L’Elisir d’Amore / Metropolitan Opera

Ms. Yende sang beautifully from the start, gaining warmth and depth as nonchalance and flirtatiousness developed into love. She deftly executed the acrobatics at the end, with joyous, tumbling high roulades.

James R. Oestreich, New York Times

Yende, the South African soprano who is fast becoming a favorite at the Met, is a natural as Adina. Her flirtatious smile is always playful and her transitions to jealousy and then love for Nemorino are convincing. Her voice has a lilting, silvery quality that is at once bright and delicate, especially her pianissimo passages. In her opening cavatina, reading from the book, she runs through a succession of trills like a race horse. And her duets with Nemorino are at first feisty then tender and loving.

Wilborn Hampton, Huffington post

In the role of Adina, Pretty Yende displayed great vocal agility, soaring and falling with an ease that spoke to the flighty, elusive nature of Adina. This was overall an excellent performance by Yende, who made playing hard-to-get sound splendid from beginning to end.


There was an infectious glee in her acting, and her bright, creamy timbre was employed in a performance of quick-witted verve and bounce, supple coloratura and sunlight.

Seen and Heard International

South African soprano Pretty Yende is no stranger to the Met’s stage, or to the music of Donizetti, and her experience and enjoyment of the role shows in her portrayal of Adina, the beautiful, wealthy landowner who has – to her temporary dismay – captured the heart of poor villager Nemorino. She moves with purpose and an almost constant, brilliant smile, and sings some of the most difficult music of the genre with clarity, warmth, and strength. Her Adina knows herself, takes joy where she will, and comes to discover she’s just a little deeper than she’d thought. Yende’s voice and dimply smile are equally beautiful, and she gives the audience an unreserved share of both.

Suzanne Magnuson, Splash Magazine

Her Adina was a lovely creation from start to finish, the start including notably poised singing in the duet with Nemorino where they sing the pleasant breezes and flowing rivers. Others adopt a more take-charge attitude in Act 1, which can lend greater tension to Adina’s fling with Belcore, but Yende’s demure demeanour paid dividends in the tender momentos of Act 2, sung with pure, sweet tone.

George Loomis, Opera Magazine

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Must-See Classical Concerts This January

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BWW Roundup: It’s Almost ‘In with the New’ But Not Before Some Last ‘Hurrahs!’ for Opera’s 2017

“I’ll start with soprano Pretty Yende and tenor Javier Camarena in Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, which showed off their supple voices and great comic chops. They were terrific together, bringing out the best in a wonderful score.”

Broadway World

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La Fille du Régiment / Teatro de la Maestranza

“Se desenvuelve sin problemas en las agilidades y eso le sirve para ornamentar con abundancia y fantasía, por ventura sin desmelenarse y manteniéndose dentro del buen gusto. Aunque a mí lo que más me gusta de ella es su precioso canto legato, basado en un perfecto control de la respiración y en una admirable planificación de las grandes líneas melódicas, abordadas con musicalidad exquisita y sensibilidad que sabe no caer en lo lacrimógeno.”

Fernando López Vargas-Machuca

“Pretty Yende se enfundó a la perfección el personaje de Marie con una actuación teatral remarcable por la naturalidad de sus movimientos y la gracia de su gesticulación. Vocalmente estuvo magnífica.

Diario de Sevilla

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DW: Germany’s ECHO awards honor stellar classical performances

“Garifulina was followed by the Young Artist of the Year, another soprano, this one 32, from South Africa and blessed with “a voice that can reach to the stars,” to quote the Washington Post. Pretty Yende had her first-ever contact with opera at age 16 and in the second half of her life thus far has gone from triumph to triumph, including a prize at this year’s International Opera Awards in London. Yende’s robust vocal gifts were on full display when she performed “Je veux vivre” from Charles Gounod’s opera “Romeo and Juliet.”

Then both young singers, splendorous in their shoulderless gowns, teamed up in a duet of “Tonight” from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” A more vibrant presentation of the art could hardly be imagined.”


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El Periódico: Pretty Yende, encantadora naturalidad en Peralada

Pretty Yende (Piet Retief, Sudáfrica, 1985) puso una pica en Peralada con el triunfal recital de su debut en el festival ampurdanés. La soprano, que cantaba en la iglesia de su pueblo y descubrió el mundo de la ópera al escuchar el ‘Dúo de las flores’ de ‘Lakmé’ en un anuncio, cautivó al público de la iglesia del Carme con su asombrosa y encantadora naturalidad interpretativa. Exuberante, virtuosa, con una fiato de primera, una dicción y fraseo excelentes y un controlado dominio de la coloratura, desgranó un programa presidido por el bel canto, pero con incursiones a Liszt, el repertorio francés y la zarzuela.

To read the full review, click here.

For more pictures and video, click here.

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L’Elisir d’Amore / Royal Opera House

“Some notable Royal Opera debuts make the first night genuinely special. Pride of place must go to South African soprano Pretty Yende, a rising star on the international scene, whose musicianship and technical skills are first-rate, and who makes proud, educated landowner Adina’s eventual realisation that she loves shy, not overly bright, Nemorino deeply affecting. Together with some fascinating detail, the general excellence of her performance keeps her right at the centre of attention.”

George Hall – The Stage

“Lighting up the first is the partnership between the sunny Adina of South African soprano Pretty Yende, all beaming smiles, and Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan as her charming Nemorino. With appearances in many of the world’s major opera houses behind her, Yende arrives for her Royal Opera debut well schooled in the bel canto style, singing with easy agility and touching in her top notes delicately. She also decorates her music, modestly and with charm.”

Richard Fairman – Financial Times

“South African soprano Pretty Yende both looks the part of Adina and has excellent voice control to cope effortlessly with Donizetti’s demanding twiddly bits.”

William Harston – Express

“And in Armenian Liparit Avetisyan and South African Pretty Yende we get a pair of lovers whose rocky path to felicity is portrayed with wonderful freshness. Yende’s singing has a silvery brightness and purity …”

Michael Church – Independent

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