Cher Public

RIP Dmitri Hvorostovsky

The heartbreaking news of the death of Dmitri Hvorostovsky has been confirmed by the baritone’s press representative 21C Media. 

21C Media issued the following statement today shortly before 4:00 AM:

It is with great sadness 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 at 3:20am GMT on Wednesday, November 22 surrounded by his family at a hospice facility near their home in London, UK.  He is survived by his wife, Florence Hvorostovsky, and their two children, Maxim (14) and Nina (10); his twin children, Alexandra and Daniel (21), from a previous marriage; and his parents, Alexander and Lyudmila. Having retired from the opera stage at the end of 2016 due to complications from the tumor, Hvorostovsky made his final public appearance in a “Dmitri and Friends” concert at Austria’s Grafenegg Festival in June; in September, he was  awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland of the IV degree, one of the highest non-military honors in his native Russia, for his great contribution to Russian art and culture.


Photo: Pavel Vaan/Leonid Semenyuk

  • Resitopiu

    Oh no RIP such a great singer

  • H_Badger

    The singing, and the stage presence…what a loss. :-(

  • Damianjb1

    That is extremely sad news

  • Antikitschychick

    Wow how terribly sad. R.I.P. Dimitri. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time. I will be thinking of him this morning during the dress rehearsal of the Requiem at the Met.

    • grimoaldo2

      Yes, that Requiem, planned as a substitute for the cancelled new production of Forza can now serve as an appropriate tribute to one of the great operatic artists of our time. I saw many live performances of his in London and San Francisco and treasure the memories. Thanks for everything you gave us Dima.

      • Antikitschychick

        Yes precisely. I’ve never seen it live and have only heard one of the singers on the roster for it (Antonenko). I’m particularly excited to hear Semenchuk and the orchestra and chorus of course.

        As for Dima, I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to see him live in Il Trovatore a couple of seasons ago with Anna Netrebko. I will cherish the memory of the big ovation he received and swarm of flowers thrown at him from the orchestra pit. May his memory and artistry linger on.

  • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

    RIP Dimitri Hvorostovsky. Great voice, presence and artistry. I am sorry never to have seen him in recital, of which I hear only good things. But I have the memory of a Conte di Luna in a Russian-cast Trovatore in Paris in December 2004.

    At one point the Count makes a sign of the cross and Dimitri, forgetting himself, did it in the Orthodox way. A few were unimpressed! But not at the curtain call, when he received tremendous acclaim. He is gone too soon, but has left great memories of which I look forward to reading more on this thread.

  • Angelo Saccosta

    Rest in Peace, Dima : gone, alas, far too soon.

  • manou

    The unfortunate premature announcement of his passing would have given Hvorostovsky a rare glimpse into the outpouring of love and grief which greeted the news, and the relief which followed its denial. Maybe this came as some solace to him at the time when he was obviously in very poor health. I have seen him perform many many times, and he was obviously a prodigious artist in every way. The opera world will be poorer for his passing.


  • MisterSnow

    Unrelated to opera, but I just saw that David Cassidy died (67).

    • ruxxy

      Who cares -- sorry

  • CKurwenal

    Very sad news, RIP Dmitri. He was one of my very favourite artists who I saw very early on when I first got into opera, and then frequently up until the last couple of years. Opera first grabbed me at the age of 15, in 1995, via the great dramatic coloratura sopranos, but when I did finally countenance the idea of listening to male voices, Dmitri’s bel canto arias disc was the first one I bought and listened to obsessively. Not long afterwards, he came to Edinburgh and did a concert in Methodist Central Hall of all places, singing some Mozart, and the Songs and Dances of Death. Seeing him live for the first time was beyond thrilling.

    I got to see him a lot at the Royal Opera, in Eugene Onegin, Queen of Spades, Nozze di Figaro, I Masnadieri, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Un Ballo in Maschera, Rigoletto and Faust. There was the Don Carlo in Paris we spoke about recently, in which he saved an otherwise not very pleasurable evening, for me. I also saw several song recitals over the years in various different cities. Out of all of those occasions, scarcely a single note was out of place -- the consistency and polish of his singing over the course of more than 20 years was just extraordinary, and it’s not as if he came across as a particularly cautious artist, giving everything great commitment and always singing generously.

    He will be greatly missed.

    • Donna Annina

      Lucky, lucky you.

    • CKurwenal

      I also want to mention seeing him in this very early on in my opera-going life:

      I didn’t know the piece then and I didn’t know this had been a sort of party trick of his since Cardiff, so wasn’t listening out for anything, but hearing him go through from ‘Io morro’ to ‘cosi serbar’ in 1 single breath in Rodrigo’s final scene with no faltering in the tone or any suggestion that it was even hard for him was absolutely amazing to me. 21 years later it remains one of my most vivid memories of him.

    • agh1

      It is indeed very sad. I, too, was fortunate to see him in several roles at the ROH but my most abiding memory is of watching and listening to him on TV when he appeared on the scene in 1989 at the Cardiff competition. As soon as he had sung his first aria it was clear that he would be the winner -- and even with Bryn Terfel as a fellow competitor. It was just so beautiful.

      • David Prosser

        The 1989 Cardiff competition was hugely exciting -- the realisation that we were being exposed to two major talents. So sad that we have lost one of them as early as this

  • MisterSnow

    And Della Reese died a couple days ago -- another “baritone” (Really low contralto)

  • Wally Walburga

    So sad, saw him in a recital in 1994 in Caracas.

  • Ivy Lin

    I had known this news was coming but was still devastated when I opened my Facebook feed this morning and saw the news. What a wonderful artist.
    This will always be my favorite memory of his.

  • Leontiny

    A great artist. May his beautiful soul rest in peace. So many memories to cherish. I can’t attend Onegin without seeing and hearing him.
    Fuck cancer.

  • Donna Annina

    Oh, NO…..I am so saddened by this news. Watching his performances on MetPlayer and elsewhere were revelations. His memory and his voice are for blessings. Too young, too soon.

  • southerndoc1

    DH’s Met career is framed by two unforgettable videos -- Leonie’s farewell curtain call, and his Trovatore bows. And then the precious encore of the Rigoletto aria.


  • DonCarloFanatic

    Very sorry to hear this. Gone too soon.

  • Donna Annina

    Anna Netrebko posted this on her Facebook page. It’s a lovely song and the lyrics are so heartbreaking:
    The earth seems deserted without you….