Piet Retief native, Pretty Yende, says her voice is a gift from God. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
South African opera singer releases her debut album
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: At the age of 16 when many teen girls are chasing boys or fanatic about the newest pop sensation, Pretty Yende was beginning her journey of becoming an internationally known opera singer.
Born into a musical family in South Africa, Yende grew up singing gospel music in church. In 2001 the Piet Retief native heard the Flower Duet from Delibes opera Lakmé in a television commercial and her love for opera bloomed.
After seven years of performing live around the globe, Yende has released her debut CD, “A Journey,” which highlights some of the best moments of her career.
“From a child who grew up in a small town to such a big world, I knew it was important for me to be well informed, so that I can enjoy the journey the as well. And so, I’m glad I took the time because one then realizes that being a recording artist and a live performing artist are two separate artists,” said Yende, who recorded the project in an auditorium in order to feel more comfortable.
While Yende admits most of the songs are technically demanding, with Beatrice di Tenda, Act I, Scene VI: Respiro io qui… Ma la sola, ohimè! son io… Ah, la pena in lor piombò, being the most challenging, excellence is never her goal.
“This is just a gift, it is just a gift, it’s not to show that I’m the best of the best, that does not exist. Life in general is the best and to be part of such beauty and understanding the simplicity of life have helped me to not think that that aria is much difficult than the next.”
“Challenging I can except, but difficult I cannot because you cannot solve difficulty, but challenge makes you better,” she added.
Although she has sung at the most prestigious opera houses in the world, Yende calls performing at The Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the best place to be and her musical home.
Yende will perform the role of “Rosina” in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in January and “Juliette” in Roméo et Juliette in March at The Met in 2017.
The 31-year-old said music is a gift that belongs to all, not just to some, and hopes to make classical music more mainstream around the world and in her homeland.
“A Journey” was released on September 16.