Jackie Evancho

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Jackie Evancho
Jackie Evancho, November 2013.jpg
Jackie Evancho in November 2013
Background information
Birth nameJacqueline Marie Evancho
Born(2000-04-09) April 9, 2000 (age 13)
OriginPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresClassical crossover
OccupationsSinger
Years active2009–present
LabelsSony Masterworks
Websitejackieevancho.com
 
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Jackie Evancho
Jackie Evancho, November 2013.jpg
Jackie Evancho in November 2013
Background information
Birth nameJacqueline Marie Evancho
Born(2000-04-09) April 9, 2000 (age 13)
OriginPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresClassical crossover
OccupationsSinger
Years active2009–present
LabelsSony Masterworks
Websitejackieevancho.com

Jacqueline Marie "Jackie" Evancho (/ˈvŋk/ ee-VAYNG-koh; born April 9, 2000) is an American classical crossover singer who gained wide recognition at an early age and, since 2009, has issued five albums, including a platinum and gold album and three Billboard 200 top 10 debuts.[1][2]

Between 2008 and 2010, Evancho entered several talent competitions; made singing appearances, mostly in Pennsylvania (including singing the U.S. national anthem at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game); issued an independent album, Prelude to a Dream; and attracted interest on YouTube. Evancho impressed composers Tim Janis and David Foster, each of whom included her in his concerts beginning in 2009. Later in 2010, at the age of ten, she gained wider popularity with her performances in the fifth season of the America's Got Talent competition, finishing in second place.

With the 2010 holiday release of her O Holy Night EP, Evancho became the best-selling debut artist of 2010, the youngest top-10 debut artist in U.S. history and the youngest solo artist ever to go platinum. She first performed in front of U.S. President Barack Obama at the 2010 National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington, D.C. In June 2011, her first full-length major-label album, Dream With Me, produced by David Foster, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, and she became the youngest top-5 debut artist in UK history. Billboard ranked Evancho the top Classical Albums Artist for 2011. Evancho released another studio album, Heavenly Christmas, in November 2011. The same month, she became the youngest person ever to give a solo concert at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of her Dream With Me Tour. She has made two solo Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) specials for the television series Great Performances.

Evancho is the ambassador for Mission: Humane, a U.S. Humane Society program that encourages children to help protect animals. A national cotillion organization listed her as one of the "ten best-mannered people of 2011". In 2012 to 2014, she has been touring the U.S., performing songs from her fourth full-length album, Songs from the Silver Screen, released in October 2012, which was Evancho's third top-ten album debut. Other 2013 appearances included Carnegie Hall and the LDS Conference Center. Evancho appeared in the 2013 Robert Redford film The Company You Keep, has modelled for Guess Kids clothing, among others, and has appeared on behalf of such charities as One Drop Foundation.

Family and early life[edit]

Evancho's parents are Lisa and Michael Evancho.[3] Her father operated a video security business until 2010.[4] She has an older brother Jacob, a younger brother Zachary, and a younger sister Rachel.[3] She and her family are Catholic[4] and reside in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[5] Evancho began her schooling in the Pine-Richland School District public schools,[6] but in late 2010,[7] because of her touring schedule, she switched to cyber schooling.[5][8] Beginning in January 2014, however, she returned to public school.[9] Evancho's interests include playing the violin and piano, sewing, swimming, playing with her pets[10][11] and sketching.[12]

Evancho's dedicated singing began after she saw the film version of the musical The Phantom of the Opera in a movie theatre;[8][13] her mother purchased the DVD before her 8th birthday,[14] and Evancho began singing the songs around the family home.[15][16] Her parents have said that they did not recognize that her voice was unusual until her first talent competition.[17] In March–April 2008, Evancho competed in Kean Idol, a local talent contest,[18] finishing in second place to a 20 year old opera singer.[15][19] She began taking voice lessons after her success in the contest,[18][20][21] and her parents began receiving requests for her to sing at various events,[22] churches and nursing homes, mostly in Pennsylvania.[23][24] She also started a YouTube channel,[25] sang in the Children's Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh during its 2008–09 season,[19][26] and performed the title role in a 2009 school musical version of Little Red Riding Hood.[6]

