Dmitri Hvorostovsky: Opera Baritone 28

Is it possible for a blast of Siberian air to warm like a Mediterranean breeze? If it’s Hvorostovsky singing Verdi, indubitably. The native of Krasnoyarsk—a Siberian city noted till now only for a controversial Soviet antimissile radar site—is being bravoed as a new operatic superpower. After he won the 1989 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, a privately circulated video of his performance caused such a sensation in New York City that his barely advertised Lincoln Center debut quickly sold out. “He’s beautiful inside and out,” attests diva Jessye Norman, “and on top of everything else, he has one of the greatest voices going.” As a teen, he says, “I only ever thought about two things—singing and women, not necessarily in that order. But I’m happily married now, so I’m a lot calmer.” (His wife, Svetlana, is a ballerina.) “I would like my eyes to be larger,” he admits. But he knows he’s hip. “Don’t I look like a rock star?” Sure, Guns N’ Rosenkavaliers.

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