PRETTY YENDE – soprano
With her magnetic charm, acclaimed operatic and solo performances worldwide, and a critically lauded discography, South African soprano Pretty Yende has quickly become one of the brightest stars of the classical music world.
Since making her professional operatic debut at the Latvian National Theatre in Riga as Micaela in Carmen, she has been seen at nearly all of the major theaters of the world, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Vienna Staatsoper as well as many major concert venues.
Her rise into the global stage includes highlights from her acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut, stepping in as the Countess Adele in Le Comte Ory; her role and house debut as Marie in La fille du Régiment at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville; debuts at Opéra national de Paris as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the Gran Teatre del Liceu as Norina in Don Pasquale, and her debut at the Theater an der Wien as Countess Adèle.
Highlights on the concert stage include her Carnegie Hall recital debut with pianist Kamal Khan.
In 2016, she released her debut album “A Journey” for Sony Classical which won several awards including 2017 International Opera Award – Best Recording (Solo Recital) as well as an Echo award for best newcomer at the Echo Klassik Awards 2017, as well as a first for an opera singer in her home country being awarded International Achiever Award at the South African Metro FM Awards. She appeared as the musical guest on several television shows including “The Late Show” and “Good Morning America.” She released her second solo album titled “Dreams” one year later on Sony Classical, which won her the Readers’ Choice Award at the 2018 International Opera Awards.
A 2011 graduate of the Young Artists Accademia of the Teatro alla Scala, in 2010, she became the first artist in the history of the Belvedere competition to win top prize in every category and went on to win First Prize in the Operalia Competition in 2011.
Other prestigious awards include an Award from the South African government ‘The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver’ for her excellent achievement in the field of world of opera and serving as a role model to aspiring young musicians and more recently being a recipient of the Italian Knighthood, ‘Ordine Stella d’Italia’, making her the youngest South African ever awarded this accolade.