Cher Public


Born on this day in 1923. 

On this day in 1840 Donizetti’s La Favorite premiered in Paris.

On this day in 1877 Camille Saint-Saens opera Samson et Dalila premiered in Weimar.

Born on this day in 1899 tenor and teacher Paul Althouse.

Born on this day in 1899 conductor John Barbirolli.

Born on this day in 1899 conductor Peter Herman Adler.

Born on this day in 1925 mezzo-soprano Irina Arkhipova.

  • Cicciabella
  • Cicciabella

    Save the date: La Scala season opening with Andrea Chénier, on Thursday, 7th of December at 22:55 hrs CET with Anna, Yusif and Luca Salsi under Chailly. Get your tiaras ready…

    • Susan Brodie

      Thank you for the reminder, Ciccia!

      • ines

        Chailly is asking the audience not to applaud after the arias ´for the sake of the musical flow, that was Giordani´s wish´……..

        • Cicciabella

          He’s right, of course. But how boring!

        • Susan Brodie

          And here I thought only Muti was such a stickler. Besides, it’s Europe, where audiences are less likely to applaud every diva flow in favor of letting the drama flow uninterrupted…

        • bertrand simon

          Probably he fears most probable bad audience’s reactions to Eyvazov .

    • Camille

      Dank U Mevrouw Cicciatantabella!!

  • fletcher

    So, uhhh, about those Levine rumors…

    • Kullervo


      HOLY FUCK.

      • fletcher

        I’m very much not a part of NYC music circles, so I’ve only read rumors of rumors, but they always seemed too disgusting to be true, to obviously vicious. This is horrifying.

        • Kullervo

          Well the thing is, some of the most circulated rumors were totally sensationalized bullshit.That is, there were a lot of moronic queens saying that certain singers stayed at the Met past their prime because they “knew things…”, which is a frankly repulsive, libelous and defamatory indictment to make. Imagine not liking a singer so much that you claim their presence at the Met was due to their sheltering of a sexual predator.

          • Kullervo

            (on the other hand…crazier things have been revealed in the past year, so who knows if the more lurid rumors were true as well..)

            • Porgy Amor

              I do think the things are unrelated, because certainly the diva alluded to is one of many. Levine has always had his favorites, as many conductors do. I could make a list of what I call the “FOJs” who are/were past their best singing but still getting work at the Met, sometimes prominently placed work. Sometimes their careers have narrowed to Met-only (among the major houses); sometimes they still sing elsewhere too. It’s a bit of a stretch that in every case it is because of damaging things they know.

            • steveac10

              I’ve never heard rumors about more than that one of Levine’s “pets”.

              On another tangent -- can we suppose this afternoon was likely Levine’s final appearance at the Met? I would have to imagine they are now frantically searching for conductors to take over the rest of his schedule this season -- which was heavier than it’s been since 2010 or so. I’m sure it’s especially crazy because it includes 2 HD’s. What’s on YNS’s plate for New Years Eve?

            • Porgy Amor

              Hmm. Nothing on the calendar at YNS’s site for December later than a December 23 Messiah in Montreal.

              I doubt there’s any frantic searching going on. Look at at the very good replacements who have happened to be available when he’s had to pull out of things in recent years, including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lothar Koenigs, Sebastian Weigle. The latter two may not be household names over here, but they are busy conductors who specialized in the difficult pieces that needed to be conducted. I think that, at least as Levine’s Met concerts and operas go, there is now always a built-in contingency plan.

            • steveac10

              Interestingly the Tosca page now has the TBA’s split into 2 chunks. One for opening night & the final performance (which is the last performance of the Met season), and another for the balance of the run other than what was a TBA and is now Gareth Morrell.

            • Yige Li

              The YNS-for-1st-and-last-night theory sounds reasonable until one finds out May 12 is also YNS’s first night Tosca in Philadelphia…

            • bertrand simon

              Andris Nelsons will conduct Tosca .

