Metropolitan Opera suspends conductor after sex abuse accusations
By TOM McELROY
NEW YORK — New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Sunday stated it was suspending its relationship with longtime conductor James Levine pending an investigation into a number of allegations of sexual misconduct towards him.
“Mr. Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season,” the Met stated in an announcement.
The Met additionally stated it has appointed lawyer Robert J. Cleary, a former U.S. lawyer and the present head of the investigations apply on the Proskauer Rose regulation agency, to steer the investigation into the allegations that befell from the 1960s to 1980s.
The transfer to droop Levine got here a day after the New York Post first reported that certainly one of Levine’s accusers claimed he had sexual contact with Levine as a teen. Met officers stated they had been launching an investigation. Then on Sunday, The New York Times reported related accounts from two different males accusing Levine of sexual misconduct.
One of Levine’s accusers, Ashok Pai, additionally spoke to The Associated Press in latest weeks however declined to inform his story on the report on the time. He declined to be interviewed once more when contacted this weekend.
According to the Times, Pai stated he was sexually abused by Levine beginning in the summertime of 1986, when he was 16. He reported the allegations to the police division in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016. Details of the police report had been first reported on Saturday on the New York Post’s web site. Met officers stated they realized of the police report final yr.
Pai stated he reached out to police in Lake Forest as a result of a few of his encounters with Levine befell there within the mid-1980s. Levine served as music director on the Ravinia Festival, exterior Chicago, from 1973 to 1993.
Chris Brown performed principal bass within the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for greater than 30 years. He instructed the Times that he and Levine masturbated one another when Brown was 17 on the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan, the place Levin was on the summer season program’s college.
James Lestock described an analogous account there when he was a 17-year-old cello pupil.
“Based on these new reports, the Met has made the decision to act now, while we await the results of the investigation,” stated Peter Gelb, Met General Manager. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”
An e-mail to Levine’s supervisor searching for touch upon the accusations was not instantly returned.
Met officers stated in an earlier assertion that Levine has denied the fees.
On Saturday afternoon, Levine performed a efficiency of Verdi’s “Requiem” that was broadcast on radio worldwide. It was anticipated to be his final look on the Met for at the very least the remainder of this yr and presumably the foreseeable future. Levine was scheduled to conduct a New Year’s Eve gala efficiency of “Tosca.”
The opera firm honored Levine with the title of Music Director Emeritus after the top the 2015-2016 season.
The Associated Press doesn’t usually identify alleged victims of sexual abuse until they arrive ahead with their allegations. In this case the three alleged victims agreed to have their names printed within the Times.
The accusations towards Levine, among the many most outstanding classical music conductors on the earth, are the newest in a stream of sexual misconduct expenses involving high-profile males in leisure and the media which have rocked the nation since accusations towards movie mogul Harvey Weinstein had been reported in October.
Levine served as music director of the Met from 1976 to 2016, when he assumed the place of music director emeritus.
Levine has struggled with well being issues together with Parkinson’s illness in recent times however was scheduled to conduct a number of productions this season.