Dmitri Aleksandrovich Hvorostovsky
16 October 1962
|Died||22 November 2017 (aged 55)|
London, United Kingdom
|Cause of death||Brain cancer|
|Occupation||Opera singer (baritone)|
|Title||People's Artist of Russia (1995)|
Early life and education
Hvorostovsky was born in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia during a time when the city was mostly closed to foreigners. An only child, he was raised mostly by his grandmother and a grandfather who, according to Dmitri, was a war veteran suffering from alcoholism. His father, an engineer, and his mother, a gynecologist, both had extremely time-consuming careers and were often only around on the weekends and holidays. He studied at the Krasnoyarsk School of Arts under Yekaterina Yofel and made his debut at Krasnoyarsk Opera House, in the role of Marullo in Rigoletto.
Hvorostovsky came to international prominence in 1989 when he won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, beating local favorite Bryn Terfel in the final round. His performance included Handel's "Ombra mai fu" and "Per me giunto...O Carlo ascolta" from Verdi's Don Carlos. His international concert recitals began immediately (London debut, 1989; New York 1990).
His operatic debut in the West was at the Nice Opera in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades (1989). In Italy he made his debut at La Fenice as Eugene Onegin, a success that sealed his reputation, and made his American operatic debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (1993) in La traviata. In 1992 he made his debut at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden as Riccardo in Bellini’s I puritani.
He subsequently sang at virtually every major opera house, including the Metropolitan Opera (debut 1995), the Berlin State Opera, La Scala and the Vienna State Opera. He was especially renowned for his portrayal of the title character in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin; The New York Times described him as "born to play the role."
In 2002, Hvorostovsky performed at the Russian Children's Welfare Society's major fund raiser, the "Petrushka Ball". He was an Honorary Director of the charity. A tall man with a striking head of prematurely silver hair, Hvorostovsky achieved international acclaim as an opera performer as well as a concert artist. He was one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people, a rare occurrence for a classical musician. His high, medium-weight voice had the typical liquid timbre of Russian baritones.
A recital programme of new arrangements of songs from the World War II era, Where Are You My Brothers?, was given in the spring of 2003 in front of an audience of 6,000 at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, and seen on Russian Television by over 90 million viewers. The same programme was performed with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra for survivors of the Siege of Leningrad on 16 January 2004.
In later years Hvorostovsky's stage repertoire almost entirely consisted of Verdi operas such as Un ballo in maschera, La traviata and Simon Boccanegra. In 2009 he appeared in Il trovatore in a David McVicar production at the Metropolitan Opera with Sondra Radvanovsky.
He won First Prizes at both the Glinka Vocal Competition in 1987 and the Toulouse Singing Competition in 1988. Winning the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 1989 brought him international prominence.
In 1989 Hvorostovsky married a ballerina, Svetlana. He adopted her daughter Maria, and they had two children, Daniel and Alexandra. They split up in 1999. His second wife was the Swiss soprano Florence Illi. They had two children, Nina and Maxim.
In June 2015 Hvorostovsky announced that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and cancelled all his performances through August. Family representatives said that he would be treated at London's cancer hospital Royal Marsden. In spite of his illness, Hvorostovky returned to the stage at the Metropolitan Opera in September as Count di Luna in Il trovatore for a run of three performances opposite Anna Netrebko. He received strong reviews from both critics and audiences for his performance.
Hvorostovsky died on 22 November 2017 in London after a two-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer. A service was held in Moscow on November 27. Hvorostovsky was cremated and some of his ashes were buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, and the rest in his hometown of Krasnoyarsk.
