Monday, October 14, 2019

Hvorostovsky's hometown to honor late singer on his birthday

Statue of Dimitri Hvorostovsky in Krasnoyarsk (Photos: TASS)
On October 16th, the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia will hold a celebration of the life of Dmitri Hvorostovsky on what would have been his 57th birthday.  The celebration will occur at the monument which was erected in his honor in the park near the Siberian Institute of Art, where the artist studied.

Hvorostovsky was born and educated in Krasnoyarsk and lived there until the mid-1990s. The 11 1/2 foot (3.5 metres) tall sculpture at the site was designed by Moscow sculptor Vladimir Usov. Hvorostosky sang a farewell concert in his hometown in June 2017. 

According to Hvorostovsky’s last will, his body was cremated and the ashes were placed into two urns. One was buried at Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery (the final resting place of the most outstanding artists, cultural personalities, scientists, politicians, and military heroes), and the other was flown to Krasnoyarsk for burial. The airport in Krasnoyarsk was also named in his honor. 

Dmitri Hvorostovsky performs in Krasnoyarsk:

After being diagnosed with a brain tumor in June 2015, Hvorostovsky died on November 22, 2017 in London.  There were memorial concerts in his honor at The Royal Opera in London and at Zankel Hall in New York City.

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.

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 to a rousing ovation.

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, five days before his death, his first recording of Verdi's Rigoletto was released, on which he sings the title role.

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