Levine injures back, withdraws from Met’s Fall season

Posted on: September 7, 2011

Tuesday (9/6) on the New York Times blog ArtsBeat, Daniel J. Wakin reports, “James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s music director, has withdrawn from all performances at the Met for the rest of the year after falling while on vacation in Vermont and damaging a vertebra, the house said on Tuesday. Mr. Levine had emergency surgery on Thursday. The injury comes after a series of health problems, including back operations and periods of rehabilitation to correct a painful spinal condition called stenosis, have curtailed Mr. Levine’s activities. … While the Met said Mr. Levine would remain music director, it elevated its principal guest conductor, Fabio Luisi, to the title of principal conductor and handed over to him most of Mr. Levine’s fall conducting assignments, including a new production of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni,’ opening on Oct. 13, and the third installment of a new and expensive ‘Ring’ cycle, ‘Siegfried,’ on Oct. 27. Louis Langrée was engaged to conduct some ‘Don Giovanni’ performances and Derrick Inouye was assigned a Nov. 1 ‘Siegfried.’ Mr. Levine has struggled to return from a series of setbacks that have forced his withdrawal from several performances over the past five years. … [Met General Manager Peter] Gelb rejected the suggestion that Mr. Levine’s latest health setback would lead to his departure from the Met.”

Posted September 7, 2011