The first South African woman and UCT School of Music graduate to study at Accademai Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Yende’s boundless soprano operatic voice has taken her from a small township outside Piet Retief to stages across the world.
One of the first success stories of wine farm Diemersfontein’s “Excellence Out of Africa” trust – which helps graduates of classical music and opera to further their careers – Pretty Yende landed the role of Musica in 2007 for the 400th anniversary performance of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in Mantua, Italy. She won two prizes in 2008 at the Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition in Holland and earned a spot at Latvia’s Riga Opera New Year concert. In July 2009 Yende won first prize in the category Opera and Operetta as well as the Audience Prize and the International Media-Jury Prize at the Hans Gaabor Belvedere International Singing Competition in Vienna, Austria.
Pretty Yende featured at the 2010 World Cup ceremonies alongside Andrea Bocelli and Bryan Adams. Locally she has performed with talented musicians and singers such as Given Nkosi, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, cellist Sarah Acres, pianist Albert Combrink and others.
Genre: Classical, Opera (soprano)
Places to see her in Cape Town: Artscape Opera House, Baxter Theatre, City Hall, Diemersfontein Wine Estate
- International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition’s First Prize for Operetta and Opera (2009)
- Vincenzo Bellini International Competition’s First Prize (2010)
- Operalia, The World Opera Competition’s First Prize (2011)
- Silver Order of Ikhamanga (2013)