412 of 423 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why you should--or should not--buy this DVD
Okay, here's another 5-star review, joining what will soon be hundreds of five-star reviews for this DVD. But I realize that even if a thousand reviewers give this DVD five stars, that's no guarantee that you will love it. So in this review I'd like to help you decide whether this DVD is for you--or not.
It's an interesting question because while Ms. Evancho's...
Published on August 20, 2011 by Ehkzu
3.0 out of 5 stars Put Foster Back in His Box, Sell the Voice, Not the Child
This DVD loses one star for David Foster being a out of his element (gifted coach and pianist, poor MC) and a second star for the all too cutesy dilution of the star with a poor back up kids chorus, a medioce song written by her uncle, childish "reflections" of ZERO value, and a special section of child photos just this side of kiddie porn.
The VOICE is beyond...
Published 1 month ago by Robert David STEELE Vivas
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412 of 423 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why you should--or should not--buy this DVD,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)Okay, here's another 5-star review, joining what will soon be hundreds of five-star reviews for this DVD. But I realize that even if a thousand reviewers give this DVD five stars, that's no guarantee that you will love it. So in this review I'd like to help you decide whether this DVD is for you--or not.
It's an interesting question because while Ms. Evancho's appeal reaches fans of many musical genres, that's also true for those who won't enjoy this DVD.
Judging from contributors to many music forums, fans of Classical Crossover are most likely to appreciate this DVD. Classical Crossover is music drawn from many sources--popular, musical theater, folk, classical, opera--performed in a classical manner. People who mostly like pop music sometimes mistake this for singing operatically, but opera singers generally sing without a mic and learn to project their voices over a pit orchestra to fill an auditorium. CC singers don't do this, even when they sing opera arias. They use a softer, more intimate sound that has to be mic'd in a concert hall.
Before Ms. Evancho burst on the scene, the biggest CC stars were folks like Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Hayley Westenra, Celtic Woman, the Canadian Tenors, and Charlotte Church. If you like them you're likely to like Ms. Evancho. Ditto New Age singers like Enya.
However, because of her quiet intensity and total sincerity, Ms. Evancho also has fans from genres as unlikely as Heavy Metal, Jazz, Country, and World Music.
You're least likely to appreciate Ms. Evancho's DVD if you don't like her "classical" sound and/or you only like one genre, such as Rock & Roll, or Jazz, or Country, or--surprisingly--Opera. If you only like one genre, instead of hearing what Ms. Evancho is doing with the music, you may only hear what she isn't doing with it--namely performing it the way singers in your favored genre normally perform it.
Take the first song on the DVD: "When you wish upon a star," from the Walt Disney film Pinocchio (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition). In the movie it's sung by Disney regular Cliff Edwards (who also provides Jiminy Cricket's voice in the film, with the typical girls singers ooohing in the background. Key word: sentimental.
Ms. Evancho's rendition is unsentimental. She treats it as seriously as if it were an aria from a Handel opera (more on that later). Her pacing and the phrasing invite you to take in every word as great aspirational poetry, even though in any other performance of this song the lyrics seem kind of sappy. She doesn't seem to have an ironic bone in her body, but neither does she have a cutsey-poo one. Look at her singing. You can tell she means it. She doesn't play to the camera; she doesn't mug or simper or dimple at you. She waves her arms as she sings, but it looks less like she's doing something for the viewer than that she's simply conducting herself.
I've seen a lot of singers singing in a lot of genres, and the greatest of every genre share this trait with Ms. Evancho: when they sing they're "inside the music."
Music professors have said Ms. Evancho shows no signs of unusual physical equipment. Her larynx looks like a normal 11 year old's larynx. Ditto her lungs and everything else. They said what's different about her is her brain. She hears music with a depth few others can achieve, and that depth combines with a nearly unique ability to express her musical ideas with every aspect of her physical equipment. Sports docs call this somatic integration, and Ms. Evancho has a kind of this integration, just as an elite gymnast does.
So if you buy this DVD of an 11 year old girl singing, don't expect to hear a child singer. Because she doesn't sound like any other child singer. She sounds like a 30 year old professional singer at the top of her game. Not in every aspect of technique, but certainly in the most crucial aspects of her art: perfect pitch, great transitions from chest to head voice (called passagio), great (and greatly restrained) note-bending (called portamento), great tone (assuming you like a classical, adult tone), and above all, great emotional connection with the listener.
