Dmitri Hvorostovsky triumphs in return to stage at Metropolitan Opera

Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s return to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera was met with an historic reception in last Friday’s premiere of Il trovatore.

“It’s impossible to imagine a singer giving more than Mr. Hvorostovsky did on this night,” wrote The New York Times, which added that Dmitri gave “a gripping performance as Count di Luna. There was little need to take what he has been going through into account. His resplendent voice, with its distinctive mellow character and dusky veneer, sounded not at all compromised. He sang with Verdian lyricism, dramatic subtlety and, when called for, chilling intensity as the complex count.”

“The performance on Friday was dominated, triumphantly, by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, 52, who returned to the romantically evil, nobly melodic stances of il Conte di Luna,” raved the Financial Times, which added that the Siberian baritone was “looking vital, singing heroically and acting… with unexpected degrees of expressive intensity. When he made his entrance, the house erupted. Even the conductor applauded. The baritone beamed, clutched his heart and took a bow. Three hours later, at his curtain call, the orchestra showered him with white roses.”

“The ovation that erupted when he first appeared was fervid enough that Marco Armiliato had to stop the orchestra and let the audience have their say—which they continued to do until Hvorostovsky acknowledged them with a gesture of gratitude,” noted the New York Classical Review. NYCR also praised Dmitri’s account of “Il balen del suo sorriso,” dubbing it “sublime, a passionate rendition that showcased his spiced caramel tone and arching, seemingly endless phrases that have made him one of the most treasured baritones of his generation.”

“He sang with silky legato, his voice lightened up to emphasize the character’s sweeter side. As the aria develops, the music takes on a Verdian propulsion with di Luna’s desperation and passion for Leonora growing; Hvorostovsky voice matched this intensity, his sound and power growing until he reached the cadenza,” wrote Latin Post. “The high G was a cry of desperation, the heart of the character on full display in painful vulnerability. He finished off the aria in sotto voce phrasing, the tenderness and beauty of Hvorostovsky’s voice at its most intimate. The ensuing applause was the most riveting of the night and it was rightly deserved.… It was a truly winning night for Hvorostovsky.”

Dmitri Hvorostovsky continues as Count di Luna in Il trovatore on September 29 and October 3. October 3’s performance will open the Met in HD’s season with simulcasts worldwide.

(Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)