Dmitri Hvorostovsky – the baritone known as the Elvis of opera – has died aged 55. Hvorostovsky announced in 2015 that he had been diagnosed with cancer.
The Russian singer first came to global attention in 1989 when he won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He went on to become a regular fixture at top opera houses all over the world, with his portrayal of Eugene Onegin widely praised.
Said Vienna State Opera (VSO) director Dominique Meyer: “Today is a very, very sad day for all of us at the VSO. We remember him for his unforgettable performances at the house … and as someone who enriched us with his laughter, his joy, his warm heartedness, his positivity and his generosity.”
Meanwhile London’s Royal Opera House said it would dedicate the opening night of its upcoming adaptation of Rigoletto to Hvorostovsky (14 December).
Hvorostovsky continued to perform after receiving his diagnosis. He gave his final concert on 29 November, 2016 as Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata at VSO.
His family posted the following statement on his Facebook page: “It is with heavy hearts 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 … surrounded by family near his home in London, UK. May the warmth of his voice and his spirit always be with us.”
The family have asked that anyone wishing to send flowers should instead make donations to Cancer Research UK: bit.ly/DHVCancerResearch.