            • Camille

              Yes, indeed—what and where will our incoming maestro music director be this New Year’s Eve? Will he be constrained into service? Has he conducted Tosca before? There is an alternate conductor for this series mentioned on the Met website but he’s not a big name and likely staff.

              Then, the Luisa Miller, and to which I am so looking forward. Any chance Domingo could conduct and there could be an actual baritone sing the important part of Miller, e.g.?

              As yet there is nothing under “Press Release” on the Met website. I don’t envy any of that statf or board on this date. It must be a terrible upset for them.

            • H_Badger

              they’re still scrubbing his name from the website -- he was still listed as the conductor for Tosca this morning on the splash page, but now that’s gone. Busy Monday at the Met.

            • Camille

              Yes it is—what I am really wondering about is how this event will be “scripted” or even referred to on the broadcasts. Or, as in case of booing—ignored.

              Since the Met publicity machine has invested so much into the myth of the illustrious maestro, how will it scrub this all clean? How this will impact attendance, already declining? How will all of this impact the year-end pleas for monetary support? An abyss for the staff to contemplate and just in time for the joyous holiday season.

            • H_Badger

              this has to impact the end of year pleas for support…the timing couldn’t be worse. and talk about a shadow over the NYE gala….

            • Donna Annina

              Il mio sposo received an email very similar to the tweet posted earlier with this addition:

              We would like to assure you and all of the Met’s loyal donors that the company will be taking all appropriate actions. We also want to assure you that we will never lose focus on our artistic mission to continue to deliver performances of the highest artistic level to our audience.

              Thank you for your continued support of the Met.
              Signed by Ann Ziff and Judith-Ann Corrente.

              Tough times all around.

            • Camille

              Oh my. Thank you so much for communicating this message to others.

              I guess Ravinia will soldier on with the Requiem but with another conductor, so it announced. A particularly blackened eye and hurt feelings for them, I’ll bet.

            • grimoaldo2

              “Met Opera Reels as Fourth Man Accuses James Levine of Sexual Abuse”
              “the opera house came under sharp criticism for not investigating Mr. Levine after learning in 2016 of a police inquiry into a report of sexual abuse against him.

              The Ravinia Festival also announced Monday night that it had “severed all ties” with Mr. Levine”
              “In the email to Met donors, Ann Ziff, the chairwoman of the Met’s board of directors, and Judith-Ann Corrente, its president and chief executive officer, wrote that they had been “deeply disturbed” by the reports about Mr. Levine….Some opera lovers and others took to social media to question whether the Met knew about troubling behavior by Mr. Levine…
              Nanci Boice
              You have known for years. You were and are complacent and an accessory because you did nothing.”

            • southerndoc1

              I’m not sure so sure about all the vituperation directed at Gelb in the NYT article.

              The incidents happened decades ago, not at the Met (as far as we know), and a police investigation had been launched.

              How much more is an employer expected to do regarding an employee’s private life? Very different from Lauer, for example, who was doing it with staff in his office at NBC.

            • DonCarloFanatic

              Re Lauer, perhaps better phrased as “doing it TO staff in his office…”

            • southerndoc1

              To staff with his staff . . .

            • Porgy Amor

              There are people who are going to call for Gelb’s firing on any issue. Ticket sales are down? Unions are not happy? A new production is not to everyone’s liking? Fire Peter Gelb!

              Some of that is just the nature of the job (for which he’s well compensated). Has any Met general manager who held the job for more than a year been well liked by the general public? GMs are blamed for everything bad that happens at the Met, while good things are said to have happened in spite of them. Then they die or retire and they get image-rehabilitated because the next one is allegedly so much worse.

              Certainly, he has less to answer for on this issue than any other GM of Levine’s tenure. I saw someone on the Met’s own Facebook page saying that Gelb could and should have removed Levine as music director as soon as he took office. I can well imagine how that would have gone down. Some people were even calling for his head when he managed to move St. James into the emeritus position in 2016, even after…well, we all know what the years from 2010 through 2016 had been like on the Jimmy-watch. I need not go into it all.

