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Mar. 22 2013

My turn to play groupie!

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | Comments Off on My turn to play groupie!

Judith recently had a wonderful fangirl moment with Emanuel Ax; now it’s my turn. For some years, I’ve been a devotee of Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s singing. Jim and I have seen him perform operatic roles, song cycles, and recitals, all brilliantly. I had the chance to interview “Dima” in 2002 when he was in town to sing Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity, only to find that when he actually arrived at WBJC’s old studios, I was almost unable to speak in his presence, let alone ask intelligent questions. Fortunately, Hvorostovsky couldn’t possibly have been more gracious, and through the miracle of digital editing, I managed to create something airable out of our chat.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that due to Jim’s rehearsal schedule for Chess and his gig running surtitles for Annapolis Opera’s Rigoletto, I was about to have most of a March weekend all to myself. What to do? Wait – Dmitri was singing Posa in Don Carlo at the Met? Never mind that Jim and I saw him perform the role in 2006; there’s no such thing as too much Dima. I quickly procured tickets for the opera and the Bolt Bus and was off to Manhattan, eager to see the performance, visit with friends, and perhaps have my picture taken with a certain baritone.

There was no guarantee that such a photo op would arise, of course, but with two friends who sing in the full-time Met chorus (and who just happened to be in this production) I was hopeful. Upon my arrival in New York, I dropped my suitcase off with one of my friends, who was about to go onstage in the Met’s matinee of Francesca da Rimini, but had kindly agreed to stash my bag in the dressing room so that I could go museum-hopping and shopping unencumbered. 

Fast-forward through my afternoon wanderings and dinner with friends, although both were lovely. How was the opera, and did I get a pic with Dmitri? Fabulous, and…

Dyana and Dmitri

Indeed I did! Despite the fact that the opera ended well after midnight, Dmitri was kind enough to pose with me. It’s most unfair that he looks great after singing such a lengthy opera, while I appear… well… bedraggled, but unlike myself, he probably had the sense not to walk around getting snowed on all afternoon. We had a brief visit, during which I asked if he remembered our 2002 interview; alas, he didn’t, but he said very nice things about my voice.  (Wait – I got a compliment on my voice from Dmitri Hovorostovsky?) Even though it was in regard to speaking, not singing, I was over the moon.

Have you met one of your favorite performers, and if so, do you have photographic evidence? Feel free to post stories and pics here!




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Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

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