Saturday, January 31, 2015
Pretty Yende Does Splashy Fashion Essay In Essence Magazine
"She's come a long way from the small South African town of Piet Retief, where—after first singing in church and at family sing-alongs—she discovered opera as a teenager in a British Airways commercial featuring 'The Flower Duet' from Léo Delibes's Lakmé. 'I heard the music, and somehow my soul knew what it was, but my mind didn't know,' says Yende, sipping her caffe latte at Manhattan's Empire Hotel. 'The following day I asked my high school teacher what it was, and he told me it's called opera. I said, 'Is it humanly possible?' and he said, 'Of course.' I said, 'Well, you need to teach me that.'' Soon her career goal had switched from accountant to opera star—something she couldn't have imagined before the fall of apartheid in South Africa. 'Black people were not allowed to study opera in schools before,' says Yende, who now embraces being a trailblazer in opera circles. 'I had to learn to accept that it will be something I will carry with me all the time, because I can't change the color of
my skin. Seeing that minority inspired me more, because I love a challenge. I hardly enjoy comfort zones because I must find out what's the best in me.' Yende—whose offstage style is much more comfortable than the corsets she sometimes wears in costume—will have to keep on hitting those high notes. 'I'm booked until 2020,' she says, 'so no babies until then!'" [Source] See more of the glamorous photos by Hao Zeng by clicking here.