Metropolitan Opera Severs Ties with James Levine Following Sexual Abuse Claims, Consults Attorney for Investigation
The New York Times recently revealed that the Metropolitan Opera had opened an investigation into claims against conductor James Levine, alleging sexual abuse. Over a year ago, a man filed a police report saying Levine had abused him in the 1980's. The Met was made aware of this report but did not act on it until recent media inquiries were made into Levine's conduct.
The Met has released the following statement regarding the issue:
The Metropolitan Opera announced today that it is suspending its relationship with James Levine, pending an investigation, following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct committed by Mr. Levine that took place from the 60's to the 80'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. The Met has appointed Robert J. Cleary, former United States attorney and currently head of the investigations practice at Proskauer Rose, to lead a full and complete investigation into the relevant facts.
"Based on these new reports, the Met has made the decision to act now, while we await the results of the investigation," 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."
There will be no further comments or statement regarding this issue from the Met at this time.
Over the course of his career, Levine has conducted more than 2,560 performances at the Met in a broad-ranging repertory. He served as the company's Music Director from 1976 to 2016 and retired at the end of 2016 to become the Met's first Music Director Emeritus.
Photo by Adam Nemser-PHOTOlink