Met opera fires conductor after sexual misconduct probe

Oscar Cross
March 13, 2018

Former Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine was sacked Monday after an investigation into claims of sexual abuse "uncovered credible evidence", according to a statement by the Met.

The Met suspended Levine, 74, in December after several accusations of sexual misconduct stretching from the 1960s to 1980s.

The investigation, which the Met opened in December after a report in The New York Times, found evidence of abuse and harassment "both before and during the period" when Levine worked at the Met, the company said in a statement. Levine, who served as music director with the opera company for almost 40 years, was first suspended in December as the Met launched an investigation.

The Met added that in addition to its findings on the allegations against Levine, the investigation suggested that any claims of a cover-up are "completely unsubstantiated".

We thank the more than 70 individuals who were interviewed during the course of the investigation. In total Levine conducted more than 2,500 performances with the company and was an influencer in classical music.


The New York Post first reported about a 2016 police report in IL that alleged that Levine abused a boy starting in 1985 when the purported victim was 15. Charles Dutoit, the former music director of the Orchestre de Montreal and a prominent guest conductor around the globe, has also been alleged to be a perpetrator.

After taking an nearly two-year health-related hiatus from conducting from 2011 to 2013, Levine retired as the Met's full-time Music Director following the 2015-16 season to become Music Director Emeritus.

News of Levine's suspension came a day after a 2016 police report surfaced, accusing him of sexually abusing a teenager beginning in 1986.

The man, who is now 48 and whose name has not been revealed, said the abuse continued for years and drove him to the brink of suicide. The man said Levine would lay naked with him and touched his penis.

Ashok Pai said he had been abused by Levine for years, beginning in 1986 near the Ravinia Festival in IL, when he was 16. Levine denied the allegations of sexual misconduct, saying he wants to resume his work "with full concentration and inspiration".

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