Manon at Opéra National de Paris

“Très investi, le casting insuffle une belle énergie à cette vision. Depuis leur apparition dans La Traviata en début de saison, Benjamin Bernheim et Pretty Yende sont devenus le duo lyrique à suivre tant leur complicité est évidente. Pretty Yende réussit une jolie prise de rôle et confère beaucoup de fraîcheur au personnage grâce à la pureté de son timbre et à un jeu de scène très simple et direct. Le français impeccable et l’aigu irradiant aboutissent à une scène du Cour-la-Reine parfaitement dominée. La soprano n’est en outre jamais avare de nuances et met en exergue l’émotion sur une inflexion, un mot, un murmure. À cet égard, son « Adieu ma petite table » est particulièrement inspiré.”

Res Musica

“Cette jeune femme instinctive trouve en Pretty Yende une interprète idéale. La soprano sud-africaine lui prête en effet son charme naturel, une candeur et une lumière dans la voix parfaitement irrésistibles.”

Les Echos

“Le timbre chatoyant se double d’une maîtrise parfaite des passages virtuoses, les vertigineuses vocalises et les notes suraiguës s’enchaînant comme autant d’évidences. La chanteuse déploie une palette d’émotions convaincante, du lyrisme contenu d’« Adieu notre petite table » au triomphateur « Je marche sur tous les chemins ».”

Bachtrack

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New York Classical Review: Top Ten Performances of 2019

Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment. Metropolitan Opera.

La Fille du Régiment, Donizetti’s sunny romp through the Tyrolean hills, may feel like a light piece, a silly romantic comedy with a few memorable numbers. In a revival this February, the enchanting production by Laurent Pelly and a starry cast made this goofy opéra comique seem full of deep meaning. Javier Camarena’s Tonio was one for the ages and he was called on to encore “Pour mon âme” every night, while Pretty Yende’s coloratura fireworks and keen musical instincts in the role of Marie made for the greatest triumph yet in a young but already impressive career. From bottom to top, this cast boasted irresistibly playful performances that proved romantic comedy can be as profoundly joyful as the most heart-rending drama can be tragic.

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Lieder recital tour

“Yende’s German was splendid; she opened the evening with Schumann’s sentimental jewel of a song ‘Der Nussbaum’, and immediately established a sensitivity of sound, perfectly balancing vibrato and the crisp text of storytelling, that she maintained throughout the set.

Indeed, her entire Schumann programme showed a mastery of something so central to singing Lieder: finding just the right moments and vowels onto which to hang conspicuously artful singing, and otherwise appearing to be a simple orator, one whose sole wish is to tell a riveting story. ”

Seen and Heard International

“Acclaimed opera soprano Pretty Yende performed to a standing ovation on Monday at the Barbican Hall, London the culmination of her first EU recital tour.

Yende, referred to by the Washington Post as having a “voice that can reach the stars”and, as a “modern fairy tale”, put on two encores for the rousing audience following her solo recital that included works by Robert and Clara Schumann, Tosti, Donizetti, Richard Strauss and Johann Strauss II.”

IOL

“In her Richard Strauss set, Yende proved she has all the maturity subtle artistry to succeed in lieder repertoire: her “Zueignung” presented a perfect distillation of heroic love, with confident, firm diction and warm, radiant tone. “Cäcilie,” the last of the set, was magnificent, with a driving excitement in her middle voice, and shining gold at the top.”

New York Classical Review

“Voce lirico-leggera di scuola americana, immascheratissima, agile e con una notevole facilità all’acuto, la Yende è infatti riuscita a mettere in risalto le sue qualità soprattutto nei brani più di carattere e ricchi di verve quali Schmetterling di Schumann e nei sorprendenti brani in napoletano La conocchia e il bis ‘A vucchella'”

Opera Click

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Frankfurter Rundschau: Das Gespür für Beweglichkeit

Frankfurter Rundschau

Ein bis ins Pianissimo fein ausgearbeiteter Liederabend Pretty Yendes in der Oper.

Eine neue Jessye Norman wird sie nicht werden, Pretty Yende, die in Südafrika geboren wurde. Die mittlerweile in allen großen Häusern präsente, namentlich an der New Yorker Metropolitan Opera aktive Sopranistin ist das ganze Gegenteil der jüngst verstorbenen Diva. Kein hochdramatischer Sopran und ein ganz anderer Habitus, eine ganz andere Stimmgebung. Eindrücklich war trotzdem Yendes Auftritt bei den Liederabend-Konzerten der Frankfurter Oper, wo der Publikumszuspruch so groß war, dass die Ränge geöffnet werden mussten.

Eine zierliche, lebhafte, wenngleich nicht quirlige Erscheinung bietet die 34-jährige, in Mailand wohnhafte Künstlerin, deren Sopran leicht und in der Dynamik höchst beweglich ist. Zierlich wäre auch eine Qualifizierung der Stimme, wenn damit nicht zu sehr Pittoreskes und Kleines verbunden sein könnte. Dennoch: die oft ganz druckfreie, fast beiläufige, aber genau ausgearbeitete Handhabung des Piano- und Pianissimobereichs schufen eine oft mädchenhaft anmutende Naivität. Freundlich – das ist zwar auch keine echte Stimmcharakterisierung, aber zur vokalen Atmosphäre Yendes passte das auch in der mimischen, publikumszugewandten Weise, mit der keine augenzwinkernde und augenrollende Ironie oder Melancholie einherging.

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La Traviata at the Paris Opera

“… it was clear that Yende’s voice was going to handle the role quite well when she sang her first phrase“Flora, amici, la note che resta.” Most light voices suffer here and are unheard over the orchestra, but this was not the case with the South African soprano’s singing, as her beautiful, velvet timbre and the low C projected amply. The roulades in the duet with Alfredo seemed easy and precise, like she was laughing at him.”

Operawire

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Lucia di Lammermoor at the Bayerische Staatsoper

“Pretty Yende has conquered the stages of the most notable opera houses around the world and as Lucia, she provided the perfect voice for this role. Having a lyrical instrument by nature with a strong centre and dark sound, she had no trouble with a score which is basically written for the middle of the voice.”

Operawire

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Norina in Paris

“Norina is a long lyrical part with coloratura and high notes and Pretty Yende’s voice suits that task perfectly. She has a powerful lyrical instrument with dark and vibrant hues in the middle register and ringing at the top of her voice. Moreover, she has a wide register (she can maintain a high F), but it is in the middle of the voice and up to high B flat where her timbre shines best.

Her interpretation of her cavatina “Quel guardo il cavaliere” was a cheerful display of good singing: legato lines, clean coloratura, secure high notes and full dedication to her character.”

Operawire

“Javier Camarena et Pretty Yende triomphent en Ernesto et Norina… Pretty Yende trouve ici un rôle où faire valoir ses talents comiques et sa technique belcantiste. De fait, elle déploie un chant maîtrisé dans ses dimensions : la technique est huilée (précision des vocalises et des aigus), la projection suffisante, les couleurs variées. S’y ajoutent sa constante élégance en scène (surtout dans sa magnifique robe rouge du deuxième acte) et ses talents d’actrice (elle joue à merveille la fausse ingénue comme l’insupportable virago), justifiant le très grand succès qu’elle remporte au rideau final.”

Ôlyrix

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