Mon, Dec 04, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Met Opera probes abuse allegations by Levine

AP, NEW YORK

New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Saturday said it would open an investigation into allegations that its longtime conductor, James Levine, sexually abused a man three decades ago beginning when the man was a teenager.

Levine’s accuser, now middle-aged, contacted the police department in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October last year to report that he had sexual contact with the conductor when he was under age 18.

He said he reached out to police in Lake Forest because some of his encounters with Levine took place there in the mid-1980s.

Levine served as music director at the Ravinia Festival, outside Chicago, from 1973 to 1993.

Details of the police report were first reported on Saturday on the New York Post Web site.

Met officials said they learned of the police report last year.

“This first came to the Met’s attention when the Illinois police investigation was opened in October 2016,” the Met said in a statement. “At the time, Mr Levine said that the charges were completely false, and we relied upon the further investigation of the police. We need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action. We’ll now be conducting our own investigation with outside resources.”

The accuser, whose name is being withheld by The Associated Press, contacted reporters from several news organizations and posted a handful of items on social media accusing Levine of abusing him when he was young.

The accuser, who at the time was hoping for a career in music, told police the conductor had invited him to audition for him in New York and then encouraged him to engage in sexual “experimentation.”

He also said that his relationship with Levine extended well into adulthood and that the composer gave him money over the years when he was having financial problems, amounting to more than US$50,000.

This story has been viewed 924 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top