She's been singing in Italy's farm system since last fall as the first South African student at Accademia Teatro Alla Scala and lists Freni, Callas, and Caballe' as her idols. The 25-year-old South African soprano, Pretty Yende, says she discovered opera as a teenager after hearing a British Airways commercial that used a soundtrack of Lakme's Flower Duet. Although far from home while studying in Milan, she'll be back in South Africa on July 11 to sing in the closing ceremonies of the soccer World Cup. Alongside Bocelli.
Here she sings O mio babbino caro.