After three months of investigation, the Metropolitan Opera of New York has formally dismissed James Levine to determine that there is "credible" evidence of his "abusive sexual behavior". The New York cultural institution has already decided to suspend relations with the director emeritus of the orchestra last December, following revelations made by the local press.
Although the details of the investigation were not made public, it is specified that the abuses and the harassment occurred "before and during" the period he worked for the company. At least three men accused him of assault when they were teenagers. Levine was starting his career at the Met in 1976. His last staging was Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi, the night before the suspension.
Levine, an icon of classical music, has 74 years of age and has been awarded 10 grammys . The Met was aware of the allegations since October 2016, when the Lake Forest (Illinois) police initiated an investigation following the complaint of one of the victims, who was then 15 years old. The investigation sought to determine the allegations were true to adopt the appropriate measure.
The investigation includes interviews with 70 people. The Met says in a statement that the famed pianist abused and harassed "vulnerable artists at the start of their careers." For this reason, he considers that "it would be inappropriate and impossible for Levine to continue working" for the company. It also rejects the suggestion that the managers and their counselor be covered by the conduct of the conductor.