South African opera star’s debut album tops international charts. Internationally renowned opera singer and Piet Retief native, Pretty Yende, has thanked her South African fans for all their support after her debut album ‘A Journey’ went straight to the top of the charts!

Leading up the launch, Pretty enjoyed time back home in South Africa, and took to Facebook to thank her “South African fans & friends for a wonderful 2 weeks back home…”

Born into a musical family in Piet Retief, Pretty grew up singing gospel music in church. In 2001, she heard the Flower Duet from Delibes opera Lakme, in a television commercial… and her love for opera bloomed.

After seven years of performing live around the globe – at some of the most prestigious opera houses (including her most prized Metropolitan Opera House in New York) Pretty has released her debut CD which highlights some of the best moments of her career.

On launch date, 16 September, Pretty wrote: “Finally this day has come, another redefining moment for my journey… From Delibes’ extraordinarily Flower Duet… to my Met debut singing Rossini’s Le Comte Ory and Roméo et Juliette’s thrilling “Poison Aria”… which led to the exclusive invitation to take part at the prestigious Academy of La Scala concert at La Scala Opera House.

The following day she declared it was one of her most treasured ‘tomorrows’… as the album made it to Number 1 on the Classical Charts on iTunes and the top five on the main charts.

At the age of 16 when many teen girls are chasing boys or developing crushes on the newest pop sensation, Pretty Yende was beginning her journey to become an internationally known opera singer.

The 31-year-old believes her talent is a gift from God and says music is a gift that belongs to all. She hopes to make classical music more mainstream around the world and in her homeland.

Pretty will next perform the role of “Rosina” in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in January and “Juliette” in Romeo et Juliette in March at The Met in 2017.