Evgeny Nikitin basbaryton
Yevgeny Igorevich Nikitin (Russian: Евгений Игоревич Никитин) is a Russian bass-baritone opera singer. In the West he is usually billed as “Evgeny Nikitin”
Born in the Arctic port city of Murmansk, he trained at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, graduating in 1997. Since his debut as a student he has performed at the Mariinsky Theatre; he also appears as an international soloist. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace in 2002; he has regularly returned to the New York company and is due to sing the Wagnerian role of Klingsor in 2013.
In 2008 Nikitin was awarded the title of Honoured Artist of Russia.
Nikitin was scheduled to sing the title role in Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman at the opening of the 2012 Bayreuth Festival, which would have made him the first Russian in history to assume an opening title role there. But he withdrew days before the festival after tattoos on his chest were shown by German media in still images from a video shot in 2006 or 2007. These suggested Nazi sympathies, which the singer subsequently denied.The main controversial tattoo in the video still images, a partly covered swastika, had been completely covered by a large 8-pointed star design by the time of the Bayreuth withdrawal. Nikitin released at least two conflicting statements about the matter. First, at Bayreuth, he described the tattooing as a “mistake of youth” made when he was 16 years old. Second, via the press office of the Mariinsky Theatre, he explained that a swastika never had been his intention and that the 8-pointed star had been assembled in stages.
Nikitin’s appearances in another Wagner opera later in 2012, with the Bavarian State Opera, remain scheduled.
Nikitin hails from Murmansk, in the very north of Russia. His first love was to compose, sing and play drums and guitar in heavy metal bands, but his vocal gift took him in a different direction. He was accepted at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1992 and was soon combining his studies with his first solo engagements at the famed Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev’s direction. It wasn’t long before he was invited to major theatres and festivals through Europe, the Americas and Asia.
2002 marked his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in War and Peace. Return invitations to New York include Colline/ La Bohème, Pogner /Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Fasolt /Das Rheingold, Orest /Elektra, der Wanderer /Siegfried, Rangoni /Boris Godunov, Klingosr /Parsifal.
Nikitin made his Parisian debut at the Theatre du Châtelet in the title role of Rubinstein’s The Demon and returned in 2005 to sing the title role of Boris Godunov. Recent roles at the Paris Opera include Jochanaan/Salome, Klingsor, Tomski /Pique Dame, Gunther /Götterdämmerung, the title role of Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero and Oreste/Elektra.
He made his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2008 as Jochanaan and he appears there regularly in roles such as Klingsor and Telramund /Lohengrin. Last season he sang Der fliegende Holländer and he returns next season for a major new production of the Fiery Angel.
Recent engagements include Der fliegende Holländer and Filipo, Don Carlo in Baden Baden, Der Fliegende Holländer in Toronto, Paris, Leipzig and Tokyo; Amfortas /Parsifal in Berlin and Valencia (Maazel), Pizzaro / Fidelio in Valencia, Jochannen in Zurich, Telramund Amsterdam, Scarpia in Chicago and Boris Godunov and in an acclaimed production at the Mariinsky.
Major festival appearances include Fasolt (Rattle) in Aix en Provence, der Wanderer at the BBC Proms (Eschenbach), Ibn Hakia / Iolanta in Salzburg, Jochanaan in Verbier, where he returned in 2014 as Pizzaro Fidelio.
Concert performances include Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death at the Schleswig Holstein Festival and at the Berlin Philharmonic, the Coronation and Death of Boris Godunov with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome, Mahler’s 8th Symphony and Rubinstein’s The Demon with the LSO, Oedipus Rex with the Müncher Philharmoniker, Verdi’s Requiem with the National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Jochannen with the Boston Symphony Orchestra……..
He sings regularly at the Mariinsky theatre and at the ‘Stars of the White Nights Festival’ performing his favourite roles, Boris Godunov, Filippo/Don Carlo, Holländer, Amfortas, Wotan /Das Rheingold, The Wanderer, Don Giovanni…
Upcoming highlights include his Vienna Staatsoper debut in Fidelio and his debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.
His recordings include Amfortas / Parsifal with the Mariinsky/Gergiev and again with the Berlin Radio Symphony/Janowski as well Rangoni / Boris Godunov and Remeniuk /Semyon Kotko for Philips Classics. Cinema and DVD appearances include Parisfal and Boris Godunov from the MET, Boris Godunov at the Mariinsky, the Bayerische Staatsoper…