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At 11, Jackie Evancho is more talented than you

Published March 29, 2012 5:00 pm

Music • Runner-up on "America's Got Talent" is a young classical musician.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jackie Evancho is like most other 11-year-old girls.

Her favorite song at the moment is Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor." She loves her Pomeranian dog, Maggie. And she prefers lemonade over tea.

There are at least three other aspects of Evancho that differentiate her from most 11-year-olds.

She finished in second place during the fifth season of NBC's "America's Got Talent" because of her operatic singing, which exhibited a preternatural understanding of classical phrasing as well as perfect pitch.

The Pennsylvanian will make her feature-film debut later this year in "The Company You Keep," directed by and starring Robert Redford.

And Jackie will be headlining the Maverik Center this Saturday night, backed by a symphony orchestra.

Am I the only one who feels like I wasted the first decade of my life by doing immature things such as mastering the ability to puncture Capri Sun pouches on the first try?

In a Tribune interview, Jackie, who turns 12 on April 9, said the journey from submitting a YouTube video of her rendition of the Puccini aria "O mio babbino caro" to "America's Got Talent" scouts to her present-day tour has been dizzying. She sees kids in the audience at her concerts idolizing her. "It's very odd because I used to be that kid," she said.

Jackie has been singing for less than four years. After her mother purchased the DVD of the 2004 film version of "The Phantom of the Opera," the then-8-year-old would harmonize along with stars Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.

Many freelance musicians across the country have initially expressed skepticism when asked to perform with an 11-year-old, but become believers quickly. "As with anyone who works with Jackie, they are always blown away by her voice, musicality and her sheer passion for singing," said manager Marc Johnston.

Jackie isn't just trotted out onstage, but involved in all elements of her "Come Dream With Me" tour. "Jackie speaks with her parents, manager and record company about song selection and set lists," Johnston said. "Jackie also gives input to stage design, lighting and clothes and outfits."

At 11, Jackie hasn't performed many concerts in front of arena crowds, and the young musician has never visited Utah before.

West Valley City was included on the tour because of record sales, her manager believes."The people of Utah have supported Jackie with CD sales so we wanted to let them experience Jackie live," he said. "Jackie is excited to be coming to Utah."

dburger@sltrib.com; facebook.com/nowsaltlake —

Jackie Evancho

The 11-year-old singing phenom makes her Utah debut.

When • Saturday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m.

Where • Maverik Center, West Valley City

Tickets • $41.50 to $97 at Ticketmaster.com






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