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A petition to reinstate James Levine

December 11, 2017 by norman lebrecht

91 comments.


Serena Leland of New York City thinks the board of the Metropolitan Opera should allow its emeritus music director to return to work. So she has put up a petition.

Part of her reasoning:

This petition is not asking the Metropolitan Opera to employ Mr. Levine till the end of his life. It is not asking the Metropolitan Opera to allow him to fulfil his engagements as Emeritus Music Director if any criminal allegation against him goes to court. It is simply demanding the free right of an extremely devoted musician to be able to continue creating great performances as a free citizen of the United States until or unless he is pronounced guilty by a criminal court or at the very least sued in civil court. 

Read on here.

So far, ten people have signed.


Comments (91)

  1. Sharon Beth Long says:

    The issue is not whether Levine is guilty within the letter of the law. The issue is that educating young people is a very important part of the MET’s program and a lot of their grant money, especially government grant programs, are for educational programs. The arts councils and arts endowments, as well as the donors whose children or grandchildren may be involved in these programs, need to know that their kids are safe and that young people are not feeling coerced because of Levine’s or anybody else’s power over their careers. Of course, parts of educational grants are used for overhead which supports the entire Met. Therefore, the Met has no choice but to say that it has a 0 tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. Probably, if the Levine scandal did not break, the Met would have had to suspend another prominent person for sexual harassment eventually

    1. Linda says:

      Young people? CRAZY.

  2. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Ms Leland argues her point well, regardless of whether one wants to show mercy to Levine or not. Tamar Iveri had her career ruined for something she may (or may not) have thought; Would even the most ardent SJW want to condone that kind of treatment?

    1. The Real McGuiver says:

      You got off pretty easy yourself. Count your blessings. If what happened a year ago happened today, you’d be crucified about now.

      1. Theodore McGuiver says:

        ???

    2. harold braun says:

      spot on!

  3. Elizabeth Owen says:

    He’s already well past his sell by date and should retire graciously unless the ego interferes of course?

    1. John Groves says:

      Agreed! very well past!

    2. been here before says:

      +1

    3. Yes Addison says:

      Agreed. That’s what makes this all, in some ways, beside the point. This is someone who has contributed all he has to contribute. Now he’s just being propped up by hype, myth, and fond memories. It’s a good thing for him an equivalent situation didn’t exist in the 1970s. He’d have been waiting years for everyone of the Leinsdorf/Böhm generation to get out of the way, rather than being music director at 33.

  4. been here before says:

    The U.S. is a free country, so the petition can also be started to reinstate Harvey Weinstein to the Academy of Motion Pictures until he is legally found guilty and a crowdfunding campaign can be initiated to subsidize the lifestyle he is accustomed to until he can start making movies again. Nothing objectionable here.

    1. HugoPreuss says:

      Nothing objectionable, indeed, inasmuch as we are talking about a political action in a free country. But nothing worth supporting either, since Mr. Levine’s civil rights are not impaired at all. And I am reasonably sure that he will have the best lawyers money can buy. But this does not mean that he should be re-employed by the Met until proven innocent or guilty. Being innocent in the eye of the law is not the only moral or practical qualification one needs for any job, let alone a high-profile position like the one held by Mr. Levine.

      1. been here before says:

        Hugo – I agree with you. Type “sarcasm” in google, then read my post again. Thank you!

        1. HugoPreuss says:

          Oops. Sorry. My snarkometer must be in the repair shop… I stand humbly corrected. In my defense, today just about *every* lurid and absurd opinion will find someone who is eager to express it. But you’re right, the Weinstein reference could/should have tipped me of. Glad we are on the same side of the issue.

          1. been here before says:

            No worries 🙂

          2. Sue says:

            Classy comment.

  5. Ozan says:

    Would be a perfect decision. I could then kick the Met out of my life together with Levine, as ‘The Mecca of abuse behind the curtains’.

