Friday, 23 March, 2018

Met Opera sacks legendary conductor Levine after abuse probe

Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse Metropolitan Opera Fires Conductor James Levine for 'Sexually Abusive and Harassing Conduct'
Stacy Diaz | 13 March, 2018, 05:28

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City on Monday announced on Monday it fired famed conductor James Levine after the conclusions of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

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

An Illinois police report, seen by the New York Times, said one of the alleged victims claimed that the abuse began in 1985 when he was 15 and Mr Levine was 41, and continued until 1993.

The leading USA opera house had already suspended Levine in December after allegations first became public against him. In his absence, Dallas Opera music director Emmanuel Villaume directed seven Met performances of Puccini's Tosca.

After considering the findings of a thorough investigation conducted by outside counsel that lasted more than three months, the Metropolitan Opera has terminated its relationship with James Levine as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of its young artist program. The Met also appointed attorney Robert J. Cleary, a former US attorney and the current head of the investigations practice at the Proskauer Rose law firm, to lead the investigation into the allegations that took place from the 1960s to 1980s.

The accusers said Levine had sexually abused them when they were teenagers.

Earlier during the investigation, Levine denied the allegations stating the accusations were "unfounded" and that "I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor".

The Met reported, however, that they found no substantiating evidence that the Met's management or its board of directors "engaged in a cover-up of information".