(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) – Friends, relatives, and fans of internationally acclaimed Russian opera star Dmitry Hvorostovsky have gathered in Moscow to bid farewell to the singer, who died of brain cancer last week.
The ceremony took place in the Pyotr Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on November 27, with the late singer’s widow, Florence Hvorostovsky, their two children, and his parents, Aleksandr and Lyudmila, in attendance.
A number of officials and celebrities also attended the event, including Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the Russian parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council; Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov; Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets; Bolshoi Theater Director General Vladimir Urin; violinist Vladimir Spivakov; and music composer and producer Igor Krutoi.
The Siberian-born baritone died in London at age 55 after more than two years of fighting the cancer, and his body was brought to Moscow on November 25.
According to his will, half of the singer’s ashes were to be buried at the Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow, where many prominent Russian and Soviet politicians, artists, and others are buried, while the other half were to be laid to rest in his native city of Krasnoyarsk.
Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015 and had all but given up live performances by the end of 2016.
He made his final public appearance at a concert called Dmitry And Friends at Austria’s Grafenegg Festival in June.
The Vienna State Opera announced that month that he had canceled all upcoming performances.
Hvorostovsky, who was born in Krasnoyarsk in October 1962, has recorded more than 40 albums.