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Pretty Yende continues her meteoric rise through the world of opera. Her debut album A Journey received the Solo Recital Recording award at the 2017 International Opera Awards and critics were unanimous in showering praise on the beauty of Yende’s voice and the intelligence of her singing.
The celebrated ‘mad scene’ from Lucia, a role which she will also perform in New York next season, was the starting point of her new recording ‘Dreams’. As well as Lucia’s ‘mad scene’, Yende also includes ‘O luce di quest’anima’ from Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix, and ‘Je veux vivre’ from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. Both of these arias portray young women dreaming of a future life of love and happiness, and it was with the latter that that she made history by becoming the first artist ever to win first prize in every category at the Belvedere Competition in 2009.
With Dreams Pretty Yende also refers to her very own fairytale that continues to this day. Her fairytale like ascent, reflected in her debut album A Journey, has been all the more remarkable for beginning only at the age of 16 in the small remote town of Piet Retief – about 200 miles from Johannesburg.
Pretty Yende is accompanied by conductor Giacomo Sagripanti (who won the ‘Young Conductor of the Year Award’ at the 2016 International Opera Awards in London) and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.
Pretty Yende studied at the South African College of Music in Cape Town. Her teacher was Professor Virginia Davids, the first black woman to appear on opera stages during the apartheid years in South Africa. She then joined the prestigious young artists’ programme at La Scala in Milan from which she graduated in 2011.
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