Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Met Opera fires James Levine

8:12, 13th March 2018

The Metropolitan Opera has fired James Levine after an internal inquiry found ‘credible evidence’ of sexual abuse.

The investigation, which encompassed interviews with 70 people, found evidence of abuse and harassment ‘both before and during the period when he worked at the Met’.

In a statement, the company said it had found evidence that Levine had ‘engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority’, and that in light of these findings, it would be ‘inappropriate and impossible’ for the conductor to continue to work at the Met.

The company suspended the 74-year-old and opened its investigation in December after four men accused him of sexual assault. The conductor denied the allegations, describing them as ‘unfounded’.

Although the New York Times reported that allegations about Levine had reached senior Met employees at least twice previously, the investigation found rumours of a cover-up to be ‘unsubstantiated’.

Levine was music director at the Met for 40 years. He stepped down for health reasons in 2016, becoming music director emeritus.

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