World-renowned Russian baritone, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, accompanied by Estonian pianist, Ivari Ilja, concluded his 3-stop, North American Tour last night in Chicago at Lyric Opera. Hvorostovsky, who is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, sang a program filled with 20 songs by Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, and Strauss, with the addition of 3 encores, reminded the audience why he’s considered to be one of the most talented and most sought-after individuals in opera today. His famed breath control was on full display, singing multiple phrases in one breath with expressivity and tonal depth – absolutely brilliant. The selection of songs, especially those from Rimsky-Korsakov and Strauss, showcased the absolute beauty of his voice, ranging from the soft high notes he effortlessly sang to the velvety low notes characteristic of his famed baritone voice. My favorite of the night was Rimsky Korsakov’s “Ne voter, vera s vysoty,” for the reasons stated above. And Ivari Ilja, Hvorostovsky’s accompanist on the piano, provided the perfect clarity and color to complement Hvorostovsky’s voice. Overall, a wonderful concert to end the week and an unforgettable experience. My dad and I have admired Hvorostovsky’s voice for a long time, so it was cool for both me and my dad to see him perform live. I would very much like to see Hvorostovsky perform in a Lyric production in the future – especially in a Verdi opera (maybe Simon Boccanegra or Rigoletto).