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American soprano Nadine Sierra cancels due to illness, replaced by top soprano Pretty Yende flying in from Paris

American soprano Nadine Sierra has fallen ill, and due to her physician’s orders she is unable to fly to Finland. She was scheduled to appear with the Turku Philharmonic conducted by Lorenzo Passerini at the Turku Music Festival on Thursday 18 August. She is replaced at this short notice by top soprano Pretty Yende.

“We seem to have no end of bad luck in getting Nadine Sierra to come to Turku. We had postponed her appearance twice, in 2019 and 2020. Having returned from South America, Nadine has now fallen ill, so unfortunately she is unable to travel and give a concert in Turku in a few days’ time. We wish her a speedy recovery,” says Liisa Ketomäki, Managing Director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

“However, we have been looking for a date to book Pretty Yende for a couple of years now, and this top soprano was now able to replace Nadine at short notice. She is flying in from the Paris Opera, where she was given permission to skip rehearsals; she is appearing as Pamina in The Magic Flute in Paris in September. Yende’s repertoire is very similar to Nadine’s, so only one aria had to be changed – the rest of the concert programme remains the same. We have also begun looking at new dates for Nadine, and we will be announcing the result in due course,” Ketomäki adds.

South African soprano Pretty Yende has advanced from her tiny native town of Piet Retief to the top of the opera world astonishingly quickly. Having made her début as Micaela in Carmen at the Latvian National Theatre, she has appeared at nearly all of the world’s major opera houses, including performances as Violetta in La traviata at the Vienna and Bavarian State Operas, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. In the coming season, she will revisit Vienna and appear at the Royal Opera House in London, at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia. She will also be performing solo songs by Strauss with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nêzet-Séguin.

In 2010, Yende became the first ever competitor in the history of the Belvedere competition to win the highest prize in every category. She also won the Operalia competition in 2011. Her second solo album, Dreams (Sony Classical 2017), gained high praise in Opera Now magazine for the vibrancy of youthful passion in her voice combined with a wonderfully secure technique.

Tickets purchased for the Nadine Sierra concert are valid for the Pretty Yende concert. However, if you wish to return your tickets, you can do so until 30 August via Lippupiste.