              I think Gelb has all the warmth of a mortician out of central casting, and I have my own issues with how he’s run the place, but the 24/7 vituperation is a bit much.

            • Camille

              Oh god yes to that, PA—should Mr Gelb have removed Mo Levine, the howl that would have gone up about axing Saint Jimmy Devine would have been heard halfway around the world and maybe into outer space! Impossible to do.

              As you so adroitly stated, he has the appeal of a funeral director but he is placed in an absolutely rock-or-a-hard-place position where no one looks good nor comes out smelling like a lily.

              Why hasn’t the voluble volpe or the august crawfish had anything to say about these matters, which happened much nearer in time to their respective incumbencies?

              And what, exactly, of all these charges can be substantiated or is anything at all like that possible? And why, if someone is so terribly traumatized does it take fifty years to complain? Yes, of course, there are many legitimate reasons for that type of suppression but—Really?

            • Lohenfal

              I just checked my email and found a message from Gelb, which I assume was sent to Met supporters who aren’t major donors. The language is very similar to the message sent by the Board. It looks to me as if the crisis is intensifying, as I assumed it would. The Met was Levine’s principal employer. It is hard to imagine that there wasn’t some complicity, even if only passive.

            • southerndoc1

              Are the BSO, Munich Philharmonic, Ravinia, Bayreuth et al proportionately responsible?

              Yes, what he did in his personal life was horrible, but I sure don’t want any employer of mine snooping into what I did 40 years ago -- sex, weed, whatever. This was reported to the police and they, not the Met, are the ones to investigate.

            • Lohenfal

              When I referred to complicity, I was thinking not only of Gelb and 2016, but of all the previous managements, going back to the 1970’s. It appears to me that the Met gave unwavering support to Levine during that entire period. Even if all these managements knew nothing of his personal life, is unwavering support ever a good thing? The Met seemed unwilling to ever consider losing his services, for any reason. The limitations of that attitude are becoming apparent now.

              BTW, I read yesterday on the BR-Klassik site that there were some Gerüchte (rumors) of Levine’s behavior, which were brought up before he was appointed to the Munich Phil. There were some other objections as well. Should you care to read the article:


              They also give a link to the 1997 Spiegel article:

            • southerndoc1

              No clear answers, are there?

              I’m just very conflicted about how much I want employers monitoring the non-work activities of their employees. That’s real slippery slope.

              Bernstein’s escapades were talked about at least as much as Levine’s. Will the NYPO and Tanglewood be held responsible for his transgressions?

            • Lohenfal

              I’ve heard of Bernstein’s escapades. Since he passed away in 1990, he was spared any possible outcomes. Although I’m also a NY Phil supporter, I’m not at all as familiar with its history and whether there were any embarrassing questions raised as to its “complicity.” I have enough trouble just keeping up with the Met and its problems, with which I’m all too familiar, going back to 1883. Learning about the Farrar/Toscanini relationship and its result was a major revelation for me when it came out in the 1970’s.

            • kankedort

              “You were and are complacent.” Do you mean “complicit”?

            • grimoaldo2

              It’s a quote from an article. I didn’t write it.

          • steveac10

            If I remember correctly, those particular accusations were primarily leveled against one prominent Met diva who was a devisive figure among the fandom and played a very prominent role in the house for nearly a decade early in Levine’s tenure. I could never decide whether some of the more salacious tales about why she got as much work in the house as she did were motivated by her shortcomings or her supposed actions in covering up Levine’s alleged shenanigans with under aged males. I was more than happy to have her around, so I chalked it up to petty jealousies.

            • Kullervo

              She was a great artist who -even at her very worst -- had legitimately important interpretive gifts. There is nothing suspicious about her being hired in spite of a vocal decline.

              The suggestion that she would turn a blind eye to a sexual predator (and bear in mind that she was/is a mother herself) in exchange for steady work at a single opera house is the absolute height of misogynistic fuckery.

            • fletcher

              I hate the spoil the insidery fun, but can the rest of us get a hint?

