Child singing star Jackie Evancho balances school, career

Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:13pm EST
 
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By David Adams

MIAMI (Reuters) - Three years after a popular TV talent show launched child soprano Jackie Evancho on a meteoric career, she still has no singing coach, can't read music and sticks to a modest rehearsal routine.

As she makes the transition from pre-teen singing sensation to professional artist, Evancho, who turns 14 in April, is seeking to balance her school work - and play time - with a busy concert tour schedule and recording her sixth album.

"She has the challenge of going from child star to legitimate artist," said Lisa Evancho, who tours with her daughter, helping to steam-press her dresses before performances and supervising her rehearsal routine.

"It's no longer ‘Let's go see the circus freak - the little girl with the grown-up voice.' It's more like wanting her to stand on her own ability and keep the career going in that direction. And, it looks as if it is," she said.

A runner-up finish on "America's Got Talent" in 2010 introduced Evancho, from Pittsburgh, as the newest - and youngest - classical crossover singer. Since then, Jackie has packed concert halls across the country and overseas, as well as landing duets with Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and Jose Carreras, and two solo TV specials for PBS.

She also appeared with Robert Redford in a 2012 movie, "The Company You Keep."

Evancho got a standing ovation last week at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where she displayed her stunningly mature vocal power, phrasing and range in a rendition of "My Heart Will Go On," from the movie "Titanic," as well as her personal favorite, "The Music of the Night" from "Phantom of the Opera."

Onstage, she still has a little-girl-lost look between songs, accompanied by nervous little waves and glances at the audience. These days, however, she opts for wearing an elegant evening gown, over the knee-length skirts she wore on "America's Got Talent."   Continued...

 
Actress Jackie Evancho arrives at a screening of the film 'The Company You Keep' during the 37th Toronto International Film Festival in this file photo taken September 9, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill/Files