Pretty Yende hits back at questions about being a black opera singer: Am I colour blind?

Soprano Pretty Yende has hit back at people who ask her what it is like to be a black opera singer.
Soprano Pretty Yende has hit back at people who ask her what it is like to be a black opera singer.
Image: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

South African-born international star Pretty Yende has responded to the buzz around her, telling people to stop asking her what it is like to be a black person singing opera.

Pretty is seen to be one of the best opera singers in the world, and was awarded an Italian knighthood late last year.

She has said she gets many questions about her complexion, and took to social media recently to put  things straight.

Pretty posted a snap and spoke about not seeing black when she looks in the mirror.

“Am I colour blind? So next time, don’t ask me ‘how does it feel to sing opera being black?’ because honestly, I don’t know?,” she wrote.

She went on to share her amazement about the questions, and said she was “just a human being with a gift”.

“There are not enough colours under the sun to rightly describe the colour of your skin,” she said.

The star told the Observer late last year that she was honoured by what she has accomplished in her career, and did not want to be defined by her skin colour.

“Being the first black Lucia at Lincoln Center is huge for me. Being the first black Lucia in Paris is huge for me. Being the first black person to have a new production of La Traviata in Opera Garnier in Paris is huge for me. But I think that’s not important.

“The important thing is that we have this art that allows us to partake in a universal language of love through the music. I hope that we as artists, and the opera industry in general, are playing a big part in teaching the world equality when it comes to that.”


X