SA soprano Pretty Yende delighted to be performing at coronation of King Charles III

SA soprano Pretty Yende. Supplied image.

SA soprano Pretty Yende. Supplied image.

Published Mar 4, 2023


Johannesburg - South African soprano Pretty Yende says she won’t be revealing what songs she plans on performing at the coronation of King Charles III and the queen consort just yet.

The local opera singer recently received an invitation to perform at the coronation of the king and the queen consort at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6.

She is one of a select few musicians from around the globe who have been chosen to perform at the prestigious royal service.

“I do absolutely know what I’ll be performing, but for now it rests as a delightful surprise until the palace makes an official announcement in that regard,” Yende told The Saturday Star this week.

SA soprano Pretty Yende. Supplied image.

The service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry.

Yende and other musicians have been personally selected by the king, and the music has been chosen to showcase talent from across the UK and the Commonwealth.

Yende says it’s a huge honour to be part of such an important occasion.

“I am absolutely humbled and utterly honoured to have been in His Majesty’s heart for this historic and prestigious occasion in the British monarchy. I am really looking forward to it, and I am very excited. Every invitation for me is always top priority, and this one too will be nothing less than that.”

Yende also didn’t reveal what outfit she plans to wear for the occasion, but guaranteed it will be something stunning.

“I am looking forward to be wearing one of my favourite designers and it’ll sure be ‘pretty’.”

The 37-year-old, who hails from eMkhondo, has performed leading roles at opera houses around the world, including La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.

Yende has won a number of awards over the years, including the Silver Order of Ikhamanga, for her excellent achievement and international acclaim.

In 2017, she won the Best Recording Solo Recital Award for her album “A Journey” at the International Opera Awards.

Currently, the opera singers schedule is jam-packed with gigs around Europe and the US.

“I’ve been performing with engagements in Europe including in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Hamburg, Vienna as well as in the US. 2023 is really starting on a perfect note on my continuous and most promising #prettyjourney.”

Other performers who will be performing at the service include the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber, a coronation march by Patrick Doyle, a commission for solo organ by Iain Farrington, and new works by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O'Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams and Debbie Wiseman.

SA soprano Pretty Yende. Supplied image.

The service will be sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, together with girl choristers from the Chapel Choir of Methodist College, Belfast, and from Truro Cathedral Choir.

The Ascension Choir, a hand-picked gospel choir, will also perform as part of the service, and The King’s Scholars of Westminster School will proclaim the traditional “Vivat” acclamations.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner will conduct the Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists in a pre-service programme of classical music.

Sir Antonio Pappano, music director for the Royal Opera House, will also conduct the Coronation Orchestra, made up of specially selected musicians from the orchestras of the former Prince of Wales’s Patronages, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Fanfares will be played by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and the Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force.

The Saturday Star