Artist Of The Week: Pretty Yende

South African Superstar Makes Role Debut as Manon

By Francisco Salazar

Pretty Yende is one of today’s most sought-after sopranos, best known for her charisma and vocal fireworks. She is exciting to watch and has proven herself to be a performer capable of exposing new insights into each character she inhabits.

Throughout the past years, the soprano has sung some of the most challenging coloratura roles in the repertory, while putting a stamp on comic gems. But as she continues to expand her repertoire, Yende has slowly started to showcase her ability to move into more lyric repertory, which will be evident this week as the South African soprano returns to the Opera de Paris for her role debut as “Manon.”

Yende will sing her first Massenet opera, which is also her her fifth major French role following Leila, Micaëla, Teresa, and Juliette. “Manon” will be her second French role in Paris and also the second new production Yende headlines this season with the company following her role debut as Violetta in “La Traviata.”

Of her French singing, OperaWire has praised Yende stating she has a “crystalline hue in her voice” and “jewel-like timbre.” An inspiring actress with a voice that continues to grow, Yende is sure to make an impression in her first Manon.

For those not in Paris, the opera is set to be broadcast worldwide. Yende will also make her Dallas Opera debut in her signature Rosina in Christopher Mattaliano’s production of “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.” She also returns to Munich for “L’Elisir d’Amore.”

More on Pretty Yende

Check out our interview with Yende


For those not familiar with the soprano, Yende has two recordings for Sony Classical, “A Journey” and “Dreams.” She also has a DVD recording of “Ricciardo e Zoraide” with Juan Diego Flórez.

Here is the soprano as Violetta in “La Traviata.”

And here she is as Adina in “L’Elisir d’Amore”


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