Pretty Yende is a renowned South African soprano who has gained global recognition for her stunning vocal abilities and captivating stage presence. Born in Piet Retief, a small town in Mpumalanga, South Africa, on March 6, 1985, Yende has risen to become one of the most celebrated opera singers of her generation.

Early Life and Education

Pretty Yende
Pretty Yende. Photo Credit: Elena Cherkashyna/Instagram

Yende grew up in a family of four siblings, and her love for music began at a young age. She started singing in church choirs and began taking formal music lessons when she was 16 years old. After completing her high school education, she moved to Cape Town to pursue her music studies.

In 2007, Yende graduated from the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town, where she received a diploma in music. She then went on to study at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy, where she honed her skills as an opera singer.

Career Highlights

Pretty Yende
Pretty Yende. Photo Credit: Pretty Yende/Instagram

Yende made her operatic debut in 2010, playing the role of Barbarina in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Her performance was well-received, and she was soon offered a contract as a resident artist at the theater.

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In 2013, Yende won the first prize at the Operalia competition, which is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious competitions for young opera singers. This win helped to launch her international career, and she has since performed at some of the world’s most renowned opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Paris Opera.

Pretty Yende
Pretty Yende. Photo Credit: Pretty Yende/Instagram

One of Yende’s most notable performances came in 2017 when she played the lead role in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” at the Metropolitan Opera. Her performance was widely praised, with critics hailing her as a “superstar in the making” and “one of the most exciting young singers in opera today.”

Yende is also known for her work in promoting opera to a wider audience. She has been involved in several projects aimed at introducing opera to young people and has spoken out about the need to make the art form more accessible to all.

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On 6 May, Yende will perform in Westminster Abbey at the King’s coronation. Her premiere performance of Sarah Class’ Sacred Fire is one of 12 new pieces commissioned for the event, by 12 different British composers.

Pretty Yende’s performance at the coronation is also thought to make her the first solo African artist in history to perform at a British monarch’s coronation.

Personal Life

Pretty Yende
Pretty Yende. Photo Credit: Pretty Yende/Instagram

In addition to her music career, Yende is also an ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and works to raise awareness about the importance of education and early childhood development.

Pretty Yende is a truly remarkable talent and a shining example of South Africa’s rich cultural heritage. Her vocal abilities, combined with her dedication to promoting opera and supporting charitable causes, have made her one of the most respected and beloved opera singers of our time. As she continues to perform and inspire audiences around the world, there is no doubt that her star will continue to rise.