In late 2017, the opera world suffered a great tragedy, when it lost baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky at the age 55.
Hvorostovsky, born on Oct. 16, 1962, was born in Krasnoyarsk and grew up without much interaction with his parents, whose work consumed most of their time. He studied at the Krasnoyarsk School of Arts and would make his professional debut at the corresponding opera house as Marullo in Rigoletto.
In 1989, at the age 27, the baritone won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and was immediately off and running on the international stages. He made his Western debut at the Nice Opera and slowly after was appearing at La Fenice, the Royal Opera House, the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, and the Met.
He was named one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people and was beloved internationally by all. He remained a favored artist in Russia, winning the People’s Artist of Russia honorary title in 1995.
He was at the peak of his powers when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. Despite making several comebacks and fighting the disease for two years, he succumbed on Nov. 22, 2017.
Hvorostovsky was the consummate Verdi baritone, his interpretations of such roles as Rodrigo in “Don Carlo,” Conte di Luna in “Il Trovatore,” and “Rigoletto.”
But he was also a massive champion of the Russian repertoire, dominating such operas as “Eugene Onegin,” “The Demon,” and “War and Peace,” among others.
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Watch and Listen
Here’s a load of Verdi interpretations by the great baritone, for your listening pleasure.
His great interpretation in “The Queen of Spades.”
And, here is the baritone’s surprise appearance at the Met, the final time he would appear on the Met State.