Dear Pretty: We love you and wish you only the best and will follow every note you sing with anticipation and delight.
All of us who have worked with Pretty Yende or seen her in performances since her early student days, are simply thrilled at the successes she has achieved internationally. She is the perfect role-model for young artists – dreams really can come true if you have the talent, drive and persistence. And Pretty Yende is one of the hardest workers I know. Having had the pleasure of performing with her and also being repetiteur in some of her productions for Cape Town Opera, I can only report sheer pleasure in dealing with her. She is the ultimate professional. The glorious instrument, the sincere stage-personality and above all the dogged determination to “get it right”, is an inspiration – and was even then, in her undergraduate years – to fellow artists and students.
Tribute must also be made to the musical guidance she received from her mentors in South Africa, in particular Prof. Angelo Gobbato and the lecturers and coaches from the UCT Opera School. We also fondly remember the late Mr. Colin Howard, a loved and respected coach with whom miss Yende worked for a number of years. Her voice teacher was Prof. Virginia Davids.
The video footage below is taken from a televised Gala Concert at Stellenbosch’s Oude Libertas Theater, 19 December 2009. The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Chris Dowdesewell.
Please support the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. Their commitment to quality music-making is a beacon in the South African cultural landscape, giving young artists such as these valuable training and experience in the performing arts. You can find their website HERE.
Mesícku na nebi hlubokém (O silver moon) from Rusalka by Antonin Dvořák, (1841-1904)
Ah! Je Veux Vivre’ (Juliet’s Waltz song) from Roméo Et Juliette by
Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
Meine Lippen, Sie Küssen So Heiss from Giuditta by Franz Lehár (1870-1948)
Care compagne… Come per me sereno… Sovra il sen from La Sonnambula by Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)
Csárdás (Klänge Der Heimat) from Der Fledermaus by Johann Strauss Jr. (1825-1899)
Mercé, dilette amiche (Bolero) from I Vespri Siciliani by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Read more about the Pretty Yende Gala Concert with the CPO HERE.
Some of these items were performed with Piano Accompaniment (Albert Combrink on Piano) at the Pretty Yende and Friends Opera Gala Concert in the Cape Town City Hall, in August 2010.
Here is Amateur video footage of her prize-winning performance at the Leyla Gencer Singing Competition in Istanbul, Turkey”.
Pretty Yende singing “Suis je gentile ainsi” from “Manon” by Massenet.:
Pretty Yende was the winner of the 2011 Operalia Competition. She competed in Moscow under the baton of Maestro Placido Domingo, who is patron of the competition. Miss Yende won First Prize (Best Females Singer), joint First Prize in the Zarzuela Category, and the Audience Favourite Prize. Here is her final round performance in Moscow on 22 July 2011. The orchestra is conducted by Maestro Placido Domingo, patron of the competition.