            • Kullervo

              She got her big break filling in for today’s birthday girl and part of the queen backlash against her related to the fact that her interpretations didn’t stack up to the memory said birthday girl’s.

              I’m not trying to be vague and insider-y by not saying her name; I just have no wish to further drag her into Levine’s bullshit so I don’t feel like putting it in print.

            • fletcher

              Understood, thanks!

            • steveac10

              I completely agree. The tales of her involvement were silly and ludicrous -- even if the underlying scandals involving Levine himself were not.

          • Luvtennis

            If these reports are true then her involvement or knowledge will be disclosed.

            Levine is done. His legacy is done. Gelb is done.

    • Jm35

      I imagine the NY Times is sitting on a file of collected rumors and will be printing a corroborating story by Monday. Also by Monday (maybe tomorrow) Gelb will announce Levine is out for good. The question is does Gelb get turfed out too because he knew and didn’t do anything.

      • steveac10

        I honestly think that Gelb might be largely safe on this one, although in the current climate, who knows? It was under the Bliss, Crawford and Volpe regimes that the rumors about Levine’s predilection for very young men swirled through the opera world at their strongest. In the last 20 years or so the rumors had receded to the point they were largely forgotten.

        • Camille

          Yes, Mr Crawford and Mr Volpe are both still around (not Mr Bliss, under whose watch some of this apparently came out). What have they got to say?

    • steveac10

      The Post already has a lengthy and detailed article about the victim who has come forward. Hell, Even as a grad student in the early 80’s I was hearing the rumors about the Maestro and teens and youngish men (there were even open jokes about one marginally talented comprimario tenor who managed to hang on in the house for a decade or more -- and why he was able to). That this took 40 years to hit one of the major NYC papers boggles my mind.

      • southerndoc1

        Can we assume that the Met somehow got the Post to sit on the story until Levine had finished his Zauberflutes and Requiems, giving him an opportunity to disappear now?

        • cielo e mar
          • southerndoc1

            La Cieca told us that there was another shoe waiting to drop in relation to the new Tosca.

            • Camille

              The shoe has DROPPED and like a hydrogen bomb!

          • grimoaldo2

            Metropolitan Opera
            We are deeply disturbed by the news articles that are being published online today about James Levine. We are working on an investigation w outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980s are true, so that we can take appropriate action.
            8:58 PM -- Dec 2, 2017

      • Donna Annina

        Rumors have been flying around his hometown for decades, as well as in Cleveland. Don’t wonder why this took 40 years to hit the papers. Who would believe any of the victims all those years ago?

        • Bill

          Years ago there were reports of an arrest of Levine in a public toilet for lewd behavior of some nature in Cleveland which embarrassed the Board of the Met -- but if I recall no
          specifics were detailed and it was largely forgotten.

          • grimoaldo2
            • DonCarloFanatic

              This article is another “Oh, aren’t we going overboard?” wail that deserves disdain, especially because people with actual experience dealing with sexual harassment complaints (HR employees) put the percentage of false complaints at between 2% and 5%. That’s a very low number indeed, so all this “Shouldn’t we be more even-handed?” stuff is hogwash. The author of the piece does make one valid point, which is that every harasser usually has a lot of enablers, and their guilt seldom gets outed. However, having compassion for all, the author’s solution, is damn weak.

            • Porgy Amor

              I read that early this morning, and besides agreeing with you on the merits, I found it strangely unfocused and shapeless. What La Cieca sometimes calls an “And another thing!” piece.

              Some well-known personalities are not pulling any punches on social media re: Levine, including a director who created several productions in the Volpe years and a devilish divo (two people). Just comments on the general theme of “He got away with this stuff for decades even though everyone ‘knew’.”

            • Kullervo

              Just comments on the general theme of “He got away with this stuff for decades even though everyone ‘knew’.”

              Which is absolutely NOT the right thing to say at this time. If you knew actual things and did nothing then you were complicit -- if not, you only “knew” as much as we all “knew,” which was that there were off-record rumors.