  6. A Concerned Clevelander says:

    Change.org is a notorious data mining operation which runs for profit in violation of .org rules. Sign at your own risk.

  7. Ungeheuer says:

    Nauseating. The Levine protectorate is circling its wagons around their man one more time. It hasn’t happened with others accused of sexual predation recently; it shouldn’t be allowed with Levine. No special concessions for him. The Levine accusers? Sweep them under the rug. Matter forgiven and forgotten. Right? Wrong. Levine, in his public statement, wants to continue conducting. Is that not delusional or what? One thing is certain: The public will see that he never again sets foot at the Met. And I hope elsewhere too. The public everywhere must remain vigilant.

    As for Gelb and his board, who sat on a police report for over a year while continuing to engage Levine therefore directly complicit in the long-standing cover-up of all things Levine, what next for them?

    #IBelieveTheMen
    #IBelieveTheAccusers

    It ain’t over until the fat lady sings, it is often said. In this case the fat lady has sung her final encore.

    “Roadkill on Capitol Hill” by Maureen Dowd

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/opinion/sunday/congress-sexual-harassment-dowd.html

    After the necessary substitutions (Levine for Weinstein, men for women, the Metropolitan Opera and Verbier for Washington DC, and so on), Dowd pretty much captures the essence of the culture in the classical music sphere that has cuddled and protected Levine for too long and that seeks to invalidate and brush aside the accusers. Also described is the culture that makes some defend the indefensible.

    1. Theodore McGuiver says:

      Like many people, I’ve been hearing the rumours (stories?) about Levine for decades. It’s more than likely that many are true; the sheer volume of them makes it more than probable. Like many people, I would utterly condemn the man and the enablers who have worked with him to keep this abuse out of the public eye. My objection to this trial by social media is the fact that no further debate is considered necessary; keyboard warriors have instantly decided the person’s fate and that’s that. Judges, off you go to the Job Centre, you’re no longer needed, let’s go the whole hog and close our law courts, too. Accusations are just that and should not replace fair trial – the result of which can cut both ways.

      1. Ungeheuer says:

        I repeat, the Levine affair is not about seeking criminal charges (the statute of limitations has seen to that) but about truth, accountability and fairness. And yes, the court of public opinion matters. A lot. After all, public figures, be they in government office or the arts or whathaveyou, rely on the goodwill and generosity of the public for their reputational and monetary fortunes.

        1. Antonia says:

          Why is there even a statute of limitations? Victims can remember, for the most part. Too many perpetrators get away with freedom due to these statutes.

          If Nazis can be hunted down and brought to trial 70 years after the fact, and I wholeheartedly believe they ought and with zeal, so too should alleged rapists, pedophiles, and sexual harassers!

          1. Robert Holmén says:

            Wiki:

            “The purpose and effect of statutes of limitations are to protect defendants. There are three reasons for their enactment:

            -A plaintiff with a valid cause of action should pursue it with reasonable diligence.

            -By the time a stale claim is litigated, a defendant might have lost evidence necessary to disprove the claim.

            -Litigation of a long-dormant claim may result in more cruelty than justice.

          2. Charles Fischbein says:

            Spot on. However in the case of Levine he may avoid prosecution in a court of law due to statutes limitations.
            However he will be remembered for these perversions.
            Hopefully he will find that special place in Hell for men like him.
            He is also rather lucky none of the families of the victims did not deal with him directly.
            I have lived in a rural area of Virginia for forty years since leaving Manhattan although I go to the Met several times a year.
            Some times I think that what the locals here call good old boy justice has a place when common law fails.
            If this took place where I now live I am quite sure Levine would have been in a wheelchair long ago.

          3. Ketty says:

            I agree 100%. !!

        2. anonanon says:

          Let me explain the law to you, you seem very confused.

          There is no “statute of limitation” issue in the Ravinia case.

          A “statute of limitation” is a law that puts a time limit on when one can prosecute or sue even if a crime had been committed.

