Dayton Philharmonic backs prodigy
Jackie Evancho at Schuster


Jackie Evancho will sing opera favorites as well as her new more “pop” songs,
including her self-penned “Wonderland.”

By Sarah Monroe

There are many things that get better with age: delicious wine, smooth whiskey, tasty cheese and the ethereal voice of Jackie Evancho. She astounded audiences worldwide when she appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent at only 10 years old, carrying powerful vocals and the maturity of a person decades older than herself when she performed the Puccini aria “O Mio Babbino Caro.” She placed 2nd in the competition, but America and the world was captivated by her talent, and Jackie’s star has been rising ever since. 

Jackie Evancho will be performing at Dayton’s Schuster Center on April 27th and 28th in An Evening with Jackie Evancho, accompanied by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra with Neal Gittleman conducting. Having just celebrated her eighteenth birthday on April 9th of this year, Jackie has had a jaw-dropping international career since her television performance in 2010. She has released multiple gold and platinum albums, she is the youngest solo performer to appear at the Lincoln Center, has had 3 PBS specials, appeared as a GUESS model for their children’s campaign, and debuted in her first feature film, The Company You Keep. In 2012, she represented the United States at the opening of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, where she performed in front of a crowd of over 100,000 people alongside Russia’s Dmitri Hvorostovsky and South Korea’s Sumi Jo, two renowned opera singers. The list goes on and on with all of the things that she has accomplished and the opportunities that have been presented to her, but there wouldn’t be enough room in this article. Not bad for a kid from Pittsburgh.

Her passion for operatic singing began with one of the most well known stories of all time: The Phantom of the Opera. After seeing the movie, her mother bought the DVD and Jackie began to memorize the songs when she was just 7 years old. She entered her first talent show just before her 8th birthday, and placed second. Jackie started voice lessons and began performing all over the state of Pennsylvania, and in the true fashion of this day and age, she started her own YouTube channel. She was voted through to America’s Got Talent via her YouTube submission, and the votes just
kept coming in.

If you are not looking at Jackie when you listen to her voice for the first time, you would think you were listening to a seasoned and deeply trained performer, years into being an adult. Her most recent release, Two Hearts Part I & II, showcase her classical opera side but also ventures onto the edge of pop. This is where Jackie expresses herself through her writing abilities, such as with her song Wonderland, where she croons: “I was floating/High above an angry sea/The mist below me/Upon the stage that couldn’t be/And when the night comes around I see you in my dreams/It’s dangerous but there’s no place else I’d rather be…” And while she says that she will never leave her roots in classical singing, it is fun to journey down a new path.

Outside of her professional capacity, Jackie is an adamant supporter of transgender rights, as her sister, Juliet, is transgender herself. Jackie received some backlash for agreeing to sing at Donald Trump’s inauguration, who has since tried to place new policies regarding transgender people in the military. Upon hearing this, Jackie tweeted the President to ask for an opportunity to speak with him along with her sister to sway his opinion but as of yet, no meeting has taken place.

When asked on ABC’s Good Morning America if she would ever perform in that capacity again, she answered “Most definitely, because the reason why I did sing for the inauguration was not politics, it was for the honor and the privilege to perform for my country and that will stay the same.”     

Jackie will perform songs from her most recent album, fan favorites, as well as some Broadway hits in an evening that is sure to be enjoyed by all.

An Evening with Jackie Evancho will be presented as part of the DPO’s SuperPops series on April 27 and 28 at 8:00 p.m. at the Schuster Center, One W. 2nd St., Dayton. For tickets or more information, call 937.228.7591, or visit ticketcenterstage.com. More information abut Jackie Evancho can be found at jackieevancho.com.

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Sarah Monroe, a native to the Gem City, is currently writing her first novel. Reach DCP writer Sarah Monroe at contactus@daytoncitypaper.com

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