In a statement released through the MET (in who's production of Parsifal he will performing next year), Evgeny Nikitin has clarified that the tattoo which lead to him withdrawing from Bayreuth's new Dutchman was in fact not a Swastika.
"While it is true that I have had a varied artistic life, including an interest in heavy metal music and Scandinavian mythology, which was the inspiration behind the tattoos I have on my body, it is inaccurate to state that I ever had a swastika tattoo. In fact, the tattoo that has been called into question and that was photographed in 2008 was still in progress at the time."
"I have absolutely no affinity for or connection to any neo-Nazi or fascist movement, nor have I ever in the past," he said. "Nazism in particular has been the source of great personal grief and loss. My two grandfathers were both killed by Nazi forces during World War II".
"My main interest and purpose in life is my art as an opera singer, and it is very distressing that a mistaken interpretation of a tattoo has caused the recent cancellations in Bayreuth and raised questions about my integrity as a performing artist,"
Saariaho at the Armory, Grisey at BAM - Sound Waves. The New Yorker, Oct. 31, 2016.
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