Friday, 15 December, 2017

Met Opera Investigating Sexual Abuse Allegation Against Conductor James Levine

American conductor James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform Hector Berlioz's Conductor James Levine facing sexual abuse allegations: Reports
Howard Terry | 04 December, 2017, 01:02

The Metropolitan Opera announced on Saturday it would investigate claims that its music director sexually abused a teenage boy decades ago, as the U.S. avalanche of misconduct allegations spread to classical music.

Levine rose to prominence as the Met Opera's music director.

According to the New York Times, the victim claimed in his initial police report that he first met Mr. Levine at the Ravinia Festival, the a summer music festival of which Levine was the music director from 1973 through 1993.

According to the report, the alleged victim filed a molestation complaint at the Lake Forest police department.

The probe is based on a 2016 IL police report, the Met said. He was sidelined for two years with a spinal injury and before he returned in 2013, conducting from a motorized wheelchair, the Met said he was being treated for a disorder related to Parkinson's disease.

The Post alleges that there were "hundreds of incidents" by Levine against the teenage victim.

"I began seeing a 41-year-old man when I was 15, without really understanding I was really "seeing" him".

The statute of limitations for a potential sex crime in IL expired nine years before the alleged victim came forward against Levine in 2016, reports the Post.

"It nearly destroyed my family and almost led me to suicide", he said of the alleged abuse in the police report.

He said he followed Levine's instructions, though he found himself confused by his behavior toward him. He was trying to seduce me. "We need to determine if these chargers are true and, if they are, take appropriation action". I couldn't see this. But eventually, he said Levine would masturbate in front of him and, as he got older, he said the conductor inappropriately touched and fondled him.

Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb confirmed Saturday that the Met was made aware of the allegations in 2016 and is now investigating the matter.

The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October.

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