By Opera Views, December 9th, 2017
No criminal charges against Levine!
Days after the James Levine´s story about alleged sexual misconduct has broken out, an aching, gnawing feeling of sadness and anger has settled in the heart. One question persistently comes up: Is this over now? I mean this conductor-icon-power plays. Is this a beginning of the new pure-only-in-the-name-of-the-arts-and-theatre era? Or, is it going to be brushed away, covered up, as it has been done before?
What does it mean for the next generation of young conductors? Moreover, for the current generation? Should there be an equal male-female “executives behaviour codex” established and implemented by the hiring companies? Who is going to take the responsibility or to be urged to act in case these kinds of occurrences should happen again in the future? How many true artists, music geniuses will be left over?
K!And, is it only about conductors? How about star singers, choreographers and stage directors? Artistic and company managers? Hmm? Do #theytoo? How many of them are out there who use their power to abuse others, I mean! Are singers, dancers, musicians just a plain, naive, mute dummies who are expected to suppress their talents, beliefs and feelings, to endure the humiliations, verbal and physical harassments of a living genius to just to get there? To get where? Well: this is another question! Should we maybe talk about it?
The fact that alleged victims came forward without hiding themselves and tell all the gross details openly is courageous act but also a shocking one. Not only because they accuse one of the greatest conductors of our time and exceptionally gifted musician, loved by the orchestras and singers. No! It is shocking because many artists and musicians who worked or work in the theatre business can fully connect with their stories. Each a different one, but yet in the core: it is always about executing the power of the executive position either in the name of the art and music or just because of the wicked belief that this position permits one to do whatever he/she wants.
It is also painful because in case these accusations would have received a chance to be proven or dismissed in the court, it is almost impossible to imagine the pain, distress and self-hate these people were/are living through! Maybe it would have been! However, on December 8th the “New York Post” has presented us with a new twist of this story: prosecutors in Illinois declined to bring criminal charges against Levine for allegedly molesting a teenager in the 1980s.
So, no new pure-only-in-the-name-of-the-arts-and-theatre era yet, I guess?This aching, gnawing feeling of sadness and anger crawls pitilessly in one’s soul in again. Despite the recent comments by the maestro in “New York Times” this operatic drama is not over yet!