In January 2009, Evancho competed in Las Vegas in the 15th annual U.S.A. World Showcase Talent Competition, where she also finished in second place.[24][27][28] She entered the 2009 Kean Idol contest and was again runner-up.[18][29][30] She entered other talent contests,[31] winning the Golden Ribby Award – WonderworldTV in April 2009[26] and the Talent Quest TV Show in June 2009 (both in Massachusetts).[32][33] Also in 2009, she sang "Ave Maria" in composer and conductor Tim Janis's PBS television special "Celebrate America"[34][35] and performed in other concerts and TV shows with Janis,[25] who sought her out after seeing her on YouTube.[27][35] She also made various singing appearances around Pennsylvania in 2009 and 2010.[23][36]

Career[edit]

David Foster and Prelude to a Dream[edit]

Evancho in her concert with David Foster, December 29, 2011

Evancho first caught record producer David Foster's attention in 2009.[18] After sending a video to him, she was selected for the regional semifinals of his “Hitman Talent Search Contest”,[19] finishing as runner-up,[37] and in October 2009 she sang in the "David Foster & Friends" concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.[27][38]

In November 2009, Evancho released her independent debut album, Prelude to a Dream.[39][40] The album featured mainly covers of classical crossover songs such as "Con te partirò", "The Prayer", "To Where You Are", "Concrete Angel" and "Amazing Grace". It debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 121, and at No. 2 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart, in August 2010,[41] after Evancho's first performance on America's Got Talent.[42] Evancho's parents withdrew the album later in the same month, citing Evancho's vocal progress since its release.[43] Since Evancho's success on America's Got Talent, the album has become a collector's item.[2][44]

America's Got Talent[edit]

After two earlier unsuccessful auditions for the show,[31][14][45] Evancho was accepted as a contestant on the fifth season of the America's Got Talent TV show (AGT) by placing first in its 2010 YouTube competition.[13][46] On August 10, 2010, Evancho performed the aria "O mio babbino caro" in the show's quarter-final round.[47][48] She received a standing ovation after her performance and was awarded a trip to Universal Studios Florida for receiving the most fan votes of all the YouTube submissions to the show.[49] Judge Howie Mandel said in his critique that the show sought to "find that one moment, that one gem, that one star from a place we've never looked before. ... This is the moment. You're the star."[50] After Evancho's performance, commentators queried whether her performance had been lip-synched.[21][51] On the next evening's live show, Evancho sang an impromptu voice exercise to demonstrate that the broadcast was of her live voice.[51] In an interview, Mandel addressed the issue: "what people are ... really saying [is] that it's really too good to be true. You are so perfect and so wonderful that people have never heard a talent like this. ... You've got to take that as a compliment. ... Even if you don't love that kind of music, you can't deny that [it] is perfection."[52]

Her semifinal performance was "Time to Say Goodbye", on August 31, 2010.[53] She advanced to the Top 10 round where, on September 7, 2010, she performed "Pie Jesu" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem and was voted into the Final 4.[54][55] Pittsburgh leaders declared the following week "Jackie Evancho Week" in appreciation "for her positive representation of our city" showing "poise and determination well beyond her years".[56] Her final competition performance was of Gounod's "Ave Maria" on September 14. The following evening at the AGT season finale, Evancho sang "Time to Say Goodbye" together with guest artist Sarah Brightman;[57] then Evancho was announced as the runner-up, finishing second to singer Michael Grimm.[58] Many viewers and commentators felt that Evancho should have won,[59] and even Grimm expressed surprise.[60][61] The show brought Evancho wide exposure to American audiences, as up to 16 million viewers watched her performances each week.[50] The finale show was AGT's highest-rated episode in three years.[62] Evancho has become one of the two most successful AGT alumni.[63] She was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 23, 2010, a week after the finale, where she sang and gave her first late-night interview with Jay Leno.[64] Evancho was subsequently profiled and interviewed in the 2013 book Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent.[65]

Evancho performed in 10 of the 25 cities in the America's Got Talent: Live Tour from October 1 to November 5, 2010.[66][67] On October 8, 2010, Evancho signed a record deal with SYCO music and Columbia Records.[62] One week later, Evancho performed in Las Vegas with David Foster.[68] From June 2010[51] until mid-2011, Evancho was coached by voice teacher Yvie Burnett, a mezzo-soprano from Scotland, who has worked with many of the singers appearing on AGT.[4][6][69] Tim Janis scheduled Evancho to perform in his show at Carnegie Hall in New York City on December 2, 2010,[18][21] where she would have been the venue's youngest female vocal soloist.[70] During the AGT tour, however, her parents withdrew her from the Carnegie Hall event;[71] by the time of that event, Evancho had begun making promotional appearances for Columbia Records.[19]

