Prizewinning Soprano Pretty Yende

Pretty Yende – South Africa’s singing sensation – has grabbed international Arts headlines again. She won joint first prize with American tenor Michelle Angelini at the Savonnlina International Singing Competition.  The Savonnlina Opera Festival in Finland holds an International Singing Competition in conjunction with its annual Opera Festival, attracting visitors from across the globe.

The panel reads like a Who’s Who of the international opera world. The judges were:

JARI HÄMÄLÄINEN – Artistic Director, Savonlinna Opera Festival

ELAINE PADMORE – Director of the Royal Opera

VINCENZO DE VIVO – Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova

JONATHAN FRIEND – Artistic Administrator, Metropolitan Opera

BRUNO MICHEL – Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris

ANDRÉS RODRÍGUEZ – General Director and Artistic Director, Teatro Municipal de Santiago.

The judges decided to combine the cash awards of the first two prizes, and to award them equally to the two singers.

Pretty Yende and superstar Andrea Boccelli performing at the South African FIFA 2010 World Cup Closing Ceremony

South African audiences will be able to hear Pretty “on form”, as it were, as she will be performing in Cape Town on 11 August 2010 in “Pretty Yende and Friends – a Fundraising Opera Gala” in which she is generously helping to support the “Excellence out of Africa” bursary trust which supports help artists on the cusp of international careers. I her Cape Town concert she will be performing some of the works she sang in the competition, treating South African audiences to a “Musical World Cup” Quality performance.

You can read more about “Pretty Yende and Friends – a Fundraiser Gala” HERE.

“Pretty Yende and Friends” – a Fundraiser Opera Gala

Venue: Cape Town City Hall

Date: Wednesday 11 August 2010

Time: 19h00

Ticket Prices: R80 – R250

Exclusive Corporate Packages: avaliable on request through

Pretty as we have grown to love her: smiling and happy after having given her best on stage, winning the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna

Hear South Africa’s top operatic talent in a concert to raise funds for the next generation’s stars. Pretty Yende – on a brief return from La Scala Milan, and Luthando Qave – en route from Sweden to take up a position at New York’s Metropolitan Opera– are joined by  Elizabeth Frandsen and Given Nkosi, Cellist Sarah Acres, and Pianist Albert Combrink, in a Gala Concert to raise funds for the Diemersfontein “Excellence out of Africa” Bursary Trust. Pretty Yende recently performed with superstars Andrea Bocelli and Bryan Adams in the FIFA 2010 World Cup Closing Concert and Luthando Qave was a finalist in the Belvedere International Singing competition. Given Nkosi and Elisabeth Frandsen have been seen in many lead roles in Cape Town and abroad. Cellist Sarah Acres adds an unusual touch to a vocal evening. The concert is devised and presented by Albert Combrink.  The evening promises world-class singing with artists who have already made their mark internationally.

Pretty Yende (Soprano)
Elizabeth Frandsen (Mezzo-Soprano)
Given Nkosi (Tenor)
Luthando Qave ( Baritone)
July Zuma (Tenor)
Sarah Acres (Cello)

Albert Combrink (Piano)

Proceeds of the evening will go to the “Excellence out of Africa Trust” to raise funds for gifted South African musicians and artists – assisting them to show South Africa’s talent to the world.

Bookings: now open at

On the programme will be an extract from Bellini’s Opera La Sonnambula. Here is a video of Pretty Yende- accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic orhestra conducted by Chris Dowdeswell – singing the aria Care Compagne from Bellini’s masterpiece.