15 March 2018

Metropolitan Opera Issues Response to Lawsuit Filed by James Levine

JAMES LEVINE filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Opera in New York State Supreme court on March 15, citing breach of contract and defamation three days days after the Met announced that it has terminated its relationship with Levine as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of its young artist program. 

On Thursday evening, the Metropolitan Opera released the following statement from Bettina B. Plevan, Partner of the international law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP, in response: 

The Met terminated Mr. Levine’s contract on March 12, following an in-depth investigation that uncovered credible and corroborated evidence of sexual misconduct during his time at the Met, as well as earlier. It is shocking that Mr. Levine has refused to accept responsibility for his actions, and has today instead decided to lash out at the Met with a suit riddled with untruths. There is no basis for Mr. Levine’s assertion that the Met was on a vendetta against him, when in fact the Met supported him through prolonged and repeated periods of illness that kept him from the podium, at one point spanning two entire seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13). The Met only transitioned him from Music Director to Music Director Emeritus at the end of the 2015-16 season when it became obvious that Levine was no longer physically capable of carrying out his duties as Music Director. Nonetheless, the Met continued to support him in the position of Music Director Emeritus, a position created especially for him, and only suspended its relationship with him when Levine was accused of multiple acts of sexual misconduct, charges that have been corroborated following a more than three-month investigation. During the course of the investigation, Mr. Levine was offered numerous opportunities to be interviewed, beginning in December. It was only when the investigation was wrapping up, upon realization that termination was imminent, that he agreed to be interviewed, but on impossible terms, asking that the identity of his accusers, who had been promised anonymity, be disclosed. The Met intends to defend this case vigorously.

More information can be found at  The Metropolitan Opera . 

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