Obituary: Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, 55

Posted on: November 22, 2017

“Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the charismatic Siberian baritone who won critical acclaim and devoted fans around the world for his burnished voice, uncanny breath control and rueful expressivity, died on Wednesday,” writes Anthony Tommasini in Wednesday’s (11/22) New York Times. “He was 55. … the cause of death was brain cancer. Mr. Hvorostovsky had announced the diagnosis in June 2015. … Mr. Hvorostovsky was essentially a lyric baritone with a lighter voice. But his distinctive sound—with its russet colorings and slightly hooded quality, combining Russian-style melancholy with velvety Italianate lyricism—was so penetrating, he could send big top notes soaring. He could command the stage, and at his best he was a nuanced actor. There ‘have been many beautiful voices,’ the soprano Renée Fleming said, ‘but in my opinion none more beautiful than Dmitri’s.’… He brought musical and linguistic authority to Russian opera, especially the title part of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin,’ in which he was peerless. As his career developed, he was increasingly sought after for his dramatically layered interpretations of Verdi baritone roles.” Due to his illness, it was doubtful that he would sing the role of Count di Luna in “Il Trovatore” at the Metropolitan Opera in fall 2015, but he “gave a magnificent performance and during final curtain calls was showered with white roses thrown by orchestra members.”

Posted November 22, 2017