Jackie Evancho: Little girl, big voice, huge talent in St. Petersburg

May 30, 2013 

Jackie Evancho is only 13 years old, but she has a clear idea of what she wants to do with her life.

"I love singing," she said in a phone interview from her home in Pittsburgh. "It's always been my passion, I'll probably never want to stop singing."

She probably won't have to. She's already achieved much more critical and popular success than most singers achieve in their lifetime and her career shows no signs of slowing down. She was huge hit on "America's Got Talent," during which judge Howie Mandel proclaimed her a "star," her albums have topped the classical music charts and critics have praised her mature tones phrasing.

Local fans have a chance to see her in person this weekend when she comes to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg June 2. She'll perform with a full orchestra.

"People will be hearing my favorite songs from my albums," Evancho said.

The music she performed is either classical or classically flavored, but her own tastes aren't specific.

"Sometimes I like to classical but mostly it's anything that comes on the radio," she said. "I just love music. I especially love Muse. That's probably my favorite band."

Her life isn't that of a typical 13-year-old girl, but her family tries to keep her grounded. One of her siblings is always with her on tour, and she studies at an online school that allows her to interact with other students.

"Traveling can be annoying she said. "But if that's what I have to do to sing, it's fine. That's just a part of show biz."

Details: 7 p.m. June 2, Mahaffey Theater, 401 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets: $55.50-$99 Information: 727-892-5767 or www.themahaffey.com.

-- Marty Clear

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