MOSCOW – Friends, relatives and officials gathered on Monday to pay their last respects to Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who recently died of brain cancer at the age of 55.
Images captured by an epa photojournalist showed Hvorostovsky’s parents, Alexander and Ludmila, standing alongside widow Florence next to a wooden coffin decorated with an abundance of flowers, as part of a memorial ceremony held at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in the Russian capital.
Hvorostovsky had one of Russia’s most popular voices, and he held a “People’s Artist of Russia” title – the country’s highest accolade given in the performing arts sphere.
On announcing the singer’s death on Nov. 22, his family said that he had battled brain cancer for two-and-a-half years and died surrounded by relatives.
He began his career in 1985 at the State Opera and Ballet Theater in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, central Russia.
The baritone was thrown into the international spotlight in 1989 when he won the “BBC Cardiff Singer of the World” competition, which opened doors to him of the world’s most prestigious theaters.