Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse

Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse

Metropolitan Opera Fires Conductor James Levine for 'Sexually Abusive and Harassing Conduct'

The Metropolitan Opera has fired music director emeritus and Cincinnati native James Levine, finding "credible evidence" of "sexually abusive" conduct.

Late past year, three men came forward with allegations of misconduct against Levine in a report in the New York Times, and Levine was suspended.

The Met says in a Monday statement that its investigation found Levine "engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers".

"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 said it was ending the honorary position of music director emeritus for Levine, who retired in 2016 but until the scandal had still been a frequent presence as a conductor.

Meanwhile, the Met said that complaints and rumours that its officials or board of directors had covered up Levine's conduct were completely unfounded, adding that it seeks to ensure that its employees and artists have a safe and abuse-free environment in which to work.

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

After taking an nearly 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. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will take up the post of music director at the Met next season.

He made the Met's orchestra into one of the finest in the world, led the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic and gained worldwide renown through recordings, telecasts and videos. Levine was to begin a five-year term as Conductor Laureate in the summer of 2018. In total Levine conducted more than 2,500 performances with the company and was an influencer in classical music.

The man claimed that the abuse - including Levine sexually touching him and masturbating in front of him - lasted from 1985 to 1993 and during that time the conductor gave him $50,000 in cash. Pai grew up near the festival, where Levine was music director, and wanted to become a conductor.

Latest News