Thursday, December 08, 2016

Hvorostovsky Withdraws from Scheduled Opera Appearances

Dmitri Hvorostovsky at the curtain call for the September 25 performance of Verdi's Il Trovatore. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

From the Met:
Dmitri Hvorostovsky has withdrawn from his upcoming opera engagements, including this spring’s Met performances as the title character in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, due to illness. In June 2015, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and began treatment. However, balance issues resulting from the illness have made the performance of staged opera difficult, though he plans to continue performing in concerts, recitals, and the recording studio. A statement from Mr. Hvorostovsky is available below.
Mariusz Kwiecien and Peter Mattei will step into the role of Onegin at the Met for this spring’s performances, with Kwiecien singing on March 30, April 3 and 7 and Mattei singing on April 12, 15, 18, and 22 matinee.
Eugene Onegin will be conducted by Robin Ticciati and will also star Anna Netrebko as Tatiana, Elena Maximova as Olga, Alexey Dolgov as Lenski, and Štefan Kocán as Gremin. The April 22 matinee performance will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 2,000 theaters in 70 countries around the globe.
[Given the cast, I had planned to attend the HD broadcast which, to make this explicit, will now have the great Peter Mattei in the title role.]

[Kwiecien and Mattei bios omitted]

Statement from Dmitri Hvorostovsky

To all my friends, fans and colleagues:
It is with great sadness that I must withdraw from opera performances for the foreseeable future.
I have been experiencing balance issues associated with my illness, making it extremely difficult for me to perform in staged productions.
I will continue to give concerts and recitals as well as make recordings. Singing is my life, and I want to continue bringing joy to people worldwide.
With this pause in my operatic career and more rest in between each engagement, I hope to have more time to focus on my health and treatment.
Thank you for all your love, messages and well wishes. Your support is felt and means the world to me.
With love,
Wishing Mr. Hvorostovsky the most successful treatment possible!


Cameron Kelsall said...

I'm not going to play armchair oncologist, but we should consider it rather amazing that DH is still well enough to perform in recitals and concerts after receiving treatment for nearly 2 years (plus however long his tumor was present prior to diagnosis). Brain tumors are insidious; many people don't survive as long as he has, and the treatments are often associated with severe cognitive impairments. Not knowing anything about the specifics of his personal situation, it seems like he's beating the odds.

I hope that he continues to do well in treatment and can eventually return to the opera stage, because I've always considered him a wonderful actor in addition to a beautiful voice. That said, Mattei is a luxury replacement. I'm always happy to see him, but Onegin is one of his best roles.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Also not an armchair oncologist, but I know a number of people who've had brain tumors and have separately read up a bit on them. Survival time depends heavily on the type of tumor: I have three friends who've had acoustic nerve tumors and all were successfully treated and are expected to have typical lifespans. The treatments differed; one had open brain surgery, another had some kind of very high-tech treatment with no surgery.

I know someone who died maybe 18 months or two years after being diagnosed with a different type of tumor, but I cannot recall what kind.

And I also know someone who lived 17 years after diagnosis with a fairly slow-moving type of tumor. I cannot remember the series of treatments he had during that time, only that he would go into remission, and by the time he next needed treatment, medical science would have new, improved means of treating him. I think he went into remissions two or three times before his doctors ran out of new treatment options. He was able to work for years between treatment regimens, too, and only stopped working a few months before his eventual death.

Hvorostovsky has so far been really lucky and I hope he's able to fully recover from this.