Hvorostovsky made many CD recordings, first with Valery Gergiev for Philips and then with Constantine Orbelian for Delos, and a number of his performances were filmed. Recordings of complete operas with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, audio or audio-video, legitimately made (often for broadcast) but not necessarily legitimately released:
- Bellini, I puritani, Domingo/Gruberová/Giordani/Hvorostovsky/Scandiuzzi, 1994, live in Vienna, Premiere Opera
- Donizetti, La Favorite, Queler/Larmore/Kunde/Hvorostovsky/Kowaljow, 2001, live in New York, House of Opera
- Gounod, Faust, Levine/Isokoski/Jepson/Alagna/Hvorostovsky/Pape, 2005, live in New York, Celestial Audio
- Gounod, Faust, Pidò/Gheorghiu/Losier/Grigòlo/Hvorostovsky/Pape, 2011, filmed in London*
- Leoncavallo, Pagliacci, Pappano/Gheorghiu/Domingo/Hvorostovsky/Ataneli, 2003, live in London, Premiere Opera
- Mascagni, Cavalleria rusticana, Bychkov/Norman/Giacomini/Hvorostovsky, 1990, Philips
- Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro, Harnoncourt/Kringlebotn/Röschmann/Graham/Hvorostovsky/Terfel, 1995, DVD filmed in Salzburg, House of Opera
- Prokofiev, Voyna i mir (War and Peace), Gergiev/Netrebko/Livengood/Balashov/Grigorian/Hvorostovsky/Ramey/Cheek, 2002, March 2, live in New York, House of Opera
- Rimsky-Korsakov, Tsarskaya nevesta (The Tsar’s Bride), Gergiev/Shaguch/Borodina/Akimov/Hvorostovsky, 1998, Philips
- Tchaikovsky, Evgeny Onegin, Bychkov/Focile/Borodina/Shicoff/Hvorostovsky/Anissimov, 1992, Philips
- Tchaikovsky, Evgeny Onegin, Bychkov/Focile/Pecková/Shicoff/Hvorostovsky/Anissimov, 1992, DVD filmed in Paris, Premiere Opera
- Tchaikovsky, Evgeny Onegin, Gergiev/Fleming/Zaremba/Vargas/Hvorostovsky/Aleksashkin, 2007, DVD filmed in New York, Decca
- Tchaikovsky, Evgeny Onegin, Davis-A/Kuznetsova/Surguladze/Lopardo/Hvorostovsky/Kowaljow, 2008, live in Chicago, Premiere Opera
- Tchaikovsky, Iolanta, Gergiev/Gorchakova/Grigorian/Hvorostovsky/Aleksashkin, 1994, Philips
- Tchaikovsky, Pikovaya dama, Fedoseyev/Datsko/Arkhipova/Tarashchenko/Hvorostovsky/Gritziuk, 1990, live in Moscow, MCA
- Tchaikovsky, Pikovaya dama, Gergiev/Shevchenko/Gorr/Steblianko/Hvorostovsky/Leiferkus, 1991, live in Amsterdam, Live Opera Heaven
- Tchaikovsky, Pikovaya dama, Ozawa/Freni/Forrester/Atlantov/Hvorostovsky/Leiferkus, 1991, live in Boston, RCA
- Tchaikovsky, Pikovaya dama, Gergiev/Guleghina/Rysanek/Grigorian/Hvorostovsky/Putilin, 1995, live in New York, Opera Lovers
- Tchaikovsky, Pikovaya dama, Gergiev/Gorchakova/Söderström/Domingo/Hvorostovsky/Putilin, 1999, DVD filmed in New York, House of Opera
- Tchaikovsky, Pikovaya dama, Ozawa/Gorchakova/Gorr/Domingo/Hvorostovsky/Leiferkus, 1999, live in Vienna, House of Opera
- Tchaikovsky, Pikovaya dama, Haitink/Mattila/Barstow/Galusin/Hvorostovsky/Putilin, 2001, live in London, Celestial Audio
- Verdi, Un ballo in maschera, Noseda/Crider/Sala/Blythe/Licitra/Hvorostovsky, 2007, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Un ballo in maschera, Noseda/Brown/Sala/Blythe/Licitra/Hvorostovsky, 2008, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Un ballo in maschera, Luisi/Radvanovsky/Kim-K/Blythe/Álvarez-M/Hvorostovsky, 2012, filmed in New York*
- Verdi, Un ballo in maschera, Levine/Radvanovsky/Stober/Zajick/Beczala/Hvorostovsky, 2015, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Don Carlos, Haitink/Gorchakova/Borodina/Margison/Hvorostovsky/Scandiuzzi, 1996, Philips
- Verdi, Don Carlos, Gergiev/Villarroel/Zajick/Margison/Hvorostovsky/Ramey, 2002, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Don Carlos, Levine/Racette/Borodina/Botha/Hvorostovsky/Pape, 2006, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Don Carlos, Maazel/Frittoli/Smirnova/Vargas/Hvorostovsky/Furlanetto-F, 2013, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Don Carlos, Nézet-Séguin/Frittoli/Gubanova/Lee-YH/Hvorostovsky/Furlanetto-F, 2015, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Ernani, Armiliato/Meade/de Biasio/Hvorostovsky/Furlanetto-F, 2012, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Ernani, Armiliato/Meade/Giordani/Hvorostovsky/Furlanetto-F, 2012, filmed in New York*
- Verdi, I masnadieri, Downes/Delligatti/Farina/Hvorostovsky/Colombara, 1998, live at Baden-Baden, House of Opera
