The opera world mourns a great baritone

The opera world mourns a great baritone


norman lebrecht

November 22, 2017

On the death of Dmitri Hvorostovsky:

Rolando Villazon: ‘We will always remember his shiny white hair, his conquering smile, his handsome, devilish eyes, his Herculean presence, his wonderful, unique singing, powerful and delicate at the same time. Dima, the great singer, the great colleague has left us, but his legacy remains.’

Jonas Kaufmann: With great dismay, I have learned today that my great colleague and dear friend dmitri hvorostovsky has succumbed to his cancer. Jonas Kaufmann

Angela Gheorghiu: Today, the world lost a beautiful soul… I am devastated and heavy-hearted by the loss of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, a wonderful friend and a beautiful soul gone too soon!  His voice is now shining for the angels in Heaven!
To Florence and his precious family – words cannot heal the pain, but may loving memories bring you strength, comfort and peace, today and always!
Rest in peace, my dear Dimichka, you will continue to live forever in our hearts!

Olga Borodina: Deeply loss! Dima! Why so early? I can’t describe this pain……

Joyce DiDonato: The best way i can think of to honor a life as voracious, generous and as beautiful as that of beloved Dimitri is to share in the healing, communal power of music. I dedicate tonight’s performance of Semiramide at the to Dima.

Joseph Calleja: Gutted to the bone. A charming singer with a greatness that will immortalize his artistry.

Roberto Alagna: Immense tristesse aujourd’hui, ciao Dima

Sarah Connolly: Terribly sad. He was always a shining star, always sounding gorgeous and being a good colleague. A huge loss.

Fabio Luisi: He was indeed one of the kindest singers I ever worked with – and we worked extensively together, especially at the Metropolitan Opera.
Always a good word for everybody and a helping and positive attitude.

Decca Records: Very sad to hear of Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s passing. He was a legend, one of the most charismatic voices of our time and he will be sorely missed.

Lawrence Brownlee: An Opera GIANT has fallen. RIP DmitriHvorostovsky.

Elina Garaca: I am heartbroken today to hear of the passing of my dear friend, Dmitri Hvorostovsky. An incredible singer, artist, colleague and friend — gone far too soon. His voice and spirit will stay with us forever. Rest in peace.

Costa Pilavachi, former head of Philips: “Dima”, as he was known to all, joined Philips Classics in 1989 after winning the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. He was not only immensely talented but also charming, lively, funny, boisterous and above all, a good and loyal friend. What a loss!

Vienna State Opera: The Vienna State Opera is deeply affected by the loss of Dmitri Hvorostovsky. This is a very, very sad day for all of us at the Wiener Staatsoper. With Dmitri Hvorostovsky we lost an outstanding singer and a real friend. It is with great wistfulness that we remember his memorable Wiener Staatsoper performances – as Iago, Posa, Eugen Onegin, Rigoletto and Simon Boccanegra. Or his last performance in La Traviata in November 2016, when he sang the role of Giorgio Germont so touchingly and beautifully – he was so strong, even though he was
already suffering under this disease. ‘I especially admire the wonderful way in which he carried himself during this terrible illness,’ said Vienna State Opera Director Dominique Meyer – ‘Dima leaves a great void behind. He will stay in our memories as an exceptional artist who always gave a hundred percent – and as a person who enriched us with
his laughter, his joy, his warm-heartedness, his positive manner and his generosity. To his wife Florence and to his children we, the entire Wiener Staatsoper family, express our deepest sympathy.’

The Wiener Staatsoper has raised the black flag in mourning and will dedicate Dmitri Hvorostovsky a minute of silence before today’s performance.

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden: ‘All at The Royal Opera are saddened to hear of the death of our friend and colleague Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.’

ROH Chorus: ‘No words seem enough to describe our feelings on the loss of Dima. His love and friendship was valued by all of us and we will miss him terribly. xxx’

More later.


  • STAN says:


  • Hurdis Grandison says:

    A delight. Uplifting. Sublime. A life so fleeting.
    Dmitri Hvorostovsky R.I.P.

