March 06, 2019
Paragon of Singing: Dmitri Hvorostovsky Returns to Lyric
“My life is very beautiful, very exciting, and quite lucky,” Dmitri Hvorostovsky commented a few years ago.* “It is the biggest pleasure in the world to perform for a crowd that listens to your every breath. What can be better than this?”
Lovers of the baritone voice everywhere agree: in opera houses and recital halls internationally these days, there’s no greater pleasure than listening to Hvorostovsky. The Siberian singer’s voice is the Eighth Wonder of the World —warm and mellow, full of irresistibly smoldering dark colors, and guided by one of the finest vocal techniques of our time.
Hvorostovsky will be back at Lyric for a hugely anticipated recital on February 26, singing music by three of the greatest Russian art-song composers—Glinka, Tchaikovsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov – plus some of the most ravishing songs of Richard Strauss. Collaborating with the baritone will be his regular accompanist, Estonian pianist Ivari Ilja: “He is the reason that I, in spite of the major challenges, I gladly give more recitals. A fantastic pianist, with immense musical experience and a great cultural background. To be able to work with him is a rewarding challenge for every singer!**
From the beginning of his career, Hvorostovsky has been a big Lyric favorite. He created a sensation in his U.S. operatic debut on our stage as Germont in La traviata (1993), which he sang again at Lyric a few seasons later. He’s also triumphed with us in Faust, Un ballo in maschera, and a work he’s made totally his own worldwide, Eugene Onegin.
Precious few singers have been honored with a recital at Lyric, but Hvorostovsky is more than just a singer: he’s Russia’s great vocal hero, a shining symbol of musical achievement, and a crusader for Russian music in all corners of the world. “It's something that belongs to me,” he explained to the Los Angeles Times. “How can I characterize what is part of my nature? Its depth, sadness. It's sort of positive optimism, a certain amount. When you start talking about it, it becomes somehow cynical, and I don't want to do that.”
Hvorostovsky on the stage is a born communicator. His voice is so extraordinarily beautiful, his artistry so compelling, and his natural charisma so overwhelming that he can turn audiences literally hysterical with enthusiasm. Call him a rock star if you like – in any case, he’s a force of nature and his recital at Lyric is not to be missed!