"We were recording, and he says he's getting sleepy. And then he says, "Come on," then put me on his shoulders and did 20 sit-ups!"
This remarkable talent from the depths of Siberia wowed the world for decades. He was one of the truly huge international megastars, and his fans around the world are devastated.
This is a Russian TV News obituary on Hvorostovsky, showing interviews of him in his youth, him singing at various stages during his career, reactions of friends, scenes from his family life, and in his last days when he was clearly ill.
A touching and moving report on a national hero.
Captions exclusively on Russia Insider.
Full transcript follows below.
Words of deep sorrow are flooding in from all over the world today over the death of a Russian opera singer. Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Dmitri Hvorostovsky's family.
Putin, like millions of other people in the world, was a fan of his talent. A memorial service will be held in Moscow, on Nov. 27 in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.
Turn around, a stranger passing by... Yes, I'm like that. And the most important thing is to believe in yourself, believe in love. To believe in happiness!
Krasnoyarsk, June. One of Hvorostovsky's last interviews, where he thanks his landsmen for not returning their tickets and waiting for him. This is my home. I was born and grew up here. I went to school here. And regularly, from the very start of my career I've reported to you, to Krasnoyarsk.
Here he found his endless love for music. His father was an engineer, his mother a doctor, but opera was always the favorite at home, especially Verdi. Here, at the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theater, he received his first ovation, international acclaim came later. Since 1989, this amazing, vivid baritone began sounding from all opera stages. A masterpiece requiring matchless strength. A triumph on stage, and such an ethereal, signature humbleness with people.
You never marvel at your talent?
What? You mean?.. No, never!
What talent? First of all, when I... When I hear my recordings, or when I watch them, I see the mistakes very well.
1993, a rehearsal in Moscow. He's already well-known across the globe.
For me, it's that much more pleasant, interesting, and honorable to have my new programs, usually, Russian programs, to be seen by my compatriot audience.
Dark in the night. Just the bullet’s whistling all over the steppe…
Hvorostovsky sang Soviet war songs on all continents, as brilliantly as the operas of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Verdi, Mozart, and Bizet. And in his intensely busy schedule, there's always the underlined "Red Square Concert, open-air."
So difficult to say, and not to say…
The tenderness of a Russian opera toreador: tall, long-haired, athletic, nobly grey-haired, lives in London.
Truth be told, he's married. Her name is Florence, and two children: Maxim and Nina. These are home videos from the recent years. A Siberian, Dmitri Hvorostovsky.
Igor Krutoy, People's Artist of Russia:
"We were recording, and he says he's getting sleepy. And then he says, "Come on," then put me on his shoulders and did 20 sit-ups. With all my weight, the way I am. He was this physically fit."
Constantine Orbelyan, pianist, friend:
"He never complained, and never wanted to talk about his sickness. He didn't want to be pitied by anyone. He couldn't stand it. He only wanted to look to the future." When he learned about his diagnosis, Hvorostovsky stays on stage. He gives charity concerts for sick kids, he tours with his opera star friends. He even titles the performances, "Hvorostovsky and Friends."
Vladimir Fedoseyev, People's Artist of USSR:
"He opened his soul. A Siberian, a Russian, a singer that dreamt to sing always, for a long time to come."
At the Vienna Opera House, the flags are half-mast today. And from Canada, the singer Lara Fabian once again declares her love to Dmitri: "I love you, be safe, wherever you are now." Thank you for your music, your soul, for everything you gave to this Universe.”
In his last interview,
"I'm no longer a young talent, but an authority in the Opera world. I must be helpful."
And he always helped musicians and singers, those very talents, in hopes that they will believe in happiness, love, and themselves.
Oh, how we believed in ourselves...
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