Vienna struggles to replace Villazon and Hvorostovsky

Vienna struggles to replace Villazon and Hvorostovsky


norman lebrecht

June 29, 2017

The Vienna State Opera has brought in Jean-François Borras to sing Faust this winter in place of Rolando Villazon, who needs more time for his new job as artistic director of Salzburg’s Mozartwoche.


More difficult will be replacing Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who was due to appear over the coming season in Un ballo in maschera, Otello and Rigoletto.

The irreplaceable Hvorostovsky has retired from the opera stage to combat his brain cancer.


  • Luigi Nonono says:

    Justin Hopkins is a bass-baritone with a rich, plush voice and wonderful charisma.

  • martain smith says:

    Who really believes this is the reason that Villazón isn’t attempting Faust…???

  • Phil mcK says:

    I remember I went to see him live in California and since I am also a baritone working hard to sing like him one day (in my own unique voice of course) he was my favorite singer. I went to security an hour before performance to ask the proper channels just to shake his hand and thank him. I was told all is well and that I would be allowed to and to come back to his green room after the performance. I was very glad and enjoyed the performance and when I went afterwards to greet him the guy at the door said no flat out. And I told im I was OK’d and they just denied it. The f-ed up part is these other b-itches were walking in like nothing so it’s not like he was in a hurry to leave. I wished he would lose his voice just for being a real piece of $h!t to someone who was the only person there asking for permission to shake his hand. When the show was over nobody tried to even find him. They all left. I was the only one there at that moment and he must have thought he was hot $h!t to bother with someone like me. A few years later and now folks are saying my voice is far larger than his (those that know his voice live). I guess I never needed his f-cking handshake. Fu`k him.

  • wolfie says:

    Let’s say that Villazon has now lost his voice almost entirely…unfortunately.