- Verdi, I masnadieri, Downes/Delligatti/Farina/Hvorostovsky/Pape, 2002, live in London*
- Verdi, Rigoletto, Downes/Siurina/Villazón/Hvorostovsky, 2005, live in London, Premiere Opera
- Verdi, Rigoletto, Heras Casado/Lungu/Polenzani/Hvorostovsky, 2013, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Rigoletto, Heras Casado/Yoncheva/Polenzani/Hvorostovsky, 2013, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Rigoletto, Orbelian/Sierra/Demuro/Hvorostovsky, 2016, Delos
- Verdi, Simon Boccanegra, Summers-P/Guryakova/Berti/Hvorostovsky/Aceto, 2006, live in Houston, Live Opera Heaven
- Verdi, Simon Boccanegra, Levine/Frittoli/de Biasio/Hvorostovsky/Furlanetto-F, 2011, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Simon Boccanegra, Levine/Frittoli/Vargas/Hvorostovsky/Furlanetto-F, 2011, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Simon Boccanegra, Orbelian/Frittoli/Secco/Hvorostovsky/Abdrazakov, 2014, Delos
- Verdi, La traviata, Gergiev/Fleming/Vargas/Hvorostovsky, 2004, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, La traviata, Maazel/Ciofi/Saccà/Hvorostovsky, 2004, DVD filmed in Venice, TDK
- Verdi, La traviata, Benini/Netrebko/Kaufmann/Hvorostovsky, 2008, live in London, Celestial Audio
- Verdi, La traviata, Luisi/Dessay/Polenzani/Hvorostovsky, 2012, filmed in New York*
- Verdi, Il trovatore, Rizzi/Villarroel/Naef/Cura/Hvorostovsky, 2002, DVD filmed in London, Opus Arte
- Verdi, Il trovatore, Luisotti/Radvanovsky/Blythe/Berti/Hvorostovsky, 2009, live in San Francisco, Premiere Opera
- Verdi, Il trovatore, Noseda/Radvanovsky/Zajick/Álvarez-M/Hvorostovsky, 2009, live in New York, Sirius
- Verdi, Il trovatore, Rizzi/Radvanovsky/Walewska/Alagna/Hvorostovsky, 2009, live in London, Premiere Opera
- Verdi, Il trovatore, Armiliato/Radvanovsky/Zajick/Álvarez-M/Hvorostovsky, 2011, DVD filmed in New York, DG
- Verdi, Il trovatore, Armiliato/Netrebko/Zajick/Lee-YH/Hvorostovsky, 2015, Oct 3, filmed at the Met in New York, Hvorostovsky’s last staged performance in that house*
asterisk = label unknown, or recording exists but has not been made commercially available
Hvorostovsky's interest in Russian light classical and traditional song led to several recordings including:
- Francine du Plessix Gray (September 22, 2003). "Out of Siberia". The New Yorker.
- Anthony Tommasini (November 22, 2017). "Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Silver-Maned Baritone From Siberia, Dies at 55". The New York Times.
- Associated Press (November 22, 2017). "Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, familiar voice in Chicago, dies". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Barry Millington (22 November 2017). "Dmitri Hvorostovsky obituary". The Guardian.
- "Star Power, Charisma and Ardor in Onegin" by Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times (12 February 2007)
- Russian Children's Welfare Society: Board of Directors
- "RCWS News" Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Vol. 7, Fall 2002
- Tommasini, Anthony (18 February 2009). "Verdi's Foundlings, Nobles and Gypsies, Transported to the Age of Goya". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Знаменитый оперный певец Дмитрий Хворостовский отметит 55-летие (Dmitri Hvorostovsky will celebrate 55th birthday)" (in Russian). 16 October 2017.
За свою карьеру Хворостовский удостоен целого ряда почетных наград, включая Государственную премию РСФСР имени Глинки (1991) и звание «Народный артист России» (1995).
- Barry Millington (22 November 2017). "Dmitri Hvorostovsky obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- Jeremy Gerard (22 November 2017). "Dmitri Hvorostovsky Has Died; Charismatic Siberian Baritone Was 55". deadline.com. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- Jorden, James. "The Met's Triumphant 'Il Trovatore' Is a Return to Opera's Golden Age". New York Observer. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- Tommasini, Anthony (28 September 2015). "Review: Il Trovatore and Anna Bolena Showcase Courage and Command at the Met". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky dies aged 55", Classic FM (UK), 22 November 2017
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