South African soprano Pretty Yende first came to international attention in 2010 when she was the first artist in the history of the Belvedere Competition to win First Prize in every category.
In 2011, she was the first prizewinner of Placido Domingo's Operalia Competition. Yende made her professional operatic debut at the National theatre in Riga as Micaela in Carmen. A 2011 graduate of the Young Artists Accademia of the Teatro alla Scala , she made her debut with that company on 2010 as Berenice in Rossini's L'Occasione fa il Ladro and has since also appeared as Norina in Don Pasquale and in the fall 2012 of as Musetta in La Boheme.
In January 2013 Pretty Yende made a sensationally acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut, stepping in on a few week's notice as the Countess Adele in Le Comte Ory opposite Juan Diego Florez. Immediately after, she made her Vienna debut at the Theater an der Wien in the same opera.
She will return to La Scala in 2014 in the same role. The 2012/2013 season also included her first performance of the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in concert with the Cape Orchestra in Capetown, South Africa.
Future engagements include her first staged appearances as Lucia at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, her debut at the Gran Teatro Liceu in Barcelona as Norina, and her Washington National Opera debut as Micaela. Yende will also debut with the Netherlands Opera as the Contessa di Fondeville in Il Vaiggio a Reims and will return to the Metropolitan Opera for several roles including Pamina, Lucia, Adina, and Rosina.
She has also been invited to sing her first Elvira in I Puritani in a new production at the Zurich Opera in 2016. In the 2013/2014 season she has made her L.A. Opera debut as Micaela in Carmen, and in future seasons she will make her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the Opera Bastille in Paris.