What? Nikitin Insists Tattoo is not what we all think it really is…

Well if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck! The Wall Street Journal (among other press and media outlets via AP) reported today that the Russian bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin withdrew from the Bayreuth Wagner Festival last month following the appearance of a tattoo during a program broadcast on German television.

It appeared to be a swastika tattoo partly covered by another symbol.  Now he says the image was not a swastika.

In my opinion, the tattoo should never have been seen and he was insensitive to let it be seen or even having it to begin with. But look at the people who pressured him to walk.

Wagner, who died in 1883, wrote anti-Semitic essays and was the favorite composer of many Nazi leaders. The Bayreuth Festival, which he established, is run by great granddaughters Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier. Ugly hypocrisy in our profession. All parties are guilty on this one.

By the way, Nikitin remains scheduled to sing in Wagner’s “Parsifal” that opens at the Met on Feb. 15 next year. No tears shed.


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