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Pretty Yende, SA's songbird who made it to the world's opera stage

20 April 2016 1:20 PM

SA's opera singer Pretty Yende talks to Pippa Hudson about her fascinating journey & winning the Hans Gabor Belvedere competition.

The Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition will be held in Cape Town for the first time this year.

The 2016 qualifying rounds of this singing competition are held in 70 cities world-wide. The finals will take place on 2 July 2016 in the Opera House at Artscape.

It is done in collaboration with Artscape Theatre Centre, Cape Town Opera and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

Pippa Hudson speaks to Pretty Yende, a young soprano from Mpumalanga who won the main prizes in all the categories of the competition in 2009.

Listen to the full conversation on The Pippa Hudson Show:

When I finished my studies at UCT, I asked myself how can I get myself overseas. And at that time it was very difficult to ask anyone to sponsor you for an audition tour in New York, Paris or London so I chose to use the competitions .

Pretty Yende, Oper Singer

For me it was a strategy that I used and it paid off

Pretty Yende, Oper Singer

Afterwards, she says, came the hard work, and she had to choose. She knew she had talent but she also wanted to study.

Talking to Pippa Hudson, Yende says that she first heard opera when she was 16 from a TV ad and told herself that she needed to learn about it.

When she finished matric, she did a four year diploma followed by a two year postgraduate diploma in opera at University of Cape Town. Entering competitions was how she began travelling overseas.

20 April 2016 1:20 PM