Jackie Evancho, a 13-year-old classical crossover star who debuted on the national stage on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” seems to only get bigger and better with age.
Inspired to sing by watching Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical film adaptation “The Phantom of the Opera,” Evancho developed mature vocal abilities that belie her years. She will appear Jan. 18 at Phoenix’s Celebrity Theatre. The teen sensation called GetOut while on a flight layover to discuss her meteorite-like career, professional milestones and her upcoming Phoenix concert.
Q: Do you ever think about the fact that had you never watched the movie “Phantom of the Opera,” your life would be totally different?
JE: I know that my career probably wouldn’t have taken off like it did, but I would like to think that somehow or another I would have found my musical voice and would be singing no matter what. I was singing in a lot of talent contests before “America’s Got Talent,” but that did change everything. I’m just glad it worked out the way it did.
Q: You’ve now been in the public spotlight for a few years. How do you maintain a sense of normalcy?
JE: I have always despised people who thought they were better than others, and I made a promise to myself that I’d never turn into that kind of person. My family also helps to keep me grounded. Whenever I get a “diva moment,” as they like to call it, they let me know it and say, “Stop acting like a diva!” They’re pretty good at it, too.
Q: You talk a lot about wanting to be a good role model. Why is that important to you?
JE: That’s pretty easy to answer — there are not a lot of role models out there anymore. It’s important that people my age have someone to look up to, so my goal is to be the best person I can be.
Q: There are so many milestones in your career: your debut on “America’s Got Talent,” working with legends like David Foster and Robert Redford, two PBS specials, five albums, headlining Carnegie Hall and singing at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the White House in front of President Obama. Is there one event that stands out?
JE: Each one of those milestones has deep meaning for me, so I don’t know if I could possibly choose one that meant more. But it all started with “America’s Got Talent,” so that has to be the sentimental favorite because I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the show.
Q: What can we expect at your Celebrity Theatre show?
JE: People can expect to hear my favorite songs from all of my CDs. Recently we changed the song lineup to make things a little more fresh. I’m just very excited and looking forward to playing there. It’s going to be loads of fun.
If you go
What: Jackie Evancho plus full orchestra in concert
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18
Where: Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix
Information: (602) 267-1600 or CelebrityTheatre.com
• Read more at PressPassBlog.com, the source for Phoenix metro concert news.