World Media

Metropolitan Opera investigating James Levine misconduct allegations

Music Director James Levine

The Metropolitan Opera announced that it is investigating charges of sexual misconduct against its conductor James Levine so that it can take "appropriate action".

The New York Post reported Saturday that the IL victim, now 48, filed a report with the Lake Forest police department last October explicitly detailing several instances of sexual abuse by Levine, beginning in 1985 when the boy was 15 at the Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest and continuing for years afterward.

Mr Levine, 74, was music director at the Met for 40 years before retiring for health reasons in 2016.

The report was publicized by The New York Post on Saturday, which obtained a copy through the Lake Forest Police Department in IL, where it was filed.

Levine's accuser is now a middle-aged man. The man said that it was the beginning of years of sexual contact against his will with Levine.

According to the report, the alleged abuse began at an inn near the Ravinia Festival in IL, where Levine was music director for two decades.

The victim claimed in his report that similar behavior went on for years.

The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October.

Levine has been nominated for 37 Grammy awards and has bagged 10 of them.

The Ravinia Festival created a new post for Levine as conductor laureate, which is to become effective in 2018.

He also said that his relationship with Levine extended well into adulthood and that the composer gave him money over the years when he was having financial problems, amounting to more than $50,000. He is now the opera's director emeritus.

"The BSO finds this information deeply disturbing and awaits the findings of further investigations on the matter". We need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action. "Mr. Levine has not conducted the BSO since January 2011 and is not scheduled to conduct the orchestra at any time in the future", the statement posted to Twitter reads.