By Opera Views, December 4th, 2017
MET suspends its relationship with the legendary house artistic director and icon conductor James Levine.
After shocking discoveries of numerous sexual misconducts within the Hollywood, the next wave of revelations unveils similar cases at the arts and music temple of American and international Opera world the Metropolitan Opera House.
Following recent and decades-long accusation of sexual misconduct carried out by house icon conductor and former artistic director James Levine, the MET issued the following statement on Twitter:
“We are suspending our relationship with James Levine, pending an investigation, following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr. Levine that took place from the 1960’s to the 1980’s, including the earlier part of his conducting career at the Met. Mr. Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season. “While we await the results of the investigation, based on these new news reports, the Met has made the decision to act now,” said Peter Gelb, Met General Manager, whose actions are fully supported by the leadership of the Met Board and its Executive Committee. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”
See here a CNN footage about the case: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/03/us/james-levine-conductor-suspended/index.html
As surprising as it might appear, the rumours of Mr Levine alleged “relationships” with young boys were surfacing again and again for decades. In 1979 Anthony A. Bliss, then the executive director of the Met Opera, wrote this letter to John T. Connor, a Met board member, in response to anonymous accusations that Mr Connor had received about James Levine:
“We have no knowledge of any criminal activities on the part of Mr. Levine. We have talked extensively with him and with his manager, and certain newspaper reporters have made an extensive searches of the newapapers of cities where the incident were alleged to have occurred. We do not believe there is any truth whateoever to the chrages.”
In 1987 MET made an attempt to evolve in
“a new managerial structure … and assume more of the artistic authority … and envisaged a radical reduction in Mr. Levine’s performances at the Met… (reaf the full article here)
Levine was music director at the Met for 40 years. He retired in 2016 for Parkinson’s disease but continued to work at the opera house. Only on Saturday, he was a conductor on Verdi’s “Requiem” on stage. Actually, he should soon also conduct Puccini’s “Tosca”.
According to the New York Times, Levine declared himself not guilty in 2016 at Met’s request. An e-mail to Levine’s manager requesting a statement initially went unanswered.