Metropolitan Opera suspends James Levine over sex abuse allegations11:04, 4th December 2017
New York’s Metropolitan Opera has suspended music director emeritus James Levine following accusations of sexual misconduct.
The opera house said Levine would not appear this season, and confirmed that it had appointed a law firm to investigate the allegations.
However, the New York Times reported that allegations about Levine had reached senior Met employees at least twice previously.
The New York Post reported on 2 December that one individual claimed he was sexually abused by Levine as a teenager in the 1980s. Two more individuals have since come forward to accuse Levine of sexual misconduct.
Levine has not commented on the allegations, and an earlier statement from the Met said that he had denied the charges.
‘While we await the results of the investigation, based on these news reports, the Met has made the decision to act now,’ said Peter Gelb in a statement on Twitter, adding: ‘This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.’
Levine served as music director of the Met Opera between 1976 and 2016. He stepped down from the position at the end of the 2015/16 season for health reasons, but was due to conduct several productions during the 2017/18 season.