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People’s Artist of Russia, opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky

On November 22, people’s Artist of Russia, opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky died in London
Dmitri Hvorostovsky Sergei Savostianov/TASS
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

TASS FACTBOX, November 22. /TASS/. People’s Artist of Russia, opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky died in London on November 22, 2017. He was 55.

Dmitri A. Hvorostovsky was born in Krasnoyarsk on October 16, 1962. His father Alexander is a chemical engineer and mother Lyudmila, a gynecologist.

1972-1977. Hvorostovsky takes piano and solfeggio classes at a local musical school in Krasnoyarsk.

1982. Graduates from the musical department of the A.M. Gorky Teachers Training College N. 1. In the mid-1980s graduates from the vocal arts department of the Krasnoyarsk State University of Arts. Teacher - Professor Yekaterina Iofel. Operatic voice - baritone.

1985-1990. A soloist at the Krasnoyarsk State Theater of Opera and Ballet.

1987. First prize at the Soviet Union’s M. I. Glinka National Contest (Baku, the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic, currently Republic of Azerbaijan).

1988. Grand-Prix at an international contest of vocalists in Toulouse, France. Debuts on stage as Yeletsky in Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades in Opera de Nice, France.

Hvorostovsky won wide acclaim in 1989 after his victory in the 4th international contest of vocalists Singer of the World in Cardiff (Wales, the UK; a biannual event held since 1983 under the auspices of the BBC). This success entailed a string of invitations to the world’s leading theaters: Covent Garden (London, the UK), Bavarian State Opera and Berlin State Opera (both in Germany), La Scala (Milan, Italy), the Vienna State Opera (Austria), Metropolitan Opera (New York, the United States), and others.

Hvorostovsky’s repertoire included title and leading roles in Eugene Onegin, Iolanta and The Queen of Spades by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Simon Boccanegra and Othello by Giuseppe Verdi, La Favorite and L’elixir d’amor (Love Drink) by Gaetano Donizetti, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Juan by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Demon by Anton Rubinstein, The Tsar's Bride by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, The Barber of Seville by Gioacchino Rossini, Faust by Charles Gounod, Rural Honor by Pietro Mascagni, Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, and others.

Alongside opera roles Hvorostovsky sang Russian folk songs and romances by Russian and foreign composers and baroque arias by West European composers of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Over years Hvorostovsky performed together with the New York and Rotterdam philharmonic orchestras and also with leading Russian and foreign conductors - Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Spivakov, Valery Gergiyev and Vladimir Fedoseyev (of Russia), James Levine and Lorin Maazel (both of the United States), Zubin Mehta (of India), Bernard Haitink (of the Netherlands) and Claudio Abbado (of Italy).

May 28, 2004. Hvorostovsky is the first opera singer to have performed with an orchestra and choir in Moscow’s Red Square. In this charity event he sang Soviet-era World War II songs, arias from operas by Russian and Italian composers, Russian romances and Neapolitan songs. The concert was telecast to 30 countries.

2005. Hvorostovsky makes a special tour of Russian cities at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin timed for the 60th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany.

Starting from 2006 Hvorostovsky regularly performed in Moscow and St. Petersburg with a series of concerts called Dmitri Hvorostovsky and his Friends. Hvorostovsky’s invitations to join him on stage were accepted by leading opera singers from many countries: Yekaterina Syurina, Yekaterina Gubanova and Ildar and Askar Abdrazakov (of Russia), Renee Fleming and Sondra Radvanovski (of the United States), Barbara Frittoli and Marcello Giordani (of Italy), Sumi Jo (of South Korea), Jonas Kaufmann (of Germany), and Ramon Vargas (of Mexico).

Starting from 2010 Hvorostovsky established fruitful cooperation with Russian composer Igor Krutoi. Their joint concerts were held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and New York.

September 25, 2012. Hvorostovsky and the Choir of the V.S. Popov Choral Arts Academy and the Ye. F. Svetlanov State Academic Symphony Orchestra opened the 10th season at the Moscow International House of Music.

2014-2016. Hvorostovsky regularly appears on stage with charity concerts called Dmitry Hvorostovsky and Friends for Children.

May 9, 2015. A concert of wartime songs at the national exhibition center in Moscow timed for the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. Other concerts timed for this memorable date took place in Tyumen, Yekaterinburg and Krasnoyarsk.

On June 24, 2015 if was officially announced that Hvorostovsky had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. For some time he managed to combine medical treatment and professional activity. Together with Anna Netrebko he performed at Metropolitan Opera (in September 2015) and with Latvian vocalist Elina Garanca at the State Kremlin Palace (October 2015), and participated in a gala concert on the occasion of City Day in St. Petersburg (in May 2017).

Hvorostovsky has recorded more than 40 solo and opera discs.

Holder of the People’s Artist of Russia title (1995), Order of Alexander Nevsky (2015) and Order for Services to the Nation 4th Class (2017).

Laureate of Russia’s M.I. Glinka State Prize (1991).

Honorary citizen of Krasnoyarsk (2000), the Krasnoyarsk Territory (2015), and Kemerovo Region (2006).

Honorary Professor of the M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (2006).

Married twice. First wife - ballerina Svetlana Ivanova - died in 2015. Second wife - Italian singer Florence Illi. Two children in the first marriage - daughter Alexandra and son Daniel (born in 1996). Hvorostovsky adopted his first wife’s daughter from the first marriage Maria. Children in the second marriage - son Maxim (born 2003) and daughter Nina (born in 2007).

Hvorostovsky’s name was given to main-belt asteroid N. 7995.

Books about Hvorostovsky’s life and work: Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Episodes. By Natalya Chernova (2006). Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Two Women and Music. By Sophia Benoit (2015).

Documentaries: Dmitri Hvorostovsky. The Science of Long Travels (2002) and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. It’s Me and Music, by Nika Strizhak (2012).