“James Levine, the longtime Metropolitan Opera music director whose health struggles recently brought him to the verge of retirement from that position, has canceled a series of concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra next week.” [New York Times]
“Mr. Luisi won praise replacing Mr. Levine time after time, particularly in a costly version of Wagner’s Ring cycle—though, perhaps in a sign of the situation’s delicacy, the two conductors have never met in person.” [New York Times]
La Cieca has been mulling over Michael Cooper‘s recent “bizarre” New York Times story about Peter Gelb‘s rationale for the putative departure (or non-departure, as the case may be) of James Levine from the Met, and after a lot of pondering she thinks she has this thing figured out. Inspector, will you ask the guests to gather in the Eleanor Belmont Room? Read more »
Even when he’s not conducting the production, or, for that matter, even after the production is closed, Maestro Levine remains a presence on the Met’s website.
Although the season is less than three weeks old, Metropolitan Opera audiences may hear nothing else this season as beautiful as Peter Mattei’s “Song to the Evening Star.”
What gets me, La Cieca snaps, is not so much that Levine bit off more than he could chew, because that’s old news.
“Met Music Director James Levine has decided to lighten his workload by removing the new production of Berg’s Lulu from his schedule so that he may focus his energies completely on Wagner’s epic drama Tannhäuser.”
James Levine turns 72 this year. Even though his health has improved considerably in the past year and he may continue to conduct for a decade or more, it seems inevitable that he will step down as the Met’s Music Director sometime in the next few years to assume the role of Conductor Laureate.
The Metropolitan Opera desperately needed a new production of Le nozze di Figaro.