much doubt if any 13-14 year old could match that regardless of talent.

      • Everett Cox says:

        Unlike the juice lady, I respect your experience and knowledge. I just hope you like her Vocalize, regardless whether you think she should have attempted it or not.

        • cabbagejuice says:

          @AJ You were not aware of it at the time in Houston, nor were the 700 in the audience but a few people knew that there was a heavy copying from youtube videos. Now by back calculation and viewing the sources, this is clear as day. At least Amira W admits that she freely used them. The dishonesty is pretending the interpretations fell from heaven. And in 3 years there has been little to no change or improvement in most of the repertoire.

          As for poor quality cellphone recordings, there are plenty that are not. Also heavy breathing, change of register, jaw waggle, etc. are not inventions or distortions by lesser recording devices.

          • AJ says:


            Would you please explain to me how, “knowing that there was heavy copyinng……” could possibly dimiish the stunning reaction and amazement of the listners. ? I’m baffled !

            “The dishonesty in pretending the interpretations fell from heaven” …..

            Are you serious. You wanted the 10 year old girl to come up on stage before she sang and tell the audience that she was going to be singing interpretations. 🙂 You can’t be serious !! I am starting to question your sanity.

            Yes there are plenty of recordings that are not cell phone recordings but who cares. Her fans aren’t interested in critiquing the technical merits but rather the emotional impact.

          • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


            As I’ve already told you, Jackie doesn’t deny having learned songs from recordings of other singers, be they video (including YouTube) or just audio recordings. In fact, as I’ve already told you, she’s described in interviews that she learned Sir Lloyd Webber’s song “Memory” by watching & listening to Barbra Streisand’s recordings of it.

            Also as I’ve already reminded you, Jackie told Sarah Brightman that she learned all her songs from her, & said that on TV when 15 million people were watching. It was clearly a spontaneous statement by a star-struck Jackie (the only time she’s ever appeared star-struck, BTW, despite the many well-known people she’s met). Obviously Jackie learned those songs from video (or audio) recordings of Sarah; how else could she have learned them?

            There’s simply no “dishonesty” here. Jackie has never denied learning songs from videos of other singers; she’s openly stated it on multiple occasions. I’ve told you this before, but evidently it bears repeating.

            Also, if you can’t hear & see her changes & improvements over time, I once again suggest you visit your otolaryngologist & ophthalmologist. That evidently bears repeating too.

  • Earlier in this discussion my ability as a parent was called into question. When will Jackie’s parents wake up and realise that their daughter is more than a meal ticket.

    She can record the Rachmaniov Vocalise for all I care, but anyone who pretends to care about her voice and lets that happen cares more about dollar signs.

    • AJ says:


      Please review the posts carefully again. Your parenting was never called into question. Your opinion of other people’s parenting based on simply vocal care was called into question.

      And it still is when you use comments like “their daughter is more than a meal ticket”. You sound like CJ. Well there goes your credibility and sincerity as a voice advocate !

      I understand your concern as a voice teacher but I’ve never heard of anyone die due to lack of vocal care…. and you make it sound as if Jackie was in imminent peril of her life because you happen to think that her parents aren’t taking care of her voice.

      • Do you have any idea about the psychological damage that can be done when a musician is forced to stop performing?

        Have you read nothing about the number of teen suicides there are each year, or the number of “child stars” who end up with eating disorders as they cannot maintain their image.

        Unlike with certain forms of harm that teens face, e.g. Alcohol Posioning, the damage may not be immediately apparent, and so what if it is a matter of life or death – paedophiles have used the same defence.

        That damage will be done is the issue. That it has the potential for long term harm counts.

        I do not need a lesson in basic literacy – I can read.

        If I sound like CJ, then perhaps you have been treating her unfairly.

        • Derek Castle says:

          Lena Zavaroni is an interesting case in point, the winner of ‘Opportunity Knocks’ (forerunner of Britain’s Got Talent) at the age of 10, about 40 years ago. She was the youngest ever No.1 in the British charts, sang for President Ford, etc. She battled with the pressures for years, suffering from acute depression and anorexia. When ECT didn’t work, she had a brain operation, which indicated some improvement. A terrible irony that she died of pneumonia shortly afterwards, probably contributed to by her crippling weight loss.

        • AJ says:


          Now you sound preachy, pompous and presumtuous, I’m sorry to say. Like you I’m literate too but doesn’t mean I know everything. I assume the same is true for you.

          No one is denying that the risk is always there and without proper care the voice could be damaged.

          You commented and described very eloquently how you get involved with the music and lyrics when you sing. Jackie has said the same thing but in a much more simpler way.

          Your assertion is that Jackie doesn’t know what she’s talking about because she’s young but you do know because you’ve spent so many years singing and teaching.

          • I don’t think I’ve ever accused JE of “not knowing what she’s talking about because she’s young”.

            I know what I do due to experience, that is true, and there are such things as old-heads on young shoulders. I learn from pupils – that includes those I encounter much younger than 13 try Primary/Elementary School age.

            I was amused by a sign I saw for sale in a local shop, “If you need an expert, ask a teenager, after all they know all there is to know about everything”. As the parent of 1 teenage son, and one lad counting down the days to his thirteenth birthday, I found this very funny. (I was tempted to buy it and put it up in my kitchen.)

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Joanna Debenham,

    I assure you that my references on an earlier post to “crones” and “vitriol” were not directed at you. I only referred to your “oh dear radar” in an attempt to assuage your concerns about the way JE is being handled by “team Evancho.” I repeat, to my untrained ear she seems to be purposely holding back. When the piece calls for a high note, she doesn’t sustain it for very long and I don’t think it is because she couldn’t if she wanted to. If my remarks offended you, I sincerely apologize.

    In my other post where I solicited your opinions on how Joan Sutherland was able to reach and sustain such high notes without forcing it I was off the subject of JE. I was sincerely curious. I had not heard any other famous operatic sopranos do this over such a sustained number of years.If you can hit D’s and F’s, I can only say bravo! The few times I have heard other sopranos attempt it it sounded more like a shriek than singing.

