British drag artist Le Gateau Chocolat has been given the boot by opera festival organisers after his take on Wagner’s ‘Tannhauser’ was booed by fans in 2019.
Brighton-based performance artist Le Gateau Chocolat, whose real name is George Ikediashi, was booed by Wagner devotees at the Bayreuth Festival in the German state of Bavaria in 2019.
He was also in the headlines back home when UK body which allocates grants to venues hit hard by the pandemic gave the drag queen GBP 215,000 while snubbing popular cash-strapped venues.
Arts Council England gave the huge grant to Ikediashi despite the act never grossing even half that sum in a year. Other acts and venues, such as Manchester’s renowned comedy club, The Frog and Bucket, that helped launch the careers of TV favourites Peter Kay, Johnny Vegas, Sarah Millican and Jack Whitehall, had their grant applications rejected.
The German cancellation two years after he performed there and was blamed on the coronavirus pandemic almost two weeks before the start of the festival.
A festival spokesperson named Hubertus Herrman delivered the bad news at the weekend when he said: “When the rehearsals started here, Great Britain was a high-risk area and there were entry restrictions and quarantine regulations, which unfortunately made it impossible to attend rehearsals adequately this year.”
Herrmann also politely added: “We hope that we can work together again in the future.”
The Bayreuth Festival is held annually in the German town of Bayreuth, where artist perform operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner.
Le Gateau Chocolat who described himself as ‘fat, black and bearded’ even made history at the festival’s 2019 edition, as he became the first black drag queen to ever perform at the Bavarian festival.
The artist hoisted a rainbow flag on stage and expressed his support towards the LGBTIQ population.
However, despite the modern-day significance of his performance, his act was declared “shameful” by German media and was booed by the classical music fans present at the event.
Fans claimed the artist “did not show off any skills, and presented nothing but a lifestyle.”
Nevertheless, Le Gateau Chocolat said there is still a lot to be advocated for at the festival and said in 2019: “Whether I want to come back is another matter. Whether I have to come back: Yes, definitely!”
He then added: “My role is also to present a reality that has not been part of this house for a very long time.”
However, he has not made any statements regarding the latest turn of events.
The Bayreuth Festival will start on Sunday on 25th July and will last for one month before it ends on 25th August.