Reality television has afforded viewers a window into what people will do for money, fame and “love.” The genre has made celebrities out of people for doing nothing more than subjecting themselves to humiliating, life threatening tasks, or exposing the most private parts of their existence on national television. When the contestants “fame” begins to wane, the networks continue to make money off of them when they turn to some sort of nationally broadcast therapy. There are, however a few realty contestants who have come to fame for having actual marketable skills including Kelly Clarkson, Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho.
On Friday, October 16, Portlanders will get the chance to see Ms. Evancho live at the Newmark Theater. The soprano will perform her combination of pop and classical music as part of an eleven city tour.
Ms. Evancho brought some sophistication to reality television at the age of ten when she performed, “O mio babbino caro” during the quarter finals of America’s got talent in 2010. She charmed and amazed audiences with her very grown up voice. From there she recorded her first EP, O Holy Night, which went on to sell over one million copies. She then released her first studio album which combined operatic solos such as, Ombra Mai Fu and show tunes such as, When you Wish Upon a Star.
After the success of her album she went on to perform for some very important audiences including President and Mrs. Obama, Oprah Winfrey and the crowd at the opening of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
Ms. Evancho’s celerity is unique in that it was heavily influenced by the internet and the digital age in general. After seeing The Phantom of the Opera, She began making videos of her self singing and then posted them on YouTube. She submitted the videos to America’s Got Talent for a special YouTube episode and was soon a contestant on the show.
America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan said that Ms. Evancho had “The whole package,” of looks and talent when she appeared on the show. Her good looks did not escape the attention of Hollywood. In 2012 she made her film debut in Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep. The film was about a former member of the Weather Underground (Redford) whose identity has been discovered by a young journalist. Ms. Evancho played Mr. Redford’s daughter.
As her fame grew and her interest in film intensified, she began to move away from operatic music and concentrate on music from musicals and films. She was featured on the PBS Series Great Performances on which she performed music from the movies. The concert led to the production of her third album, Songs from the Silver Screen. The album includes such tunes as Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific and My Heart Will Go on From Titanic. Although the album was comprised entirely of songs from movies, it topped the classical charts.
Her most recent album is entitled, Awakening and features opera standards such as Ava Maria, easy listening tunes such as Je t’aime and even the rock and roll classic, With or Without you by U2. Awakenings premiered at the top of the classical charts as well.
One might think that all the fame and praise would go straight to a child’s head, but the15–year-old is known for her modesty. She was named one of the ten best mannered people in 2011 by The National League of Junior Cotillions. The list also included singer Justin Bieber and politico George Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Evancho will go onstage at the Newmark at 8:00 p.m. on the 16th. Tickets to the show range in price from $65.00 to $89.00
Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
Eliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.