Metropolitan Opera terminates relationship with James Levine over 'sexually abusive' conduct

Metropolitan Opera terminates relationship with James Levine over 'sexually abusive' conduct

Metropolitan Opera terminates relationship with James Levine over 'sexually abusive' conduct

According to the Met's most recent statement, more than 70 people were interviewed in the investigation, which was led by Robert J. Cleary of the law firm Proskauer Rose.

"The investigation also uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority", the Met said in a statement issued Monday.

Even before the accusations, the Met had been moving toward a post-Levine era. After that, Mr. Levine held an emeritus role.

Fittingly perhaps, his final Met appearance was conducting Verdi's "Requiem" in December.

At the time, the Met indicated that there were multiple allegations against Levine.

The Met says claims its management or board had covered up information of Levine's conduct were unsubstantiated.

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The company suspended Levine in December in light of the allegations, which span from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The New York Times subsequently reported similar accounts from two other men accusing Levine of sexual misconduct. The man said Levine would lay naked with him and touched his penis. Levine was to begin a five-year term as Conductor Laureate in the summer of 2018.

"I thought it was sex for my improvement, sex to make things better", violinist Albin Ifsich, who was a 20-year-old student when he said the abuse took place in 1968, told the newspaper. He said that at one point Levine had the group don blindfolds and masturbate partners they could not see.

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 has always been one of the most famous maestros in the world of classical music, and for more than 40 years his career has been entwined with the Met, where he served as music director from 1976-2016.

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