This is the most difficult post to write, since the passing of Mexican Erudite, Ernesto de la Peña.
It is with heavy and sad heart to write that……on November 22 of 2017, our beloved and most admired Baritone, Dmitri Hvorostovsky passed away at age 55, after two years of a brave battle with brain cancer. My last post about our beloved Dima (as all of us in the Opera community called him with love) was on last October 16, with his 55 Birthday. It was in June of 2015 when Dima, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to cancel his performances…. and all of us, in the Opera community send our love and support to Dima. In many Opera groups, started a chain prayer for Dima, send our messages in support… and it was in September of 2015 when Dima after three months of treatment, returned to the Met as Count di Luna in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, and many of us will never forget it. It will be remembered as the most moving and unforgettable return from an extraordinary Opera artist to the Met. At the end of each performance of “Il Trovatore”, The entire Met Orchestra, threw many white roses to Dima. And in the HD of “Il Trovatore”, on October 3rd of 2015. Many of us, international Opera fans around the world went to the cinemas/auditorium for the HD of “Il Trovatore” with our White Roses for Dmitri. I still have my white rose, dried, in memory of that unforgettable moment. And at the end of the HD of “Il trovatore” Dima, once again, was showered with white roses from the Met Opera Orchestra. Dima gave us so many wonderful performances, as Simon Boccanegra, incomparable, his Iago, evil and terrifying, his Prince Yeletsky, beautiful and moving, his Germont, commanding, his Rigoletto, impressive, dramatic and moving… his Renato, Extraordinary, his Count di Luna, the most beautiful ever……and his signature role, Eugene Onegin, difficult to match. Dima is for many of us for the Opera fans, the one and only Eugene Onegin.
All of us, in this November 22, cried and we shared many memories of Dima, our favorite performances, we send tributes, many of us changed our photos for “white roses”. And all international Opera artists, from Sir Bryn Terfel, Placido Domingo, Jonas Kaufmann, Piotr Beczala, Rene Pape, Thomas Hampson and Ildar Abdrazakov, expressed their most beautiful tributes. We have never experienced, something like this since the death of Luciano Pavarotti. Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Dima, was one of the greatest super star Opera artists of these last 30 years.
VERDI’S REQUIEM FOR Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Since a year ago, the MET announced “Verdi’s Requiem” for the 2017/2018 season (as a replacemente for Verdi’s Opera La Forza del Destino) and as a matter of destiny, the four performances of Verdi’s Requiem were scheduled for November 24, to December 2nd of this year. Verdi’s Requiem was programmed to fill the cancelation of the new production of “La Forza del Destino”. In previous years, “Verdi’s Requiem” was performed at the Met 43 times. In 1901, The Met honored the death of Verdi himself. In 1964, President Kennedy. In 1981, Francis Robinson, a longtime Met official and in 2008, Luciano Pavarotti. Now as a matter of destiny, Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager announced that the four performances of Verdi’s Requiem will be dedicated in loving memory of our beloved Dima.
Another memory of Dima, that we will never forget was, that on Sunday, May 7, the Metropolitan Opera celebrated its 50th year in Lincoln Center in which many of the most famous Opera artists, veterans and contemporary stars, performed in celebration many of their most famous arias and the greatest and most unforgettable moment, was when, during in the middle of the 5 hour Opera Gala, Peter Gelb announced to the audience, the surprising and heroic appearance of Dima at the Gala, singing Rigoletto’s “Cortigiani vil razza dannata”… all of us were fortunate to listen to this unforgettable moment. We all were in tears, applauding so much to Dima’s surprising and beautiful singing of this demanding aria from Verdi’s Rigoletto!
In 1989, Dima won the famous “Cardiff singer of the world” competition in which Dima triumphed and won, against a big favorite from the UK, the then unknown and also know internationally famous Sir Bryn Terfel. And Dima’s triumph in “Cardiff Singers of the World” was the beginning of an extraordinary and amazing career that is now in the history of the Opera. The name of Dmitri Hvorostovsky is now along with the big names of Pavarotti, Caruso, Callas, Corelli, di Stefano, Gobbi, Warren, Siepi, Merrill, Tibbett, Tebaldi, as an Opera legend. His Operas, concerts, recitals, CDs, will always be a treasure for all of us and for the Opera lovers of future generations.
Thank you Dima, for giving us many joys to our lives and hearts! We will never forget your smile, your voice, your talent, your silver hair, your humanity. In history of music, there is not going to be another one like Dima. We will never forget you!
Rest in Peace, Dmitri Aleksandrovich Hvorostovsky (16 October 1962 – 22 November 2017)