Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Metropolitan Opera suspends conductor James Levine over sexual abuse claims

Metropolitan Opera suspends conductor James Levine over sexual abuse claims

In a drama fit for.well, an opera.the New York Metropolitan Opera has suspended its relationship with conductor James Levine over allegations of sexual abuse.

In a statement released on Monday, the prestigious NY opera said it was launching an investigation into allegations made against the revered conductor and music director. Details of the police report were first reported Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, on the New York Post website.

Chris Brown, who played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than three decades, said that Mr. Levine masturbated him that summer - and then coaxed him to reciprocate - when Mr. A fourth man has accused Levine of molesting him in IL when he was 16. After officials of the Metropolitan Opera had called for an investigation, further reporting by The New York Times revealed two similar accounts of misconduct.

The Met suspended Levine on Sunday and hired Robert Cleary, the former U.S. Attorney who led the Unabomber prosecution, to investigate the music hall.

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Levine's representatives haven't responded to messages.

According to the Times, one of the alleged victims said he was sexually abused by Levine when he was 16 years old. Levine was music director of the nearby Ravinia Festival from 1973 to 1993.

Villaume recently conducted Massenet's "Thaïs" at the Met and is Music Director of the Dallas Opera and Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia.

The accusations against Levine are the latest in a string of sexual assault allegations against a number of high-profile members in the entertainment industry, which began coming to light in October following on reporting about Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

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