Author Archive

Debuts with Philadelphia Orchestra and Washington National Opera

This autumn, Pretty Yende will make two highly anticipated debuts, first with the Philadelphia Orchestra on October 15, 16 & 17, and then with Washington National Opera on November 6, 8, 10, & 14. Under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Ms. Yende will perform some of Strauss’ most beloved lyrical songs, and also featured on the program is the world premiere of Robin Holcomb’s Paradise, a response to California’s deadly wildfires.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s celebration of Beethoven’s masterworks continues with his “Pastoral” Symphony, brimming with buoyant melodies and a bucolic spirit, on October 15 & 17, and on October 16, the orchestra performs his lesser-known work, the Fourth Symphony, which was admired by many including Berlioz who insisted it was the work of an angel.

Following this engagement, Ms. Yende heads to Washington National Opera for the first in-person programming of the Kennedy Center 50th Anniversary season, the Come Home: A Celebration of Return concert. Pretty joins a star-studded cast led by WNO Principal Conductor Evan Rogister and backed by WNO’s Orchestra and Chorus, including Isabel Leonard, Lawrence Brownlee, Alexandria Shiner, David Butt Philip, and Christian Van Horn.

For WNO’s return to the stage, this concert features a musical tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In honor of WNO’s beloved patron, the WNO family performs segments from the Justice’s favorite operas and commemorates her extraordinary contributions to American ideals.

Photo: Dario Acosta


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‘La Traviata’ at Wiener Staatsoper

Pretty Yende begins the 2021/22 season by returning to the Wiener Staatsoper as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. Simon Stone’s critically acclaimed production of this beloved operatic masterpiece brings this tragic love story to the digital age. Performances will take place on September 5, 7, 15, & 18. Nicola Luisotti conducts.

Ms. Yende will sing alongside Frédéric Antoun as Alfredo, Ludovic Tézier as Germont, Szilvia Vörös as Flora, Stephanie Maitland as Annina, Carlos Osuna as Gaston, Sergey Kaydalov as Baron Douphol, and Michael Arivony as Marquis von Obigny, among others. Seen and Heard International recently praised Ms. Yende’s “outstanding” portrayal of Violetta in Simon Stone’s production this past spring at Wiener Staatsoper, acclaiming:

“She is a picture of glowing health whereas in a ‘traditional’ production she would need  to be a more standard consumptive heroine. […] Among Yende’s very best moments are the achingly sad ‘Dite alla giovine, sì bella e pura’ – where she agrees to abandon Alfredo so as not to thwart his sister’s plans for a high-profile marriage – and her deeply affecting and prayerful farewell to life (‘Addio, del passato bei sogni ridenti’) sung with naked expression and aching lyricism.”

Photo: Gregor Hohenberg/Sony Music Entertainment

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Pretty Yende stars in annual Bastille Day Concert

On July 14 at 21:15 CEST, Pretty Yende returns to Paris for the annual ‘Concert de Paris’ to celebrate Bastille Day. Marking the anniversary of the storming of the infamous Bastille prison in 1789, France’s national holiday celebrates the turning point for the success of the French Revolution.

The free concert at the foot of the Eiffel Tower features a world-renowned group of soloists, including mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine, tenor Piotr Beczała, violinist Renaud Capuçon, and musician Ibrahim Maalouf, among others. Simone Young conducts the Orchestre national de France, the Chœur de Radio France, and the Maîtrise de Radio France at the Champ de Mars on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, beginning at 21:15 CEST.

Held once again by Radio France, France Télévisions, Ville de Paris, this fantastic concert will air live from 9:15 p.m. on France 2 TV channel. The Concert de Paris will be followed by the traditional firework show beginning at 11 p.m. from the Eiffel Tower.

Photo: Dario Acosta

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House debut at Teatro Massimo di Palermo in ‘La Traviata’

Pretty Yende makes her much-anticipated house debut at Teatro Massimo di Palermo this month for two performances of Verdi’s La Traviata on July 9 & 11. Conducted by Michele Spotti, the semi-staged production by Ludovico Rajata features costume design and scenery by Francesco Zito, visual projections by Francesco Zito and Ludovico Rajata, and digital animation by Fabiola Nicoletti.

