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, Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Opernhaus Zürich and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Vienna Staatsoper as well as many major concert venues.
This season, Pretty Yende returns to the Wiener Staatsoper to star in La Sonnambula. She comes backs to Paris Opera to appear as Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann; at the Royal Opera House Pretty will reprise in Verdi’s Rigoletto. 2024 will start with La Traviata performances at the Staatsoper Berlin and a later return to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Adina in L’elisir d’Amore. At the Franfurt Opera Pretty will be making her role debut in Handel’s Guilio Cesare in Egitto as Cleopatra in the new production directed by Nadja Loschky. Pretty will finish this season with another role debut with the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. Additionally, Ms. Yende will also make multiple recital and concert appearances, including Paris, Antwerp, Palermo, Dortmund, Abu-Dhabi, Tokyo, Madrid, Bordeaux, Saint-Denis. Pretty will continue a tour of uniquely special series of concerts in collaboration with Nadine Sierra around Europe.
Last season, Ms.Yende made her San Francisco Opera House debut as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. She returned to Wiener Staatsoper to star in the title role in Massenet’s Manon, and as Marie in La fille du regiment. Pretty reprised the role of Michaela in Carmen at the Staatsoper Berlin. At the Staatsoper Hamburg she made her role debut as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and returned to all four heroines Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta/Stella in Offenbach’s Le Contes d’Hoffmann.
On the concert stage, Pretty Yende made her return with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Carnegie Hall and Kimmel Center performing Mahler's Symphony No. 4 under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Last season, Ms. Yende also made multiple recital appearances in Kansas, Princeton, Geneva, Naples, Gstaad, Vienna, Festival Auvers-sur-Oise. Additionally, she made a guest apperance in Paris for the annual “Concert de Paris” to celebrate Bastille Day.
On May 6th of 2023, Ms. Yende performed at Kind Charles III Coronation at Wesminster Abbey. She became the first African solo artist to perform at the coronation of a British monarch. Pretty sang "Sacred Fire", a piece written by composer Sarah Class specifically for the occasion, followed by Handel: ‘Oh, had I Jubal’s lyre’ from Joshua and Handel: ‘Care selve’ from Atalanta.
A voice that can reach to the stars ...The Washington Post
In 2021/22 Pretty returned to Wiener Staatsoper to star in Verdi’s La Traviata and in Bellini’s I Puritani. She reprised Violetta at the Royal Opera House and performed the role of Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. At the Teatro di San Carlo, Ms. Yende sang Violetta in Ferzan Özpetek’s production, and delivered a recital with pianist Michele D’Elia. Additionally, she made her debut as Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta, and Stella in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.
On the concert stage, Pretty Yende made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing songs by Richard Strauss under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She joined a star-studded roster for Washington National Opera’s “Come Home: A Celebration of Return” concert, and she performed two concerts with the Parisian Frivolities, first at the Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne and then at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Later she performed selected arias in a recital in Czechia.
In 2020/21 Ms. Yende made her successful house debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Adina in L’elisir d’amore and later sang Violetta in Simon Stone’s acclaimed production of La Traviata. She reprised Violetta several times: at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Patrick Bannwart’s production; at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in David McVicar’s production; and at Teatro Massimo di Palermo, marking her much-anticipated house debut. Ms. Yende returned to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées to star as Amina in Bellini’s La sonnambula, featuring a new production by Rolando Villazón.
Yende made her highly anticipated house debut at Teatro di San Carlo performing in a special Mozart and Bel canto Gala concert led by Giacomo Sagripanti. She also performed in the Metropolitan Opera’s “New Year’s Eve Gala Live in Concert,” streamed live from the Parktheater in Augsburg, Germany. Ms. Yende shared the stage with tenor Benjamin Bernheim for a recital with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, led by Sascha Goetzel. Additionally, she returned to Paris for the annual “Concert de Paris” to celebrate Bastille Day.
In the 2019/20 season, Ms. Yende returned to Paris for two highly anticipated role debuts: Violetta in a new production of La Traviata by Simon Stone, and the title role in Manon, featuring a new production by Vincent Huguet. On the concert stage, Ms. Yende embarked on a solo recital tour, making stops at Oper Frankfurt, the Opernhaus Zürich, Smetana Hall in Prague, and the Barbican in London, and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Ms. Yende began the 2018/19 season with her return to Barcelona as Elvira in I Puritani. She returned to The Metropolitan Opera as Marie in La fille du regiment, and sang her first Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de perles, receiving critical acclaim from the New York Times: “In the role of Leïla, suppressed erotic longing is sublimated into pure vocalism lavishly ornamented with arabesques and grace notes.” Shortly thereafter, she appeared at the Opéra national de Paris as Norina in Don Pasquale, portrayed her first Amina in La sonnambula at Opernhaus Zürich, and returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper to sing the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor and as Adina in L’elisir d’amore.
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, with the Los Angeles Opera as Micaëla in Carmen, at Staatsoper Hamburg as Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia, and her debut at the Theater an der Wien as Countess Adèle. Additional highlights include Rosina, Adina, the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Elvira in I Puritani, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Met; Adina at the Royal Opera House; Lucia at the Opéra national de Paris and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Adina at the Staatsoper Berlin; Pamina at the Grand Théâtre de Genève; Elvira at Opernhaus Zürich; Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at Los Angeles Opera; Countess Adèle and Musetta in La Bohème at Teatro alla Scala; her role debut as Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini in Paris; and Lucia di Lammermoor in concert at the Cape Town Opera.
Highlights on the concert stage include her Carnegie Hall recital debut with pianist Kamal Khan, with the New York Times acclaiming: “A gracefulness that can seem decidedly divine seems to radiate from Ms. Yende.” She later returned to Carnegie Hall to join the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for a performance of Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler's Symphony No. 4. Ms. Yende has presented concerts in Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Johannesburg, South Africa, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Prague.
In 2016, she released her debut album "A Journey" for Sony Classical, and appeared as the musical guest on several television shows including "The Late Show" with Steven Colbert, "The Wendy Williams Show," and "Good Morning America." She released her second solo album titled "Dreams" one year later on Sony Classical, with Opera Now raving: "South African Yende has a delicious instrument, with a youthful quiver of passion to it, and a wonderfully secure technique."
A 2011 graduate of the Young Artists Accademia of the Teatro alla Scala, Yende made her debut with the company in 2010 as Berenice in Rossini's L'Occasione fa il Ladro. In 2010, she became the first artist in the history of the Belvedere Competition to win the 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 and international acclaim 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 for her work in building extraordinary relations between Italy and other countries, making her the youngest South African ever awarded this accolade.
In 2022 Ms. Yende has been honored with an ‘Order of Arts and Letters in France’, which is given to "people who have distinguished themselves by their creation in the artistic or literary field or by the contribution they have made to the influence of the arts and letters in France and around the world".
Possessed of diamanté tone and a megawatt smile, the young South African soprano seems to take charge of the stage wherever she goes ...The Telegraph
Pretty Yende is represented worldwide by GM Art & Music.