This is why I didn't list fans of child singers as one of the groups most likely to appreciate this DVD. She sounds so unlike other children singing that some actually find it disconcerting. They'll claim she's been taught to do this (she hasn't), or that she's damaging her voice (she isn't, according to voice experts who examine her regularly), or that it's freakish. I attribute this to those who can't accept the fact that some humans are geniuses. They seem to believe that all human differences are due to environment/experience. This is a folk belief--no reputable behavioral scientist would agree. And Ms. Evancho's existence is the proof of the pudding. Her extreme talent even shows in You Tube performances of her at age 8, singing acapella in her living room.
Then as now, when she sings you believe her. Not that she has personally experienced everything she sings about (which includes drug addiction, suicide, mad love and more), but as a wise storyteller who can take you into the story of the song with her.
I should add that in many forum entries I've read about her, people also agree that seeing her perform adds a lot. It doesn't hurt that she's a pretty child with great stage presence, but honestly, there are lots of children just as pretty, with just as much stage presence.
What's different is seeing her skip onto the stage, looking every inch like an ordinary 11 year old child--and then, at the moment she starts to sing, seeing the musical genius inside her suddenly appear, only to vanish just as abruptly as she finishes the song. Ms. Evancho herself says, in effect, that this whatever-it-is possesses her when she's singing.
The irony is that she herself doesn't hear what we hear. She has stated in interviews that when she sings she just hears an 11 year old girl singing. Nothing special. I don't think this is false modesty. It's more that to a genius, what they're a genius at comes so naturally to them they don't see it as something special. It's hard for them to imagine it not coming to everyone just as easily. Instead they admire people whose genius is expressed in areas where they themselves are not geniuses.
So far I've just talked about her singing. But this DVD captures a performance with an orchestra, featuring the arrangements of David Foster. And while her renditions are straight ahead, her accompaniments on this DVD tend towards the "Wall of Sound" David Foster treatment, with swelling orchestras and choruses at every turn. Many will find this very appealing and professional; others will find it overdone--"gilding the lily."
Personally I lean toward the "overdone" reaction, but it's not so much as to ruin my pleasure at listening to her. So may I suggest to those who also would like more restraint in her musical settings, David Foster's treatment may be what's required t0 launch her career to the broadest musical audience. Her "Dream with me" CD, with the same treatment and many of the same songs, just went Gold. No other Classical CD of any sort has enjoyed anywhere near that success lately.
If I had my druthers she'd be doing a more classically focused repertoire, with more like her performance of Handel's "Ombra mai fu" on this DVD. But I'm certain such a CD/DVD would also garner far fewer sales, and since she can't tour like adults can--she still has at least seven years of childhood ahead of her--she's more dependent on CD sales than an adult. And she needs the sales because her father had to close his security system franchise to support her career, while her parents also need to parent her three siblings as well as her. And the profit margins on CDs and DVDs are much slimmer than for concerts.
So for the time being, her music needs to be as broadly focused as possible. Relatively sophisticated listeners should accept this with good grace. There aren't enough of such listeners to keep Ms. Evancho's career going successfully. Plus, arranger/producer David Foster has done a lot for Ms. Evancho, helping her and her family learn how to navigate the jungle of the music industry, so all of Ms. Evancho's fans owe David Foster a debt of gratitude, even if some would like him to ease up on the accompaniments sometimes.
I imagine that most people who are reading this review have seen the PBS special it's based on, recorded at the Ringling Brothers' estate in Florida. You may not know that this audience was not a paying audience, but rather was mostly Ringling employees roped into making up an audience. Consequently their reactions are more muted than those at her "real" performances, in which she normally gets prolonged, standing ovations after every song. She really does move many people profoundly, and it would be hard to find a performer who'd more cared-about by fans than her. This isn't like "Biebermania" and its ilk. It's something altogether different, and Ms. Evancho's fans are mostly people who aren't and haven't been active fans of any other performer.
As I've said, people's reactions to Ms. Evancho can be complicated by the fact that she's still a child. Let me suggest that when you get this DVD, don't play it for people you want to introduce to Ms. Evancho. Instead, play a song from her CD "Dream with me" without revealing anything about her. I've done this repeatedly, and each time I've asked them to describe who they see in their mind's eye. Usually it's a tall (to support the big voice) professional singer in her late 20s or 30s (to support the maturity of her interpretation). Then their jaw drops when I show them one of the performances on this DVD.