Ms. Yende stars as Violetta alongside David Astorga as Alfredo, Simone Piazzola as Germont, Carlotta Vichi as Flora, and Piera Bivona as Annina, among others. Pretty received critical praise for her portrayal as the ailing courtesan Violetta at the Wiener Staatsoper earlier this Spring, with Seen and Heard International praising her “outstanding Violetta” and her “near-perfect soprano technique with agile and accurate coloratura and sparkling top notes (especially the high E flat at the end of the cabaletta).”

The performance on July 9 will stream on the Teatro Massimo di Palermo’s YouTube page, beginning at 21:15 CEST.

Photo: Dario Acosta

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New production of Bellini’s ‘La Sonnambula’ at Théâtre des Champs-Elysée

On June 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, & 26, Pretty Yende returns to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées to star as Amina in Bellini’s La sonnambula. Riccardo Frizza conducts the Orchestre de chambre de Paris in this stunning work from the bel canto repertoire. Rolando Villazón will make his debut directing this new production in Paris.

Joining Ms. Yende on stage is Alexander Tsymbalyuk as Rodolfo, Francesco Demuro as Elvino, Annunziata Vestri as Teresa, Sandra Hamaoui as Lisa, and Marc Scoffoni as Alessio. This production will be broadcast via France Musique.


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Recital with Benjamin Bernheim and the Orchestre de chambre de Paris

Pretty Yende and her wonderful colleague, tenor Benjamin Bernheim, reunite for a recital with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, led by Sascha Goetzel, on May 19 and 20. Ms. Yende and Bernheim have shared the stage on multiple occasions, including their “magical performance” (Opera News) of La Traviata at Opéra national de Paris. France Musique will broadcast this concert on Saturday June 12 at 8 p.m CEST. Purchase tickets and learn more via Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

“Please, stay … Adorable angel …” (Madrigal), duet from Romeo and Juliet (only May 20)
“O God, what jewelry”, aria from Faust
What trouble Unknown … Hello! abode ”, aria from Faust
Valse de Faust, orchestral piece

“Una furtiva lagrima ”, aria from L’Elisir d’amore 
“ Regnava nel silenzio … Quando rapito in estasi ”, aria from Lucia di Lammermoor
“ Lucia perdona … Verranno a te sull’aure ”, duet from Lucia di Lammermoor (May 19 only) 

Cavalleria Rusticana

«È strano … Ah! fors’è lui … Sempre libera “, aria from La Traviata

“Love … Ah! Rise, sun … ”, aria from Roméo et Juliette
“Please stay … Adorable angel … “
(Madrigal), duet from Roméo et Juliette (only May 19)

“You! You! … Isn’t it my hand anymore ”(Saint-Sulpice), duet from Manon (only on May 20)


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Upcoming broadcast: New production of ‘La Traviata’ at the Wiener Staatsoper

Pretty Yende returns to the Wiener Staatsoper to star in Simon Stone’s acclaimed production of Verdi’s La Traviata this month. Following her triumphant house debut as Adina in Vienna earlier this season, Ms. Yende also previously received rave reviews for her “magical performance” (Opera News) as Violetta in the premiere of this Simon Stone production at the Opéra National de Paris in 2019.

On Sunday, March 7 at 6pm CET / 12:00 ET, the Wiener Staatsoper will broadcast the performance live for audiences to view on ORF III and the Wiener Staatsoper’s online streaming platform. Ms. Yende shares the stage with Juan Diego Flórez as Alfredo and Igor Golovatenko as Giorgio Germont. Giacomo Sagripanti will conduct the Wiener Staatsoper Orchestra and Chorus.

“Pretty Yende was the star of the evening: she was greeted with a standing ovation and the waving of the South African flag in the audience. Looking like a younger sister of Naomi Campbell, this media favorite has everything needed to be the people’s Violetta of the twenty-first century. It was refreshing to hear a genuine coloratura in Act I, where the festive fizz posed no problem for Yende. Although the later acts were lightweight in sound, Yende phrased with consummate musicality. The final scene was sustained on a silvery thread of tone, with Violetta’s two verses of “Addio del passato,” nicely varied by some darker coloring around references to the tomb. This was a magical performance.” (Opera News)

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