Aspiring opera singer Yolanda Yalezo on the verge to international stardom

Johannesburg – A young aspiring opera singer has been internationally recognised after auditioning for a talent show.

Yolanda Yalezo (20) from Kokstad who is studying towards a degree in Social Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal wowed American judges and secured a place in the International Arts Talent Showcase in New York.

Speaking to the Sunday World, Yalezo said, she found out about the competition on Instagram.

“They held auditions in the country, I went and auditioned, got a callback and the journey began,” she said.

Through this journey, Yalezo revealed that she also received a scholarship to go and study in New York.

“After the Durban auditions, I had the big one in Johannesburg where contestants from all around Africa came to audition, because, like myself, they wanted this badly. I was fortunate to go through this segment as well but my biggest struggle now financing the trip to perform in the next stage of the competition which is held in New York City,” she said.

 

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Yalezo told Sunday World that she began singing professionally at the age 15 as she sang for a school choir.

“I’d like to believe that more than this is a talent, it’s a gift. But my music teachers played a huge in upskilling my singing,” she said.

“I believe that my music would blossom overseas because unlike South Africa there is actually a target to this music genre, there are concerts that exposes opera music talent whereas in South Africa the industry is very narrow,” she added.

“Internationally my singing is inspired by the late Luciano Pavarotti, his tenor is goals. In South Africa, I love Pretty Yende so much and also that she is a woman like myself,”  Yalezo said.

 

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“This is a huge opportunity for me and I would not want to miss it for the world. My family is obviously very excited but it is quite saddening because both my mother and grandmother’s hands are tied, they do not have the means to finance my dream,” she added.

 

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The competition will start in July 2022 and Yolanda needs R82.000 to make it to New York City.

 

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