Maestro John Mario Di Costanzo on Jackie Evancho

POSTER: JOE MERKT
FORUM: JACKIE EVANCHO FAN CLUB FORUMS
DATE: September 17, 2012

Here is an exchange well worth recording. It took place between a loyal member of the Jackie Evancho Fan Club,  Joe Merkt, and one of Jackie Evancho’s conductors, maestro John Mario Di Costanzo. Joe was kind enough to let me transcribe his post on JEFC. Such fulsome praise for Jackie, and from a man who knows his business.

THE MAESTRO PRAISES JACKIE

A while ago (a week ?) there was a post that had some comments speculating on whether Jackie’s conductor, John Mario Di Costanzo, who also coaches opera singers, was providing any vocal “coaching” of Jackie. I’ve had some PM “conversations” with John Mario and decided to mention the speculation. I did not really expect any reply but he did reply about that and had a much longer comment.

Though John Mario is definitely not providing any vocal guidance or coaching, his comments were so interesting that I wanted to post them for Jackie’s fans to see. So, with his permission, here is what he had to say:

“Thanks again for the kind words and support. I am happy that my work is pleasing the fans; I will always do my best to provide the best possible accompaniment to Jackie’s fine singing. I also give a lot of credit to all the fine orchestras around the country who play so beautifully and with so much precision on so little time. And let’s add that it is a lot harder to play so perfectly live than it is to make a recording in a studio where you have many times to get it right!

Let’s end all speculation now. Although I do a lot of work on the operatic scene as a vocal and Italian language coach, I am in no way providing any vocal or language coaching whatsoever to Jackie.

I am pleased to be discovered as a strong accompanist by Jackie’s fans as a conductor for I have been doing this for many years in the classical world and have had the honor to accompany many fine artists. I have never found anyone as easy to accompany as Jackie is to accompany, and someone who is as complete an artist as she is. She sings with perfect rhythmic style, vibrato and intonation. There is nothing I would ever need to do but merely listen. I trust her opinions on the music as I would trust an adult. She also is one of the most well-mannered, polite and respectful persons I have ever met. A joy!”

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6 thoughts on “Maestro John Mario Di Costanzo on Jackie Evancho

  1. Judy Miller….the batch of songs is likely different than her previous songs so that she does not ruin her body trying to sing a lot of opera high powered upper register notes. She’s drooped way down into the lower register in order to be in good shape when she’s older. Read what well trained opera singers say about young people attempting opera before their 20′s or even their 30′s. Its a train wreck for most of them. I think some of the lower register songs really bring out a depth that may end up being her signature rather than her high notes. Jackie is not an opera singer in all of its constraints but is really a soul singer no matter the genre she attempts. She looks like a blues singer when she gets in her mode and blues singers are best known for their bucket notes that take you down deep into the meaning of the song. As Jackie gets older I have a feeling she’s going to have a lower range like no other and that’s going to make her full range sound even more incredible than it is now. Would be sad to see her as a high note burnout at age 16 wouldn’t it?

    • Thanks for your sprightly and insightful comments, Tom. It appears that Jackie has found another knowledgeable listener. Your desire to have J sing to simpler accompaniment is shared by many. Interesting thought about J singing jazz, maybe in a few years?

      • Thanks BestofJ….I downloaded 4 versions of “When I Fall In Love” from the internet onto MP3 for my car and am going to toss in Jackie’s version for a friend to listen to in my car while we’re on a trip and then I’m going to see if he can figure out which one was made by a 12 year old. He has not heard Jackie yet. “When I Fall In Love” when covered by other artists is usually a jazz song and a very, very personal sounding one. Just a great, great song. Jackie sounds almost identical in her recordings as in her live shows on DVD. I’m hoping she gradually breaks out of being just a Classical Crossover artist and moves into improvisation with elements of many different genres reflected in her sound. She has the potential to create a whole new style of music since she doesn’t just sing notes or songs that seem to sound pretty good but is instead more of a trance channel for the Timeless Muse of All Music.

  2. Could someone tell us what kind of musical training and coaching Jackie is getting. What is her practice like? Why is this batch of songs so different from the previous opera songs? It seems that these songs are mostly in the low register. Can she still sing some of the opera songs?

  3. Coming form someone with John Mario’s background and experience, the words have double the impact.

    We have seen comments along these lines from other accomplished musicians. Some of those comments are in Jackie’s wikipedia article and David Foster has had similar high praise for Jackie.

    Such is Jackie’s incredible talent that she impresses not only the casual listener but also those of high accomplishment in the field of music.

  4. The Maestro’s words confirm everything we, as listeners, have known all along: Jackie’s talent is simply astonishing!

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