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Breaking: Singer quits Bayreuth over swastika tattoos

The Russian baritone Yevgeny Nikitin has been forced to leave Bayreuth, where he was to sing to titled role in Flying Dutchman, after TV cameras picked up a large tattoo of the Nazi emblem on his chest.

Nikitin said he’d had it done when he was young and foolish, but after the symbol was shown on ZDF’s Aspekte program he had nowhere to go today but out. See picture here.

That leaves Bayreuth four days to find a new Dutchman for its only new production. The festival opens Wednesday. More here.

Nikitin is one of Valery Gergiev’s home-bred stars at the Mariinsky in St Petersburg.

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  1. Bet they’re working on that over this weekend!

  2. Rosana Martins says:

    Utterly disgusting to have a singer with a swastika tattoo on his body.

    • Michael Güttler says:

      Please note that he does not have it any more. He has covered it with another tattoo. This is, in my eyes, a clear statement. So he doesn’t have a visible swastika on his body. He had it in the past, that’s true. But to send a very promising singer away after six weeks of rehearsal because of a stupid mistake he has committed in his youth, which he has corrected himself… Well, it seems histerically exaggerated to me.

  3. Wanderer says:

    If it wasn’t for the ZDF documentary that aired the old footage of Nikitin, there would be no problem for anyone.
    I’m sure Meister Thielemann will have a word or two with his friends at ZDF, who are so keen on broadcasting his New Years Eve concerts, yet do a honor killing of one of his personally casted protagonists.

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