MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti)
A Russian bass-baritone lost his chance of a grand debut at the world’s most prominent Wagner festival over an old swastika tattoo, German media reported.
Evgeny Nikitin, 38, was set to become the first Russian to sing the lead role in the production of “The Flying Dutchman” at the annual Bayreuth Festival, set to open on Wednesday.
However, Nikitin’s turbulent background has caught up with him on Friday, when a German TV channel aired a video from the time when he dabbled in rock music. Archive footage showed bare-chested Nikitin blasting away a heavy metal song at the drums, with a swastika tattooed on his chest.
A media storm that followed has prompted Nikitin to give up on his grand debut, German television ZDF said on Saturday.
“I’ve done the tattoos in my youth. It was a big mistake,” said Nikitin, who still sports many tattoos on his body, down to his hands, though the swastika has since been covered by another image.
No replacement was announced for Nikitin as of Sunday, three days before the premiere date.
Nikitin, a native of Murmansk, graduated from St. Petersburg conservatory and made a name for himself as a Wagner performer in the city’s Mariinsky Theater under famous conductor Valery Gergiev.
Richard Wagner lived and died in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth, which houses regular Wagnerian festivals since 1876. The festival was popular with Nazi leaders – who were big admirers of Wagner’s music – and had to go to great lengths to dismiss any ties to Nazism after its post-war relaunch in 1951.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.