On May 6 soprano Pretty Yende will be performing in front of an estimated television audience of billions in perhaps the biggest gig of her life, King Charles III's Coronation.


But who is Pretty Yende and what is she best known for?

Who is Pretty Yende?

One of the world's leading sopranos, South African Pretty Yende has performed many of opera's leading roles all over the world, from Adèle in Rossini's Le comte Ory at the Metropolitan Opera to Rosina in The Barber of Seville at the Paris Opera. Along the way, she has graced many of the world's greatest stages including Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Royal Opera House in London... the list goes on.

How old is Pretty Yende?

Pretty Yende was born on 6 March 1985.

Where is Pretty Yende from?

Pretty Yende was born in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Where did she study music?

Pretty Yende has a British Airways advert to thank for being an opera singer. When she was 16 years old she saw their TV advert featuring the Flower Duet from Delibes's Lakmé and was immediately inspired to try opera. She subsequently enrolled at the South African College of Music, where her teachers included Virginia Davids.

She also studied at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

When was Pretty Yende's big breakthrough?

Pretty Yende's professional operatic debut came in 2010 when she played Micaela in Bizet's Carmen at the Latvian National Theatre.

Pretty Yende

What awards has she won?

During her career Yende has been awarded many illustrious accolades. Her album A Journey, featuring arias by Rossini, Delibes, Bellini, Gounod and Donizetti, won the Best Recording Solo Recital Award in the 2017 International Opera Awards (and earned a five-star review from us).

In 2017 she was awarded the International Achiever Award in the South African Music Awards, and two years later she was made Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy.

What will Pretty Yende perform at King Charles's Coronation?

Pretty Yende will perform at the pre-coronation service. She will sing 'Sacred Fire' by composer Sarah Class.

A composer working across both classical and film music, Sarah Class was commissioned by the former Prince of Wales in 2021 to compose the anthem for His Majesty’s Terra Carta environmental initiative. ‘Sacred Fire’ conjures imagery from the Bible with its powerful lyrics. Through music, the composition evokes a bridge between the angelic and human realms.


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