The Metropolitan Opera recently opened an investigation into former music director James Levine after allegations emerged that the conductor had sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1980s. In a statement released Sunday, the Met Opera has announced their decision to suspend their relationship with Levine, now retired and currently music director emeritus, and to remove him from “any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season” after a total of three men stepped forward to accuse the former director of abusing them when they were underage.
As previously reported, last year Ashok Pai filed a police report in Lake Forest, Illinois, alleging Levine groomed him after he was introduced to the conductor at the Ravinia Festival in Ravinia Park, Illinois. According to the allegation, Levine escalated the sexual abuse of Pai, which began when he was 16, over the course of their meetings, which reportedly spanned years, under the auspices of providing him a “musical mentorship.”
As the New York Times reports, more men have now made extremely similar claims against the conductor. Chris Brown and James Lestock told the Times that Levine also allegedly abused them when they were high-school music students. “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, the Met’s general manager, in a statement, the entirety of which you can read below. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”