fairytale comes true for south africa opera star pretty yende
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today

Fairytale comes true for South Africa opera star Pretty Yende

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today Fairytale comes true for South Africa opera star Pretty Yende

South African soprano Pretty Yende performs in Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti's opera
Paris - AFP

She was a black South African girl from the back of beyond who dreamed of singing opera after hearing a British Airways advert on television.

Fifteen years later Pretty Yende is one of opera's fastest rising divas, a star of Milan's La Scala, New York's Met and a top billing at London's Covent Garden.

The singing "sounded so supernatural I thought it could never be human", Yende said of the "Flower Duet" from Delibes' opera Lakme which was used in the now classic airline advert.

"I was 16 and in high school and my teacher told me, 'No, it's called opera.'

"When she told me it was humanly possible (to sing like that), I said 'You have to teach me', and that's how my journey started."

And quite a journey it has been. 

The 31-year-old soprano is the only singer to have ever won all the main prizes at the renowned Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna. 

In 2011 she pulled off a similar clean sweep at Placido Domingo's Operalia world championships in Moscow.

And on Friday, in the wake of the release of her debut solo album by Sony, she will become the first black singer to play the lead in Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" at the Paris Opera.

"There is nothing stopping anyone now," she told AFP. "This is a great time."

- New wave of black stars -

But Yende was born into the apartheid system in the remote Zulu town of Piet Retief near the border with Swaziland when systematic discrimination against the country's black majority was rigidly enforced.

"I never knew apartheid myself. I'm very grateful to my parents because they protected me from it," Yende said. "It was only when (Nelson) Mandela was released that they told me about it."

Her big break was a scholarship to the University of Cape Town a year after she heard the British Airways advert, where she was taught by Virginia Davids.

During apartheid when "black singers were not even allowed to take music studies", Davids was the first black woman to appear on a South African opera stage.

"All the technique I have now, to master my voice, comes from her," she said.

Yende is one of a wave of South African singers led by Pumeza Matshikiza -- "the Callas of the Townships" -- who is six years her senior, who are breaking through internationally.

"I bet that in the next 20 years lots of South African talent will come through on the world scene," she said.

- 'Whole country sings' - 

"The whole country sings, we have it in our DNA. Our mothers sing us to sleep, our fathers sing when they are going to work; we sing when we're happy, we sing when we're sad.

"I started to sing at church with my grandmother when I was five."

Little did she know then that she would be making her stage debut at La Scala, which snapped her up after her triumph in Vienna.

And in 2013 she brought the house down at the New York's Met when she replaced the Georgian star Nino Machaidze in Rossini's "Comte Ory" despite tripping during the overture and landing in a heap of satin on the floor.

The New York Times said her voice had a "luminous sheen... and she delivered some of the most difficult coloratura passages with scintillating precision". 

Not long after, she replaced Cecilia Bartoli in the same role in Vienna. Since then she has had starring roles in Berlin, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Hamburg and Paris, with further leads in Munich, the Met and her debut at the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London in May.

But her dream is to play all "Donizetti's three queens "Anne Boleyn", "Mary Stuart" and Elizabeth I in "Roberto Devereux", she said.

In the meantime she has set up a foundation to help others up the ladder after her.

"The aim is to educate as many people as possible, especially in the small towns and villages in South Africa, about classical music," she said.

"I was lucky because my father had a TV and I saw that ad and today I'm living my dream."

 

egypttoday
egypttoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

fairytale comes true for south africa opera star pretty yende fairytale comes true for south africa opera star pretty yende



Egypt Today, egypt today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 12:15 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 13:29 2018 Friday ,14 December

Turkey targets military over alleged Gulen links

GMT 10:14 2019 Monday ,19 August

Love a special date with you

GMT 09:06 2011 Friday ,16 September

Chicago, Bangalore, Finland, Toronto

GMT 10:46 2014 Monday ,04 August

Summer is cool at Modhesh World

GMT 11:16 2014 Saturday ,09 August

Authors' effort to press Amazon on Hachette

GMT 11:06 2011 Monday ,27 June

Americans worried by soaring tuition fees

GMT 15:57 2016 Saturday ,13 February

Zika outbreak 'won't compromise Olympics'

GMT 13:03 2011 Wednesday ,29 June

World needs vibrant science journalism community

GMT 10:41 2017 Friday ,05 May

'Lobby money' behind fall of Philippine Chief

GMT 06:35 2017 Tuesday ,14 March

Rimmel to launch Volume Shake Mascara

GMT 20:35 2017 Friday ,22 September

Algerian, French PMs mull over phone relations

GMT 08:33 2017 Monday ,11 December

Lindsay Lohan loving life in Dubai

GMT 07:36 2017 Monday ,23 October

A template to make rice pudding your way
 
 Egypt Today Facebook,egypt today facebook  Egypt Today Twitter,egypt today twitter Egypt Today Rss,egypt today rss  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
egypttoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
egypttoday, Egypttoday, Egypttoday