Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Metropolitan Opera sacks legendary conductor Levine after abuse probe

Image for representational purpose only Image for representational purpose only
| 13 March, 2018, 11:31

The statement also said that the investigation had "uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct toward vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority", adding that he was also being fired as the artistic director of the Met's young artists program.

Acclaimed conductor James Levine was sacked Monday by the Metropolitan Opera after an investigation uncovered credible evidence of "sexually abusive" conduct.

The man, who is now 48 and whose name has not been revealed, said the abuse continued for years and drove him to the brink of suicide.

The Met said in its statement that it had ended its relationship with Levine because of his sexually harassing and abusive conduct over decades.

The leading USA opera house had already suspended Levine in December after allegations first became public against him.

The Metropolitan Opera said in a statement on Monday that an independent inquiry had " uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct" before and during his time at the company.


"Based on recent accounts in the media regarding James Levine, Ravinia has severed all ties with the conductor who served as music director of the festival from 1973 through 1993. In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met", the opera said.

The Met says claims its management or board had covered up information of Levine's conduct were unsubstantiated.

The Met opened an investigation past year into James Levine, following reports that he abused a teenage boy decades ago.

A leadership transition was already underway at the Met, following Levine's retirement as music director in 2016.

Instantly recognizable by his bushy frock of hair and towel draped over a shoulder during rehearsals, he regularly conducted at the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Bayreuth Festival and Salzburg Festival. He had another operation that September after falling and damaging a vertebra, an injury that sidelined him until May 2013.

It has brought forward the appointment of Levine's successor, youthful French Canadian Yannick Nezet-Seguin, who will become music director with the upcoming season. Met officials said they were launching an investigation.

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