Social Media Beat (11/17-23): Dmitri Hvorostovsky Remembered By Opera Community; Exclusive Comments

By David Salazar

There were a ton of major events going on in the opera world this past week, but one simply eclipsed the others. We have already related many of the social media reactions to the sad news of Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s passing. But here are a few other heartfelt homages to the great Russian baritone, sent exclusively to OperaWire.

“Dmitry Hvorostovsky was a hugely inspirational figure in the world of Opera. There is an immeasurable void where his presence once occupied.  My heart goes out to his family and friends for their tremendous loss.” – Lawrence Brownlee

“He was a superstar that put you immediately at ease in the embrace of his dramatic commitment onstage & his disarming sense of humor offstage. He encouraged young singers and when I asked him how he sings so seamlessly, he said he thinks of threading vowel to vowel in beautiful tone. What a friend & great artist! Rest In Peace.” – Ailyn Pérez

“Today we lost an amazing artist and a dear colleague! Rest in peace, dear Dmitri! You will always be with us, in our minds and our memory.” – Kristine Opolais
“A beautiful man, inside and out, Dima’s light was always the brightest in the room. I believe one of the reasons for this was because he truly was a force of nature – imagine a superhero, if you will – and because he not only encouraged others to shine brightly, he could spot your light and when he did, he gently yet firmly told you to shine! Commanding that, as if with a magic spell.

He gave me that specific gift when we worked together. By nature, I tend to be more of an introvert. I think he saw that. And with a knowing look, Dima addressed this sometime-inhibition. He smiled, with the warmth of a sage and told me: you have great power inside you. Don’t be afraid of it. Let it out and let it be!

All of this, without knowing each other very well. He, with nothing to gain, but me … so much to listen to, and after this encounter, his spell began to work.

With great love I say, thank you Dima! You truly have left this world a much better place than what it was before your arrival. I pray that we can all say the same, one day.” – Ana María Martinez

“RIP dear friend! We will miss your gorgeous voice, your artistry and your contagious smile. My deepest condolences to Flo, your children, parents and all your friends. ” – René Pape

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of my great colleague Dmitri Hvorostovsky. The opera world has lost a beautiful voice. My heart goes out to Florence, their children and all those close to him. May you find peace, dear Dima! Your artistry will continue to inspire us!” – Thomas Hampson

“It breaks our heart to know that his beloved don’t have him anymore. It is so indescribably sad and not right! But for all of us his art and memory are alive and will live forever.” – Diana Damrau, Nicolas Testé, Alexander, and Colyn
“The sun was shining yesterday in Zurich, but not in my heart which was full of sadness for Dmitri’s passing, a great friend and immense artist. I’m proud about having shared the stages of the world’s opera houses and beautiful moments of friendship with him, after our performances and at his home with Florence and his beautiful children, where I met him for the last time. The opera world will continue to be illuminated by his star that will be shining forever. R.I.P. my friend.” – Saimir Pirgu

“I’m in shock about the loss of Dmitri Hvorostovsky. He not only was an incredible singer whom I admired a lot, he was also a wonderful colleague. My condolences to the entire family, particularly to his wife Florence and his children. Dmitri will be remembered as one of the greatest baritones ever! R.I.P.”  George Gagnidze