Those of us who are worldly (I've traveled in 17 countries, for example), musically sophisticated, and more than a little skeptical about politics and a lot else besides, might be predisposed to reject the music of an 11 year old soprano out of hand. You'll be making a big mistake if you do in this case. Nearly every "child singer" I've heard before Ms. Evancho made me think "OK, fine--I'll listen again after you grow up." This is different. I've listened to opera singer Beverly Sills and also Julie Andrews as 11 year olds, and while their voices are more agile than Ms. Evancho's they can't hold a candle to her emotional connection and gorgeous sonorities. I don't believe there's one other singer I've heard at Ms. Evancho's age who can compete for your music dollars against the best adult professionals, if you listen to both without giving Ms. Evancho any kind of special consideration due to her youth.
She's that good.
107 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the ages -- and this is only the beginning,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)Jackie Evancho is one in a billion, a darling girl with an immaculate voice and, at only 11 years of age, the talent and poise of a seasoned professional. Nearly everyone has seen clips of her amazing performances in last year's America's Got Talent competition, which she inexplicably lost to country/soul singer Michael Grimm. But now you can enjoy an entire program of live songs from her first full-length album, "Dream with Me."
Assisted by her producer, arranger, and pianist, David Foster, and accompanied by orchestra and chorus, Jackie sings 15 songs from a variety of genres: opera, musical theater, and film as well as popular and sacred pieces. It's clear she feels the music deeply, and she communicates it powerfully, demonstrating flawless diction and phrasing, an astoundingly pure tone, and pitch-perfect vibrato. A couple of the songs are performed in intimate chamber settings, and one, "Somewhere," is sung as a duet with a 1985 video by Barbra Streisand.
We not only watch this delightful prodigy express herself on stage; we also get to meet her in brief interviews in which she talks about her development as an artist and about all the fun she's having. She and Foster tour the venue for the concert, the spectacular Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.
"Dream with Me in Concert," which premiered on PBS, was recorded when Jackie was just 10 years old. It's one that every music lover will want to own and will play again and again. And just think of what's yet to come in her still very young career!
You can preview "Angel" and "Nessun Dorma," two clips from this DVD, by searching for Jackie Evancho at the pbs.org website, where you also can find out when this program will air again on your local PBS station.
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asounding,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)I didn't watch America's Got Talent, so I was unfamiliar with Jackie. The PBS Great Performances aired recently and it was on my TV, although I was in another room. I heard this absolutely beautiful voice singing and after 2 minutes or so, walked to the TV to see who possessed this angelic voice. Needless to say, I was floored. I couldn't believe that this music was actually coming from a little girl, a very beautiful little girl. The power, the range and the richness of her voice is, I believe, unmatched.
If she were an adult, I would still buy this DVD, but her being only 11 makes it all the more interesting. What will the young woman sound like when she's 16? 25? I can't wait to hear.
I think one of the most interesting aspects of being able to watch her (rather than listen to the CD) is that you can see that she is almost possessed by the music. While many singers sing to the audience, Jackie seems to sing to something higher, almost like she's allowing the music of heaven to come through her. And after the last note, that beautiful 11 year old girl smile returns.
This is a talent without peer. I almost feel privileged just to see and hear her.
73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular!!!!!!!,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)To everyone ordering this DVD, you are going to be thrilled with it! I've already purchased one from my local PBS station, and am ordering multiple copies of this now here from Amazon. These will make exquisite Christmas gifts. You will treasure this DVD - guaranteed! There is just no way to describe how wonderful this precious young girl is. She is the personification of beauty - vocally, physically, and spiritually. David Foster has done a great job of fostering (pardon the pun) her talent, and they'll be teaming up again in December for a big concert in Vegas. This DVD is a must-have for anyone familiar with this angel and I'm sure will be a classic.
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)I parrot what so many others have said about Jackie Evancho - her personality is so adorable that every senior such as myself immediately adopts her as our "virtual" grandchild. And beyond that, she may just have the most beautiful voice in the music world today.
Then there's this video! Audio and video perfection was obviously the goal of its creators, and they have achieved their goal! Surpassed it if possible. I bought this from PBS when it cost $100. I'll buy more now to give to my closest friends. Don't think for a moment that the CD is as good. That would be like trying to listen to ballet on the radio! You just have to see Jackie!
I won't try to describe the experience of watching this because I'm not eloquent enough. I've watched it about six times and will watch it many more times, that's all I can say (except I can't wait for miss Evancho's next DVD).
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miraculous ...,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)If you saw Jackie Evancho perform on the PBS Great Performance series this year, no doubt you will anticipate the release of "Dream With Me in Concert," especially if you were unable to afford the donation cost to receive it. The concert, performed at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, featured 10-year-old Jackie. David Foster, co-host and musical director, had that knowing glint in his eye that signaled he knew her voice was simply miraculous. Once you've heard it you too will agree. On this DVD one of my favorite performances was Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" from the Turandot. No other way to say it, but it was simply stunning. Foster, who only works with "the best," realized this as soon as he heard her perform.