    Back on the subject of JE. Even if a young teen is not performing during her adolescence and is under the tutelage of a qualified voice coach, she’s still singing even if its only scales, isn’t she? I guess what I’m asking is can’t she do both if she doesn’t overextend herself?

    I honestly do respect your opinions.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @laptop You wrote regarding “Imaginer”: “I wonder where Jackie “copied” all of the tempo rubato, portamento & emotional expressiveness? Is she just imitating what she’s seen on videos? If so, whose?” Try Josh Groban in Broken Vow – quite similar.

    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      I hear a lot more of Lara Fabian’s version of Broken Vow in Jackie’s singing than I do Josh Groban’s. This shouldn’t be surprising, since Lara literally wrote the French lyrics for Imaginer personally for Jackie. Jackie must have heard Lara’s version with the original lyrics. Creativity may not be Jackie’s forte, but she certainly puts a great deal of emotion into almost all her singing. I simply don’t believe that’s imitation.

      To all,

      What’s with all the personal attacks? Everybody knows I disagree with cabbagejuice all the time, but I don’t attack her personally. I’ve questioned her hearing (& she’s questioned mine, sometimes with justification, LOL) but I haven’t questioned her ability as a singer. (How would I know that?) She says she sings well for her age, that her voice is well-preserved, & I have no reason to doubt her. I haven’t questioned her motivation for singing. I’m sure she loves singing & music, as is her right.

      I can’t believe I’m defending cabbagejuice, but fair is fair, & IMHO things may have gone a bit too far. Of course she’s dished it out as well, with multiple personal attacks on Jackie’s fans & constant criticisms of Jackie.

      In Joanna’s case, most of her posts have been fair & balanced. There’s no cause to attack her or her singing techniques. She knows a lot about it, & she teaches young singers. Why wouldn’t we listen to her?

      It’s true that she questioned whether any 13-14 yr old can or should sing the Rachmaninoff Vocalise. Here, I still say we just don’t know whether Jackie will record it or perform it. She could have just been messing around in the studio with her conductor at the piano. (Haven’t almost all musicians & singers done that? I have.) Time will tell if she ever records or performs it. We just don’t know yet what Jackie will put on her next album, or which genre(s) she will choose.

      So maybe we can all back off & take a deep breath?

      • Knightly Once says:


        I believe I have agreed with nearly every one of your comments. Including this one. You should not comment on her singing ability if you have not heard her. I have heard her sing, and play the piano, not at the same time, though she may have done so.

      • Derek Castle says:

        …..by putting this particular thread to bed, Norman.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Joanna What an amazing phenomenon this child prodigy business is! I used to correspond with a elderly promoter of a young pianist who said more or less the same things about this girl – angel from heaven, will transform music when she gets older (it didn’t happen), etc.

    The difference between him, unfortunately passed away meanwhile, and other fans here is that he was well educated musically. But the emotional responses are the same.

    You cannot argue with them rationally. Those who sling insults around (and I have had a plentiful portion of those) cannot bear anyone disagreeing with them. You have to take the whole package without any reservations as they do, otherwise you are sent to the Gulag. Anyone who questions that Jackie’s voice doesn’t follow the rules of anatomy and acoustics are smeared. The “Holy Family” is a big part of the mythology, sacrosanct and aggressively protected from criticism as in AJ’s comments, Dec. 2 & 3: “You’re not being panned for pointing out vocal concerns. It’s for thinking you can raise Jackie better than her mother. From the point of view of a fan what you just said (by inference) in a nutshell, is “The Evanchos are money grabbing parents who are robbing Jackie of her childhood”.”

    Maybe more than a little guilty defensiveness here? Did you know that Jackie is never alone, always has to have a guard or parent with her? Isn’t is sad to hear her admit that when she goes to the Mall, her peers who she used to study with, ignore her?

    Oh yeah, great childhood!

    It’s not worth arguing with the Jackie trolls. They are only here to bring you down if you don’t agree with them.

    As for the phenomenon that dropped from the skies fully formed, I would trace back the early vids of Ombra Mai Fu when she was 10 (very similar to Aled Jones) and compare them to the latest in Long Beach. Nothing has really changed or improved, except there are fewer hits and likes than before.

  • CJ: I used to feel that your comments were a tad on the cynical side, however through reviewing your comments each time you have commented, you are clearly not.

    You clearly find that the exploitation of this young lady is wrong, and whilst we may have minor disagreements about tiny technical issues, it is clear that the two of us are actually coming from this from the same perspective.

    I dispair at the sheer amount of invective that has been directed at both of us when at the end of the day there is no sour grapes towards this young lady simply concern.

    • cabbagejuice says:

      @Joanna, my offer to accompany you if we happen to be in the same area still stands. I am cynical, however, or learned to be around those who really don’t want to have a rational discussion but have an agenda. (The nuts and bolts and computer program post of Stephen was fantastic, and just proves the point.) Anyway, gotta go as I have a chamber music rehearsal with a cellist. This is not to brag but to show that one can be happy and satisfied in music without making mega bucks.

  • For your information, I am fully aware that Scott Kessler is a Manhattan based ENT surgeon. Most professional singers are able to pursue their careers without regular consultations with the ENT doctors. The only reason my folds were scoped was that I had an enlarged gland on my neck at the time. I turned out that the gland had been enlarged due to a recent cold, and my folds were in very good condition. I have had no further need to see an ENT doctor.

    It may be wise for a younger singer to keep a weather eye on their vocal health, but most reputable teachers should be able to take care of that. I know of none who would not suggest a pupil seek medical advice if they were concerned, but with safe vocal production methods, sensible choice of repertoire, and realistic performance schedules, it should be possible to keep singers out of the doctors office.

  • Sherrif Sims Deputy says:

    I wasn’t gonna come back here again

    but my boss is real upset

    He’s been tugging his ponytail all day long.

    He has demanded that Jackie Fans not come here

    But do you Fans side with the one person who cares?