            • Bill

              DonCarloFanatic -- Every case is different.
              If one considers the Penn State Sandusky scandal some of the reports of abuse more recent and then current and not only in the past, eventually a number of people who were certainly not physically involved in the scandal, Joe Paterno, the esteemed coach,
              plus the President of the University and another administrator lost their jobs though
              they surely never witnessed Sandusky’s abuse of minors. But when informed of the eyewitness report did not perhaps do all they could have done to prevent further occurrences. Paterno died shortly thereafter
              and had been a great coach. and supporter of that University financially and in its academic growth. I cannot think that Gelb, though he may have heard rumors or reports, could possibly be considered vulnerable or an enabler for something which happened with Levine decades previously and was not reported until 2016 -- nor any members of the current Met Board should have any responsibility. In the Sandusky case, some of the abuse occurred apparently within the Penn State facilities and was immediately reported in some form to higher administrative authorities --
              But from the newspaper reports so far,
              Levine kept his alleged activities confined to other venues, not the Metropolitan Opera facility itself. And almost assuredly no one in authority at the Metropolitan Opera, staff or Board members, ,decades ago or recently, ever witnessed anything improper regarding Levine. If Levine continues to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera, I would continue to go to his performances for their musical values..But the Met Board has the unenviable task of
              determining if they want Levine to continue his association with the opera house or not and I suspect they may not. Other stories may eventually emerge and it will be an unpleasant distraction for the Met which has to rely so much on its patrons, opera goers, financial supporters (both institutions and opera fans themselves) to sustain its livelihood and eminence.

            • Ray Reilly

              Please, the MET spent a fortune keeping his name out of the papers, the MET tour was primarily cancelled because they were told they could not bring Levine with them. His fetish for pre-adolescent black boys was famous. A friend of mine was shocked seeming him at fire island in the seventies with a boy of aproximately 8 years of age. there was an old joke ” Jesse Norman, Kathleen Battle and James Levine were on the Titanic, When they were entering the lifeboat as the ship was sinking Jesse said “Stop, we have to save the children first.” Kathy said “Fuck the kids” and James Levine said “Do we have time?”. Yes the Met has enabled him for years and the coy press was bought off. and no Renata had nothing to do with it. Her major engagements at the MET were part of her moving her family from Italy because of fears of kidnapping and agreeing to give more time to the MET in order to raise her children here.

            • Camille

              Where did the money come from?

              Is it that easy to cover up such transfers? “Petty expenses”?

              I am not contesting your assertions but merely interested in where these moneys may come from. I am a curious woman.

            • Ray Reilly

              I don’t know, the board loved him and still does, they have protected him. HIs pedophilia was public knowledge in the house. He was wearing an ankle bracelet for several years and was only allowed to travel between his apartment, the MET and BSO

            • Camille

              Okay. Thanks for the response.

            • steve-lax

              While not a fan of Levine--at least post the late 90s--your post seems like mischief of the highest order. The prospect that a public figure wore an “ankle bracelet” and was restricted to a small radius is not only absurd on face value, but contradicted by Lincoln Center’s (and the BSO’s) proximity to a numerous schools, which as every-one knows are no-go lands for RSOs.

              Long-time/First-time w/ no plans to post again; however, ad hominem misuse of news of this sort really can’t be allowed to fly. It’s tough enough coping with the truth.

            • Ray Reilly

              sorry, not mischief, came from several different employees at the MET. He was notorious for picking poor young African-American boys and when things got ugly the parents got huge payoffs with non-disclosure agreements. a friend of mine saw him with an 8 year old boy in fire island in the late 70s, he said he never wanted to believe the gossip but said this confirmed it , You probably don’t believe the stories about MIchael Jackson either, whose own siblings called him SHORT EYES, the prison term for a child molester

            • Luvtennis

              Sorry, Ray. But those stories about Jackson have been largely debunked.

