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Video of the Day 
Yevgeny Nikitin: Opera & Metal

time: 10:00 / 350 words

Yevgeny Nikitin, 38, is a Russian bass-baritone who sings both opera and heavy metal. Nikitin was born in Murmansk, Russia’s largest Arctic seaport. He studied at the State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg. While still a student, he was invited to sing at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater.

Nikitin is a highly accomplished artist who has sung some of the most challenging bass-baritone roles in leading opera houses around the world. He is best known for his Wagner roles: the Dutchman (Der Fliegende Holländer), Heinrich der Vogel (Lohengrin), Wotan (in Das Rheingold and Siegfried, but not yet in Die Walküre), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Gunther (Götterdämmerung), and Amfortas (Parsifal).

Nikitin is also well-known for his leading roles in Russian operas, including: Ruslan (Ruslan and Ludmila), Boris Godunov, Shchelkalov, Rangoni (Boris Godunov), Shaklovity (Khovanshchina), Prince Igor, Vladimir Yaroslavich (Prince Igor), Eugene Onegin (Eugene Onegin), Tomsky (The Queen of Spades), and Aleko (Aleko).

His Mozart roles are Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) and Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni); his Richard Strauss roles are Jokanaan (Salome) and Orest (Elektra). For other roles, see his website.

In July, Nikitin withdrew under pressure from his highly-anticipated debut at the Bayreuth Festival, where he was to sing the role of the Dutchman in Der Fliegende Holländer. The reason for his departure is his tattoos.

You see, Nikitin is also a heavy metal musician, and like many in that subculture, he has covered his body with tattoos. But the Bayreuth Festival objected to two tattoos in particular: a swastika and a life rune, both of which were associated with National Socialism. In a statement, Nikitin claimed that the tattoos were “spiritual” rather than “political” in nature. Of course the two categories are not mutually exclusive. Nordic paganism and National Socialism are both found in the Heavy Metal subculture.

Unfortunately, such disgusting displays of political correctness happen daily in Occupied Germany.

The video above is in Russian, and unfortunately there are no subtitles. (If you wish to help produced a subtitled version, please contact me.) But it does serve as an introduction to Nikitin’s music.

Greg Johnson


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  1. phil white
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it helps us politically to oppose people who object to the display of Swastikas in Germany.
    Too much romanticizing Hitler is bad for us although adopting much of his successful political tactics via A3P is a good idea.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      We’re talking about a tattoo on the man’s chest. Even if you think the swastika ban is reasonable, this is not reasonable.

  2. rhondda
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I hope someone will translate this video. When I first heard about his withdrawal from the Wagner concert, I tried to find out more about him and didn’t get far. The marriage of two seemingly disparate genres in one person is just too much for the liberal brain to accept. It’s all either/or and never the twain shall meet.

    He does have a gorgeous voice.

  3. Sviatoslav
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Interesting, a shame there is no translation. Glad to see people like him on stage performing. Russia’s music scene is much more accepting of Paganism and Nationalism, then in America or the rest of Europe.

    If anyone is interested in Opera and Metal being joined, I can think of a couple bands that do this (both Russian):

    Велес – Калина // Veles – Kalina
    Иван Царевич – Живой Металл // Ivan Tsarevich – Live Metal

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