New York Times celebrates Metropolitan Opera dismissal of James Levine
13 March 2018
On Monday, the Metropolitan Opera in New York announced the firing of conductor James Levine after a more than 40-year career with the company. The dismissal followed a third-party investigation commissioned by the Met and prompted by the publication of allegations by the New York Times in December 2017. The Times article focused on charges of sexual abuse allegedly conducted by Levine in the 1980s.
In an article announcing the dismissal yesterday, the Times celebrated Levine’s departure. Titled, “James Levine’s final act at the Met ends in disgrace,” the article called the dismissal “an extraordinary fall from grace.”
No criminal charges have yet been brought against Levine, and the Met did not release any specifics regarding the alleged abuse. In a statement yesterday, the Met wrote the investigation “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.”
The statement further noted, “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.”
In a December statement that followed the initial Times’ article, Levine said, “As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded. As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor… My fervent hope is that in time people will come to understand the truth, and I will be able to continue my work with full concentration and inspiration.”
There is no evidence that Levine broke the law, and…