From the London Times obituary:
To some of his critics Hvorostovsky — with his silver locks, piercing features and air of vulnerability — was little more than the oligarchs’ opera star, a man of mystery with connections deep inside the political heart of Moscow, evidence of Russian meddling in opera long before the country had started influencing elections. He duetted with Renée Fleming in Red Square, sang to an audience of 6,000 in the Kremlin and when he turned 50 received a birthday telegram from President Putin.
This is completely unfounded. Alone among Russian singers, Hvorostovsky refused to sign Putin’s manifestos or dance to the Kremlin’s tune. He enjoyed mass popularity in Russia and Putin left him alone. If the Times knows of controlling oligarchs or ‘mystery’ connections, it should name them rather than promulgate false rumours. It should also name ‘some of his critics’, who contributed to the obit.
His second wife successfully persuaded him to cut back on his heavy smoking and drinking, but by then the damage was done and in the summer of 2015 a brain tumour was diagnosed.
Cause and effect? There is no known link between smoking and brain cancers. This is just another slur, blaming a man for his own death.
Will anyone own up to writing this unseemly trash?