Metropolitan Opera Fires Former Music Director James Levine

James Levine Conducts The Met Opera

The Met suspended Levine and opened its investigation in December after The Times reported on-the-record accusations of four men who said that Levine had sexually abused them decades ago, when they were teenagers or his students.

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.

The Met said in a Monday statement that its investigation found Levine "engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers".

Consequently, "it would be inappropriate and impossible for Levine to continue to work at the Met", Efe quoted the statement as saying.

The statement from the opera noted that the investigation, which was conducted by an outside counsel, uncovered conduct both before and during his tenure as the artistic director of the Met.

Tim Fox of Columbia Artists, who represents the 74-year-old conductor, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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The investigation, lasting more than three months, included interviews with more than 70 people and was launched by the Opera after complaints against Levine made late a year ago. After that, Mr. Levine held an emeritus role.

The leading United States opera house had already suspended Levine in December after allegations first became public against him. Met officials said they were launching an investigation.

Other musicians who have quit or lost positions over alleged abuse include hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Charles Dutoit, until recently the principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

Levine was music director at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, from 1973 to 1993.

The investigation also found that any claims or rumors that members of the Met's management or its Board of Directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated. Levine was to begin a five-year term as Conductor Laureate in the summer of 2018.

It has brought forward the appointment of Levine's successor, youthful French Canadian Yannick Nezet-Seguin, who will become music director with the upcoming season.

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