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Pretty Good

South African soprano Pretty Yende has been announced as the overall winner of the International Operalia singing competition. Yende was one of ten soloists chosen from a group of 40 to take part in the final round of the competition in Moscow. She also won the Zarzuela – as well as the Audience Choice Award. Yende said that her triumph is a message that even the wildest dreams can come true, “through perseverance, hard work, patience and focus, to always strive for what you believe in”.
“I spent five years applying for admission and was never accepted. I however did not part with my dream to compete in and win Operalia. I hope we can all see now, how much power there is in dreams and how limitless it is. I want to thank everybody for all the help, whether it was financially, personally or artistically”.

Plácido Domingo founded the competition to find and honour the best new voices in opera. Domingo acted as conductor during the final round. Yende performed Bellini’s O miei fedeli…and Ah la pena in lor piombo by Giménez. Her triumph in Russia, with a monetary value is the crowning glory of an already exceptional career.

Yende will be performing in a concert at the Arts Cape theatre on August 4.  She will sing Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne. The programme will also feature recitals by the Philharmonic Choir and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, who will be performing Peter Louis van Dijk’s San Gloria as well as Dyorák’s Symphony Nr 8 in G major, on 88.

Yende recently completed the Young Artist Program of the La Scala Opera House in Milan, after she completed her studies at the Cape Town University’s opera school, where she was a student of our good friend, colleague and the best Madama Butterfly & Liu ever, Virginia Davids.