Sunday, October 15, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dmitri Hvorostovsky!!!

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
There have been few baritones as compelling on stage as Dmitri Hvorostovsky and only a few in history who have matched the sexy Siberian's box office draw. His name is synonymous 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 that you're reading!

He was born on October 16, 1962 and his 55th birthday this year has added significance, as he battles a brain tumor, and has been the unfortunate victim of inaccurate Russian news accounts this month reporting that he had died. Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with the brain tumor in the summer of 2015 and received treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. He subsequently cancelled concerts in Kaliningrad, Minsk, the Georges Enesco Festival, Tanglewood and Vienna, as well as the Met's performance of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. He made a brief return for a concert in Toronto and appeared at the Met Gala.

On October 12, 2015, Russian president Vladimir Putin awarded Hvorostovsky the Order of Alexander Nevsky, one of the country's highest honors.  Putin followed that honor up last month by presenting the singer with the prestigious Order of Merit for the Fatherland of the IV degree.

We still remember when Hvorostovsky won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 1989 in a showdown with Bryn Terfel. The Siberian barihunk went on to win the competition and, of course, both men have gone on to sensational international careers. Hvorostovsky sangs two pieces from Verdi, Rodrigo's aria "O Carlo, ascolta" from Don Carlo and "Eri tu che macchiavi" from Un ballo in maschera, "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.

His career has taken 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.

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 10th, he released his first recording of Verdi's Rigoletto, where he sings the title role.

We are officially declaring October 16th forevermore as "Dmitri Hvorostovsky Day."

Malte Roesner from the 2018 Barihunks Calendar and Photo Book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

1 comment:

  1. And there was the 1989 Cardiff Singer of the World, where he beat out another 'promising' baritone (Bryn Terfel) - who had to be content with winning the Lieder Prize... :-)