    No you go a give him a bunch of no votes on amazon

    and than keep posting here

    It’s wrong and you’re giving the Haters what they want

    This is a blog for Classical music fans

    Classical has no relevance to Jackie

    Jackie’s music and field isn’t technique driven

    If you’re gonna say you’re a fan of Jackie

    than I have to ask why are you posting here?

    Please pay attention to my bosses advice

    He is a True fan of Jackie

    Are you?

    I hope I don’t need to come back here again.

  • Knightly Once says:


    For this comment only, let’s pretend there is no Classical Crossover, and therefore no Classical Crossover singers.

    Do you know why you did not rise above the “tens of thousands of sopranos, if not more” singing Classical/Opera, when others have. Not everyone is going to be as great as Callas, Sutherland, Tebald, Moffo, Battle, Fleming, ect. But for the moment, let’s forget about them also. Why didn’t you rise above the others? The less well known, but still successful Classical/Opera sopranos.

    Teaching is an excellent, and greatly needed profession career.

    But if possible, cabbagejuice be honest for once, at least with yourself, it was not the reason you studied all those years, nor practiced those thousands of hours.

    What you dreamed about was being a great singer, just as the other tens of thousands did. So why do you think you could not separate yourself from the others?

    I will tell you what I think. It is because you fail to understand that it takes more than the technical nuts and bolts to make music that others what to hear. No one is perfect, but even if the singer’s vocals were perfect technical that would not matter to the vast majority of listeners.

    You still fail to understand that, or even acknowledge it as a simple fact.

    • cabbagejuice says:

      @knightly Once Your post must be the apex of delusional. Where were you all years? Where were you all these years, hovering over like a guardian angel or devil unrecognized by me?

      You don’t know me or even my name so you are really full of horse manure. If you did you would know that I wanted to be a pianist from the age of 8. It is true that I did make my first appearance on a stage as a singer in quite a big hall at 3 1/2 since the older girls in the ballet class could not carry a tune as well as I could. Maybe that is why I am a bit more comfortable on the stage as a singer than pianist. The singing was put aside for many years although I was told that I should “culture” my voice, until I went to college and earned money by accompaniment. Then I realized that I wanted to do that too and found out that I could. So I took a double major, not popular at the time but now so many students take two or even three subjects.

      A simple fact is you are a nasty piece of work.

      • Knightly Once says:


        I knew all that, as I have said, I know you and you know me. But I was not there during your childhood.

        Plus even those who do not know you, if they actually read your comments, know you choose piano over ballet because piano would be less taxing. Also that since you were follow the model of want is ‘correct’ for a classical/opera singer that serious training of voice need to wait, and that your took a double major, you have commented on all of this before. Even in this blog you have offered to accompany Joanna.

        I did not know you believed you were so much better than your peers at age 3 1/2.

        The only one delusional is you, and it seems to have started a lot earlier than I thought.

  • Knightly Once says:

    I really need to start proofreading my comments! And I guess posting at 3am, after a all night on the town, does not help.

    EDIT above post;


    I knew all that, as I have said, I know you and you know me. But I was not there during your childhood.

    Plus even those who do not know you, if they actually read your comments, know you choose piano over ballet because piano would be less taxing. Also since you were following the model of what is ‘correct’ for a classical/opera singer your serious training of voice needed to wait, and that your took a double major, you have commented on all of this before. Even in this blog you have offered to accompany Joanna.

    I did not know you believed you were so much better than your peers at age 3 1/2.

    The only one delusional is you, and it seems to have started a lot earlier than I thought.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Knightly Once, scraping the bottom of the barrel again. Backhandedly you admit you were wrong about the shattered dreams of a would be soprano who is more like a mechanical doll and would love nothing better than to rub salt into the wounds that is if you could find them (reminds me of JJ Jr.) but the story you dreamed up is false so you try pathetically to find fault in a 3 1/2 year old who was CHOSEN over girls a few years older than her to sing at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

    You are only here to smear others, drag them down to your level, find weaknesses if you can and blow them out of proportion in a misguided campaign to defend as a fan or true believer that I believe even the E Team would not be pleased about nor approve. It makes the fans seem uncharitable, petty and even vicious.

    As for musical communication, chamber music and by extension, accompaniment, is a very refined form, listening to and responding to the other players. The problem with many or even most pianists who never played another instrument, they don’t have a good reputation as team players since they practice largely alone. But this is all above your head And really I don’t enjoy talking to nor explaining anything to such mean spirited people. Go sleep it off, indeed.

    • Knightly Once says:

      I have admitted nothing. And I am defending no one. I am simply trying to bring you back to

      reality. I am no expert on piano accompaniment, but you seem to be fairly good as far as I can remember. After all your attacks on this very young girl for the last couple of years, nit- picking at minor flaws, and ignoring the over all talent and beauty of the child’s voice, it is beyond human understanding how you can have the unmitigated gall to suggest I was finding fault with you as a child. I did no such thing. A true case of the pot{you} calling snow{me} black.

      Regardless of any real or imagined skills or talent you may have, you are still a closed minded, mean spirited, vicious, uncharitable, petty, vindictive, pathetic, contemptuous old woman.

      I have had a good rest, and I am in a good mood, which is why I am being so kind towards you.

      For many years my livelihood depended on my ability to read people quickly. And the very first time we meet I could tell there was something not right about you. This was way back. when we were still young.

      And the last clue you are getting as to my ID is, the ONLY reason I have not posted your identity is because my wife forbids it.

      • Janey says:

        This is far below the belt, and I believe you should be banned.

        • Knightly Once says:

          Janey I agree, cabbagejuice should be banned.

        • Knightly Once says:


          Read cabbagejuice’s comments of 12/11/2013/ at 12;25pm to which my reply is directed. You will see were I copied most of my descriptive adjectives from. I added a few to be different. In her comment she used; pathetically, uncharitable, petty, vicious, mean spirited, that I copied.

          She also used backhandedly, smear others, find weaknesses, blow them out of proportion, misguided campaign, drag them down to your level, all of which accurately describes that she has be doing for more than two years now.

