Metropolitan Opera Suspends Relationship With James Levine Amid Sexual Abuse Investigation

Classic Arts News   Metropolitan Opera Suspends Relationship With James Levine Amid Sexual Abuse Investigation
 
The announcement comes one day after the Met announced it would launch an investigation into allegations against the company’s music director emeritus.
James Levine
James Levine Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

After details of a police report containing sexual abuse allegations against James Levine were made public December 2—and with two more men disclosing similar stories—the Metropolitan Opera announced it is suspending its relationship with its music director emeritus.

Read: THE METROPOLITAN OPERA WILL ALUNCH AN INVESTIGATION INTO JAMES LEVINE FOLLOWING SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

The New York Times reports three men have come forward with sexual abuse allegations against Levine, including Ashok Pai, whose accusations detailed in a 2016 police report prompted the Met to announce an investigation into the allegations this weekend. The additional reports come from bassist Chris Brown, who was 17 at the time of the alleged 1968 abuse, and James Lestock, who alleges a prolonged period of abuse took place that same year, when Lestock was a 17-year-old cello student.

“Based on these new reports, the Met has made the decision to act now, while we await the results of the investigation,” said General Manager Peter Gelb in a statement. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”

Robert J. Cleary, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and the Southern District of Illinois, will lead the investigation.

Levine will not be involved in any previously scheduled activities at the house, according to the Met.

The conductor retired from his position as music director in 2016 but has since returned to the podium for a number of engagements, including the Met’s current presentation of Verdi’s Requiem. He was also slated to conduct four other productions this season, including a new staging of Tosca premiering December 31.

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