            • Ray Reilly

              not by people who worked with him. ,Trump debunks the story about the pussy grabbing tape too. Knew someone who toured with him and knew someone else who worked at the studio during FREE WILLY, told stories of parents happily sending their young boys into his trailer while they sat outside, because the payday was big. and many people I have known who worked at the MET told similar stories about Levine. I was a super for many years and knew many people who worked there. The stories not only of his pedophilia, but also of his constant harrassment of younger men were legendary. There are some people who just don’t want to believe these things. , Child abuse has been an epidemic throughout history because it is so horrible that most people want to be in denial about it. The Catholic Church perfected the art of denial years ago. Sorry denial ain’t just a river in Egypt

            • QueenAnne Guido

              Possible scenario…. Board goes into executive session. A few donors are ready with check books. Payments are made to attnys of the Met or its Fndtn (a related party but not the production company). Appears on balance sheet as legal fees.

            • Camille

              I hear you. There could be many intricate trails to cover things up but will that all come out now?

              Luv your moniker!

            • QueenAnne Guido

              Tidy flat near Space Needle, cara C

            • Camille

              Oh!! Now I read you. I spent a very happy summer in an old house on Capitol Hill long ago so have an idea. Also lived in Belltown for a while when on the lam and inbetween husbands. Young, wild and bitter salad days!

              I remember when Starbucks was just a tiny hole in the wall at Pike Place Market whose specialty was “Market Spice Tea”—and the only espresso in town was a cart under the Monorail called “Monorail Espresso”. And Frederick & Nelson’s Paul Bunyan Luncheon Room with murals of Paul and Babe the Ox.

              Jezuz, I am OLDZ!!!

              Honk, if you luv ferry-boats!

            • QueenAnne Guido

              Honk. Ernie Steeles. Eddie Bauer sold duck paintings and shotguns. Belltown in the 80s because la vie de boheme. Ruby Montana’s Pinto Pony. All Roads led to the Doghouse all-night dinner where forner Rosie the Riveters from Boeing airfield sang New York New York to a mighty Wurlitzer. Starbucks chick had nipples and Monorail Espresso made a fucking great macchiato. I have a hot water bottle and horrible nightmares of the Buddy Hacket/Miss Washington Fledermaus

            • Camille

              OMG--Buddy Hackett & Miss Washington State? Was that in the Glynn Ross daze? Sounds like it!!

              Yes, it IS alwayz Norn-thirty there, hahaha!!!! I had to leave before moss started growing on my inner thighs.

              And you know about Monorail Espresso?!??? I luvs U Queenie for that as NO ONE knew about it and they were really good.

              Like Lady Macbeth--it’s time to go ” a letto, a letto” but be back mañana!!!

            • DonCarloFanatic

              Bill--a late reply. …”when informed of the eyewitness report did not perhaps do all they could have done to prevent further occurrences”

              This is the same crap people have been hiding behind for decades while women, men, boys, and girls have been harassed, molested, and raped.

              “[D]id not perhaps” do ANYTHING to prevent further occurrences is a lot more accurate.

              Remember that old slogan: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”? Never truer. Far too many people have not stood up for others when it comes to sexual abuse they were aware of. I think holding up a sports icon as an example of someone who did something wonderful in this world and therefore should not have had any moral responsibility to stop someone from doing something horrible is a morally compromised argument. For god’s sake, the man coached a sports team. He wasn’t Joan of Arc.

            • Bill

              DonCarloFanatic -- No but Paterno, more than most collegiate football coaches, truly encouraged athlete students to be students and achieve good grades, graduate (rather than one and out), gave millions of dollars to the University for academic purposes (particularly after Penn State became a member of the Big Ten. Unlike apparently
              the James Levine Scandals which for a long time were apparently known to the Met Board and administration (and some of the general
              public) perhaps Sandusky’s prevelations were not known to Paterno and the Penn State
              president until that one coach observed something untimely in the shower room
              and reported it to Paterno -- there were not years of coverup as far as I know on the part of the Penn State administration -- after all
              Sandusky was married with family and much of his contact with young lads was with a separate charity.

