Born in South Africa, Pretty Yende made her career debut in Riga as Micaela in Carmen.
Her rise into the global stage includes highlights from the most promoninent venues worldwide, having appeared with Royal Opera House, Opéra National de Paris, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Vienna StaatsOper., Los Angeles Opera. Her signature roles include Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Violetta (La traviata), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Norina (Don Pasquale), Amina (La sonnambula), Elvira (I puritani), Countess Adele (Le comte Ory, which marked her house debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2013), Marie (La fille du régiment), Fiorilla (Il Turco in Italia), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Musetta (La bohème), Teresa (Benvenuto Cellini), Leïla (Les Pêcheurs de perles), as well as title roles in Manon and Lucia di Lammermoor.
Highlights on the concert stage include her Carnegie Hall appearences: in recital with pianist Kamal Khan and with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Yende has presented concerts in Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Johannesburg, South Africa, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Prague; and she appeared in solo recitals at Oper Frankfurt, Opernhaus Zürich, Smetana Hall in Prague and Barbican Centre in London.
An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, her debut album A Journey (2016) was awarded the 2017 International Opera Award for Best Recording (Solo Recital) and the 2017 Echo Klassik Awards for Best Newcomer. Her second album, Dreams, was released in 2017.
A graduate of the Young Artists Accademia of the Teatro alla Scala, Yende was the first artist in the history of the Belvedere competition to win top prize in every category, and went on to win First Prize in the Operalia Competition in 2011.
Founded in 2005 and considered one of the top chamber orchestras in the world, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra is made up of artists who were formed in the Verbier Festival training programmes and now hold positions in leading international ensembles. The extensive list of orchestras is impressive, and includes, among others, the Vienna, Berlin, and Israel Philharmonics, and the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Concertgebouw, Tonhalle, and London Symphony Orchestras.
The VFCO is the resident chamber orchestra of the Verbier Festival, and the six concerts it performs at each summer’s Festival are led by both its acclaimed Music Director, Gábor Takács-Nagy, as well as other illustrious conductors such as Antonio Pappano, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Daniel Harding. It is often joined by soloists András Schiff, Leonidas Kavakos, Joshua Bell, Pinchas Zukerman, Martha Argerich, Yuja Wang, Daniil Trifonov, and Gautier Capuçon.
As an ambassador of the Verbier Festival, the orchestra’s celebrated tours have brought its electrifying energy to audiences at many of the world’s great concert halls and festivals. Its first recording was in 2006 with the violinist/conductor Maxim Vengerov and was followed by a 22-concert tour in North America and Europe. The orchestra has since then toured regularly throughout the world.