Evgeny Nikitin is scheduled to sing at the Metropolitan Opera next season. The singer has been the subject of controversy, after it was discovered that he had a swastika tattooed on his body. According to a report from Associated Press, Nikitin quit the Bayreuth opera festival when footage of him playing drums in a rock band emerged.
In the footage, he played bare-chested and the tattoo of a swastika could be seen, partly covered by another symbol. He has been scheduled to sing in a production of Wagner's 'Parsifal' at the Metropolitan Opera next season and a spokesman for the Met, Peter Clark, revealed that the bass baritone singer's status "hasn't been reviewed." He will be singing the part of Klingsor. Earlier this week, Nikitin quit the Bayreuth festival, when a news segment for German TV showed the singer sporting a tattoo that resembled a swastika. The other tattoos, according to New York Times were Scandinavian runes, which had been co-opted as SS symbols during World War II.
In a statement released by the festival, Nikitin explained "I had them done in my youth. It was a big mistake, and I wish I'd never done it. I was not aware of the extent of the irritation and offense these signs and symbols would cause, particularly in Bayreuth given the context of the festival's history."