Ten year old diva

August 11, 2010 • 5:07 pm

I have to put up this video from America’s Got Talent for two reasons: it’s my absolute favorite operatic aria (O Mio Babbino Caro, from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi), and the person who sings it, Jackie Evancho, is ten years old. Her voice is absolutely unbelievable for someone that young.

(I hasten to add that I didn’t watch the show; this video is viral today).

Start at 1:45 to avoid all the introductory brouhaha. The song ends at 3:20.

My favorite recording of this aria is by Kiri Te Kanawa, which you can hear here.

Please Dame Kiri, can we have some more Puccini? Okay!

20 thoughts on “Ten year old diva

  1. Incidentally, Jerry, have you ever seen the Merchant-Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s “A Room with a View”? It features that aria, sung by Dame Kiri.

    Great flick, in case you don’t know it!

  2. One of her early notes seemed a little off, but after that I just didn’t know what to think. The visual contrast between the 10 year-old girl singer and the singing is just too much for me to take in, and I don’t know how to judge it. It is stunning, and a bit freakish, like watching a 10 year-old bench press 300 pounds.

    1. For me it’s somewhat reminiscent of hearing Jim Nabors sing; you’d never associate his singing voice with that of Gomer Pyle. I wonder of ol’ Jim’s still around working his macadamia farm in Hawaii …

  3. I would like to hear her without electronics and not prerecorded and augmented (as on the clip). If this is true that this girl produces this voice – that looks very impressive and indeed a great talent.

    An old skeptic in me tells me that there is some slim chance that all this set up. I know an opera singer personally and I know how hard they work on their singing skills. It just looks unbelievably freaky and I would like to see something more than such clip.

    1. I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t quite legitimate, too. However, I’m willing to attribute it to the fact the audio and video are horribly out of sync.

      1. If you do a search on youtube you will find lots of clips of her from previous things she has done. It is clear that it is her voice.

        When I first watched it I had the same sense that it seemed fake.

  4. The piece had been transposed down a 3rd for her, so her highest note was F rather than A flat, and the pace was a tad too speedy, presumably to compensate for her lack of breath control: that said, she has a remarkably mature tone, reminiscent of Charlotte Church at the same age (although she really was a naturally high soprano). Whether she takes it with her into her adult life is another question.

  5. That’s very nearly unbelievable. She hits those octave jumps perfectly. . not to mention the technical control she has overall.

    I was prepared to scoff out right – guess I was wrong!

  6. That was so incredibly excellent! She could barely answer the emcee’s question she was so out of breath! Just a little darling, she was! Thanks so much for presenting that video, Professor Coyne.

  7. Wow – superb tuning and dynamic control – that’s what impresses me here. Despite her small size, and consequent shortness of breath and diaphragm support – she can really sing like a mature musician.

    You can hear and see some tension in her throat, though, that has clearly been developed to make her sound as if she’s more mature than she is. If she keeps singing that way for long, she’ll be in danger of doing her ‘natural’ voice some serious damage.

  8. Live it up little girl… you’re probably going to end up sounding like Luciano Pavarotti after puberty get done with you.

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