          • Janey says:

            You have done nothing but insult, while providing no useful information. I find your comments unacceptable and I am amazed you are allowed to continue posting here.

      • Derek Castle says:

        Well, that’s telling her! (Interestingly, it’s ‘pot and kettle’ in the UK.)

        • Knightly Once says:

          Derek, it is ‘pot and kettle’ in the U.S. also, as in ‘the pot calling the kettle black’. But in that context it is has one person describing another person in a negative way, though in fact the person describing the other is as much like her description of the other person. Hence ‘pot calling the kettle black’, meaning both are the same. But I am nothing like cabbagejuice,{except maybe when replying to her]. So I chanced it to ‘pot calling the snow black’.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @Knight What a wonderful way to get back at someone, go online to find your target, throw brickbats and missiles, then sneak away saying your wife forbids the revelation of your identity. I did post mine on a past thread..She is afraid of the long arm of the KGB? So we can add cowardice to your list. I thought a person with stupendous taste in grand pianos (though without the means to pay for them) would be able to discern rational criticism of a voice. A 13 year old is not a child anymore and would not like to be considered as such. Jackie is very talented, a natural communicator, but should not be on the stage now for her own good, even if it gratifies the fans and makes megabucks for her family.

        The “Snow” Knight, how interesting! And you were calling me delusional!

        • Knightly Once says:


          Your reading comprehension is as lacking as your character. Try re-reading that passage.

          “.., the ONLY reason I have not posted your identity is because my wife forbids it.”

          Do you need me to explain the meaning of “your identity”?

          To whom does this bag of words apply, “I thought a person with stupendous taste in grand pianos (though without the means to pay for them) would be able to discern rational criticism of a voice.”?

          Are you talking about yourself? I certainly know very little about grand pianos, and have never made any claim to knowing anything about them. You must be confusing me with someone else, but of course confusion is your natural state.

          As far as being able to discern rational criticism of a voice, I can, and do. But that has nothing to do with the majority of your rants. Read my comments directed at Joanna on this blog, and others. I have NO problem with ration criticism.

          You have been attacking and abusive towards Jackie, and her parents, and all associated with her since she was 11 years old, that is over two years now.

          News flash for you. All 13 year olds are by LAW considered to be children, regardless of how they prefer to be considered. And even without the whole legal aspect, it is very low class to attack a child’s performance, even a very bad performance.

          Please spare me your groundless explanations{bad excuses for} why in your delusional mind you think it is ok. We have all heard that dribble before and know it to be complete nonsense.

          Jackie is super talented, a natural vocalist, communicator, humanitarian, who can do what ever she wants, with the approval and support of her parents, as can any child.

          What is not needed, nor wanted is the rants of an OTT obsessive.

          • cabbagejuice says:

            @Knight So who the H are you and why all this emotional baggage you are carrying into the discussion? Unless it is all a bluff that I thought anyway it was from the get go.

            “Your identity” I took as a typo since I already revealed my name and even where I am employed. Why would your wife forbid it? Who the H is she, and what does she have to with me?

            I do agree with your last statement, however:”What is not needed, nor wanted is the rants of an OTT obsessive.” Chill out, man. You don’t have to get emotionally wrung out over a multi-million dollar business. Do you make as much to really cry over real or imagined criticism of it?

          • Knightly Once says:


            I am unaware of you ever disclosing your identity. My wife of course was also unaware of that since she does not normally follow the forums.

            Your comments are really out there in left field.

            “emotional baggage you are carrying “, “emotionally wrung out”, “cry over real or imagined criticism”, really where do you come up with this garbage?

            You are the only OTT obsessive here, I only make replies to some of your numerous comments. It is you who always keeps coming back to the money aspect. And it is you who needs to chill out.

            You would never receive another reply from me if you could learn to keep a civil tongue in your head when posting a comment on anyone, especially a child.

            P.S. My wife prefers to be left completely out of this, and who can blame her.

            You and her were, I guess best described as, close associates who moved in much the same circles back in the day. We had actually just started seeing each other shortly before she introduced me to you.

          • cabbagejuice says:

            @Knight Anyone who does not know the difference between “making the fans seem petty and vindictive” and a personal attack is scrambling information whether intentional or not. So there might be some truth but a monkey wrench placed here and there to confuse the enemy. I have a pretty good educated guess about who you are although I never had a close female associate who introduced me to you. (Was it before or after you established a consulting company, bank or language school?)

            The emotionality gives it all away however. Also it is not a sign of mental health to keep speaking about someone else’s “delusions”. Live and let live, baby!

        • Everett Cox says:

          I don’t know where you live but here in America humans are considered children until their majority(18th year). You have found YOUR target, thrown brickbats and missiles at her and her family and vocal coaches for two years now. It should be quite obvious to you by now that they are not listening to you or following your “advice”. You need to give it up and move on with your life. Ms. Evancho has become an unhealthy obsession for you.

          • cabbagejuice says:

            @Everett Funny you should use a biological term, humans, who do mature physically +/- 13 years of age. Socially the term is ‘teenager” who drive cars and start to work around the age of 16, some earning money way younger as in “child labor”.

            Really, why don’t you ask a teen if he or she is a “child”?

        • Knightly Once says:


          I thought ‘close’ may have been too strong.

          • cabbagejuice says:

            @Knight How interesting that you should write this and typical too: “…who can do what ever she wants, with the approval and support of her parents, as can any child.”

            The function of parents is not to facilitate whatever may be the wishes of their children. They are supposed to put the brakes on what they feel may be harmful in the present or in the long run. They should consult experts whether it is wise to put a child on stage with outstanding vocal flaws or to pretend there is no danger extending a singing career through adolescence.

            Doing anything you want as a philosophy produces teens and adults who step on the rights of others because they never heard the word NO! (An example would be buying goods, like pianos without being able to pay for them.) Later on, as old men they live in a fantasy world of all the things they could not do in reality because they never accepted that their wants and whims were NOT the prime movers of the universe.

          • AJ says:


            I hope you realize that your entire rant above is based on your perception and belief that the Evanchos have not sought any advise at all … which we know is not true.

