Jackie Evancho coming home to sing

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Jackie Evancho, the 11-year-old international singing sensation from Richland, is finally coming home to Pittsburgh to sing.

For her first live concert in the region since winning second place last year on NBC's "America's Got Talent," the fifth grader will appear on the Benedum Center stage on Sunday, Oct. 16, Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn announced today.

Jackie, who is in London, has sung the national anthem at a Pittsburgh Pirates game and the Pittsburgh Penguins Winter Classic in January, but this is her first performance in a Pittsburgh concert since wowing the judges on "America's Got Talent" last summer.

She will also appear on PBS' "Great Performances," which will air on WQED Pittsburgh beginning 6:30 p.m. Sunday in support of her new CD, "Dream with Me."

Mr. Hahn praised Jackie, whose voice, he said, "is rounded and warm and with color that's unusual in a child's voice. Not only is she a great Pittsburgh story, she will attract an audience who might have previously not been aware that there was an opera company in Pittsburgh."

Jackie won't be singing in an opera, he added, because "she is not an opera singer. She's a young girl with an extraordinary voice and talent, singing beautiful music, some of which is opera."

Still, her 5:30 p.m. concert will include songs from her crossover musical repertoire such as Puccini's "O mio babbino caro," and she'll also sing "When You Wish Upon a Star," "The Lord's Prayer," and "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's "Turandot."

It's all part of a festive weekend that begins with the Pittsburgh Opera's season opening of Verdi's La Traviata on Oct. 15. The Sunday concert will also include the opera's resident artists singing classic opera selections from Verdi.

"I'm so excited to be singing in my hometown, with Pittsburgh Opera, on stage at the Benedum Center, which has always been one of my biggest dreams," Miss Evancho said in a statement. "It will be so great to sing for everyone who has supported me from the very beginning."

Tickets to the Oct. 16 concert start at $40 and will be offered exclusively to Pittsburgh Opera subscribers through July 24. Subscription packages are on sale now at www.pittsburghopera.org or by calling 412-281-0912. Tickets will be available to the public July 25.

Mackenzie Carpenter: mcarpenter@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1949.


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