Monday, October 15, 2018

Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky on his birthday

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who was broadly viewed as one of the greatest opera baritones of our times, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the summer of 2015 and died at the age of 55 on November 22, 2017 in London where he lived with his family.

There were few baritones as compelling on stage as Dmitri Hvorostovsky and only a few in history who matched his box office draw. His name will forever be associated with "legato" and perhaps only Montserrat Caballe or Zinka Milanov could sing with such glorious breath control and float silken sounds into the theater.

Along with Mariusz Kwiecien, he was one of the original inspirations for the Barihunks blog.

Half of Dmitri Hvorostovsky's ashes were laid to rest at Novodevichy Cemetery
He was born on October 16, 1962 and shot to fame in 1989 when he won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in a legendary showdown with Bryn Terfel. Hvorostovsky sang two arias from Verdi, Rodrigo's aria "O Carlo, ascolta" from Don Carlo and "Eri tu che macchiavi" from Un ballo in maschera, as well as "Ja vas lyublyu" from Tchikovsky's Queen of Spades. The late, great soprano Elizabeth Soderström, who was one of the judges in 1989, famously marked a series of exclamation marks on her scorecard as she listened to Hvorostovsky sing. The music world was instantly abuzz with stories about a baritone who looked as beautiful as he sounded.

University of Oregon/KWAX radio's tribute to Dmitri Hvorostovsky:

After his brain cancer diagnosis, he cancelled concerts in Kaliningrad, Minsk, the Georges Enesco Festival, Tanglewood and Vienna, as well as the Met's performance of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, but made a brief return for a concert in Toronto and appeared at the Met Gala.

His career took him to all the world’s major opera houses and renowned international festivals, including Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Salzburg Festival, La Scala Milan, Vienna State Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings "Il balen" from Il trovatore:

His extensive discography includes 30 recitals, numerous complete operas on CD and DVD, and the award-winning film "Don Giovanni Unmasked" where he performed the dual roles of Don Giovanni and Leporello. On November 10, 2017, he released his first recording of Verdi's Rigoletto, on which he sings the title role.

There were memorial concerts in his honor at The Royal Opera in London and at Zankel Hall in New York City.


  1. our hearts are broken, thinking of his death!

    Happy Birthday beloved Dmitri!

  2. It has been the year the music died. First we lost our beloved Dmitri and then we lost Aretha. It hurts, badly.