  • A good accompanist is worth his or her weight in gold.

    Certainly when performing chamber music e.g. Art Song such as lieder, this is a partnership. I do not feel that any pianist within that relationship is “the second player”. Your accompanist is someone with whom you can really build that performance. Getting a sound that complements the vocal line and brings out the nuances in both their part and yours is not an easy business.

    There are post-graduate courses in accompanying, and certain pianists who specialise in it. They don’t sit in the lime-light of the Concerto soloist or Solo Recitalist, but a good accompanist can make a Chamber Recital.

    I’m with CJ on this. Would one look down on string players because they specialise in playing in a quartet? Of course not. So why condemn a pianist who believes that accompanists are valuable.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Joanna In one of his masterclasses quite a few years ago, Menahem Pressler said that a good chamber music player must know all the parts. He was referring specifically to pianists who have to hold a trio or quartet together, but conceivably in his ensemble everyone probably knew everything. For the pianist this is important to know when to anticipate breathing or bowing, etc.

    Some of the hidden but lucky advantages in playing for voice lessons as part of a scholarship are all the tips one can pick up about singing, while getting paid for it at the same time!

    • Knightly Once says:


      You are you completely clueless? Do you understand what approval means? Prove the Evancho have not consulted experts. Oh, I know, you feel if they have not consulted you, that means they have not consulted anyone that matters, you being the only true expert on all things. How do you get that big head of yours though the neck of a sweater.

      You are a living breathing joke. Don’t you mean old women?

      • Knightly Once says:


        It is a fact that Mr. and Mrs. Evancho have always been concerned about what the effects of performing could have on Jackie, and had reached out to many experts in all related fields, they could think of. And they started doing this as soon as they discovered just how great Jackie’s musical gifts were, which was after her first talent show. Jackie was 8 then, two years before she appeared on AGT.

        Here is a link to a blog by one of the people Mrs. Evancho had reached out to, keep in mind that he is only one of the many they corresponded with way back then. And they have continued looking out for Jackie non stop from the very beginning till present, and will always.

        But do not hold your breathe waiting on them to seek you out. Wait, on second thought, do hold your breathe until they contact you. Please do.

        • Knightly Once says:

          here is link missing from comment above

          Here is a link to a blog by one of the people Mrs. Evancho had reached out to, keep in mind that he is only one of the many they corresponded with way back then.


          • cabbagejuice says:

            @knight Seeking the advice of a Spanish professor in a Midwestern University who uses a fancy pseudonym for a hobby blog – what a joke! He might have some good taste in opera singers but the article you referred to is way off. I do get paid for teaching voice development and know intimately what the problems are for a lyric soprano. I would even say that those who don’t sing could hardly understand and are the last ones to ask advice from.

            Singing without proper muscular support and artificially lowering the larynx for years now is a risky proposition and more so when a career is being built upon it.

            But please don’t imagine that I am having a discussion with you after you tried to tear me down professionally and after calling me all these names: “Regardless of any real or imagined skills or talent you may have, you are still a closed minded, mean spirited, vicious, uncharitable, petty, vindictive, pathetic, contemptuous.”

            By all means, hold your “breathe”.

          • Knightly Once says:


            Again your reading comprehension is as lacking as your character.

            Re-read this passage;

            “Here is a link to a blog by one of the people Mrs. Evancho had reached out to, keep in mind that he is only one of the many they corresponded with way back then. And they have continued looking out for Jackie non stop from the very beginning till present, and will always.”

            If needed get someone to explain any parts of it you can not understand.

            One thing I will help you with now is, “.., keep in mind that he is only one of the many they corresponded with way back then.”

            That means they{the parents of Jackie Evancho, Mr. Mike Evancho and Mrs. Lisa Evancho} contacted others in addition to the author of the blog addressed by the link given.

            If you do not want to bother anyone else to help you, I will explain the whole comment to you. Just ask.

        • Knightly Once says:


          And congratulations to you for catching the “breathe”. I saw it as soon as I posted the comment.

          But you missed the, “You are you” completely clueless? in my other post.

          • cabbagejuice says:

            @Knight I read the article a long time ago and was in correspondence with the author telling him that surely contralto is out of the question and any kid who allegedly sang a high Bb on the tape is most probably a soprano. You don’t know what clues teachers and coaches use to determine a fach but speaking voice is one of them, also body size and chest capacity. I wrote before that I believe that Jackie is a high, light soprano who could develop into a coloratura. Usually these are trilling birds like Rita Streich, Dessay, Lily Pons, Stratas. etc. about as as rare as the other extreme, alto.

            I also wrote that certain flaws would have been nipped in the bud with proper tuition instead of hearing stupidities like “her jaw waggle is getting better”. Learning singing is not done by correspondence course. There is a reason for avoiding serious study and holding onto whatever was gleaned from imitating youtube videos. Any self-respecting teacher would disabuse a student of any unnatural sounds or techniques from the outset. The murky timbre would disappear, pressing especially on the lower notes to achieve this. (It’s so bleeding obvious!)

            I am only (wearily) repeating this because it seems you did not read my past posts on this matter. This happens to be my profession and if character has anything to do with all this, being true to one’s voice means it will be true to the user. .

  • @CJ: Pressler is completely correct. Why do you think I spend time attempting to get my hands around each song I sing.

    Chamber Music is all about partnership.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Joanna I was thinking of your comment about high heels vs. flats in singing and was reminded of what Birgit Nilsson said as her requirement for singing Isolde were comfortable shoes. My last teacher said in Yiddish that I had to try to filter through my mind and understand with my truncated German, something like “stehen gut in die Fuesse”. All these details DO add up.

  • JoyceG says:

    Good lord, this blog has been hijacked by total nut cases. CJ, that means you. Joanna why do you linger here, or are you becoming CJ the second?

  • For those of you who tend to bask in the light of your own expertise regarding musical theory, I want you to read this. http://amithewriter.blogspot.com/2013/12/jackie-evancho.html

    All your musical knowledge will never be able to compare to the experience Jackie gave this woman to carry with her for the rest of her life. That is what music is supposed to be about.