          The Illinois police is not charging Levine not because it is too late, but because no crime had been committed. The reason is simple, as the time of the events, the age of consent was 16, so it was not a crime back then.

          “It was not a crime back then” is not the same as “it was a crime back then but it is too late to bring charges”

          1. harold braun says:

            Fischbein seems to be a Faschbein,as his fascist talk implies.Should have joined KKK or something like that,for they do apply the practices he longs for.

  8. Mister New York says:

    The sad part is that Mr. Levine never came out of his gay closet when hundreds of gay musicians were dying of AIDS in the 80s. He could have helped petition Congress and been a role model for the gay community. Instead the EGO chose to live in shadows for the sake of a career.

    1. Ann Arbor music lover says:

      Assuming the allegations are true, one major reason Mr. Levine would not have “come out of his gay closet” is that he wasn’t in the “gay” closet. He was in the closet of people who have abusive sexual relationships with persons who have not given consent. Mr. Levine was in a position of power over these young men, because of the age difference and especially because he had the ability to affect their career prospects in an extremely competitive field, classical music. Also, while these young men may have been adults from the point of the view of the law, most people don’t consider a 16 or 17-year-old to be mature enough to give true consent to a sexual relationship with a substantially older person. In short, Mr. Levine is accused of grossly abusing his position as a teacher and mentor. To label this kind of behavior as being in the gay closet is inaccurate, misleading, and potentially harmful to the cause of the vast majority of gay people who don’t abuse anyone and just want to be treated the same as everyone else.

      1. Dr. Ronald C. Carlson says:

        I believe that Ann Arbor Music Lover has summarized the Levine scandal in the most cogent terms possible! They are exactly my thoughts and feelings. “No crime has been committed” is the most disingenuous red herring imaginable. Levine had near absolute power over the careers and emotions of truly vulnerable young men. His abuse damaged all of them for the rest of their lives. He shows no remorse whatsoever. Now that his actions have finally caught up with him, he should disappear for good from the public eye.

        1. Margot says:

          Such abusers are very careful to not do anything criminal. Same with many domestic violence perpetrators. To keep talking about criminality is to miss the point. Untold damage can be done to people’s lives by the abuse of power that never comes close to criminal, but needs to be called out and action taken.

  9. anonanon says:

    President Trump should pardon James Levine, for any federal crime that he may have committed, is now committing, or may in the future commit.

    President Trump should direct his justice department to prosecute James Levine’s accusers for hate crime.

    President Trump should give James Levine America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    The scary thing is, President Trump *can* do all this. (And he will certainly do it for himself before he is impeached.)

    1. Pianofortissimo says:

      Mentioning President Trump in every possible discussion is so boring.

      1. anonanon says:

        You just did.

    2. brendan says:

      Except these aren’t federal crimes…

    3. Charles Fischbein says:

      So typical of liberal elites who hide behind Anonanon
      Be a man tell us who is behind your liberal insanity.
      Remember there is a lot of America beyond Upper West Side, San Francisco and Hamptons gay bars.
      Elections have consequences.
      Hillary sucks, but not like Monica

      1. Janet Lee says:

        “Hilary sucks but not like Monica ? ”

        That THAT is your best witty repartee ?

        None of you know Maestro James Levine personally. Neither do I . He is, understandably, a very private man.
        You spew hate speech here about closet gays back in the day, suggesting Mo. Levine should have championed the cause back then? It was illegal to be gay for Gods sake. So pathetic is this particular country the current backward administration would clearly love to reinstate that law.

        Are you people all just uninformed or just plain bitchy about a brilliant TRULY brilliant musician and conductor who made the bloody Metropolitan Opera what it is ( or was ) about 10 years ago : World class and arguably the Greatest Opera House in the world . I bet you were all enjoying Maestro Levines choices in repertoire, the creme de la creme of first class voices, and Zeffirelli /Schenk/ Merrill/ etc etc productions as he oversaw , with Joseph Volpe as GM the most opulent fabulous performances to FULL SOLD OUT HOUSES in operatic history night after night back then weren’t you ? What genius have you contributed to music history of the world ? Still what you were 30 years ago ?

