King Charles III Handpicks South African Singer Pretty Yende For His Coronation
King Charles III has handpicked South African opera singer Pretty Yende to perform at his coronation in May.
Buckingham Palace announced that the ceremony of Charles, as well as Camilla, will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, 6 May.
Pretty Yende forms part of the performers who will be at the coronation, personally selected by King Charles III, hoping to showcase talent from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Pretty Yende was recently awarded a Ceremonial Badge of Honour for her contribution to the arts and letters in France and worldwide.
Buckingham Palace announced:
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Among the music will be twelve new commissions, all composed for the occasion by world-renowned British composers from the worlds of sacred, classical, theatre, film and television music. They include a Coronation Anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a Coronation March by Patrick Doyle, a commission for solo organ by Iain Farrington, and new works by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams and Debbie Wiseman.
The Service will be sung by The Choir of Westminster Abbey and The Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, together with girl choristers from the Chapel Choir of Methodist College, Belfast, and from Truro Cathedral Choir.
The Ascension Choir, a handpicked gospel choir, will also perform as part of the service, and The King’s Scholars of Westminster School will proclaim the traditional ‘Vivat’ acclamations.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner will conduct The Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists in a pre-service programme of classical music.
Instrumental and solo performances
Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director for the Royal Opera House, will conduct the Coronation Orchestra, made up of specially selected musicians from the orchestras of The former Prince of Wales’ Patronages including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Fanfares will be played by The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and The Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force.
Soloists will include bass-baritone, Sir Bryn Terfel; soprano, Pretty Yende; and baritone, Roderick Williams.
The organ will be played by the Abbey’s Sub-Organist, Peter Holder, and before the service by its Assistant Organist, Matthew Jorysz.
The Official Royal Harpist, Alis Huws, will perform as part of the Coronation Orchestra in recognition of The King’s long-standing and deeply held relationship and affiliation with Wales. One of the liturgical sections of the ceremony will be performed in Welsh, while a second item will include sections in three Celtic languages.
At the request of His Majesty, in tribute to his late father His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Greek Orthodox music will also feature in the service performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble.
Blending the traditional and the modern Music by the likes of:
William Byrd (1543 – 1623) George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1759) Sir Edward Elgar (1857–-1934) Sir Henry Walford Davies (1869–1941) Sir William Walton (1902–1983) Sir Hubert Parry (1848–-1918)
has often featured in coronations over the past four centuries and will be included in the programme along with the music of one of Britain’s most loved and celebrated living composers, Sir Karl Jenkins.
Sharing the news on social media, Pretty Yende said she felt honoured and blessed to receive an invitation to perform at The Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, 6th of May 2023.
Pretty Yende who hails from the small town of Piet Retief, Mpumalanga, made her professional operatic debut at the Latvian National Theatre in Riga, Latvia, as Micaela in Carmen in 2010.
She now frequently travels for performances at some of the best-known theatres in the world.