    • cabbagejuice says:

      @Stephen That is just great and I do really mean it as in “Different strokes for different folks” and “whatever floats your boat”. The only correction I would make as a musician, this is NOT necessarily what music is about but rather, show business.

      And incidentally, the main verse of “Ombra mai fu” is not about the tree but its shade. So why imagine a tree? One can see already how show biz and contrived the act is. But why rain on someone’s parade with facts?

  • I agree that music is all about bring pleasure to others… preferably not at the cost of destroying your own voice in the process.

    • AJ says:

      ‘… preferably not at the cost of destroying your own voice in the process.”

      a supposition that hasnt yet borne fruit …. and most likely won’t in your or my lifetime!

  • cabbagejuice says:

    Further to Ombra mai fu, I was just thinking there is no intrinsic tree quality in the aria. As Baroque music goes, or went, the words were probably tacked on to a previously composed song to fit the scene of the opera. “Love thee the Lord” fits just as well or even better.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Knightly once,

    Since you apparently know who CJ really is, why not share the info with the rest of us? Maybe if we all knew what you do, she would take her piano and not show up anymore. c’mon man, you can do it. Show your wife who wears the pants in the family. Oh, I forgot that most women do wear pants!

    • Knightly Once says:

      Jeff I really wish I had done so long ago. But after being involve in, let’s call them so many heated discussion, I just can’t. It would not be fair to my wife, she has been after me to stop commenting on NL’s blog since day one.

      cabbagejuice claims she has revealed her ID before. Maybe she did,

      • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:

        Knightly O

        Yes, cabbagejuice did indeed reveal her name here – otherwise I wouldn’t know it. I’m not going to post it, though, because that is her business. It’s not that rare a name, because a Google search reveals that there are others around the world with the same name.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @JoyceG Your comment comes right under a discussion about accompaniment and what kind of shoes to wear in singing. Yet you call me a nut case without any justification. I could also do the same with you but will not. Instead I will ask why so many Jackie fans have ugly minds.

    • JoyceG says:

      You know exactly what I am talking about CJ. A simple scan of this thread demonstrates clearly that you are way over the edge. The kernel of knowledge you have and good points to make (like choosing the right shoes for singing) are hopelessly lost in your ceaseless, pointless and obsessive ranting. Clean up your act (if you can) and people may start taking you seriously.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @JoyceG No I don’t know what you are talking about except if rational criticism or expertise in a subject strikes such a nerve that you can’t help siding with the angry old men. And I won’t ask permission from you or anyone else in defending myself. I didn’t say anything adverse to you yet you feel you have a right to pitch in with the guys (who are a minority although the noise they make is deafening) and insult me.

        One needs more than a kernel of knowledge to teach in a conservatory of music. Do you know much more about singing that you can make an assessment of how much I may know about it? Or is your reaction straight from the gut, therefore never to be challenged or argued with?

        • JoyceG says:

          CJ, any analysis or considered thought in your commentary is way in the past in this and the many other places on the web that you darken with your presence. All you bring now (with the occasional segue into points not connected with bashing Miss Evancho) is the same tired old points rehashed and repeated with an obsessive fervor. Maybe you really don’t get it. If so, you are a truly sad person.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @JoyceG Wrong again! I am known as an optimistic, upbeat person (who has music to thank for that). Jackie fans accuse critics of jealousy (and anything else they can sling at them) but the truth is they, as rabid anti-intellectuals, hate anything they don’t understand, starting with opera. They have to have the great musical works reduced to baby pablum and a few sound bytes, wrenched out with undifferentiated melodrama so as to be registered by their walnut size brains.

        • Yes Addison says:

          CJ: You may not be getting the most favorable sampling at Slipped Disc, or in the vituperative attacks on any writer or reviewer who does not fawn over her (which is a GREAT way to make sure media outlets cover and publicize one’s favorite niche performer in the future…except, not). Elsewhere on the internet, there are people who enjoy what she does, find her an appealing performer and personality, but are levelheaded about it. Some of them have concerns for her too, and want her to do all the things that will ensure her long-term well-being. I get that; I’m that way about some adult opera singers. And some of those people (non-rabid/non-walnut), are dismayed at the impressions of her fan base created by a vocal and obdurate group. I sympathize, so I try not to paint with too broad a brush.

          I’m not sure what the gain is to her if a story about one of her concerts being cancelled in mid-November still looks like front-page news on Slipped Disc a month later, which is the effect of the bickering. I keep coming back after a week and having to remind myself it’s all been the same one; she hasn’t had a series of cancelled concerts.

        • JoyceG says:

          CJ, you sound neither optimistic nor upbeat. If it was a passionate interest in a topic, like you claim, it might make some sense. Unfortunately for you (and the undeserving targets of your vituperative) it’s nothing but fixation and obsession. Simply put, you should give the invective a rest, but I see that you can’t.

  • Charles Hoff says:

    So cabbagejuice…

    Have you or any of your vocal students performed publicly this week? Next week? Any upcoming holiday church concerts to be viewed? Funerals? Weddings? Any successful auditions (paid or otherwise) with possible callbacks? A YouTube video perhaps? Anything or anyone to be proud of? Any students pointing to or honoring the source of their success?

    I realize that I have asked these questions repeatedly, but the set { }, is still empty across all of the threads you’ve so actively participated in as you’ve vigorously criticized, dismissed, and belittled the subject of this thread, as well as her family and fans.

    • This is borderline trolling. No reply is required.

      • Everett Cox says:

        I think Mr. Hoff’s questions are legitimate. The Juice Lady has expounded at ad nauseum length about one young singer’s alleged vocal problems so it’s only fitting she should post videos of HER students’ perfect voices due to her teaching and coaching. If she declines, we are free to judge her capabilities accordingly.

        • Yes Addison says:

          Jackie Evancho records for a major label, appears on television, tours in the United States, and has concertized overseas. She, not cabbagejuice or any other poster, is also the subject of this thread. Mr. Lebrecht periodically offers her singing and news of her activities for comment, “classical crossover” falling within the purview of the site.

