Met Opera conductor suspended

The Metropolitan Opera in New York suspended former music director James Levine pending an internal investigation into sexual abuse allegations.

Posted: Dec 4, 2017 9:11 AM
Updated: Dec 4, 2017 9:11 AM

New York's Metropolitan Opera suspended former music director James Levine on Sunday pending an internal investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the famed conductor.

The New York Times reported that three men had come forward to accuse Levine, now 74, of sexually abusing them decades ago, including during the early period of his conducting career at the Met.

CNN has attempted to reach Levine and his manager, Tim Fox, but has not yet heard back. The New York Times says that when, "told of the accusations, a spokesman for Mr. Levine did not comment on Sunday night."

The Met said on Saturday that it had engaged outside resources to determine if allegations are true. In the meantime, the prestigious performing arts center said it had canceled Levine's scheduled performances, including a highly anticipated new production of Puccini's "Tosca" starting New Year's Eve.

"While we await the results of the investigation, based on these new news reports, the Met has made the decision to act now," said Peter Gelb, Met General Manager. "This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected."

The news drew the rarified world of classical music into the ongoing national conversation over sexual violence.

Levine stepped down as the Met's music director in 2016 due to health problems. But, starting New Year's Eve, he was scheduled to lead a new production of the opera with which he made his Met debut in 1971, Puccini's "Tosca." Since his debut, he has conducted nearly 2,500 performances of 85 different operas with the company, in addition to performing and holding positions with other companies and musical organizations.

His achievements made him the subject of a Time magazine cover story in 1983 and Musical America's "Musician of the Year" in 1984. He was featured in two documentaries in 1986 and 2011 on PBS's American Masters series, according to his biography on his talent agency's website.

From 1973 to 1993, he was music director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where one of his accusers told the New York Times he met Levine in 1985. The man said he was 15 and Levine was 40 when the abuse began, according to the paper. CNN has not been able to independently confirm the allegations.

Gelb told the New York Times that the allegations first came to the company's attention in 2016, when police in Illinois opened an investigation into one of the men's claims after he filed a police report. "At the time Jim said that the charges were completely false, and we didn't hear anything further from the police," Gelb said.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, where Levine was music director from 2004 to 2011, said on Sunday that its management "was never approached by anyone in connection with inappropriate behavior" from Levine. The company said it followed a due diligence process, including a "personal and professional review" of all aspects of his candidacy, before moving ahead with his appointment.

"The Boston Symphony Orchestra is committed to a zero tolerance policy towards anyone who exhibits sexual harassment behavior in the workplace. All of us at BSO remain vigilant in our commitment to fight against all types of inappropriate and offensive behavior, and to continue the essential work of creating a safe and supportive environment," according to a statement.

"Behavior by any employee of the BSO that runs counter to these core values and beliefs would not be tolerated and would be met with the most serious consequences."

Terre Haute
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 43°
Robinson
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 43°
Indianapolis
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 40°
Rockville
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 41°
Casey
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 43°
Brazil
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 43°
Marshall
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 43°
Showers Today!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 292082

Reported Deaths: 8858
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1443155217
DuPage17589561
Lake16953487
Will14045378
Kane13159326
St. Clair6665190
Winnebago6037149
Madison5760137
Champaign473320
McHenry4609118
Peoria351050
McLean329523
Rock Island302676
Kankakee275277
Unassigned2532244
Sangamon243245
Kendall202025
Tazewell178025
LaSalle172557
DeKalb159038
Macon156044
Coles147231
Williamson140645
Jackson126224
Clinton119020
Adams114910
Boone112823
Randolph94111
Effingham8722
Vermilion7914
Whiteside75320
Ogle7286
Monroe68016
Knox6723
Grundy6705
Henry6665
Morgan66223
Bureau65211
Jefferson62038
Marion5661
Christian55411
Macoupin5507
Franklin5413
Stephenson5296
Union51524
McDonough48215
Logan4681
Crawford4584
Woodford4266
Fayette4183
Livingston4036
Cass39811
Jersey39415
Shelby3944
Lee3831
Montgomery37613
Iroquois36719
Perry35315
Saline3464
Warren3332
Bond3305
Douglas3147
Wayne2805
Jo Daviess2662
Lawrence2592
Carroll2355
Greene22911
Cumberland2185
Hancock2183
Moultrie2183
Washington2161
Jasper2139
Richland2136
Pulaski1811
Fulton1780
Clark1742
White1690
Wabash1583
Clay1560
Johnson1560
Mason1531
Mercer1405
Piatt1390
Pike1341
De Witt1252
Menard1251
Edgar1138
Massac1132
Ford1055
Marshall1050
Alexander831
Scott790
Gallatin732
Hamilton712
Henderson690
Edwards640
Brown620
Calhoun600
Putnam570
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin400
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226