Watch: Pretty Yende on the Late Show

Watch: Pretty Yende on the Late Show


norman lebrecht

January 04, 2017

So composed.


  • Olassus says:

    What is he talking about? This is not “a performance from the Metropolitan Opera production” of Barbiere. CBS used to get words right. And she sings the piece as if without any stage experience of it.

    • Ungeheuer says:

      Lack of stage experience? An understatement. It matters no longer. Part of the reason, along with the absence of important and distinctive voices, we are experiencing the worst artistic drought imaginable.

      • Maury D says:

        Right, lack of stage experience. She’s sung at La Scala, the Met, Paris Opera, Covent Garden, LA, Deutsche Oper Berlin…total amateur hour.

        • Bruce says:

          There will always be professional grumps. The Golden Age of Singing was also a thing of the past in the 1950s. Leontyne Price was no Milanov, Nilsson was no Flagstad, etc. etc. and so forth.

    • Heath says:

      It is from the Met production in that she is currently singing Barbiere at the Met, so CBS was correct. And she was fabulous!

    • Bruce says:

      “And she sings the piece as if without any stage experience of it.”

      Or: she sings it as if she’s in a concert performance rather than on an operatic stage.

  • Brian Hughes says:

    Um, this is opera on network television. Talk about taking classical music to the masses, who might never be able to afford to hear it elsewhere. This is a victory for opera and classical music in general. And yes, Heath, she was marvelous.

    • Marc says:

      I do agree with Brian. A few million people probably heard this aria for the first time. Not that they’ll all be hustling to buy opera tickets — but it’s a nice intro. Let’s not quibble about this (such as griping that the video titled it “Una voce poco fa,” which refers, of course, to the earlier section not sung here; but so what?). She did a nice job, though she chose not to go deep at 1:21. With a fine voice, nice looks and one heck of an unforgettable name, she’ll enjoy a terrific career. Might even inspire young black kids to explore opera as a profession.

  • NYMike says:

    Accompanied by MET orchestra members.

  • NYMike says:

    Nice high E at the end…..

  • William Safford says:

    I am glad that Colbert is choosing to include classical music on his TV show from time to time. This hearkens back to the days when one used to hear major classical musicians on shows such as the Tonight Show.

    Kudos to Colbert for doing so. May he do so more often.

    • Olassus says:

      I doubt any credit belongs with Colbert. He would have been told to include this as the result of an arrangement between The Metropolitan Opera and his network.

      Certainly it helps.

      • Robert Holmén says:

        I doubt you have any involvement in the booking of the show.

        Steven Colbert was featuring classical artists on his old show ( “told to” I’m sure you’ll claim, as if the Metropolitan Opera had control of … Comedy Central 😀 ) and now is doing so on his new show.

        Check it out…

        “While Colbert invites a wide range of musicians to appear on his show, it’s clear he has a love for classical music. Composer Philip Glass, violinist Itzhak Perlman, conductor Lorin Maazel and classical music critic Alex Ross are just some of the classical guests who have appeared.”