O Holy Night[edit]

Evancho in February 2011

Evancho's first release on a major record label was a Columbia Records EP entitled O Holy Night. It was released on November 16, 2010 and entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2,[14] making Evancho the top-selling debut artist for 2010 and the youngest solo artist ever to debut in the top 10.[19][72] It also launched at No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Albums chart.[72][73] It was No. 2 on Billboard's Holiday Albums Chart.[74] The album sold 239,000 copies in its first week.[75] On December 10, 2010, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA, shipping in excess of a million copies in the U.S.,[76] making Evancho the youngest solo artist ever to go platinum.[77][78] Allmusic rated the EP 2-1/2 stars out of a possible five.[79]

Evancho's first opportunity to promote the album on TV came when she was interviewed on The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 19, 2010, and sang "Pie Jesu".[66] Among several other talk shows, QVC appearances and holiday singing appearances, Evancho performed songs from the album and was interviewed on The Today Show and Fox & Friends,[80] The View[81] and Martha Stewart Living.[82][83] Evancho sang "O Holy Night" in the My Macy's Holiday Parade presented by WPXI in Pittsburgh on November 27, 2010.[66][84] On November 30, she sang "O Holy Night" and, together with Katherine Jenkins, "Silent Night", on NBC's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting special, Christmas in Rockefeller Center.[85] Such a duet had been anticipated since Piers Morgan commented on the similar appearance of the two singers.[86] On December 9, 2010, Evancho performed at the National Christmas Tree lighting event in Washington, D.C., singing "O Holy Night",[87][88] where she met President Obama and his family.[89] On December 15, she returned to the Tonight Show.[90] She performed at the 27th annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, which aired on ABC television on December 25.[91]

In its 2011 year-end charts (including releases from November 2010), Billboard ranked O Holy Night at No. 1 on its Classical Albums chart.[92] It also ranked the album as the No. 15 best-selling album of 2011 in the U.S.[93] O Holy Night also ranked as the No. 31 Canadian Album of 2011.[94] O Holy Night was listed on the Classical Albums chart in a total of 84 weeks.[95]

Dream with Me[edit]

Evancho waving at the audience at Lincoln Center, November 2011

Evancho's second full-length feature album (her first on a major label), Dream with Me, produced by David Foster for Sony and Syco Music, was released on June 14, 2011.[96] The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart,[97] reached No. 1 on the Billboard's U.S. Classical Chart,[98] and was certified gold by the RIAA.[99][100] The album also performed well internationally,[101] with Evancho becoming the youngest artist ever to debut in the UK in the top 5.[102] The album includes 14 tracks ranging from popular songs ("Angel") to classical arias ("Ombra mai fu"), and original songs, including the title track, for which Evancho contributed to the lyrics.[103] Evancho sings duets with Barbra Streisand ("Somewhere") and Susan Boyle ("The Prayer"). A deluxe edition of Dream with Me available only at the Target website includes four bonus tracks: "Someday", "Mi Mancherai", "The Impossible Dream" and "A Time For Us".[104][105] Allmusic gave the album 3-1/2 stars out of a possible five, commenting: "Dream with Me hits all of the right notes, though there are few surprises or big moments to be found ... resulting in a solid "official" debut from a rising star at the dawn of her career."[106]

