A Russian baritone has pulled out of this year’s
Bayreuth opera festival after it emerged he once had a Swastika tattooed on his body.
A German television programme showed footage of Yevgeny Nikitin with a Swastika symbol partially covered on his bare chest.
Nikitin who was to play the lead in a new production of Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman said the tattoos were a mistake from his youth.
But Bayreuth Opera Festival Press Office, Peter Emmerich said he should have been direct about his past.
He said: “If he has had this done a long time ago, one can talk about it. But he has instead kept this a secret. There was not a lot of honesty, which has led to a lot of disappointment.”
Nazism is a sensitive issue for the German festival, which only shows operas by composer Wagner who often expressed anti-Semetic themes in his writings.