Metropolitan Opera Fires Conductor James Levine for 'Sexually Abusive and Harassing Conduct'

Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse

Metropolitan Opera Fires Conductor James Levine for 'Sexually Abusive and Harassing Conduct'

In December, Levine was suspended from his posts as music director emeritus and head of its young artist program; he was sacked this week after an internal investigation revealed "sexually abusive and harassing conduct".

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 investigation also uncovered "credible evidence" that Levine, the company's music director emeritus, engaged in "sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers", over whom he had authority.

The Met opened the investigation in December into whether Levine sexually abused an aspiring conductor since he was 15 starting three decades ago.

Levine was suspended by the Met in December pending the investigation of allegations from four accusers detailed in The New York Times.

Yesterday Mr Levine, 74, was sacked as the Met's director emeritus, a job he was given following his retirement in 2016 as music director, a position he held for more than 40 years.

"As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor", he said in a statement.

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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".

Levine has denied the "unfounded" sexual abuse accusations.

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".

The leading U.S. opera house had already suspended Levine in December after allegations first became public against him.

The accusers said Levine had sexually abused them when they were teenagers. Pai grew up near the festival, where Levine was music director, and wanted to become a conductor. After The Associated Press reported sexual assault allegations against him, the Swiss conductor resigned as artistic director and principal conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and engagements were cancelled at numerous orchestras.

Levine has not been charged with any criminal offense.

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