Met Opera fires conductor James Levine after 'credible evidence' of misconduct

James Levine. Facebook

New York's Metropolitan Opera fires music director emeritus James Levine, finding "credible evidence" of "sexually abusive" conduct. Days later, another man told The Times that Levine had also abused him when he was in his 20s.

The Met said in its statement that it had ended its relationship with Levine because of his sexually harassing and abusive conduct over decades.

At the time, the Met indicated that there were multiple allegations against Levine.

The Metropolitan Opera has fired its well-known music director and conductor, James Levine, after an investigation found that Levine had engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct. "In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met", the opera said.

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".

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The investigation included interviews with more than 70 people.

Other musicians who have quit or lost positions over alleged abuse include hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Charles Dutoit, until recently the principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

One of the documents examined during the investigation was a police report that had been filed in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016, in which an unidentified man claimed that he had been the victim of sexual abuse by Levine three decades ago when he was 15 and the conductor was 41.

Chris Brown said that Levine had abused him in the summer of 1968, when he was a 17-year-old student at the Meadow Brook School of Music in MI and Levine led the school's orchestral institute. Levine had an operation in 2008 to remove a kidney and another in 2009 to fix a herniated disk in his back. He had another operation that September after falling and damaging a vertebra, an injury that sidelined him until May 2013.

The Met said it has "terminated its relationship" with Levine, who retired in 2016 amid failing health but until the scandal had remained a frequent presence as a conductor. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will take up the post of music director at the Met next season.

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