Published: Tue, March 13, 2018

Met Opera sacks legendary conductor James Levine after abuse probe

Met Opera sacks legendary conductor James Levine after abuse probe

"In light of these findings", the statement continued, "the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met".

The Met, however, also absolved itself of blame after criticism that it could have acted before longstanding allegations about Levine made headlines amid the growing spotlight in the United States on sexual abuse by powerful men.

The Metropolitan Opera has officially fired James Levine.

Yesterday Mr Levine, 74, was sacked as the Met's director emeritus, a job he was given following his retirement in 2016 as music director, a position he held for more than 40 years. After The Associated Press reported sexual assault allegations against him, the Swiss conductor resigned as artistic director and principal conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and engagements were canceled at numerous orchestras.

The Met says claims its management or board had covered up information of Levine's conduct were unsubstantiated. In 1980 he started the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, and he has often trained promising singers, conductors, and musicians for professional careers.

"I thought it was sex for my improvement, sex to make things better", violinist Albin Ifsich, who was a 20-year-old student when he said the abuse took place in 1968, told the newspaper.


In December, the The New York Times published interviews with three men who said that Levine sexually abused them when they were in their teens.

The conductor in an earlier statement called the allegations against him "unfounded", saying he was not an "oppressor or an aggressor".

Ashok Pai said he had been abused by Levine for years, beginning in 1986 near the Ravinia Festival in IL, when he was 16.

"Mr. Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season", the Met said in a statement at that time. Three decades later - after, Pai said, therapy had helped him realize how destructive those encounters had been - he detailed his accusations in the fall of 2016 to the Lake Forest Police Department in IL.

Levine has not been charged with any criminal offense.

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