James Levine to retire as Metropolitan Opera’s music director at this season’s end

Posted on: April 15, 2016

“James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s longtime music director, is stepping down at the end of the current season for health reasons, the opera company announced Thursday,” writes Jennifer Smith in Thursday’s (4/14) Wall Street Journal. “The news follows months of uncertainty over whether Mr. Levine’s ongoing medical issues were interfering with his ability to conduct. He has held the post of music director since 1976. The Met said Mr. Levine, aged 72 years, will assume a new position as music director emeritus at the close of the season. He will continue as artistic leader of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, which he began in 1980. Mr. Levine still plans to conduct his remaining Met performances this season, as well as two of three Met Orchestra concerts scheduled at Carnegie Hall in May. But he will curtail his schedule for next season, withdrawing from the new production of Strauss’s ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ and from three scheduled Met Orchestra performances at Carnegie Hall in May 2017. Mr. Levine does intend to lead the 2016-2017 season revivals of Rossini’s ‘L’Italiana in Algeri,’ Verdi’s ‘Nabucco’ and Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo.’ Met officials said … Mr. Levine’s successor will be announced in the coming months.”

Posted April 15, 2016

In photo: James Levine before a performance of Verdi’s Requiem, September 2008. Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera