James Levine won’t return to Metropolitan Opera until at least 2013


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James Levine, the music director for the Metropolitan Opera, will not be back to conduct the orchestra for performances until at least 2013.

The opera’s general manager, Peter Gelb, made the announcement on Friday that Levine was canceling the rest of his performances as conductor for this season and next season, the Associated Press reports.


In August, the 67-year-old conductor suffered a spinal injury in a fall, underwent emergency surgery and has been hospitalized ever since. He’s expected to return home next week to continue his recovery. Doctors expect he will eventually make a full recovery.

Though Levine’s future as a conductor remains unclear, he clarified in a statement what his association with the Met would entail until his return: ‘I look forward to resuming my other responsibilities as music director. I will continue to collaborate with Peter Gelb on long-term artistic plans, work with the artistic administration on future planning, coach singers and work with the participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development program.’

Levine’s temporary fill-in, Fabio Luisi, was named principal conductor in September and will conduct all but two of Levine’s previously planned appearances. Guest conductors will be found for those dates.


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At the Metroplitan Opera, some boos for a new ‘Rheingold’ and cheers for James Levine

--Patrick Kevin Day