VIDEO: South African opera singer, Pretty Yende, performs at the coronation of King Charles III KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Saturday, May 6, 2023

VIDEO: South African opera singer, Pretty Yende, performs at the coronation of King Charles III

South African opera singer Pretty Yende performs at the coronation of King Charles III.

Yende is the first African to sing solo at a British coronation. Millions watched the ceremony, almost certainly the biggest audience in Yende’s career so far and a “dream come true”, she said last week.

Born in 1985 under South Africa’s racist and repressive apartheid regime, Yende was surrounded by music from an early age, singing gospel music in church in her hometown of Piet Retief, now eMkhondo, in the far east of the country.

The South African soprano Pretty Yende grew up in a small town in eastern South Africa, 8,000 miles from where she sang on Saturday at the coronation of King Charles III.

“Generations from now they will read about the British monarchs … and they’ll see the name of a girl from the tip of Africa written in there,” the 38-year-old said last week.

At the coronation, Yende, wearing a spectacular yellow dress, performed Sacred Fire, a new piece written by the British composer Sarah Class for the occasion.

"It's a dream come true," the singer shared with ET's Kevin Frazier following the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. "When I got to learn about opera, I realized that it's something that I would like to share with as many people as possible, because of how it made me feel."

"It was more than the joy that I've known and love that I've known, and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible," she added. "So this moment is a dream come true, a true gift for me, because I got to share my gift with such an incredible platform."

Dressed in a stunning yellow Stéphane Rolland gown and Graff jewelry, Yende told ET that "I really feel like I'm royalty, actually."

She also had a unique perspective on the coronation ceremony both before and after her performance.

Following her song, Yende added, is when the emotions started to wash over her.

"I started crying the moment I came down from performing, because it suddenly dawned on me that this is the day and it happened... I tried not to cry a lot, but it was emotional for me," she admitted. "The feeling of it took me back to when I was five years old in the church, because that's where I started singing. Fast forward to today, I have to pinch myself that I'm the same girl. I learned how to sing in the church, and now I'm singing in this incredible abbey. It's amazing."

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