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Met Opera sacks legendary conductor Levine after abuse probe

13 March 2018

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City on Monday announced on Monday it fired famed conductor James Levine after the conclusions of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

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

Former Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine was sacked Monday after an investigation into claims of sexual abuse "uncovered credible evidence", according to a statement by the Met. His abusive conduct during his Met tenure has yet to be revealed in print.

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Levine, who served as the Met's musical director for 40 years until he retired from that position in 2016, has denied the accusations.

The Met says claims its management or board had covered up information of Levine's conduct were unsubstantiated. After that, Mr. Levine held an emeritus role.

Quoting former students, the newspaper said that Levine would pressure them to cut off ties with the outside world and pledge loyalty to him as he led meetings that involved everything from studying opera scenes to anonymous sex. Law enforcement officials said past year that they would not bring criminal charges against Levine, noting that while the state's age of consent is now 17 - and 18 in some cases - it was still 16 in 1986.

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Late a year ago, three men came forward with allegations of misconduct against Levine in a report in the New York Times, and Levine was suspended.

Levine has been the most prominent classical musician to date to be called out publicly as a sexual harasser or abuser in the wake of the #metoo movement.

But some in the music industry expect more cases to come out, seeing how rock culture in particular is so intertwined with sexual inhibition.

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Met Opera sacks legendary conductor Levine after abuse probe