Evancho promoted the album on talk shows and at concerts in the U.S. and in Toronto.[107][108] She recorded a solo concert television special for the 2011 PBS Great Performances series that includes nearly the same songs as the album.[109] The special, titled Dream With Me In Concert, was the most broadcast program of the year on the PBS network.[110] Evancho was the youngest person ever to have a special on the series.[111] It "became one of the most viewed specials in the 38-year-history of the Great Performances series [and] raised record amounts of money for PBS stations."[112] The concert was co-hosted by David Foster, who played the piano in the orchestra for many of the selections,[113] while Conrad Tao played piano or violin for some selections.[114][115] The special was shown on PBS stations beginning in June 2011[116] and was released as a CD/DVD set in September 2011, Dream With Me In Concert,[117][118] reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Top Music Video chart.[119] Allmusic noted: "the concert version ... sounds nearly identical (outside of the waves of applause) to the studio album ... but the accompanying DVD, which features the heavily choreographed performance, as well as an extensive photo gallery and interviews with both Evancho and Foster, should provide enough eye and ear candy to appease fans of the gifted young vocalist until a proper follow-up appears."[120] The Sun wrote that the "classical crossover set ... showcases the extraordinary beauty of the child's pipes."[121] USA Today rated the album 2-1/2 stars out of four:

"[Evancho's] sweet, unblemished vocal tone and slow, careful vibrato hardly betray her young age. ... But Dream's predictable and often bombastic odes to love and faith can undermine the tween's most appealing quality: innocence. I'd have preferred a little less pomp and Puccini and more youthful wonder."[122]

Evancho in concert in June 2012

In July 2011, the singer began her first solo tour across the United States, to promote the album.[123] It consisted of a series of performances with symphony orchestras, beginning with eight stops in the U.S. during 2011,[114][124] including her hometown Pittsburgh Opera on October 16.[125][126] Evancho made her New York City solo concert debut at Avery Fisher Hall in November 2011,[13][114] becoming the youngest person ever to sing a solo concert at Lincoln Center.[88][111][127] Her last appearance in 2011 was in Las Vegas on December 29, 2011, where Evancho headlined a concert with David Foster and Kenny G, featuring mostly songs from Dream With Me.[128] In 2012, she continued her U.S. tour to promote the album, together with tenor Josh Page,[129] who sang a duet of "The Prayer" with her and sang two solos to break up Evancho's sets.[130][131] She made seven concert stops from January to March 2012 in California[132][133] and Utah.[134][135] Evancho's three February tour stops constituted the tenth top-grossing tour reported by Billboard for the relevant week.[136] In June 2012, Evancho concluded the tour with performances on the East Coast.[137][138]

On its 2011 year end charts, Billboard ranked Dream With Me as the No. 2 best-selling Classical Album for the year[92] and as the No. 45 U.S. album of 2011.[93] Dream With Me was listed on the Classical Albums chart in a total of 74 weeks.[139] Billboard ranked Dream With Me In Concert the No. 21 music video album of 2011[140] and the No. 16 music video album of 2012.[141] Dream With Me In Concert was ranked on the Billboard.biz Top Music Video chart for more than 60 weeks.[142]

Heavenly Christmas[edit]

Evancho's 2011 Christmas album, Heavenly Christmas, has ten tracks and was produced by Rob Mounsey[143][144] Evancho is accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Luke's and the New York Chorus of St. Cecilia, conducted by Rob Mounsey.[144] The selections include traditional Christmas carols like "The First Noël" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem", standards like "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "White Christmas", and newer songs, such as "Walking in the Air" (from the 1982 animated film The Snowman) and "Believe" (from the 2004 movie soundtrack The Polar Express).[144] The album was released on November 1, 2011, exclusively at Walmart in the U.S.[145][146] and at other U.S. retailers in October 2012.[147]

Evancho in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2011

The album entered the Billboard Classical Albums chart at No. 1, the Holiday Albums chart at No. 3, and the Billboard 200 at No. 16, peaking at No. 11.[148][149] It peaked at No. 9 on the Canadian Albums chart.[150] Allmusic's review gives the album three stars, commenting, "Evancho's vocals are impressive as always, and the arrangements are mostly tasteful, with only occasional moments of bombast".[151] The Salt Lake City Tribune rated the album "A-", writing: "some of us are still taken aback when we hear such a strong, womanly voice float out of an 11 year-old child. ... Her best offering is the cherubic 'Believe'."[152] After hearing Evancho sing "The First Noël", Christopher John Farley of The Wall Street Journal wrote, "When [she] speaks, she has a little girl voice and talks about little girl things, like doing chores, and kittens. But when she sings, she sounds like she’s channeling a past life, a future self, or possibly an actual angel."[153]