I have, like many others, purchased "Dream With Me" and "O Holy Night," yet am still astounded by the depth of her voice at such a young age. Everyone who has ever seen her perform, whether it be on television or the Internet, is mesmerized and wonders how this voice can emanate from someone so small. Since this concert was performed one can hear a subtle maturity in Jackie's voice and can only wonder what the future will hold for her. One additional feature that you will get with this DVD will be two additional tracks that you did not see in the PBS performances in June and August. This DVD along with the CDs, "O Holy Night," "Dream With Me," will not only attract the classical fan, but will begin to attract a younger audience to opera.
America's Got Talent was her beginning showcase that skyrocketed her to the attention of the world. Do you remember when she performed "O Mio Babbino Caro?" Connie Talbot, Susan Boyle, and Paul Potts awed us, but Jackie Evancho's voice seemingly came out of nowhere to appeal to audiences of all types. It simply amazes me that people of all ages can relate to and love her voice. I shared my copy of "Dream With Me" with an eighty something friend the other day. It was one of those indescribable moments. She listened in awe and then offered me her Puccini collection. This DVD is simply another one of the offerings by Jackie Evancho that can be shared by an assortment of music lovers of all ages. Jackie has a miraculous voice and to see her perform adds dimension to the music. If you've purchased either one of her CDs, or seen her on PBS, you're in for a real treat when you see her in concert.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlatives (Almost) Fail Me,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)Even people who don't believe in miracles will find themselves moved, shaken and stirred by Jackie Evancho's perfect and ravishingly beautiful performance. Coiffed and gowned in a lovely and age-appropriate way, the little girl with the big voice shone in the spotlight and seemed as artlessly pleased by the audience's reaction as they were to give it. It was delightful also to watch David Foster's delight in presenting and showcasing her exquisite talent. My head, and heart, are full of Jackie Evancho's beautiful songs. One of my happiest purchases, ever!
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackie Evancho is a Gift From the Universe,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)Hearing Jackie Evancho sing just about anything is an exquisite and sublime experience. Actually watching her perform increases the enjoyment to a level of divine ecstasy. Miss Evancho is a once in a lifetime performer with such a high degree of talent that it boggles the mind. Like most people, I discovered Jackie Evancho when she burst onto the scene last summer on America's Got Talent. Unless you've been living under a rock since then, you know that her career has exploded over the past year. She's had two chart-topping albums (one gone platinum and the other, gold), dozens of television appearances, sold out concerts, and much more, all while remaining the sweet-natured, loving, articulate, unspoiled, family-first little girl that we all fell in love with last summer.
I obtained a copy of this DVD several weeks ago by donating $100 to a public television station while the concert was airing on PBS. I thought it might eventually be released for sale, but I didn't want to take that chance. Please trust me on this one. It was worth every penney I paid, and much more. This disc contains a priceless collection of live performances by Jackie Evancho that you will treasure for the rest of your life. The production value is very high. The musical accompaniment is outstanding. The singing is - well - the singing is beyond normal human comprehension. Watching Jackie wrap her entire being around a song and express herself from the depths of her soul is a privilege and a pleasure that should not be denied. There must be a special place in the cosmos from which beauty and grace arise to give life hope and greater meaning. Jackie Evancho must have emerged fully formed from that place. She is a gift from the universe that we should accept with open and grateful arms.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT CAN YOU SAY,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)I mean, what can you say about Jackie Evancho, that has not already been said? What this child has, goes way past, just a good sound. When she sings, it stirs something inside me. As one of the judges said on the show, AGT, she did not understand a word that Jackie was singing, but the sound of her voice was Heavenly. The sound she makes, when she sings, is beyond description. It causes feelings inside me that no other singer has in my life, and I am 63 years old and have herd all the great singers in my lifetime. I have bought all of her recordings, and will buy any others she ever makes. Others have noted, that when she sings, she stops being this young child, and seems to be way beyond her years. She herself has said, that she almost feels possessed when she sings.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Beautiful,
This review is from: Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) (DVD)This young lady's very FIRST concert with a full orchestra was prepared for distribution on PBS for their Great Performances series. This performance is a true treasure, and Ms Evancho will rapidly become a national treasure of this land with her century voice and completely disarming demeanor. You need to see this...some way or somehow.
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Dream With Me in Concert (DVD) by David Horn (DVD - 2011)