              I have no particular association with Pens State and only once attended a football game
              in Happy Valley -- I just think that Paterno
              was not only a concerned human being and
              was probably made a mistake by not going to the police regarding an incident he did not witness. One never knows but one often does not know what a colleague or even a person friend is doing privately.

              Levine himself was known as a coach of musicians, a mentor, one who was able to
              aid in promoting the careers of budding talents, a recruiter and molder and developer of talent.

              Now both Penn State which had enormous financial costs to pay out due to one man’s behavior and perhaps now the
              Metropolitan Opera will also have enormous costs if legal problems, lawsuits ensue.

              But Penn State has survived -- its fans
              still fill up its 100,000 plus seating capacity stadium most every game and hopefully, whatever happens at the Met, attendance at its opera performances will not suffer either .

          • JR

            It didn’t make the NY papers (presuming they would have been prone to publish) because there was a NY newspaper strike at that time.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    The official new website:

  • DerLeiermann

    Wow. I can’t believe Maria Callas invented opera only 94 years ago. What a humble greek queen! To bring us that gift from the realm of gods much like Prometheus stole the fire! Viva

  • Camille

    Regarding the involvement of various parties in the alleged affairs and goings-on of the maestro, I recall Mrs John Claggart writing more than once on the subject, in her customary informed, final and authoritative manner—this being at least three to five years back, here in parterre. As I recall now, Mrs Claggart claimed lot of it was false but by what reasoning or facts, I would not know nor dare conjecture.

    Perhaps one of you with more savvy computer skills may go hack to retrieve such an article. There were more than one and they may be interesting or illuminating to review at this point.

    • PCally
      • H_Badger

        quite the discussion thread on that one…

      • Camille

        Whew! I had to put on my wading boots to finally get to the part with mrsjohnclaggart, but there she was in a couple paragraphs.

        Yes, this was one instance but not the one I had in mind. However, it is slightly shocking to note the date 2011 — and how many personages who regularly frequented parterre who are no longer with us.

        The one I was thinking of went into more particulars and about a few persons who allegedly came to his defense, not in this rather brief and mild dismissal.

        It’s all just too awful and sad.

      • grimoaldo2

        Yes I believe that is it and I remember it well.
        “These lies are rooted in a very old fashioned hatred of suspected homosexuals that died slowly among a small segment of the very rich in NY.”
        He convinced me and I wanted to believe it. However, here is the wikipedia article on John Dexter
        “John Dexter (2 August 1925 – 23 March 1990) was an English theatre, opera and film director….At the Metropolitan Opera (where he was Director of Production from 1974 to 1981, then Production Advisor from 1981 to 1984)…In 1958, Dexter served a six-month prison sentence for making “advances to a young boy in a play he was directing. The boy told his parents who told the police.”

        It must have been in 1981, in England, that a good friend and colleague of Dexter’s told me that the Met decided it could not keep Dexter as their director of productions since the Met was discovering they were having to devote considerable resources to prevent Levine’s predilection for underage boys causing pubic scandal and it was felt that the Met could not have a music director AND a director of productions with the same illegal taste.
        Of course just because someone tells you something like that it doesn’t make it true and I really hoped it was not.

        • Camille

          At a performance of Wozzeck,back in 1997-98, (they were Hildegard’s last performances and glorious, too), a dear friend of mine, a kind and gentle soul, shocked the hell out of me by yelling at Levine “Keep your hands off the kid”, at curtain time. I was stunned.

          Shocked, as I’d never known about any such tales, and shocked that an otherwise kindhearted human being would or could yell such a thing, loudly and in public. I don’t know the truth of the matter and I wonder if we ever shall know anything substantial as this is very bad publicity for the Metropolitan, anyway at all one slices the cake. No one wins.

          • Marcello

            I remember seeing JL coming out of a hotel on Central Park West with a young black or latino guy. But this was definitely a teenager and not a child. This was in the middle 80s and seemed to confirm the rumours about JL.

