sexual abuse

Met Opera Fires Conductor James Levine After Sexual-Abuse Investigation

Photo: Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images

The Metropolitan Opera fired conductor and former music director James Levine today after it “uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct toward vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority.” Levine was suspended in December after three men came forward to claim he had abused them when they were teenagers. “In light of these findings,” the organization said in a statement, “the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met.”

Levine, 74, made his debut with the Met in 1971 and conducted more than 2,500 performances since — stepping down as music director in 2016 after suffering a spinal injury in 2011. During his time there, his name became synonymous with the institution, and as Justin Davidson wrote, it may not survive this disgrace. Though rumors about Levine’s actions had circulated before last fall, according to the Times, the Met said its investigation determined “any claims or rumors that members of the Met’s management or its board of directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated.”

Met Opera Fires Conductor James Levine After Investigation