As with her previous albums, Evancho made talk show appearances on all major television networks to promote Heavenly Christmas, singing "The First Noël" on The View[154] and The Talk,[155] and "Believe" on The Tonight Show.[156] She gave concerts in December 2011 in Buffalo, New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey[157][158] and Pittsburgh, featuring tenor Christopher Dallo.[159] As of January 2012, over 300,000 copies of Heavenly Christmas had been sold in the U.S.[160]

On its 2011 year end charts, Billboard ranked Dream With Me as the No. 4 best-selling Classical Album of the year.[92] It ranked the album No. 41 on the 2012 year-end Canadian Albums chart.[161]

Songs from the Silver Screen[edit]

Evancho in concert, November 2012

Evancho's fourth full-length album, Songs from the Silver Screen, was released on October 2, 2012.[162] The album is composed of 12 songs used in popular films, arranged by Bill Ross. The tracks range from the whimsical ("Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) to Disney songs ("Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King and "I See the Light" from Tangled, featuring a duet with Evancho's brother Jacob) to inspirational anthems ("My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, featuring Joshua Bell, violin), to romantic standards ("Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific). Other collaborations on the album are "The Summer Knows" from Summer of 42, featuring Chris Botti, trumpet, and "Come What May" Moulin Rouge!, featuring The Canadian Tenors. An Allmusic review awarded the album 3-1/2 stars out of five, stating that the CD "finds Evancho more than up to the task, displaying maturity and poise."[163]

A PBS Great Performances special called Jackie Evancho: Music of the Movies, filmed at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, features nearly the same selections as the album.[164] It was directed and co-produced by David Horn and Humberto Gatica, and conducted and arranged by Bill Ross. The special began airing on PBS stations on August 11, 2012.[165] A review of the special commented that the songs fit Evancho's classical crossover style.[13][112]

Evancho began a live tour to promote the album in August 2012, giving her first solo concert of songs from the album in Japan with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.[166][167] She continued the tour in the U.S., appearing first with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.[13][168] The first leg of the tour included concerts in two dozen North American cities[147] between September 2012 and June 2013.[169] Evancho also appeared on television shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and CNN in October and November 2012, where she sang songs from the album and was interviewed.[170][171] She resumed touring from October 2013 to January 2014, with appearances in a dozen more cities.[172][173]

The album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200,[174] No. 1 on the Classical Albums chart[175] and No. 22 on the Canadian Albums chart.[176] The debut made the 12-year-old the second artist who ever "amassed three top 10 albums [on the Billboard 200] at such a young age."[177][178] The album remained on the Billboard 200 for 13 weeks and, as of February 2014, has charted on the Billboard Classical Albums chart for 70 weeks.[179]

Other music performances and philanthropy[edit]

Evancho performed the American national anthem at various events in 2009 and 2010, including the September 2009 memorial ceremony for the victims of United Flight 93,[3][20] the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team's 2010 home opener,[23] and the NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2011, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.[19][180] In January 2011, she performed at the Beverly Hills Chefs for Seals event in support of efforts to end the annual Canadian seal hunt.[181] The event was sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, of which Evancho is the ambassador for Mission: Humane, a program that encourages children to help protect animals.[182] In February 2011, she performed her first full-length concert as a headliner, in Houston Texas with the Houston Chamber Choir.[7][183] On March 12, 2011, she sang at the 2011 Festival of the Arts Boca, along with young stars of the Metropolitan Opera.[184][185] Evancho sang at Muhammad Ali's "Celebrity Fight Night" charity event to battle Parkinson's Disease, in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 19, 2011[186] and again on March 24, 2012.[187] She also sang the introduction to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on Oprah's farewell special broadcast on May 25, 2011.[188][189]

On June 4, 2011, Evancho performed as a guest artist at the season finale of Britain's Got Talent.[31][190] After touring over the summer, on September 14, 2011, she returned to America's Got Talent as a guest artist, performing "Nessun dorma" during the finale of the sixth season.[191] Evancho recorded a duet with Tony Bennett of the song "When You Wish upon a Star", which appears as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of his 2011 album Duets II[192] and she lent her voice to a "happy birthday" tribute to Bennett as part of a 2011 Target advertisement.[193] She also sings "Pie Jesu" on the 2011 album Hit Man Returns: David Foster & Friends (2011).[194] The album was recorded live in Las Vegas in October 2010, and PBS broadcast the concert, including Evancho's "Pie Jesu" and "O Mio Babbino Caro", beginning in March 2011.[195] Her recording of "Silent Night" is included in the 2011 Sony album 30 Stars of Christmas.[196]

