Letter to the Editor

Defending Jackie Evancho

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Editor,

Singing prodigy Jackie Evancho has never claimed herself an Opera singer. David Foster (her producer) did suggest she may pursue Opera, pop, classical, or whatever -- but such decision is hers alone to make. None in the Evancho family claim Jackie is an opera singer. Her father flatly states she is not, and has said that all of Jackie's performances are premised on two criteria: her consent; and the event must not conflict with family responsibilities. Jackie's parents, siblings and kin are extremely protective. Exploitation is not something they would allow on any level. Jackie is diligent in her work ethic; this is verified by all who know her -- and is frequently stated by Mr. Foster. Yes, Jackie's fans are fiercely loyal, and quick to defend her honor, as I should expect any decent person would do for a 12-year old girl whom they see targeted with a campaign of calumny.

So, Cry havoc, and slip loose the dogs of war! The legion of operatic "aficionados" mans their ramparts! Professional vocalists unite! Defend Puccini's castle! Oh save our sacred house of Opera! We must not allow the dreams of one girl, nay, not even her shadow, to violate the vestibules of our hallowed stage!

Defending the "turf" from commoners requires the aristocrats of aria invent a plethora of pseudo concerns: a zealous regard for the "purity" of their art; Oh, the peasants are not buying that piece of cake? Ok, feign distress over Jackie's endangered "instrument" -- for surely she is doing irreversible damage to her voice? The horrors in which we low class are complicit! The little girl who brings adults to tears, compelled by the power of her innocence, must be protected from the machinations of her "exploiters" -- and, of course, we delirious fans.

It matters not that Miss Evancho derives pleasure and her sense of higher calling by simply singing to us. In attacking we who believe in her "Dream" -- the Pharisees of the stage get to indirectly attack Jackie. If they can quash our "untrained" enthusiasm, then they may succeed in driving Jackie back to the burrows of Pittsburgh -- where, naturally, those of "her kind" should remain. Oh, but they will take our money, per chance we may yet fawn over THEIR "perfected" performance. Oh, that we may worship at the altar of the masters!

What vipers, you enlightened Gnostics of musical wizardry. Think yourselves guardians of the Holy Grail? Caustic words reveal your calloused hearts. So busy in "perfecting" and protecting your precious "technique" that you have waxed cold in your humanity! Perhaps this is why you must "act the part" on stage -- to remind yourselves of that which you have forsaken. If the war you wage against Jackie Evancho is the reflection of your "greatness," then let it remain buried in your secret chambers of learned masters and worshipful adepts.

We of the unlearned peasantry, who might have had the impulse to step foot in your high church of song, are thoroughly disgusted by these relentless attacks, made by your high priests, upon one innocent young girl. Oh, "phantoms" of the opera -- pray, what next? Will you demand blood sacrifice in reparation for our trespass?

Never have I witnessed such displays of insecurity, insincerity and antagonism, from supposed adults, and for reason that one child might upstage their spotlight. How ironic that Jackie sings 'Lovers,' from the movie 'House of Flying Daggers,' being that a cabal of character assassins is determined to bury a dagger into Miss Evancho's budding career -- and any other mere mortal they perceive a threat to their empire.

News flash for the hoity-toity paragons of vocal mastery: The "Dream" of Jackie Evancho will endure all the phantasms your cabal may invoke against her. We of the simple-minded masses may not know tremolo from timbre; we may not care whether vibrato comes from hither or yon, but we do know a class act when we see one, and Miss Evancho has outclassed by a country mile your obnoxious obsession with "technique."

Good luck on the attempt to discourage us -- but don't hold your breath ... That would be bad technique!

Bruce C. Desautels

Stratton, Nebraska

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  • The world is filled with factions, bereft of peripheral vision and compassion. So what else is new?

    One small request out of respect for the Gnostic tradition: edit to "Gnostics"

    Unlike many human beings, a true Gnostic is never devisive and loves Peace.

    Otherwise, great article, Bruce. You have a knack for writing in an entertaining style!

    -- Posted by ben Surbana on Wed, Apr 18, 2012, at 2:43 PM
  • *


    If only there were an "edit" button on this thing, I would employ your suggestion ... Alas there is not ... Sigh.

    -- Posted by Bruce Desautels on Wed, Apr 18, 2012, at 11:45 PM
  • Bruce,

    Duly noted sir. Your reply is generous and certainly suffices! Thank you.

    -- Posted by ben Surbana on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 4:18 PM
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