          So, Evancho’s career, comparisons between her performances and those of other singers in the same music, and any vocal problems that may exist are appropriate topics.

          None of the above applies to cabbagejuice, who is participating in a discussion. You would really expect a vocal teacher to post videos of her students in an argument with fans of the singer? In my opinion, that would be grossly inappropriate, not that I think cabbagejuice would even consider it. Whatever you think of cabbagejuice, what have her students done to deserve being dragged into this?

          If a writing teacher were participating in a discussion on line and arguing that Stephenie Meyer is a bad novelist, would it be appropriate for fans of the Twilight books to demand the professor submit her students’ stories for them to read? Of course not. Besides which, what would it prove if they read the stories and (predictably) did not think they were as interesting as the Twilight books?

          If there were a voice teacher/coach posting here about how magical Jackie Evancho’s singing is, would that person have to demonstrate his or her bona fides as well?

          • cabbagejuice says:

            @Yes Addison, thanks. Part of the problem are those who believe if you are not famous and making loads of money, then your talent must be nil. Well, JS Bach was not interested in fame and the bulk of his works were sitting in storage after his death. Most of us, I suppose, 99+% of us musicians, are just happy in what we are doing and maybe it is useless to try to explain it to those who are glued to the applause meter.

            Believe it or not, and I mean those who think I am obsessed with the girl, I am NOT.

            The phenomenon of child prodigies fascinates me as I was in correspondence a few years ago with a sponsor of a amazing child pianist. According Dr. Opera’s article imitation is a heavy percentage in what they do. One vid of the teacher coaching her at the age of 10 in the Pathetique Sonata of Beethoven convinced me of how much the girl was depending on her teacher for EVERY nuance. The dangers outweigh the benefits in most cases because later on musicians have to approach the music analytically.

            I was interested in why the guy was so involved. The comments of the fans back then could be interchanged with those of Evancho today. In fact, the fan phenomenon and its psychology causes me to answer those especially indignant protectors of damsels in distress. I’m interested in knowing what makes them tick as well.

          • AJ says:

            Yes Addison,

            When you post relentless critique on a child for three years in a row, yes everyone is going to want to know who CJ is and how much better she can sing. No big surprise. So your theory that she is just a professional teacher critiquing the subject at hand doesn’t fly.

            If a writing teacher continuously critiques any other novelist and writer for three years iin a row, you bet I want to see what this teacher’s students were writing and what the teacher himself / herself authored.

            In other words, “Put up or shut up” ! …. Not a demand … just a viewpoint !

          • AJ says:


            I don’t doubt your expertise or knowledge when it comes to singing. Its your sincerity that is in question for me. Its not that your knowledge is inadequate…its that your opinion is biased, clouded and prejudiced by your personal feelings for the girl. You absolutely abhor anything that threatens the sanctity of your carefully built fortress to guard the sacred realm of opera. For you, Jackie defies convention (how dare she) and mocks the rigid and centuries old regimen required to excel in the art….Therefore she can do no right and never will !

            I can say the above with complete equanimity because after hearing you repeat the same spiel for three years, its easy to conclude that you do have some personal bias when it comes to Jackie Evancho.

            Whether your bias is justified or not is not for me to judge … but its very much there !

  • Felix says:

    I very much enjoy listening to Evancho, and so hope there is no damage being done to her voice. Some of the information here seems quite worrying, though others have suggested that she is receiving the best care and attention. From what I’ve read, her parents do seem quite ‘good’; however I think I read somewhere that her father had quit his job to support her career. Even with the best intentions, a child as the sole family breadwinner (particularly with siblings) can make for a potentially unhealthy situation.

    There seems to be a bit of a crass dichotomy building here between the natural and the analytic. Those who champion natural beauty shouldn’t be so quick to shun technical proficiency. Great writers often break the rules of grammar all over their place, as do complete idiots; the difference is that the great writers know the rules they’re breaking: they know what they’re doing, and know why they’re doing it. The analogy isn’t perfect, but the point is that even if you’re going to do things your own way, it can only help to be aware of general standards.

    That said, however it is that Evancho does what she does, the effect is beautiful. There are those who would base all her success on marketing the image, but I for one, never took any interest in cute child acts. I regularly recommend her to others. Not being American, most people I meet have not heard of her, and I would always try to have them listen first so as not to get caught up in the voice/appearance incongruity. She has something vocally, which other people just don’t have. So while I definitely would disagree with those who would shun all training and technique, and discussion thereof, in terms of producing a sound that people will find beautiful to listen to I would back Evancho in an auditory Pepsi challenge against anyone out there.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Knightly once,

    I understand but you can’t blame me for trying.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    I move to have KnightlyOnce banned from this forum. I believe a discussion having to do with music performance should not enable hormone challenged angry old men to vent either their adoration of young girls or all the stored up venom of decades. This is even more a reason why parents should protect their children from appealing to and catering to this strata of society.

    I have had enough of insults and the below mentioned from the “Knight” are only a sampling.

    “See you soon, you little ninny, garbagejuice. dosh is low british slang

    You are getting worst, now you are delusional as well as OTT obsessive.

    I am not the one who is disturbed. If you continue to decline at your present rate, in a couple of years you will not be able to make a single coherent statement. One thing that is more amusing than my post, is your singing.

    Then the world will know that Jackie sounds so much better than you.

    I was only comparing Jackie’s superior talent to your run of the mill vocal abilities. But your vocal talent was always lacking, which is why you had no success performing. Maybe you felt at ease, but the listeners did not. t was not the reason you studied all those years, nor practiced those thousands of hours.

    What you dreamed about was being a great singer, I did not know you believed you were so much better than your peers at age 3 1/2.

    The only one delusional is you, and it seems to have started a lot earlier than I thought. closed minded, mean spirited, vicious, uncharitable, petty, vindictive, pathetic, contemptuous old woman. You would never receive another reply from me if you could learn to keep a civil tongue in your head. you being the only true expert on all things. How do you get that big head of yours though the neck of a sweater.

