Pretty Yende was born in South Africa and made her career debut in Riga singing the role of Micaela in Carmen. In 2010, she was the first artist in the history of the Vienna Belvedere Competition to be awarded first prize in both the opera and operetta categories.
In 2011, she won the Placido Domingo Operalia Competition and also graduated from the La Scala Academy for young artists in Milan. In January 2013, she made her New York debut at the Metropolitan Opera performing the role of Comtesse Adèle in Le Comte Ory (alongside Juan Diego Flórez) and then made her Vienna debut in the same role at the Theater an der Wien. She also sang the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in Cape Town. During the 2013 / 2014 season she made her Los Angeles Opera debut (Micaela), her Hamburg Staatsoper debut (Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia) and also returned to Milan’s La Scala (Le Comte Ory).
Over the next few seasons, she sang the roles of Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) at the Metropolitan Opera and Geneva’s Grand Théâtre, Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the Oslo Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor at Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, Norina for her Barcelona debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) in Los Angeles, Adina (L’elisir d’amore) at the Berlin Staatsoper, and Elvira (I Puritani) at the Zurich Opera (her first time performing the role). She made her Paris Opera debut in Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2016 and returned there to sing the title role in Lucia de Lammermoor and Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini. She has performed at the Metropolitan Opera in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Romeo and Juliet, I Puritani, and Lucia di Lammermoor.
She made her Munich Bayerische Staatsoper debut in L’elisir d’amore (performing it again at London’s Royal Opera House and then at the Metropolitan Opera).
She also performed the role of Marie in La Fille du régiment at the Maestranza in Seville. In 2018, she sang in Ricciardo i Zoraide at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. This season, she has appeared at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu in I Puritani, the Metropolitan Opera in Les Pêcheurs de perles and La Fille du régiment, and Berlin’s Deutsche Oper in La Sonnambula. She has recorded two CDs on the Sony Classical label: Pretty Yende – a journey and Dreams.
La Sonnambula at the Zurich Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor and Le Nozze di Figaro at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and La Traviata at the Paris Opera (her debut in the role).