  • says:

    J ai un immense chagrin d apprendre sa disparition j aimais Dimitri pour sa merveilleuse voix son immense sourire coquin et ses merveilleux yeux plein de malice. Un homme remplit de simplicité et en étroit contact avec le public. Vous allez me manquer énormément et votre voix chantera pour toujours dans mon coeur. Paix à toi et toutes mes pensées profondes vont à ta petite famille et à tes parents

    • Yvonne Procyk says:

      Perfectly stated, thank you. I continue to mourn Dmitri’s passing, far too soon, and give thanks for all the occasions when I was able to hear/see him or meet him. A special person.

  • Paul Basileo says:

    A wonderful singer and human being. So sad to hear this terriible news. He will be missed by all who love opera. .

  • Ken Brickell says:

    I have loved him since his triumph in Cardiff. This is such a sad, sad day for all who admired his artistry. At the time of his passing I was sharing his Pearl Fishers duet with a friend and we had no idea. Rest in peace Dimi.

  • Kay Collins says:

    Such a sad day I am so pleased to read the tributes from his contempories
    As a keen listener it is comforting to read their comments

  • Klinki Springer says:

    Dmitri will always remain…. – charismatic, larger-than-life. He lives on. Strength and courage to his family.

  • Maria Dolores says:

    It was thoughtless of me to ask if Dmitri Hvorostovsky would reschedule his concert in Dublin. I’m devastated at the news of his death. He appeared to be a lovely person. I almost wore out the videos of him with Jonas Kaufmann. He made them so entertaining – the wonderful voices and the fun they seemed to have. May he rest in peace.

  • Peter says:

    I couldn’t believe it when I heard the sad news, and tried to watch all of his videos I could find to convince myself he is sill with us.The video of his last appearance at the Grafenegg on June 22, 2017 broke my heart! He will always live in my mind and heart.

  • Jennifer Osborne says:

    More than a week has passed and I cry often at the thought of his death. I did not know him personally( although I did meet him briefly on three occasions : he was gracious and unpretentious ). I just cannot stand that his voice is silenced , that his magnificence is gone from this world. I doubt that I will ever hear a greater artist in my lifetime, or be captivated by a more mesmerizing presence on the stage . My heart aches for his family , and for all of us who will love him always

  • Sylvia Charlewood says:

    What a tragic loss to the world! Such a warm personality and a most marvelous,and seemingly effortless, voice. god bless him,and may his family find comfort from his recordings and their memories

  • Mojoy says:

    S0 Sorry and sad words cannot say how much his loss will be RIP MAESTRO

  • Lord Arthur says:

    A great loss.I only found out on 7th July of his passing.
    I have followed him since Cardiff and saw him twice live.

  • PrimaDiva says:

    It finally sunk in that the beautiful man with the beautiful voice will never grace my eyes nor grace the stage again. What am I to do. How sad and miserable I am. Why. Why do the good die young. Life is not fair. Now I know what that means. I do consider myself privileged though, to have lived during his lifetime and to have heard him sing. He’s the Maria Callas of baritones. Beguiling and sublime. He was singing my favorite opera, Il Trovatore. It was a favorite of mine for a long time and I had sung Leonora. But when I heard him sing it — I fell in love. Yes. I fell in love with him. Yes. You can love someone who is a stage presence on a stage. You can. Because that energy can reach you and touch you and change you, make you whole, and change everyone else in the house. And don’t we all want that. He was that guy. When he sang, not a pin dropped. Total silence was the audience. He was mesmerizing. He was tantalizing. He was exciting. He was hunky. He was the man. The legend. The Baritone. No need for tenors. He ran tenors out of town. He was sexy as hell. Stole all the shows. And he was built. His body was tight. And his voice was as mellow as cream. How can I forget him? Why would I forget him? I cannot forget Dmitri. He will last in my heart forever in my mind. He remains the only one. The drama and the smile. There will never be another. Forever missing you. Thank you Dmitri. You brought me wonderful joy. You did that. Now forever Rest In Peace in the spirit of excellence. God bless his family and his children. May you be forever proud and may his light continue to shine on you throughout your lives. And know that we constantly hurt with you because our beloved Dmitri is no longer here with us. But he is free and we thank God for that. God bless his parents for bringing forth and sharing the joy of Dmitri with the world. Thank you all for everything. Be blessed.