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Catching up with young soprano Jackie Evancho [Video]

February 18, 2012 |  9:00 am

Jackie Evancho
Is Jackie Evancho a prodigy? A product? A cautionary tale in the making? It depends on whom you ask. One thing is for certain: Any mention of the 11-year old soprano with a mature voice is sure to generate passionate comments. As Evancho is set to be in Los Angeles on Friday for a concert at Nokia Live Theatre, we add our thoughts to the mix in this article in Sunday's Arts & Books section.

For those just catching up: Evancho did the local talent show circuit before joining "America's Got Talent" halfway through the 2010 season as part of a YouTube talent search. Her parents posted the first video of Evancho singing when she was 7 years old, which provides an easy way to see how the voice has changed and grown over the last four years.

Here she is in December 2009, age 9

Now she performs all over the world, sometimes with a symphony orchestra, which will be the case at the Los Angeles concert. Listen to how her voice has changed.

February in Japan, age 11

Evancho's sound is much more polished these days and, as you would expect, her voice is much stronger. Her sound is not as comically faux-opera as it was during the "America's Got Talent" days but is still missing that natural dolce quality you can hear in the first video.

Interestingly, the "Ave Maria" goes a tone higher than "Ombra mai fu" but Evancho struggles less to get up there at age 8 than she does at 11. Even so, both songs are well within the range expected of good children's choirs.


Vote: Is Jackie Evancho changing her sound?

Hear Jackie Evancho, the 10-year-old with an operatic voice

Before Jackie Evancho: Remembering Julie Andrews, Beverly Sills and other young vocal prodigies

-- Marcia Adair

Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for American Giving Awards