It’s better late than never, right? Yesterday was the birthday of the 2nd greatest baritone in operatic history, Sherrill Milnes being the greatest. I bring this up because, as a confessed Baritone Junkie, and Opera Freak, I can be entirely subjective, and extremely prejudiced. Opera freaks are like that. We’re like baseball freaks. Don’t expect reason and logic, just sit back and enjoy the music. Good opera is like good baseball. Nothing is more subliminally beautiful than the perfectly executed double play. A great barihunk, is like the perfectly executed double play. Just like Sherrill Milnes, Dmitri Hvorostovsky is like that perfectly executed double play.
His newest CD, The Bells of Dawn, is receiving the accolades it deserves. It is magnificent. Once upon a time, I thought the only time I would use that word ‘magnificent’ was in regards to Sherrill Milnes. Not anymore! I don’t even mind admitting that I sulked for a good ten years after Milnes retired. No one could ever come near his incredible voice. Thank heavens I was wrong. Like I said, opera freaks are irrational creatures, just like baseball fanatics. There will never be anyone like Johnny Bench.
My theory is that the hallmark of a great opera singer is how well they do cross-over. Very few are adapt at it. Milnes was one. So is Hvorostovsky.
Okay, so opera is about sex and violence. Got a problem with that? I sure don’t! (sigh)