UCT-trained soprano Pretty Yende sang a solo at the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, at Westminster Abbey on Saturday May 6.
“It’s hard to put into words how honoured and blessed I feel to receive an invitation to perform at the coronation,” she said on social media.
The invitation adds to Ms Yende’s growing repertoire of international performances and awards. The most recent is the Ceremonial Badge of Honour that recognised her contribution to the arts and letters in France and worldwide.
“To be chosen to represent oneself on a stage as big as this, from among thousands of talented performers, is testament to her world-class talent and mesmerising voice,” said Associate Professor Shose Kessi, the dean of UCT’s faculty of humanities, in which Opera UCT is based. “Pretty is a credit to herself and to Opera UCT, where she refined her art and launched her impressive career. The faculty is so proud to call her our own. Opera UCT can take a bow, and then another.”
South African College of Music director Professor Andrew Lilley, added: “The College of Music is incredibly proud of Pretty Yende’s achievements. Her long list of international competition wins, along with her performances at some of the most prestigious opera houses around the world, is a testament to her exceptional talent and hard work.
“As a graduate of the UCT Opera School, Pretty is a shining example of the level of excellence that the music college strives to achieve. It’s fantastic to see her representing South Africa and being recognised with such high honours, including the Order of Ikhamanga. Her upcoming performances in leading roles at the Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Hamburg and Paris Opera are a testament to her continued success and talent.”