Evancho sang in two David Foster & Friends concerts on October 19–20, 2011, in Tokyo, where she also appeared in several Japanese television interviews.[197] She returned to Japan to participate in the newly reopened Bunkamura Orchard Concert Hall's program on January 11, 2012, called "Musical meets Symphony",[198] and to give her own Dream With Me concert there with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra on January 13, 2012.[199] While there, she sang for the Imperial family.[1][19] On February 2, 2012, Evancho sang at the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast before President Obama and congressional and international leaders.[200][201] On April 30, Evancho appeared on Dancing with the Stars. She sang "Ave Maria" and "Dark Waltz"[202] to accompany two dance teams.[203] She performed as a guest star on the May 14, 2012 season finale of Canada's Got Talent.[204] On June 20, she sang in Russia at the opening ceremonies of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The outdoor concert in Palace Square, billed as a "Bouquet of Opera", also featured Dmitry Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo.[205][206][207]

Evancho with conductor John Mario Di Costanzo at her concert with Tony Bennett at Ironstone Amphitheatre in August 2012

Evancho sang on August 4, 2012 at the annual So The World May Hear Gala to benefit the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which supplies hearing aids to people in need in the U.S. and other countries.[208][209] She sang in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 18, 2012 in the "Peace for World" concert, with Christopher Cross and others.[210][211] On August 31, 2012, Evancho performed together with Tony Bennett at the Ironstone Amphitheatre in Murphys, California, where she was accompanied by members of the Stockton Symphony conducted by her regular touring conductor, John Mario Di Costanzo.[212][213] On October 24, she performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as part of the opening celebrations for Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas.[214][215] In autumn 2012, Evancho partnered with WhyHunger, philosophy.com and Sephora to offer a bath product, to believe, inspired by the lyrics of her song "To Believe". All net proceeds from the product support WhyHunger's efforts to end world hunger.[216][217]

Evancho participated with over 200 Cirque du Soleil performers and others at Bellagio in Las Vegas on March 22, 2013 in the event "One Night for One Drop on World Water Day". Evancho's water and aerial performances benefitted the One Drop Foundation's worldwide clean water access and education programs.[218] Robin Leach wrote: "12-year-old superstar singer Jackie [Evancho] stole the night with her "Bridge Over Troubled Water" sung barefoot in the water of the giant stage alone except for the background pianist. She also dominated the fantastic finale flying in as an angel on a harness from the theater rooftop."[219] On April 20, 2013, she sang in concert in Taiwan with José Carreras.[220][221] She performed another concert with Tony Bennett on May 31, 2013, in Alpharetta, Georgia, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Of performing with Evancho, Bennett said: "She’s just wonderful ... my own reaction is, 'How the heck am I going to follow that?'"[222][223] On July 4, 2013, Evancho was a featured performer in the televised annual show A Capitol Fourth, singing the national anthem and '"Can You Feel the Love Tonight", from her album Songs from the Silver Screen.[224]

Evancho headlined a benefit concert, called Jackie Evancho & Friends: We are Hope, at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City on November 9, 2013, for the Muzart World Foundation's programs to encourage the teaching of music and art in U.S. public schools.[225] She sang the U.S. national anthem on November 28, 2013, Thanksgiving Day, at the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions football game, broadcast on Fox.[226] She headlined a Christmas-themed benefit concert at Carnegie Hall produced by her old mentor, Tim Janis, and featuring James Galway, on December 5, 2013.[227][228] Evancho was the performer for Susan G. Komen's Perfect Pink Party in Palm Beach, Florida, on January 11, 2014, to benefit breast cancer research.[229][230] On March 2014, Evancho is scheduled to headline a concert with the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, to benefit the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.[231]

Acting and modeling[edit]

Evancho had some early theatre experience performing in High School Musical with Pittsburgh Musical Theater in 2007[23] and musical theatre versions of A Christmas Carol[232] and Little Red Riding Hood, in which she played the title role in 2009.[6] She also appeared briefly as an extra in the 2010 film She's Out of My League.[233] Her first featured television appearance was in the 2011 episode "Back To Max" from the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place where she sang "America the Beautiful" to work off school detention.[234]

