New York City’s Metropolitan Opera fired conductor James Levine after finding credible evidence that he’d “engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct.” The Met opened an investigation into the former music director’s conduct in December, and interviewed more than 70 people over the course of several months. “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,” the Met said in a statement. The New York Times reported how Levine allegedly targeted young male students and subordinates, demanding they perform sex acts on him and each other. Records show that sexual-abuse complaints against Levine reached the top levels of the Met in the late 1970s and in 2016, but Met leadership either dismissed them or took no further action. Levine, who was considered the “greatest American conductor since Leonard Bernstein,” spent over 40 years at the Met.
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