News

Pretty Yende in Concert: In Association with Motseng

Apr 25, 2016
Pretty Yende in concert in association with Motseng Investment Holdings and WIPHOLD: a resounding success!

After a three-year period performing abroad, internationally acclaimed South African-born soprano, Pretty Yende, wowed Joburg audiences in a two-concert series. The first concert was a private opera gala dinner attended by guests of Motseng and WIPHOLD at the Inanda Club on Wednesday, 13 April 2016, followed by a public concert at the Linder Auditorium a day later.

The much-anticipated concerts were made possible by the financial support of two black female-owned organisations, Motseng Investment Holdings and WIPHOLD. Ipeleng Mkhari, founder and CEO of Motseng Investment Holdings said: “The opportunity to co‐host such sterling talent was a natural choice for Motseng Investment Holdings as we consistently aim to recognise potential and honour greatness.”

Yende first rose to international prominence in 2009 when she was awarded the top prizes in all categories of the Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna. She has since gone on to win a further six international competitions including Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in Moscow. Her musical journey had a fairy tale beginning in the unlikely town of Piet Retief in Mpumalanga to now conquering the glamorous opera stages of Metropolitan Opera in New York, Milan’s La Scalla (where she was an artist-in-residence for four years), and the Paris Opera. She has shared the stage with some of the best names in the business including Andrea Bocelli, Juan Diego Florez and Placido Domingo.

Yende was joined by another award winning South African rising star of opera Levy Sekgapane. The two sang arias and duets from ‘bel canto’ operas by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti accompanied by the 50‐strong Chamber Orchestra of Johannesburg conducted by Kutlwano Masote. “Tenor Levy Sekgapane is already making all the right noises in Europe and it was inevitable that he would win over Johannesburg audiences in his South African opera gala debut. I really couldn’t have wished for a better way to celebrate my 10 years as a conductor,” said Masote.

Levy Sekgapane is a 25‐year‐old tenor who hails from Kroonstad. He is a double major BMus graduate (piano and voice) of the University of Cape Town. Like Yende, Sekgapane is a Belvedere Singing Competition winner. He also won South Africa’s biggest music competition, the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) Overseas Scholarship in2015; as well as the Mimi Coertse Singing Competition in 2013 and first prize at the Montseratt Caballe International Singing Competition in 2015. He is a tenor who is very comfortable in the ‘bel canto’ medium and promises to enchant audiences with, amongst others, the spectacular aria ‘Ah! Mes amis quell jour de fête’ from Gaetano Donizetti’s opera The Daughter of the Regiment, famous for its nine top C’s!

“In so many ways Pretty Yende’s journey resonates with WIPHOLD’s vision of the economic empowerment of black women. From humble beginnings in a small Mpumalanga town, through her hard work and tenacity, she has scaled magnificent heights. She is a national treasure,” said Gloria Serobe, WIPHOLD co‐founder.

Pretty Yende in concert at the Linder Auditorium
Pretty Yende in concert at the Linder Auditorium on Thursday, 14 April 2016

Motseng-Pretty-Yende-3
Pretty Yende performs at the Linder Auditorium on Thursday, 14 April 2016

Pretty Yende Private Concert1
Pretty Yende performs at private opera gala dinner concert attended by guests of
Motseng and WIPHOLD at the Inanda Club on Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Motseng Executives and invited guests at the private concert
Motseng Executives and invited guests at the private
concert on Wednesday, 13 April 2016