A great loss: Hvorostovsky passes at 55

A great loss: Hvorostovsky passes at 55

Greg Finney

The opera world lost one of the greats today. Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky passed away on November 22, 2017 in London, England.

The sad news was announced on the artist’s Facebook Page: “On behalf of the Hvorostovsky family, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dmitri Hvorostovsky – beloved operatic baritone, husband, father, son, and friend – at age 55. After a two-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer, he died peacefully this morning, November 22, surrounded by family near his home in London, UK. May the warmth of his voice and his spirit always be with us.”

From an industrial town in Siberia, “Dima” almost didn’t become an opera star. Early interest in pop music almost saw a very different Hvorostovsky hit the musical scene. The dreamboat of a singer caught us all by surprise by beating Bryn Terfel in the 1989 Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

His career took off seeing him perform in the most prestigious of houses around the world. Prized for his performances of Verdi, and in particular the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, he became know for bringing Russian art song to Western audiences through extensive touring.

Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015 and retired from the opera world in 2016. The world will miss him.

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