"I usually get a little bit nervous before a show," she said, "but once I start to sing, I feel really comfortable."

Since her sudden arrival on the entertainment scene, Evancho has developed a devoted fan base, won over by her confident vocalism and unpretentious manner.

She has also received plenty of feedback, not all of it glowing, from critics, who have been known to question her understanding of the music she sings (especially the classical selections), or to wish for more distinctive touches in her phrasing.

Evancho is well aware of all the unsolicited advice from those professing to know what is best for her, or what she needs to do next.

"It does get annoying at times, but I just ignore it," she said. "Of course, there is always room to improve."

Given that she has sung "O mio babbino caro" many times — it's an inevitable encore at concerts — and has an aria from Handel's opera "Serse" on the program she will sing in Baltimore, has Evancho considered studying for an operatic career someday?

"Not really," she said. "I think what I'm doing now I will continue doing for a long time to come."



If you go

Jackie Evancho sings with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. May 18 at Meyerhoff Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are $49.60 to $129.05. Call 410-547-7328 or go to ticketmaster.com.