Evancho appears in the feature film The Company You Keep, a political thriller that premiered at film festivals in 2012.[235] The film played in foreign markets and in the U.S. beginning on April 5, 2013.[236][237] Evancho played Isabel, the eleven-year-old daughter of a widowed attorney turned fugitive, Jim Grant, played by Robert Redford, who also directed the film. When Grant's true identity as a former Weather Underground militant is uncovered, he is pursued across the U.S. by the FBI and by an ambitious journalist (Shia LaBeouf). To be reunited with Isabel, Grant must clear his name.[238] Jon Weisman wrote that Evancho "showed she's more than a singing prodigy with her earnest sweetness as the daughter of Robert Redford's character".[239] Redford cast Evancho only days before filming began.[240] Evancho said in 2012: "I don't think I want to act full time. I think I might like to do something with a Disney special or make a movie once in a while that would give me enough time to sing and record, but that's about it."[130]

Evancho modelled for the GUESS Kids fall 2012 advertising campaign,[241][242] and she occasionally has appeared in other product advertisements.[243]

Reception and reputation[edit]

Evancho at the Grove Christmas Tree lighting, November 2011

Earliest assessments[edit]

After Evancho's performance of "Ave Maria" on America's Got Talent, judge Piers Morgan said: "I have never seen an act, on this show or the British show or any of the other talent shows in the world, with more potential than Jackie Evancho. That was perfection. Perfection!"[244] Christopher Hahn, General Director of the Pittsburgh Opera, commented of Evancho's performance of "O mio babbino caro" on AGT, "It's very unusual for a young child to have a voice that sounded so rich and developed."[38] "I thought she was just lovely, sweetly compelling", said Hahn.[245] "It is quite unusual to hear a young girl with that level of warmth and roundness."[43] Hahn particularly praised Evancho's phrasing.[246]

Composer Tim Janis commented in 2010 that Evancho "takes a classical piece and makes it friendly and accessible. ... Her voice is so pure and natural, there's no flaw in it. People say 'I can hear her potential coming,' but no, it's here, it's now."[21][43] Critic Tim Page disagreed, writing of Evancho's AGT performance of "O mio babbino caro" that Evancho "has many years of work ahead of her before she becomes any sort of musician."[247] Claudia Benack, Assistant Professor of musical theatre at Carnegie Mellon University, said that Evancho "has an unusually adult feel for the repertoire. ... She sings to the important part of the phrase, and then backs off. That's instinctual. ... She takes breaths sometimes where an adult would not, but that's just because she's young and little. ... She sings from the healthy part of her voice."[43] Doctor Clark Rosen, director of the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, commented that Evancho's talent is made possible by how her brain coordinates her body for singing: "Very few people are gifted enough to have that naturally, or with subsequent learning, to create a voice we'd love to hear."[43]

2011 and later[edit]

A review of Evancho's 2011 concert with Pittsburgh Opera noted that "what was most impressive ... was how musical she was ... her focus on phrasing and an understanding of the emotion in the ... musical numbers."[125] The review also praised "her reverberant chest voice [and] her head voice, hitting the highest register with intonation and purity" and echoed Janis: "That she continues to be greeted with skepticism is unfair. ... Yes, the concert showed that Jackie is a young girl, yet one with artistry to be appreciated now without debating about what her future might hold."[125] Antony Walker, Pittsburgh Opera's music director, said: "she has a very sincere way of singing. ... Her voice has a lovely quality to it. It's very simple singing but it comes from the heart. You rarely hear someone so young with such a beautiful voice".[248] Nekesa Mumbi Moody, writing for Associated Press and ABC News, commented that, although "there is a youthful quality in Jackie's voice, it's hardly childlike: It's a soprano that deftly traverses the musical scales".[17] Bob Boilen of NPR wrote, "I simply couldn't believe my eyes and ears. Seeing Jackie Evancho sing for the first time is nearly beyond belief." He called her voice "beyond-beautiful" when she performed "for a stunned audience at the NPR Music offices. She clearly is a very happy girl with an amazing musical gift."[249] A review of her 2011 Sun Valley concert stated that "Evancho transported [her audience] with pure, joyous, unaffected notes".[250]

