New York's Metropolitan Opera has terminated its relationship with music director emeritus James Levine after an independent investigation found "credible evidence" the conductor had "engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met".
The Metropolitan Opera has conclusively severed all ties with James Levine, its former artistic director turned music director emeritus and head of its young-artist program. "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 leading U.S. opera house had already suspended Levine in December after allegations first became public against him.
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The investigation also found that members of the Board of Directors and the management has been involved in covering up rumors and accusations of sexual assault made against Levine throughout his tenure at the Met. The Met did not release details of its investigation, which it said included interviews with 70 people.
But some questions arose early on about how the company had handled the case, including the fact that it began its investigation more than a year after Peter Gelb, its general manager, was first told that police in IL were investigating an accusation that Levine had sexually abused a teenage boy there in the 1980s.
"As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor".
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Following the death of Leonard Bernstein in 1990, Levine was regarded as the leading American conductor and was given a starring role in the film Fantasia 2000.
But how could any of this go unnoticed, for decades? He said no, but Levine "was not interested in that. and pursued the point".
The man claimed that the abuse - including Levine sexually touching him and masturbating in front of him - lasted from 1985 to 1993 and during that time the conductor gave him $50,000 in cash. Levine was the Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera for roughly forty years, and almost synonymous with the Met.
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Levine has not been charged with any criminal offence. The Times published a front page story in December 2017 about Levine's alleged sexual misconducts and abuse.