Vitaliy Bilyy to Replace Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Verdi’s ‘Il Trovatore’ at the Royal Opera

By Francisco Salazar

Ukrainian baritone Vitaliy Bilyy is set to replace Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the Royal Opera House’s revival of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.”

Bilyy will make his Royal Opera debut as Count di Luna, having previously triumphed in the role at the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris and Bavarian State Opera. Bilyy is slowly becoming one of the most in demand baritones as he has recently portrayed Alfio in Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana and Amonasro in Verdi’s “Aida” for Opéra National de Paris as well as Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s “La Traviata” for the Vienna State Opera and Dresden State Opera. He was also a standout as Miller in Verdi’s “Luisa Miller” at the San Francisco Opera and also received raves for his work as Paolo Albiani in Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra” for La Scala, Milan.

The news comes a week after Hvorostovsky announced that he would withdraw from all operatic productions. The baritone stated, “It is with great sadness that I must withdraw from opera performances for the foreseeable future. I have been experiencing balance issues associated with my illness, making it extremely difficult for me to perform in staged productions.”

However, Hvorostovsky is still planning on continuing his concert tours and making new recordings.

Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” is currently being performed at the Royal Opera through February. Bilyy will sing alongside Gregory Kunde, Lianna Haroutounian and Anita Rachvelishvili. Richard Farnes will conduct the run. The Jan. 31 performance will be filmed and later relayed in cinemas.