“This is it,” says a veteran Met-watcher, and La Cieca sadly must agree. Based on reliable reports about reshuffling of the Met’s repertoire for the 2013-14 season, the only reasonable conclusion is that James Levine will never return to conduct with the company.

This morning your doyenne heard that both Wagner productions scheduled for next season have been canceled. Tannhäuser has been replaced with a revival of Rusalka, and the return of this season’s new Parsifal will be set aside for a reprise of Wozzeck. Meanwhile, the projected revival of Mahagonny has been scrapped, with the vacant dates to be filled by repertory performances TBA. Presumably (this has not been confirmed) the seasons’ other two Levine projects, the opening night Eugene Onegin and Falstaff later in the year, will be reassigned to Fabio Luisi.

What’s needed now, of course, is a clear statement of Levine’s retirement so the Met can stop putting out all those little fires and get a real music director on board. But La Cieca’s not holding her breath.

Photo: Mary Altaffer, AP.