Evgeny Nikitin has decided not to appear at the Bayreuth Festival.
He has released a public statement to that effect.
The administration of the Bayreuth Festival accepts the consequences as well as the implications related to this decision. The entire production team of the HOLLÄNDER-production is consequently faced with an enormously challenging task of restoring and maintaining the artistic integrity of the production.
The production director, Jan Philipp Gloger, believes that the artistic damage to the production is enormous and that the possibility therefore exists that it may not be possible to completely restore it to the original intentions by the time of the opening night performance. This possibility regrettably exists even though intensive rehearsal and preparation will be undertaken by the entire production staff as well as by the cover Mr. Samuel Youn.
The decision taken by Mr. Nikitin was prompted by a newspaper article (“Bild am Sonntag”) regarding the meaning as well as the symbolic significance of some of his tattoos which are connected to the ideology of the National Socialist Party.
As soon as the Festival administration became aware of the nature of the research taking place related to this matter, talks with the artist, Mr. Nikitin began. The result of an approximately half-hour conversation with the Festival management is that Mr. Nikitin came to a deep understanding of the implications as well as the connotations of these symbols as they stand in relationship to Germany history.
Mr. Nikitin’s decision to withdraw from his planned performances at the Wagner Festival is consistent with the forceful and unequivocal rejection by the administration of the Bayreuth Festival of National Socialist ideology in any way, shape or form!