        Why don’t you read your nasty, miserable prurient tiny minded opinions back to yourselves . I thought opera attendees were supposed to be cultured and educated? Broad minded and fair …? not on this site not about James Levine ; you’re worse than the New York rags .

    4. The View from America says:

      *Yawn*

  10. Cubs Fan says:

    Somehow I knew that someone would find it necessary to bring President Trump into this. And he will not be impeached.

    1. anonanon says:

      Because Levine never grabbed another person’s genitals without consent, because Trump did, and because Trump is president despite having grabbed ’em by the pussy.

      If Trump can be the leader of the free world, Levine can lead a bloody local opera company.

      1. Stuart W Rogers says:

        This feels like a new version of Godwin’s law. Not sure these comments add much to the debate about James Levine. I guess easily said if you one is writing from behind an anonymous handle. Now, back to Levine…I won’t be throwing away the CDs or DVDs (as I did with Robert King – a lot of good Vivaldi and Purcell was replaced) but his expectations of continuing to conduct in public I think will meet significant resistance.

      2. Bruce says:

        The only part of your post I might disagree with is your use of the word “despite.” I would suggest replacing it with “because of.”

        (Well, partly because of. People voted for him for lots of different reasons, but I think the pussy-grabbing was a problem only for the people who were going to vote against him anyway.)

        1. Charles Fischbein says:

          This time I agree with you Bruce.
          I know very few multi millionaire males who are straight and made their money in New York or most anywhere who would not grab a puss now and then. He’ll I don’t have millions but even I am guilty of that indiscretion a few times
          Hope like help my wife doesn’t see this

          1. Anmarie says:

            Has anyone ever told you that you’re a class act?

          2. harold braun says:

            Not only a latter day saints crank,but also a casanova!WOW!

    2. Ketty says:

      He will not be impeached. If so, it will require a straight jacket.

  11. Stephen says:

    I don’t see the problem. If Levine is charged and found guilty he will be sent to prison so won’t be able to conduct anyway. If he is neither charged nor found guilty then he should be able to continue his career, surely?

    1. Ungeheuer says:

      Here’s the problem, and one worth repeating in case you haven’t been reading. The Levine affair is not about seeking criminal charges (the statute of limitations has seen to that) but about truth, accountability, fairness and reckoning. And yes, the court of public opinion matters. A lot. After all, public figures, be they in government office or the arts or whathaveyou, rely on the goodwill and generosity of the public for their reputational and monetary good fortunes. Levine betrayed his trust, first and foremost of his own sexual abuse victims, but also of of the general public, of the Metropolitan Opera and every other music institution, of music lovers, and of the world.

      1. harold braun says:

        It’s about truth,correct.Do you know the truth?I don’t.
        But,of course,unlike you,i am not the moral conscience of the US..

        1. Charles Fischbein says:

          There you go again Harold, are you auditioning to be the poster boy for perversion?
          You stand a good chance of being chosen

          1. Mark says:

            Hey, Fishface, was it you I saw on 42nd Street exhorting the passers-by to “repent, because the Great Lord Zool is coming in his silvery ship” ? You looked very dashing on your tinfoil cape and a stovepipe hat. Try not to drool on the pavement so much, though

          2. harold braun says:

            Fishy,your real name is Steve O´Bannon.Maybe you should join the KKK,there they practice still your contorted,perverted version of”justice”….

    2. QUODLIBET says:

      Stephen says “I don’t see the problem.”

      Scroll up and read the post from “Ann Arbor music lover” with the time stamp of December 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      There, does that help?

      Maybe putting this in workplace terms will help.

