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Rosenblatt Recitals

Dear subscriber,


In this bumper e-newsletter we are delighted to announce our 13-14 Rosenblatt Recitals season and share our regular 'In conversation with...' feature on the final recitalist of our current season, South African soprano Pretty Yende.

Rosenblatt Recitals

Join us for our fantastic 13-14 season of Rosenblatt Recitals!

 

Following a successful move to the Wigmore Hall last year, it gives us great pleasure to present you with a strong and exciting lineup for the 13-14 Rosenblatt Recitals season. Click on each recitalist to access their artist biographies and peruse their programmes.

Tickets for the first five recitals go on sale on 1 June 2013. Please note tickets for Leo Nucci’s recital will be available from the Cadogan Hall box office, with the remaining four available via the Wigmore Hall box office.

Still to come this season:

Pretty Yende Soprano

James Vaughan Piano

» Thursday 6 June 2013, 7.30pm
» Wigmore Hall
» TICKETS £12, £16, £22, £26

Book now! Full details Artist biography

 

South African soprano Pretty Yende shot to prominence following her dramatic and acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in January this year and is now one of the fastest-rising sopranos in the world. Pretty kindly took a moment out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions exclusively for our newsletter.

 

In conversation with... Pretty Yende

 

When did you realise you wanted a career in music?

 

I realized immediately after those 10 seconds from that British Airways advert [featuring the Flower Duet from Delibes' Lakme] in my home in Piet Retief. I went to my high school choir teacher the following morning with a burning desire to find out if what I heard was humanly possible, and the thought of doing it for life was all I needed to hear at the tender age of sweet 16!

 

Before being headhunted by La Scala, you studied music at the University of Cape Town with Virginia Davids as your vocal coach. What is the most valuable piece of advice Virginia gave to you as a young singer?

 

She taught me many things, but one of the things that I will forever cherish was that I should learn to love my voice.

 

Twice you have stepped in to perform an opera at relatively short notice, once to replace Cecilia Bartoli at Theater an der Wien and most famously for Nino Machaidze, making your debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. What were the difficulties of having such little preparation time and how did you overcome them?

 

The biggest challenge was time. There were a lot of “if only” moments but then I was there and had to use all the seconds I had to take it all in and do the performances and try to minimise all the pressure that came with the package: the terror of debuting one of the most difficult bel canto roles, performing for the first time with Juan Diego Flórez and not only that, not just that, but also my debut at the Metropolitan Opera House! I thought I had most of everything in ‘control’, but just two minutes into my entrance on stage on the opening night I fell! It could have ended there, my dream of making my debut that night, but my will didn’t allow me to throw in the towel - I was too close to fail! So I picked myself up and stood face to face with the packed Metropolitan Opera House Auditorium and sang my heart out… I knew that I was determined and courageous, but I never knew that I was that much! For Vienna, it was like coming home as it was there where I got my ticket for Teatro Alla Scala of Milan after I won the Belvedere Singing Competition, and having had the Metropolitan Opera House experience, I came back to not only say “hello” to my Viennese who had seen me at the competition, but to also honour one of my most admired singers.

 

How do you like to relax when you have a break in your schedule?

 

I love to watch movies, I watch them a lot and cooking is one of the most relaxing parts of my life with Gospel or Jazz music playing in my home theatre…Heaven ;) and two of my favourite things, sleep & food, complete my treat...!

 

You are a national icon in South Africa having just been awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga - one of the country's highest civilian honours - by President Jacob Zuma for your achievements in world opera and for serving as a role model for South African musicians. What does it mean to you to have been recognised with such an honour?

 

It was one of the most pleasant surprises of my entire life. I have been very blessed with quite a number of prizes, but never expected one this soon from the President, because my career is just starting, so I am very very happy and can only look at it as a confirmation that what was once my dream (and probably a dream of many young musicians) has become reality and can only hope that my story can testify that indeed fairytales still happen!

 

Of all the singers you have sung alongside, who have you most enjoyed singing with, why, and what was the occasion?

 

I must say that singing with Juan Diego Flórez for my Metropolitan Opera House Debut as Countess Adele in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory earlier this year was incredibly amazing. I remember how encouraged and happy I was to learn that he was going to be the Count, remembering how I wished I could meet him one day while I was still at the SA College of Music in South Africa, looking at his recordings which were in our library at the College. It was a dream come true.

 

What is your ideal/favourite soprano role?

 

This is a tough one, but for French, my favourite one is Manon in Jules Massenet’s Manon and Italian, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata.

 

What projects and performances have you got planned following your Rosenblatt Recital?

 

I have a few gala concert tours for Amsterdam, South Africa, Bratislava, St Petersburg & Vienna.


Finally, here is a video of Pretty performing with Juan Diego Flórez in rehearsal for her aforementioned Metropolitan Opera debut in Rossini's Le Comte Ory.

 


We hope to see you at the Wigmore Hall next week for what promises to be a fantastic concert to end the season!

 

With best wishes from everyone at Rosenblatt Recitals

   
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