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Met Opera Conductor James Levine Let Go Following Accusations of Sexual Abuse and Harassment

Met Opera Conductor James Levine Let Go Following Accusations of Sexual Abuse and Harassment

The New York Times reports that The Metropolitan Opera has fired conductor James Levine following "credible evidence" that Mr. Levine had engaged in "sexually abusive and harassing conduct."

James Levine is primarily known for his tenure as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, a position he held for 40 years (1976-2016). Allegations in 2017 of sexual assaults in the past led the Met to suspend its relationship with him and to cancel any future engagements by Levine.

He has made numerous recordings, as well as television and radio broadcasts, with the Met. Levine has also held leadership positions with the Ravinia Festival, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1980 he started the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, and he has often trained promising singers, conductors, and musicians for professional careers.

After taking an almost two-year health-related hiatus from conducting from 2011 to 2013, Levine retired as the Met's full-time Music Director following the 2015-16 season to become Music Director Emeritus.

The New York Times report notes more than 70 people came forward with allegations or information regarding his abuses. Read the full New York Times report here.

The Met released a statement regarding the allegations:

After considering the findings of a thorough investigation conducted by outside counsel that lasted more than three months, the Metropolitan Opera has terminated its relationship with James Levine as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of its young artist program.

The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met. The investigation also uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority. 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 investigation also found that any claims or rumors that members of the Met's management or its Board of Directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated.

We thank the more than 70 individuals who were interviewed during the course of the investigation.

We recognize the great concerns over these issues that have been expressed by the Met community both inside and outside of the opera house, and wish to provide the assurance that the Met is committed to ensuring a safe, respectful and harassment-free workplace for its employees and artists.



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