Evgeny Nikitin Slated for 3 Operas Alongside Pro-Putin Conductor Valery Gergiev

By Francisco Salazar

Bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin is set to perform in two performances at the Mariinsky Theatre this week.

Nikitin, who has been performing over the past month in Russia since the war began, will sing a concert of “Iolanta” on April 10 and a production of “Parsifal” on April 14.  He is also set to perform the final part of The Ring Cycle at the Zaryadye concert hall in Moscow on April 17.

All three operas will be conducted by Pro-Putin conductor Valery Gergiev.

Nikitin, who was named an Honoured Artist of Russia, is one of the many performers in Russia currently singing at the Mariinsky Theatre with several international commitments. He is set to open a new production of “Lohengrin” at the Metropolitan Opera during the 2022-23 season, a company whose General Manager Peter Gelb said, “While we believe strongly in the warm friendship and cultural exchange that has long existed between the artists and the artistic institutions of Russia and the United States, we can no longer engage with artists or institutions that support Putin or are supported by him. Not until the invasion and killing has been stopped, order has been restored and restitutions have been made.”

Nikitin and Gergiev have collaborated on multiple occasions most recently at the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of “Der Fliegende Holländer,” which was greeted with protests. Gergiev also defended the bass-baritone in 2012 when he was fired from the Bayreuth Festival over an alleged Swastika tattoo, which Nikitin, covered after vowing to lessen his contact with journalists after the controversy.