ALBUM TITLE: Pretty Yende: A Journey
WORKS: Arias by Rossini, Delibes, Bellini, Gounod & Donizetti
PERFORMER: Pretty Yende (soprano), Kate Aldrich (mezzo), Nicola Alaimo (baritone), Gianluca Buratto (bass); Coro del Teatro Municipale di Piacenza; Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI/ Marco Armiliato
CATALOGUE NO: 889853216925
This is the most exciting debut album to come my way for a long time. Pretty Yende, a South African who has already made a big impression in Europe and at the New York Met, sings a selection of mainly bel canto scenes. And they are scenes, not just arias, with supporting singers and chorus, which makes all the difference. Her voice is full, already has many colours and her coloratura is effortless but also expressive – nothing she does is merely for show.
The lion’s share of the generous recital is taken up with Bellini. A lengthy scene from the unjustly neglected Beatrice di Tenda shows Yende’s gift for pathos, while the marvellous mad scene from I puritani is even more intense, and displays, as do arias from two Rossini operas, Yende’s acrobatic skill.
The heroine’s entrance scene from Lucia di Lammermoor shows her equally inward with Donizetti. Yende was apparently turned on to opera by hearing the Flower Duet from Delibes’s Lakmé, which she loyally includes here. On the basis of this disc, I can imagine she will soon be in demand all over the world.
Listen to an excerpt from this recording.