    You are a living breathing joke.”

    Of course I am not going to set myself up for abuse by such people posting vids of myself or my students though they do exist.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Felix The Evancho’s filed for bankruptcy from 2008-2009. The public records are freely available on search engines.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    @Laptop You don’t need to tell me to go to an ear doctor to check my hearing. In my opinion (not only mine) she was singing freer about 2 years ago. And if you feel need to repeat admitting “learning from videos” I will also repeat that outright copying down to the very gestures is not the same thing. And surely this should not replace proper tutoring. You don’t understand what it means to have a technical base and pick up a few tips from other artists. There is a very good article about the imitation skills of children and what a flimsy basis it is for a musical career:


    • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


      It’s also no secret that Jackie has had “Brightman arms.” Her hand & arm gestures have actually markedly diminished over time, & are in line with her emotional expressiveness now.

      Evidently we’ll have to agree to disagree about how free her singing is. I’d say it’s much freer & more natural today than it’s been in years. She’s obviously had trouble adjusting to adolescence, but is mostly through that now, with just a little residual inconsistency.

      I know all about the Dr Opera comment; it’s been almost 2 years. It was refuted by, among other things, Ehkzu’s comment there.

      Time will tell how Jackie will do.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        @Laptop Thank you for your civility. I really appreciate it. How children learn in Dr.Opera’s article has not been refuted. Anyone who has had kids or teaches them knows this intimately. Also linking up music making to getting approval from adults is a very real trap. I wrote about my own experiences with this and who gave me the permission to eventually overcome it on the thread having to do with stage fright. Performing is a very complex business – not for neophytes.

        • HomoSapiensLaptopicus says:


          Prodigies are children who do things like adults, but at younger ages. Does it makes a huge difference if they mimic adults by watching videos, or are taught every nuance by their teacher(s), as your piano prodigy was?

          To be truly accomplished as adult musicians or singers, mimicry isn’t enough; most must generally do something creative, or at least something unusual enough that they are set apart from others (especially outside the classical genre). Some prodigies never make the transition, but others do. So far, creativity has not been Jackie’s forte, but she may yet make the transition to an adult singer who is widely recognised. Time will tell.

          As far as civility, I have no problems saying I disagree with you when I do, but there are lines I won’t cross, & I appreciate that in others. It may not make much difference with this particular thread, since if he follows his usual practices, Mr Lebrecht will probably close this thread tomorrow, 30 days after it was opened.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    Mr. Lebrecht,

    I understand your not wanting this thread to turn into a constant exchange of brickbats between warring factions. I believe however that CJ would rather have KO call her names than reveal her name. I’m just saying…

    • cabbagejuice says:

      @Jeff, how do we know you are Jeff? We don’t of course. You could be the Brown Bunny for all we know. Laptop told you I did publish my name so if you are really curious, why don’t you look it up? If this is too much bother then I will repeat it here or at least give the link to where it is IF The Knight would reveal his Rumpelstiltskin (that is if his wife permits it).

      Somehow I think he has already changed his username.

  • Norman, thank you for trying to stop the trolling that has become rather evident in this discussion.

    On this thread I have discussed how breathing can be taught safely to young singers, how given I perform it, I do not believe the Rachmaninov Vocalise is a suitable piece for any young singer of Miss Evancho’s age to sing whether they are Jackie Evancho or not. How there is the potential for both physical and psychological damage to this young lady if she continues to perform as frequently and in the same manner as she does.

    I do not wish her any harm, and do think she has some vocal talent. It is clear that her performances bring pleasure to many. My greatest concern is at what cost to herself.

    For the record, one of my older students performed yesterday and along with bringing her pleasure, I know this brought pleasure to those listening. A few years ago I had to rebuild this particular woman’s voice as she had been over-singing with poor technique, yet about 18 months ago she managed to pass her Associated Board Grade 5 singing examination with merit. I was delighted for her.

    Teaching singing is a privilege. It empowers people and brings them happiness. However it needs to be done by someone who understands the human voice very well in order to prevent harm. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has passed on their knowledge in order that I can do this work.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    I just read CJ’s comment from 12/15. It seems that she is now dipping her brickbats in mud before she throws them Bringing JE’s parents financial problems as small business owners to the table is the lowest she has sunk to date! What does it have to do with anything? Small business owners have been in peril in the U.S. for years due to poor economic conditions and high taxes. According to my research, They filed for chapter 7 back in 2008-09 but the case was never adjudicated and the only publication that published the story was THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER after JE became famous 3 years later. Is CJ implying that her parents were astute enough to know that their daughter was going to become an International star and meal ticket when Jackie was only eight years old and decided to stop working in anticipation of their daughters future success? CJ, you really are in need of help For God’s sake, leave this poor girl alone!

    • Yes Addison says:

      Hmm. It seemed to me it came up naturally, as someone else expressed concern that the girl was the sole breadwinner for the family, her father having “quit his job to support her career.” Once that is out there, then yes, the discussion has moved to the family finances, and matters of public record are not out of bounds.

      About small-business owners being in peril, CJ did say in a follow-up that a lot of businesses were failing around that time.

      At any rate, as you say, they filed for Chapter 7 in 2008-09. The information is not erroneous. I’m not getting the pearl-clutching over it.

  • Jeff Rogers says:

    @Cabbage Juice,

    I assure you that my name is as it appears. Why would I try to be anonymous? I’m not the one claiming to have credentialed expertise. As a matter of fact, I have gone out of my way to lay claim to an “untrained ear!”

  • Jeff: with the fear of feeding the troll, why shouldn’t Cabbage Juice remain anonymous if she wants to. That is her pergogative.

    I have read your replies to her posts and they are hateful. I am not making a judgement over the qualities of Jackie Evancho’s singing, whether she is her families sole-breadwinner (or not) or anything about Jackie. Cabbage Juice is entitled to her opinions, she has done her research, and you are entitled to respond. However hurling invective in her direction is not pleasant.