STAR SOPRANO PRETTY YENDE RELEASES NEW ALBUM DREAMS
Available October 27, 2017
Upcoming Met Opera Performances:
Starring in the Role of Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore beginning January 2018 and in the Title Role of Lucia di Lammermoor in April 2018
Debut Performance at Carnegie Hall on June 5, 2018
From rural South Africa to operatic stardom, soprano Pretty Yende continues her meteoric rise through the world of opera with the release of her second album, Dreams, on Sony Classical, available October 27, 2017. Her debut album A Journey (Sony Classical), released last year, received the Solo Recital Recording award at the 2017 International Opera Awards and led to appearances on NPR’s Morning Edition, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America, The Wendy Williams Show, and in Billboard, The New York Times, and more. The Washington Post describes her as having, “a voice that can reach to the stars.” The San Francisco Chronicle raves, “Her singing boasts an elegant sheen that carries across a wide vocal range, and she uses it to wonderful emotional effect even as she dashes off music with demanding technical challenges.”
The celebrated “mad scene” from Lucia di Lammermoor, a role which Yende will perform at The Metropolitan Opera in April 2018, was the starting point of her new recording, Dreams. “My instinct was to look at mad scenes,” she says. “But then I widened my horizons, and thought about characters who have found an escape in their dream lives. All the characters I sing here have a dream: for some it is positive, for others it is a kind of nightmare. They dream of a better life, or a prince charming, or being able to live free from fear. I wanted to explore what dreams and madness mean for each character.”
As well as Lucia’s “mad scene,” Yende also includes “O luce di quest’anima” from Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix, and “Je veux vivre” from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. Both of these arias portray young women dreaming of a future life of love and happiness, and it was with the latter that that she made history by becoming the first artist ever to win first prize in every category at the Belvedere Competition in 2009.
The album also contains the coloratura showpiece “Ombre légère” from Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, in which a young woman believes she is talking her own shadow, and the melancholy sleepwalking scene (“Ah, non credea mirart”’) from Bellini’s La sonnambula. Yende concludes with the passionate and tragic final scene from Bellini’s rarely-performed La straniera.
With Dreams, Pretty Yende also refers to her very own fairytale that continues today. Her fairytale-like ascent, reflected in her debut album A Journey, has been all the more remarkable for beginning only at the age of 16 in the small remote town of Piet Retief, about 200 miles from Johannesburg. Her life was transformed when she heard Delibes’s “Flower Duet” from Lakmé on a British Airways TV commercial. Although she knew nothing about opera at first, she was so seduced by the magical sound of the duet that she immediately determined to pursue her path as an opera singer. Her career flourished with extraordinary rapidity with her international breakthrough at the Metropolitan Opera at only 27. Invited with barely a month notice, Pretty Yende gained dazzling recognition for her role debut in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory starring opposite to Juan Diego Flórez. Immediately afterwards she replaced an indisposed Cecilia Bartoli in the same role at the Theater an der Wien.
“I am so happy to have made this recording,” says Yende. “After all, I’ve been living a dream myself since I first heard the duet from Lakmé. My life is a dream come true.”
On Dreams, Pretty Yende performs with conductor Giacomo Sagripanti (who won the Young Conductor of the Year Award at the 2016 International Opera Awards in London) and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.
Pretty Yende studied at the South African College of Music in Cape Town. Her teacher was Professor Virginia Davids, the first black woman to appear on opera stages during the apartheid years in South Africa. She then joined the prestigious young artists’ program at La Scala in Milan from which she graduated in 2011. With upcoming appearances on the world’s top opera stages in Rome, New York and Paris, she is one of today’s most sought-after sopranos.
Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait, Masterworks Broadway and Flying Buddha imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.sonymusicmasterworks.com/.
Pretty Yende – Dreams
Release Date: October 27, 2017
1. Roméo et Juliette, Act I: Ah! Je veux vivre
2. Eccola! Oh, giusto cielo!… Il dolce suono
3. Ohimè! Sorge il tremendo fantasma… Ardon gli incensi
4. S’avanza Enrico!
5. Spargi d’amaro pianto
6. Linda di Chamounix, Act I Scene 3: Ah! Tardai troppo
7. Scene 14 – Sono all’ara
8. Scene 15 – Vaneggia… Il passo sgombrisi…
9. Finale – Chi veggio? La regina!
10. Le pardon de Ploërmel (Dinorah), Act II Scene 3: Dieu, comme cette nuit est lente… Ombre légère
11. Oh, se una volta sola
12. Ah! Non credea mirarti
13. Ah! Non giunge uman pensiero
Find the album here: https://SonyClassical.lnk.to/PY-Dreams
2018 U.S. Performance Dates:
L’Elisir d’Amore – Metropolitan Opera – New York (Tickets)
January 16, 20, 24, 27, 31 / February 3, 7, 10, 14, 17
(Live in HD performance: February 10)
Lucia di Lammermoor – Metropolitan Opera – New York (Tickets)
April 25, 28 / May 2, 5, 10
Carnegie Hall Concert (Debut) – New York – June 5 (Tickets)
Find Pretty Yende Here: