This is the end.
James Levine has just canceled all engagements between now and October, except for the two remaining peformances of Die Walküre at the Met May 9 and 14. Fabio Luisi will take over the Carnegie Hall concert with Natalie Dessay on May 16 and Levine’s duties on the Japan tour, conducting Don Carlo and La Bohème.
The statement from the Met, which follows the jump, optimistically predicts that after “taking the summer off to rest and recuperate from his ongoing back condition,” the maestro will return to the podium for the new production of Don Giovanni opening October 13.
Following his doctors’ advice, James Levine is taking the summer off to rest and recuperate from his ongoing back condition. While he will conduct the remaining performances of Die Walküre at the Met (May 9 and 14 – a matinee performance that will be transmitted live in HD), he will not join the Met on its Japan tour this June or conduct the MET Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall concert on May 15. Fabio Luisi, the Met’s principal guest conductor, will replace him for these engagements, conducting Verdi’s Don Carlo and Puccini’s La Bohème in Japan, and the May 15 concert at Carnegie featuring soprano Natalie Dessay. Levine will return to the Met in the fall to conduct the new production of Don Giovanni, which opens October 13.
The Carnegie program will remain the same except that Richard Strauss’s Don Juan, Opus 20 will replace Debussy’s Images pour orchestre.
Maestro Luisi is currently conducting a run of Rigoletto at the Met and leads the first of three performances of Ariadne auf Naxos tomorrow.