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James Levine Under Investigation For Sexual Abuse

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28 minutes ago, nanushka said:

There's a huge difference between saying what Nelsons said and saying that art offers "solace and strength"— particularly since the preceding two paragraphs from the musicians' statement make it clear that they are concerned about the very real possibility that the Levine allegations are true.

Yes you're right there is a difference in degree, but the statement of remorse would have been so much stronger without that final paragraph. It's as if their art is going to keep them from meditating and feeling some sort of penance for their part in Levine's actions, even if it was only subliminally noticed by many of them. I feel art shouldn't be an escape of beautiful shimmering surfaces, it should be an engagement.

I also posted the comments because they seem to have a higher degree of denial of the importance of what has happened than those that were made to articles about Lauer and the others. 

Edited by Quiggin

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12 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

I also posted the comments because they seem to have a higher degree of denial of the importance of what has happened than those that were made to articles about Lauer and the others. 

Norman Lebrecht provides a forum comparatively free of rational discourse.

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17 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

Yes you're right there is a difference in degree, but the statement of remorse would have been so much stronger without that final paragraph. It's as if their art is going to keep them from meditating and feeling some sort of penance for their part in Levine's actions, even if it was only subliminally noticed by many of them. I feel art shouldn't be an escape of beautiful shimmering surfaces, it should be an engagement.

I hear you, but considering that this is a public statement by the musicians collectively, I hardly think we should expect that they'd have taken a less balanced stance, at this point when the investigation has only just begun.

 

Edited by nanushka

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14 hours ago, Quiggin said:

Here is part of the statement that the Met musicians released – in a way not so different from Nelsons:

Many of the comments that follow the musicians statement make light of the investigation and support Levine –

http://slippedisc.com/2017/12/met-musicians-issues-statement-on-james-levine/#comments

 

I like " As we find ourselves joining a critical national conversation, we feel fortunate to be able to share the power of musical expression with our audience and work to make our society stronger."

So much more tactful than "As we find our revered leader publicly outed as a sex offender........"

Interesting that there is no reference at all to what the musicians themselves might or might not have known. Of course I can understand the difficulty of their position. Levine has been the Met orchestra's chief champion and benefactor - it's no exaggeration to say everything they are today is because of his talents and efforts. Did any of them remain silent because of that?

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Can I just say one thing relating to all of this? Well, two things. First, it’s about time that sexual improprieties and harassment, and sex crimes, are taken seriously. Glad to see it. 

But also: We shouldn’t say “Everybody knew about it.” No, everybody didn’t. Everybody heard the rumors, which is a very different thing. And when we spread rumors about something as serious as the sexual molestation of minors, we contribute to the kind of atmosphere of whispering scandal and shame that makes it unlikely victims will ever want to come forward.

(And sometimes, just possibly, you’ll help slander somebody in a really terrible way  I know—I did it once and it haunts me forever. You can never undo the damage.)

When you’re not the victim or haven’t heard a first-hand account, it’s a really hard call. When do you speak, and to whom? I don’t know. But over the years I heard so many people mention this with a kind of smirk, as if it were a sick joke. Children being molested—It’s not a laughing matter!

If you DO know something, you have to call the authorities, even if the victim doesn’t want it. Otherwise it just keeps going on.  

 

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16 hours ago, Anthony_NYC said:

Can I just say one thing relating to all of this? Well, two things. First, it’s about time that sexual improprieties and harassment, and sex crimes, are taken seriously. Glad to see it. 

But also: We shouldn’t say “Everybody knew about it.” No, everybody didn’t. Everybody heard the rumors, which is a very different thing. And when we spread rumors about something as serious as the sexual molestation of minors, we contribute to the kind of atmosphere of whispering scandal and shame that makes it unlikely victims will ever want to come forward.

(And sometimes, just possibly, you’ll help slander somebody in a really terrible way  I know—I did it once and it haunts me forever. You can never undo the damage.)

When you’re not the victim or haven’t heard a first-hand account, it’s a really hard call. When do you speak, and to whom? I don’t know. But over the years I heard so many people mention this with a kind of smirk, as if it were a sick joke. Children being molested—It’s not a laughing matter!

