Pretty Yende

Biography Pretty Yende

Pretty Yende
Born in 1985 in the small town of Piet Retief, about two hundred miles from Johannesburg, Yende’s journey to become one of the world’s most sought-after sopranos is like a modern fairy-tale. She was initially introduced to singing in a manner familiar to many South Africans - in her church choir. Then at the age of sixteen, she heard the Flower Duet from Lakmé on a British Airways television advertisement, and was so enraptured by its beauty that she determined to find out what it was. On learning that it was opera, she decided at that moment to abandon her plans to become an accountant, and train to become an opera singer instead.

She gained a scholarship to study at the South African College of Music in Cape Town with Professor Virginia Davids, the first black woman to appear on opera stages during the apartheid years in South Africa. With Davids’s help, Yende triumphed at the 2009 Belvedere Competition and Operalia Competition (2011) and has joined the prestigious young artists’ programme at La Scala in Milan. She continues to study with the celebrated soprano Mariella Devia.

International Award winning soprano, crowned winner in Moscow, of the 2011 Placido Domingo's Operalia World Competition, the audiance agreed to for the first time with jury as they also declared her as their favorate singer, as well as winning the prize for Zarzuela, first time in the history of the competitin that one singer wins all top prizes. She is South African born from Mpumalanga Province in a town, Piet Retief, Matriculated in Ndlela High school as top student and furthered her studies at the South African Collage of Music in University of Cape Town for A Performer's diploma in opera as well as graduate studies, graduated cum laude, under the guidance of Ass. Prof. Davids and Prof. Gobbato. She has just recently graduated from the prestigious Accademia Teatro La Scala, in Milan, a two year course on specialized training on opera.

Winner of Belvedere international singing competition 2009, montseraat caballe singing competition 2009, savonlinna international competition 2010, Leyla Gencer singing competition 2010, Bellini international singing competition, Operalia World Competition

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