Metropolitan Opera fires music director after sexual abuse investigation

Carla Harmon
March 13, 2018

The Lake County state's attorney's office in IL said in December it investigated a sexual abuse allegation of misconduct dating to the 1980s but concluded "no criminal charges can be brought" and cited multiple factors, including "the relevant age of consent in IL at the time of the alleged incidents".

Levine made his debut with the Met aged 28 in 1971, becoming principal conductor two years later and music director in 1975.

New York's Metropolitan Opera announced on Monday it fired legendary conductor James Levine, for decades the face of its orchestra, after finding "credible evidence" that he sexually abused younger musicians. 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.


Earlier during the investigation, Levine denied the allegations stating the accusations were "unfounded" and that "I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor". The move to suspend Levine came after the New York Post first reported that one of Levine's accusers claimed he had sexual contact with Levine as a teenager. The company says "it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met".

After that, Mr. Levine held an emeritus role.

The Met says claims its management or board had covered up information of Levine's conduct were unsubstantiated. At the time, he was serving as music director emeritus and artistic director of its young artist program at the Met. Charles Dutoit, the former music director of the Orchestre de Montreal and a prominent guest conductor around the globe, has also been alleged to be a perpetrator.


Chris Brown said that Levine had abused him in the summer of 1968, when he was a 17-year-old student at the Meadow Brook School of Music in MI and Levine led the school's orchestral institute. He was, for a time, musical director for the Cincinnati May Festival and has occasionally returned to Cincinnati to conduct.

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.


Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER