Metropolitan Opera Fires James Levine After Sexual Abuse Investigation

Metropolitan Opera Fires James Levine After Sexual Abuse Investigation

New York's Metropolitan Opera said on Monday that it had fired its longtime conductor and musical director James Levine after an inquiry found "credible evidence" to support accusations against him of sexual misconduct.

Levine officially retired as music director in April 2016, but had stayed on as music director emeritus and artistic director of the Met's young artist program. The company says "it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met".

The investigation included interviews with more than 70 people.

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

The Met, however, also absolved itself of blame after criticism that it could have acted before longstanding allegations about Levine made headlines amid the growing spotlight in the United States on sexual abuse by powerful men.

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"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", the statement said.

Met officials at the time acknowledged they had been aware of the alleged victim's police report since it was filed a year ago in IL, but they also said Levine denied any wrongdoing at the time and authorities did not contact them further.

Levine is one of the latest public figures whose career has been tarnished after the Me Too and Time's Up movements began in the fall of 2017.

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

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