The Met Denies Any Cover-Up of James Levine's Decades of Sexual Abuse

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The Metropolitan Opera has fired James Levine after an internal inquiry found "credible evidence" of sexual abuse. Two years ago, he had to step down due to Parkinson's Disease but has since then been a part of the company as a music director emeritus and head of the young artists program.

Levine, who served as music director with the opera company for almost 40 years, was first suspended in December as the Met launched an investigation.

It said there was also evidence that the conductor abused and harassed "vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers". "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 in December 2017 when the allegations were first made public.

The more than three-month-long investigation involved interviews with more than 70 individuals, according to the Met.

Although the Met did not describe the nature of the alleged abuse, a Globe investigation recently found that as a young conductor working in Cleveland, Levine attracted a cult-like group of devotees.

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It's a spectacular fall from grace for Levine, who had risen to become the most famous musicians in America since the 1960s, with a stint at the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as his 40-year tenure at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

Levine has not been charged with any criminal offense.

In December London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra relieved its principal conductor and artistic director Charles Dutoit of his duties following allegations against him, which he denies. Many of his performances were televised by PBS, and singers would rearrange their schedules to appear in his performances or to audition for him.

Levine has been associated with the Met Opera for more than four decades, stepping down in 2016 as music director.

"We recognize the great concerns over these issues that have been expressed by the Met community both inside and outside of the opera house", reads a statement from the Met, "and wish to provide the assurance that the Met is committed to ensuring a safe, respectful, and harassment-free workplace for its employees and artists".