Tattoo baritone pulls out on Vienna

Tattoo baritone pulls out on Vienna


norman lebrecht

January 06, 2016

Evgeny Nikitin, the heavily tattooed Russian bass-baritone, has withdrawn from Vienna’s Fidelio this week with a sick note. Nikitin is rebuilding his career after being chucked out of Bayreuth in 2012 for having what appeared to be a half-erased swastika tattoo (upper left).


He will be replaced as Don Pizzaro by Albert Dohmen.

Anja Kampe sings Leonore, Klaus Florian Vogt is Florestan.



  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Truth be told, his career didn’t really suffer at all after the Bayreuth incident. Munich and other big houses stuck by him and the matter was pretty much forgotten soon after. I was one of the few who heard his first Dutchman, though (the Bayreuth pre-dress)!

  • Emil Archambault says:

    Since 2012, he’s been at the MET (Parsifal 2013, including HD broadcast), Munich (three productions, plus the festival), Paris (at least three times), Zurich, Amsterdam, the Mariinsky, Barcelona, Chicago, Verbier…did the tattoo actually harm his career outside of Bayreuth?

    Plus, if he is indeed rebuilding his career, labelling him as “tattoo baritone” is hardly going to help. There’s more to him than a tattoo, I believe; how is the tattoo relevant to him pulling out of Vienna?

    • Peter says:

      Shhh, don’t wake the Cerberus.

      • Max Grimm says:

        Too late. With a covered up Swastika on one side and the Elhaz on the other, I’m certain that someone’s already placed a priority notification for Hades himself.

        • Peter says:

          Let’s file it under: Another musically gifted, who wasn’t exactly the smartest kid on the block in his youth. That way he will be in the section that holds about 2/3 of all musicians.

          • Max Grimm says:

            Indeed. For all the righteousness (and often self-righteousness) on this blog and elsewhere in the world, I suspect that (if there is such a thing) Elysium will be rather sparsely populated, while it’ll be crowd control galore for Hades.

  • Eddie Mars says:

    Another gutless smear. I hope Nikitin sues.

  • Heath says:

    If it were a tattoo offending Muslims you would all be aghast. And no opera house would have him. But a swastika? Ha! Only evokes memories of gas chambers and crematoria. No big deal. Really.