NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — The Metropolitan Opera announced that after a lengthy investigation that they had fired its music director emeritus James Levine over allegations of sexual misconduct.
In a statement released Monday, the Met said: “After considering the findings of a thorough investigation conducted by outside counsel that lasted more than three months, the Metropolitan Opera has terminated its relationship with James Levine as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of its young artist program.
“The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met. 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. 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.”
Levine was suspended by the Met in December, pending the results of the investigation.
Levine’s downfall was an extraordinary reversal for the noted conductor, who was one of the most respected figures in the world of American classical music. Mr. Levine, who is now 74, helped to turn the Met’s orchestra into one of the world’s leading ensembles. As well, he led the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic and served as the music director for the Ravinia Festival. However, in recent years, Levine has been troubled by poor health and stepped down from his role as music director two seasons ago.
In December 2017, it was publicly revealed that four men have accused Levine of sexually assaulting them while Levine was guest conductor at the Ravinia Festival, three of whom were underage at the time the sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred.
Mr. Levine has not been charged with any criminal offenses at this time and has described the accusations against him “unfounded.”