Young Jackie Evancho went to the fabled Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles June 13th and sang music from the movies as she recorded her second PBS Great Performances live concert.
The sense of spectacle was just as evident at the Orpheum as it was for her first PBS special a little over a year ago at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla.
Evident too was the classical crossover genre that marks her vocal style. The difference was that the music at the Orpheum sounded more modern in its themes.
The audience was markedly younger than the crowds who have been filling concert halls across the country the past year for her symphonic tour, “Dream With Me.” Notably younger too were the musicians making up the 26-piece orchestra, led by award-winning composer and arranger William Ross.
Jackie's second PBS special is scheduled to be released in August and will be broadcast by affiliate stations around the country for their fund drives. Last year’s Dream With Me In Concert became one of the most viewed specials in the 38-year-history of the Great Performances series. It raised record amounts of money for PBS stations.
“Music of the Movies” concert will also form the core of Jackie’s next full-length album, which is expected out this fall. The official album title has not yet been announced.
She sang 12 movie-themed songs at the Orpheum, including “Come What May” from the film, Moulin Rouge with her guest stars, the Canadian Tenors.
She brought out another guest to sing “I See the Light” from the Disney film, Tangled, as a duet. She had a lot of time to practice with this partner because it was her 14-year-old brother, Jacob. Last January, they sang a capella together at a concert in Indio, Calif. Brother Jake turns out to have a resonant voice and excellent pitch. Singing with his sister and a top-flight orchestra, he turned in a crowd-pleasing performance.
She wore three different dresses throughout the night in pastel hues of gold, blue and rose, with matching shoes and modest-sized heels. Singing “The Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera, she evoked the phantom by appearing in a black tux jacket with pink piping and close-fitted black trousers and black wedge shoes.
“Music of the Movies” seems not so much a departure from the classical crossover style so prevalent in Dream With Me as an effort to evolve from that album’s emphasis on arias in other languages to more familiar melodies. All but one are in English and may appeal to younger audiences.
In its simplest definition, classical crossover finds ways to make classical music more popular and popular music more classical. The genre suits the sonorous timbre, soaring range and astounding power of Jackie’s voice. And it is a genre suited to evoking moods in films.
Ever since European classical musicians began putting music to films starting in the 1930s, the movie theater has been the one place where Americans have heard classical crossover music, even if they didn’t know what to call it.
“Jackie is singer who is making classical music popular. You don’t see other American artists doing that, and she is only 12,” said one concert-goer last night.
The new arrangements remain posh, and an outstanding violinist and trumpeter take center stage with Jackie on two different numbers.
But executive producer and director David Horn, co-producer Umberto Gatica and conductor/arranger Ross seem to be saying that the little girl from Richland Township has graduated to a place where her voice and interpretive skills can capture an audience on their own now.
They may also be wondering whether the evolution toward more familiar music will find its way onto the radio. For much of the country, Jackie remains the most famous singer they have never heard because American radio slices and dices music by genre, then assigns advertising accordingly.
Classical Crossover remains largely left out of the picture.
Only time will tell what this next move means in a young career whose trajectory can be reasonably described as meteoric. Late last night in Los Angeles, however, as the hour approached 11 pm on a mid-week night, she dedicated the last song to her mother for allowing her daughter to “follow my dream”.
As she sang “Reflection” from Disney’s Mulan, the Orpheum’s audience sat without stirring, smiles plastered on faces, and jaws agape.
Jackie Evancho once again was making magic happen. Jackie Evancho Live Set List below.
Jackie Evancho Live Set List:
- What A Wonderful World // Good Morning, Vietnam
- Some Enchanted Evening // South Pacific
- Cinema Paradiso // Love Theme
- When I Fall In Love // Sleepless In Seattle
- The Music Of The Night // Phantom
- Pure Imagination // Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- The Summer Knows // Summer of 42
- Come What May // Moulin Rouge
- My Heart Will Go On // Titanic
- Can You Feel The Love Tonight // The Lion King
- Reflection // Mulan
- I See The Light // Tangled