      Imagine that you are a young employee at a big Fancy Pants Company. Maybe it’s your first professional job, maybe it’s a summer internship. You’re in your late teens or early 20s. Wow, lucky you! Your boss is The Boss: famous, powerful, admired the world over for his amazing feats of whatever it is he does. Everyone loves him! You admire him! You want to learn from him! You are so thrilled to be in the same room with him and observe how he makes this big company hum along with great efficiency and harmony. Wowza! Then he starts getting friendly. Very friendly. Verrrrry friendly. It ends up that he tells you that in order for him to help you with your career, he needs to get to know you sexually. He is charming and manipulatve and before you know it he has his hands all over you. And he implies that if you don’t go along with him, then your career at The Big Company, and indeed in the whole industry is toast. What are you going to do? Remember how ignorant and vulnerable you were at that age? Are you going to complain about The Boss? To whom? Who will believe you over The Boss, especially when shares are sky high and the Boss’s face is all over the marketing, his name is mentioned every time the company is mentioned, and everyone keeps telling you how LUCKY you are to be working so closely with him? Oh, but you’re 17, 18, 19 – old enough to know better, in all your vast experience. What are you going to do?

      It may not have been illegal, but it is a total abuse of power. If the board at Fancy Pants Company knew about the Big Boss’s hands-on management style and did not fire him, then they are complicit in a disgusting abusive situation.

      And IMO this sort of thing is absolutely antithetical to our calling as artists. If in creating beauty we are ruining people’s lives then we are doing it wrong. It is not acceptable. Never.

      Get it?

      1. Eaglearts says:

        Great example. Has it been part of any of the allegations against Levine? The urge to use individuals as a sacrifice to the larger problem of sexual harassment/manipulation etc. in our culture is strong and understandable. We cannot lose sight of facts, truths, accepted definitions, laws etc. in pursuit of change.

      2. Mark says:

        The problem with this hypothetical that in the 1960s, Levine wasn’t the august personage he’d later become. He was a rising conductor, George Szell’s assistant. He was (and still is) a very charismatic man. But his mentorship in those days wasn’t the “golden ticket” you make it out to be. He did have a fairly large group of hangers-on (known as “Levinites”). Many of them were gay. There were all sorts of stories about wild parties, chamber music played in the nude etc.

        So these accusations from the 60s might just be the way for the discarded ex-lovers and the disappointed talentless former associates to bite the hand that once fed them (and had discarded them a long time ago).

        1. Saxon Broken says:

          I sort of agree with you about anything that might have happened in the sixties. The age difference would not have been huge either. More troubling is that Levine’s behaviour is allegedly dubious when he was older and more established.

          Whether or not strictly illegal, his behaviour seems to have been unsavoury, to say the least.

  12. Robert Holmén says:

    “It is simply demanding the free right of an extremely devoted musician to be able to continue creating great performances as a free citizen of the United States…”

    Our Constitution has been expanded to include the simple right to conduct opera at other people’s expense.

    “until or unless he is pronounced guilty by a criminal court or at the very least sued in civil court.”

    Note that being sued in civil court requires only filing an accusation which is what has happened now in criminal court.

  13. Yehuda says:

    I think Levine just might high-tail it over to gallant, plucky, treasured little Israel, where he would be safer from extradition than elsewhere, should he ever be charged.
    Twould be a great boost to the musical life of the place and the authorities could
    be counted on to look the other way, for it is hardly the most puritanical spot re such matters. The Americans have always been hoplessly indulgent with
    Israel, unable to stand their ground on any matter of importance.
    Mistah Levine will land on his feet, so not to worry. Zach Ungeheuer and
    Missy Fishbein and the other hanging judges are blowing on their porridge.
    Roadkill on Mt Zion is now the name of the game….the only game in town.

    PS
    Recently, I heard Christa Ludwig praise him as the ideal opera conductor.