Evancho in January 2013

The Los Angeles Times commented in June 2011, reviewing Dream With Me, that "her voice has matured quite a lot over the past 10 months." The paper continued, "what makes us feel like she will survive the journey from child star to adult performer is her magnificent sense of pitch, her natural ability to shape phrases and the ease with which she performs. This is what makes her a joy to listen to. Since she's still a kid, and we all have affectations when we're learning, we'll pretend we didn't notice the Brightman arms."[251] In reviewing her 2011 Pittsburgh Opera concert, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review called her voice "beautifully in tune and well supported. ... Evancho's sincerity of delivery was affecting".[252] A reviewer from The New York Times wrote of her 2011 Avery Fisher Hall concert that: "In the first half of the show Ms. Evancho often receded, but toward the end of the night she found purpose, delivering 'A Time for Us' with punch, and closing out Sarah McLachlan’s 'Angel' with what felt like real yearning".[253] The Wall Street Journal called Evancho's 2011 performance of the song "Angel" on the Tonight Show "moving".[254]

A San Francisco Chronicle review of a 2012 concert judged her singing "an impressive thing to witness, and Evancho's technical precision and enormous range only serve to make it seem less fluky. The girl can sing", but felt that "every selection sounded alike".[133] Another reviewer wrote that Evancho "displayed her famous combo of poise and articulation", but he noted "the burden of being a kid soprano, a true phenomenon. People pay a lot to see you and orchestras line up to get you on their stage. But still folks wonder if you really comprehend your life; if you shouldn’t be home ... eating ice cream instead of in Denver. ... And yet they rise to their feet, yet again, as you finish."[255] A Naples Daily News review stated: "Her poise. Her control. Her range. ... Her voice and her performance exhausted all of the superlatives in the dictionary."[256] In 2013, a reviewer commented: "Her pure and well-formed vowel sounds touched the hearts of everyone at the concert. Every year her voice seems to get better and better."[257] A reviewer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called Evancho "awesomely talented" and "technically flawless", commenting: "Evancho possesses the voice of an angel."[223] The Buffalo News reporter wrote: "there is a poignancy to the sound of this mature voice coming out of this child. Her high notes are a joy."[169]

Honors[edit]

Evancho appeared on the National League of Junior Cotillions' list of "Ten Best-Mannered People of 2011" for "demonstrating humility and politeness as a young performer."[258][259] She was honored on April 13, 2012 by the Senator John Heinz History Center at its 20th Annual History Makers Award Dinner as one of five "distinguished Pittsburghers ... recognized for their exceptional contributions to the history of Western Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world".[260][261] Evancho was the youngest person ever to be so honored.[261] The Kean Quest Talent Search, since 2011, has given an annual "Jackie Evancho Award" to a contestant who "exemplifies courage and motivation and pushes through to follow their dreams."[262] In both 2011 and 2012, Billboard magazine named Evancho to its list of "21 Under 21: Music's Hottest Minors".[263]

Discography[edit]

YearTitleNotes
2009Prelude to a DreamIndependent album
2010O Holy NightEP
2011Dream with MeStudio album
Dream with Me in ConcertCD/DVD, Blu-ray[264] and DVD-only version
Heavenly ChristmasStudio album
2012Songs from the Silver ScreenStudio album
Jackie Evancho: Music of the MoviesDVD (released only as part of the Songs from the Silver Screen Deluxe set at Target)

Billboard ranked Evancho the No. 1 Classical Albums Artist of 2011,[265] as Evancho released three of the top four albums on the Billboard 2011 year-end Classical Albums chart.[92] Billboard also ranked Evancho as the No. 10 Billboard 200 Artist of 2011,[266] and the No. 3 Internet Albums Artist.[267]

Billboard ranked Evancho the No. 2 Classical Albums Artist of 2012,[268] as three of Evancho's albums ranked in the top seven albums on the Billboard 2012 year-end Classical Albums chart.[269] Billboard also ranked Evancho as the No. 37 Billboard 200 Artist of 2012.[270] Billboard ranked Evancho the No. 5 Classical Albums Artist of 2013, even though she did not release any new albums during the year.[271] Her 2012 album Songs from the Silver Screen was the No. 4 Classical Album of 2013.[272]

References[edit]

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  164. ^ The special omits "What a Wonderful World", but the DVD of the special includes the number.
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External links[edit]

Performance videos
Photos