Nikitin replaces Terfel at Wagner's Dutchman at Met Opera

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NEW YORK (AP) — Evgeny Nikitin will replace Bryn Terfel in the title role of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Wagner's "Die Fliegende Hollaender (The Flying Dutchman)" that opens March 2.

Terfel broke an ankle in three places during a fall last week, an injury that required surgery.

Nikitin, a Russian bass-baritone, withdrew from a Dutchman production at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival in 2012 following the appearance of a tattoo that appeared to be a swastika, seen during a program broadcast on German television. He later said Scandinavian mythology was the inspiration for the tattoo, which he said was a work in progress when the image was taken in 2008 that was seen on the broadcast.

The 46-year-old Nikitin has sung the Dutchman at the Mariinsky Theatre as well as at Baden-Baden and Leipzig in Germany plus Madrid, Toronto, Paris and Tokyo. He gave up four opera performances at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg plus concert operas of "Dutchman" in Moscow and Kazan in order to sing in New York, the Met said Tuesday.

Nikitin made his Met debut in 2002 and sang Scarpia in this season's New Year's Eve gala.

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