            • Camille

              Well, rumors and innuendo are not truth until proven so, and as we are in the United States, there is a burden to prove guilt and not the other way around. Public figures have always had to deal with the invidiously-motivated lie, and half-truths, or Wiki Quote-type distortion of the original context of their statements.

              And—one may be seen with anyone and it may appear to be one thing and in actual fact; it is apparently another. Appearances ar deceiving, we all know.

              The truth is very hard to pin down and wears various gradations of grey. Whatever the truth is we are all so much poorer for it all, and especially the classical music scene, being as compartimentalised and marginalised as it already is in the U.S.

              In the story I related above, I do not know that my friend had absolute knowledge of facts, if it was innuendo, or a tissue of various fabrics woven all together. I only know that this incident occurred in my presence.

            • Marcello

              It seems quite strange that he managed to keep everything under the carpet for 30+ years until now when his career is all but finished.

        • Nelly della Vittoria

          Naive question: what uses of an organisation’s resources keep child-molestation from causing public scandal — or do we just mean throwing money at accusers, or actually paying off the press somehow, and more than once? OK maybe don’t answer that; it’s all too dreadful.

          • grimoaldo2

            I don;t remember exactly what my friend who was a friend of John Dexter said they did,it was a long time ago, that is why I said “resources” which would not necessarily mean money, could also mean time and effort.

    • quoth the maven

      Mrs. John Claggart, may she rest in peace, was a notorious fabulist.

      • Camille

        That is AbsoLUTELY true!!!!! Mah!

        He (she, whatever) did actually work inside the Met and actually had met the artists involved, therefore—the possibility of a grain of information with a morsel of truth existed. That’s ALL! His stories may have been to serve another purpose all his own. Who knows?? Not me.

  • Armerjacquino

    The big news is that Newsweek have discovered a Verdi opera none of us knew about…

  • Camille
  • calaf47

    According to the NY Times, the Met Opera has suspended Levine and he is removed from conducting Tosca/Trovatore/Luisa Miller. There are three more accusations against him.

    • steveac10

      And the Met website confirms that he has no upcoming engagements for the balance of the season. All of Levine’s appearances that remained are now TBA. Such a sad and tawdry end to a remarkable career.

  • Camille

    Before I sleep I have to put this out there, the name of the fellow who published his negative and exploitative experiences in the music industry, back in October—Dan Kempson is his name and here is his story:

    • Leontiny

      Thank you, Camille. That was a good solid read, and some of the comments are very revealing. As someone who attended a couple of Matthew Epstein’s parties in the 70’s I remember Levine showing up with very very young men of colour and have wondered when this was going to come out.

      • Camille

        Oh, not at all and I am glad you got something out of it and encourage others to do so as well. Perhaps this fellow’s story will be heeded with some more interest and respect and further enable others to speak up now.

        It seems absolutely unthinkable and strains the limits of credibility that all these things went on for decades and it all somehow was accepted as something that had to be politely ignored or accepted. I wonder if something within the statutes of limitations will actually now surface which is actionable?

        This is also quite important regarding his secure future with the Ravinia Festival as noted in this news article:,amp.html

  • Herb Fontecilla

    Echoes of Casablanca: ” I am shocked—shocked—to find that gambling is going on in here! “

  • Christian Ocier

    Is this socialite the very same troubled Ashok Pai mentioned in the news?

  • Donna Annina

    And another shoe just dropped:

    “James Levine will not be conducting the May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in May 2018, as was previously announced. The concert performance of Verdi’s Requiem will take place as scheduled on May 18, 2018. A replacement conductor will be announced at a future date.”

  • -Stumper.

    Notes in the manner of an historical musicologist on What works have been composed by Maestro of notoriety James Levine?… for example before, during, or after the years at The Juilliard School studying music.

    Searching for JL compositions gets complicated trying to sort out
    from listings for productions of composers conducted by James Levine.

    And further complicated trying to sort out from other similar names like composer James Scott Levine.

    Over the years works of musician of notoriety Michael Jackson are valued

    Aiming to add Titles of James Lawrence Levine Works/Compositions to