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“Rossini has accompanied me to many doors. Maybe I wouldn’t have had the same success had I gone with another composer.” South African soprano Pretty Yende is speaking in Pesaro, Italy, Gioachino Rossini’s birthplace, so the composer is naturally on her mind. It is indeed striking how many of her debuts have been in Rossini operas. In 2010, while still a member of La Scala’s young-artists’ program, she made her debut on Milan’s great stage as Berenice in L’Occasione Fa il Ladro. —Pretty Yende, Opera News, December 2016