If you DO know something, you have to call the authorities, even if the victim doesn’t want it. Otherwise it just keeps going on.  

 

You are right to point this out, Anthony_NYC. And company/office gossip can be dead wrong.

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Posted (edited)

The Times reports on the latest developments in the Levine case:

Quote

The Metropolitan Opera fired James Levine on Monday evening, ending its association with a conductor who defined the company for more than four decades after an investigation found what the Met called credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in “sexually abusive and harassing conduct.”

The investigation, which the Met opened in December after a report in The New York Times, found evidence of abuse and harassment “both before and during the period” when Mr. Levine worked at the Met, the company said in a statement. The Met did not release the specific findings of its investigation, which it said had included interviews with 70 people.

The statement also said that the investigation had “uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct toward vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority,” adding that he was also being fired as the artistic director of the Met’s young artists program.

 

Edited by nanushka

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Here is the Met's complete statement:

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March 12, 2018

Statement regarding James Levine

After considering the findings of a thorough investigation conducted by outside counsel that lasted more than three months, the Metropolitan Opera has terminated its relationship with James Levine as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of its young artist program.

The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met. The investigation also uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority. In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met.

The investigation also found that any claims or rumors that members of the Met’s management or its Board of Directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated.

We thank the more than 70 individuals who were interviewed during the course of the investigation.

We recognize the great concerns over these issues that have been expressed by the Met community both inside and outside of the opera house, and wish to provide the assurance that the Met is committed to ensuring a safe, respectful and harassment-free workplace for its employees and artists.

 

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And yet another development:

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The conductor James Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera for breach of contract and defamation on Thursday, three days after the company he led for more than four decades fired him when an investigation found he had “engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct.”

 

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Does he know about Oscar Wilde?

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

Does he know about Oscar Wilde?

Heh. Seriously.

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There are more details about Levine's alleged behavior in the '60s and '70s in this article in The Boston Globe.

If true, he is a monster.

And now, it seems, for the first time in his career, people are not showing him the deference he apparently feels entitled to.

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If that article is accurate what a creepy psycho he must be, and it sounds like he messed up people’s lives!

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This is a disaster for the Met. I thank the stars that as bad as the situation is at NYCB (leaderless), it is not as bad as this. I have spent many, many transcendent hours at the opera house in the 16 years since I began attending opera, many with Maestro Levine himself. The Met has a real chance at revitalization with the dynamic incoming Yannick Nezet-Seguin. I will be tremendously relieved when that comes to pass. 

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On 3/18/2018 at 7:46 AM, cobweb said:

This is a disaster for the Met. I thank the stars that as bad as the situation is at NYCB (leaderless), it is not as bad as this. I have spent many, many transcendent hours at the opera house in the 16 years since I began attending opera, many with Maestro Levine himself. The Met has a real chance at revitalization with the dynamic incoming Yannick Nezet-Seguin. I will be tremendously relieved when that comes to pass. 

NYCB is not leaderless - they happen to have a team functioning in the various A.D. roles - which is testament to the fact that there's often too much for one person to do effectively. Just what defines a "leader" varies from one culture to another (and that goes for company cultures and local communities as well as broader national cultures).

Cultures that think having a single dictatorial leader (with the first and last word on everything) is better than a team sharing responsibilities, don't really have proof of the 'betterness' of their situation. It's just what they are used to - and change is frightening (and apparently not worth thinking about or planning for).

Will NYCB likely return to using a single A.D.? Probably, because that's what the company culture and audience culture are so used to. All the soul-searching and needed modifications coming from 'lessons learned' are likely to dissipate fairly quickly. I'm not hopeful yet that there will be permanent changes to how the board and staff go about business at NYCB or the Met.

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The Met has filed a counter-suit, according to the New York Times:

Quote

Two months ago, the conductor James Levine, having been fired by the Metropolitan Opera for sexual misconduct, sued the company for breach of contract and defamation. Now the Met is suing him back, arguing in court papers filed on Friday that Mr. Levine harmed the company, and detailing previously unreported accusations of sexual harassment and abuse against him.

Numerous new and detailed allegations are described in the article.

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