    1. Hilary says:

      “The ideal opera conductor” … he may well be judging by this scintillating snapshot of a rehearsal. Note how often JL praises the singers.
      However, the unsung hero is the pianist Jonathan Kelly: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HYCzL09iFM8

    2. Antonia says:

      Levine should most definitely NOT be permitted to become a “respectable citizen” in Israel! How revolting a thought!

      However, to respond to your other line of thinking…Perhaps if the Arab nations of the Middle East would begin the process of implementing democracy and the freedoms that people everywhere should enjoy, perhaps the U.S. would not be so supportive of the only democratic state over there.

      Perhaps when Arabic nations allow people to indulge in blasphemy without sentencing them to die…To make mistakes and commit adultery without stoning only the woman and letting the man go free…To not cut off their hands if they steal something…To not be killed in an honor killing if you are raped…Perhaps when someone can be a Jew or a Christian or a Buddhist or a Shinto or any other religion or none at all and live/worship freely…Perhaps when women are allowed to inherit equally as men and have the right to decline marriage to some old man when they’re young girls…Perhaps then, the United States will consider helping and supporting them and not just Israel.

      Until then, Israel it is! I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation what with all that goes on in the Arab nations. Do you know Israel is the only country in the Middle East that allows people to live freely as gay people? Tel Aviv is a major cosmopolitan center for LGBTQi people. In a city of 500,000, over 200,000 celebrated Gay Pride Week at the Pride Parade. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.794812

      Do you know what happens to gay people in the Arab nations? They get thrown off of roofs, that’s what happens. Is this what you want to support?

      The Palestinians could have peace if they were willing to allow a two-state solution. Many times Israel has come to the table willing to create two states. Their condition: that the Palestinians peacefully co-exist next door to Israel. This is not acceptable to them. They do not want the Jews to have a permitted state where they can protect themselves from annihilation, plain and simple. Some Palestinians have posted FB statements “Death to the Jews!” They teach their young children in schoolbooks and on children’s TV programming to hate and kill Jews. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWwCKvvodBA Who wouldn’t be supportive of Israel with this inculcation going on? “Never again” is a phrase that is not outdated. I long for the day when it doesn’t have to be repeated because there is no threat to the Jews in this world. Nowever, “Never again” must be in the forefront of our minds, because there exists a growing population the world over, on both the political left and right, that is becoming ever more antisemitic and the Jews need a safe haven to which to run if things become bad enough in their adopted nations (which they love…Jews are not first and foremost Israeli…They love and belong to and want to remain safely in the countries in which they live, contribute, and are productive and happy citizens).

    3. HugoPreuss says:

      It did not take long for antisemitism to raise its ugly head. Nothing here has anything to do with the topic. Is Mr. Levine’s faith somehow related to his alleged crimes? Of course not. Is Israel involved somehow or other? Of course not. This is antisemitism pure and simple.

      1. Antonia says:

        Absolutely, Hugopress! And, do we even know for certain that James Levine has faith? He might be Jewish by biology but be completely areligious by faith. You can’t assume someone is a practicing Jew just because they have a Jewish surname. And Levine probably doesn’t speak Hebrew beyond what he may have learned if he became a Bar Mitzvah. Him moving to Israel would be not a whole lot more comfortable for him than for any of us. Why do people think Jews all over the world want to go to Israel? Many Jews around the world do not like what Israel does politically and are not in approval and consider all Middle Eastern culture, including Israel’s, to be far too different from their own to be desirable for themselves.

        I don’t know why this person calls themself “Yehuda” and yet speaks this way about Israel. I just can’t understand it. And I’m not even Jewish!

        1. Hilary says:

          Interesting aside/coincidence is that the principal teachers in James Levine’s life share his surname: Walter Levine ( of the LaSalle Quartet) and Rosina Lhévinne.

      2. Bruce says:

        You guys must be new here if you’re at all surprised by the tone & content of “Yehuda”s post.

