Met Opera Fires Conductor James Levine Following Sexual Misconduct Claims

Met Opera Fires Conductor James Levine Following Sexual Misconduct Claims

"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", according to the statement.

Levine has denied the allegations, calling them "unfounded". After that, Mr. Levine held an emeritus role.

The Met said Monday that it has fired the 74-year-old conductor, who made his debut with the company in 1971 and served as its music director from 1976 to 2016.

The Telegraph has approached Levine's representatives for comment.

The Met said that its investigation, which was led by Robert J. Cleary, a partner at the Proskauer Rose law firm who was previously a USA attorney in New Jersey and IL, had determined that "any claims or rumours 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 is one of dozens of powerful men in multiple industries brought down by allegations of sexual misconduct brought to light in the wake of the Me Too movement and the Harvey Weinstein sexual-assault scandal in Hollywood. Many of his performances were televised by PBS, and singers rearranged their schedules to appear in his performances or even to audition for him.

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. Levine was to begin a five-year term as Conductor Laureate in the summer of 2018. He then suffered spinal stenosis, leading to surgeries in May and July 2011. After years of ill health, he stepped down as music director two seasons ago.

Additional reports soon followed from Chris Brown and James Lestock, leading to Levine's suspension.