The Girl Wonder?

Miss Mussel has a piece in the LA Times today on 10-year old singer Jackie Evancho, who is a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent.

The most curious part of the whole story for at this point is the change in her sound from the first AGT audition tape to her appearance on the show three weeks ago.

Singers – help a bivalve out here. What’s going on and why would you change a perfectly lovely treble into a faux-grown up soprano?

Exhibit A – audition tape – date unknown although she’s probably 9

Exhibit B – first AGT appearance on 10th August 2010 (start at about 1:35)


  1. Anne

    at this point in her life, all she is doing is impersonating an opera singer. Kids would do it all the time if opera was in their face more.

  2. What an interesting situation we find ourselves in with AGT – a group of pop musicians and a pop culture cohort voting for a 10 year singing in a language none of them understand in a genre that most of them scorn – I guess Puccini does cross all barriers!

    But seriously, from a technical standpoint, Panis Angelicus is barely manageable but putting an immature voice into Puccini is wrong. Already her tongue and jaw are over compensating for her inability to sustain the big phrases and thus producing a covered/back sound and a wobbly vibrato (watch the jaw wag in time with the vibrato on her sustained pitches). Should she continue singing this way and in repertoire that is wrong for her lovely young voice, she has the potential to create habits that may never go away AND possibly destroy her instrument.

    And from a parenting standpoint, I take issue with any parent exposing their pre-pubescent child(ren) to the fate of Lindsay Lohan, Brittany Spears and even the vocally devastated Charlotte Church.

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