        1. Antonia says:

          Yep, you got it right: I’m new here!
          So what do we do with Yehuda, just ignore him, then?
          Hard to see blatant antisemitism and ignore it. Is this what the group does because he just won’t change and he constantly injects this putrid stuff into the conversation?

          1. Bruce says:

            Well there’s a balance to be struck between calling out antisemitism when you see it, and allowing a troll to take over the conversation…

    4. Mark says:

      Who knew David Duke posted here ? Anyway, “Yehuda” please run back to the bedroom, your goat is getting impatient – meeeehh

      1. Tristan says:

        Pot, meet kettle?

  14. harold braun says:

    Sensible.Until evidence shows up that Mr.Levine did those things,i’ll sign the petition.And in his state of health,well,sexual activity seems not a realistic possibility…

    1. Mark says:

      I’ve already informed the Met that I will not give them a penny unless Levine is reinstated. I am not one of the very top donors, but I’ve given them a considerable sum over the years. I am told that the Met has received many such messages over the last week.

      1. maureen says:

        and there are plenty of Met patrons and subscribers with opposite feelings about this.

    2. Charles Fischbein says:

      There you go again.

    3. Robert Holmén says:

      “Until evidence shows up that Mr.Levine did those things,i’ll sign the petition…”

      Evidence has shown up.

      Victim and witness testimony IS evidence. Admissible evidence in court proceedings. Been that way for several thousand years.

      The account by the man who filed a complaint with the police in IL would be sworn testimony already.

      It’s not just an anonymous rumor now. First-hand witnesses and victims are speaking up.

      1. harold braun says:

        No,victim and witness testimony ISN´T evidence,as any lawyer might tell you.Dozens of innocents have been grilled on the electric chair or otherwise because this grotesque misinterpretation of law.

    4. The View from America says:

      You and the other 50 people.

      Have fun signing.

  15. Edgar says:

    I think the entire board, and Mr. Gelb, need to pack up and leave. A small interim executive board needs to take over. Sorry, folks in NYC: Jimmy is out. He should have left years ago, at the peak of his career. Alla fine così….

    1. Eaglearts says:

      “I think the entire board, and Mr. Gelb, need to pack up and leave.”

      Based on what? Events that occurred at Meadowbrook back in 1968 when Levine was 24? The police report containing no allegations of force and in which the accuser was above the age of consent? Unsubstantiated and disturbing statements such as the following?

      In an interview with Die Welt recently, the coloratura soprano Edda Moser recalled that “Jimmy always had a bunch of little boys around…between seven and maybe 12 years old. They always sat in the wings during the stage rehearsal…they only really got on our nerves because they always banged their feet against the clock and disturbed us musically. They waited for Levine until the rehearsal was over.”

      I can’t decide which is worse: the allegation Moser’s making or the fact that she did nothing other than complain about being “disturbed musically”.

      Gossip and rumors are just that. If Levine happens to enjoy the company of men younger than himself, who are above the age of consent, and is not being accused of rape, battery, kidnapping etc. Who the hell cares? Now if allegations of child abuse, molestation and true pedophilia come to light that will be a different story.

      1. anonanon says:

        “I can’t decide which is worse: the allegation Moser’s making or the fact that she did nothing other than complain about being “disturbed musically”.”

        LOL, very true!

        Basically her complaint was that a bunch of 7 to 12 year old boys should not be backstage because they make such a racket, throwing off her rhythm, not because she was concerned that the boys were being raped.

      2. harold braun says:

        Spot on!

