Russian Opera Singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky Dies at Age 55

Hvorostovsky died at the age of 55 following a lengthy battle with brain cancer. In late June 2015, the singer announced that he was suffering from a brain tumor.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky died in London at 3:36 am London time, RIA Novosti reports, citing Russian musician Dmitry Malikov.

After his opera debut in “The Queen of Spades” by Dmitry Tchaikovsky in Nice, Hvorostovsky was invited to perform at the world’s best opera houses and participate in recognized opera festivals such as the Royal Theater of Covent Garden (London, UK), Metropolitan Opera (New York, USA), Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera (Munich, Germany), La Scala (Milan, Italy), the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky was also in great demand for recitals and concerts – his vocal performance and stage presence combine to considerable musical and dramatic effect. Hvorostovsky’s distinctive voice, incomparable legato and breath control placed him at the forefront of leading baritones in the world. His repertoire stretches far and wide, from Caccini and Handel to Shostakovich and Sviridov.

The Siberian-born baritone and his colossal voice were loved by all Russians and the news of his diagnosis two years ago came as a complete shock.

Hvorostovsky was not only the quintessential example of a singer and an artist – he was an example of a man and a human being – motivating many people throughout his career with his booming voice, contagious charisma and glowing smile, especially during his battle with cancer.

He raised millions of dollars for ill children around Russia through charity concerts – collecting almost $500,000 from a performance in Ufa, Russia. He was quoted once saying, “I have four children, and I know what parents feel when their loved ones suffer. It is our duty to help children, it is the most important thing.”

Here is Hvorostovsky in his prime from 1998, performing “Largo al factotum” from Il Barbiere di Siviglia:

“Cranes” – R. Gamzatov:

A memorable performance of “Toreador Song” from Carmen by Georges Bizet:

“Farewell, Joy of My Life” – Russian Folk Song:

His illness had forced a hiatus, but surprised the 2017 Metropolitan Opera Gala audience with a performance of “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”

An all-time favorite, is his concert on Red Square in Moscow, where he sang “Moscow Nights” (Подмосковные Вечера) with Russian soprano Anna Netrebko:

His presence on the stage and generosity will undoubtedly be missed around the world, but his spirit and voice will live on in everyone’s hearts forever.

Царство Небесное!

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