  16. David H Spence says:

    Edda Moser, it appears to me, was a person of very fine personal and artistic integrity. She certainly did not continue to have any career at the Met into the 1980’s or since she made the complaint, though she fully deserved to have or continue in one, comparable perhaps to how Renata Scotto did. I am thankful for the chance in 1988 to have seen Moser, two days in a row, with the Houston Symphony and Kent Nagano for a set of half a dozen less frequently heard Strauss lieder, repertoire for great majority of the time since then the HSO would no longer be capable of playing. I found this a very enriching experience. It is also a given that anybody can see that Moser was indicating there was more than one reason she may have been uncomfortable with what she saw going on backstage. It should also be clear to anybody sensible that Levine’s expiration date has already passed us by, but something to only be made relevant in the face, multiple times, of such accusations. As for the President, nobody need apologize for bringing him up. He is to be protector of our safety, of the rule of law, of our freedoms and should he not be able to evince a more convincing case for the moral authority his office should uphold, it is time for him to go, or else there may be no standard left here anymore, regarding anything at all.

  17. Alex Davies says:

    I have a certain amount of sympathy with this petition. What distinguishes James Levine from Robert King, Mike Brewer, Philip Pickett, Duncan McTier, Jospeh Cullen, and Jonathan Rees-Williams? The answer, of course, is that James Levine has never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any criminal offence. Is he not entitled to a presumption of innocence and a fair trial before his career is ruined? Here in the UK there was profound disturbance caused by the case of Carl Sargeant, a cabinet secretary in the Welsh government who took his own life after he was removed from office and suspended by his party following unspecified allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour. Should such people be proven guilty then by all means subject them to condign punishment, but everybody, no matter who he is or what he is accused of, is entitled to due process.

    1. Stephen Moore says:

      Well said. And only today we learn of a case where a young man, in court on twelve rape charges relating to one woman, was nearly convicted because the police withheld evidence. When they did – finally – release 40,000 messages the women had sent it proved the lad’s innocence. The accuser lied.There is a lesson to be learned here.

  18. Sue says:

    “By their fruits shall ye know them”.

  19. Terri says:

    “Hope like help my wife doesn’t see this”. Have you suggested to your wife that she line up for a pussy grab? I am sure you meant “hell” but help is what you need.

  20. Gerald Martin says:

    I think there are practical considerations in the Met giving Levine the boot: avoiding massive picketing, performance interruptions, and negative publicity generally about the Met continuing to employ “an accused child molester.” One can imagine the probable impact on box office and donor base.

    I don’t see how signing the petition would accomplish anything except make everyone a star in this kabuki play.

    1. Stephen Moore says:

      On the contrary, to sign the petition is to assert the key principle that an individual is innocent until proven guilty. This principle has been forgotten in the current moral panic. Signing is not a statement of either innocence or guilt: it is not for me or anyone else to judge, but for a court to decide the truth. It is most definitely not up to a lynch mob to decide such things.

  21. Stephen Moore says:

    Innocent until proven guilty is a crucial part of the criminal justice system in the UK. And rumour is not truth. Cases should be heard in a criminal court not in the court of public opinion. Look up the case of George Bell and the report into the miscarriage of justice, which was published this morning. Recently, in the UK, an unnamed source claimed to have been a victim of an establishment paedophile ring, which abused, tortured and even murdered very young boys. Public figures were named and shamed. The police stated that the testimony was credible and true, yet no charges were made. What was made later were public apologies by the police and out of court settlements. It would seem that the accuser was in the words of someone who knew him a ‘fantasist’. This moral panic should end.

  22. Antonia says:

    Most accusations of rape and sexual harassment are to be considered credible. A false accuser typically fits one of several various profiles. https://qz.com/980766/the-truth-about-false-rape-accusations/

    These (then-)young men do not seem to fit any of these profiles. Therefore, I believe them. Victims do not have to have a court case decided in their favor before we choose to believe them. As the article notes, most “he said/she said”, or in this case, “he said/he said” type accusations are entirely true. People who make up rape or assault claims do not make up stories that fall into this vein, which open themselves up to nebulous credibility.

    1. Stephen Moore says:

      And when you ‘choose’ to believe the accusations do you not consider the rights of the accused, who may well be entirety innocent yet have their lives ruined by lies as in the examples I cite. This witch hunt and media frenzy must stop.


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