Breaking: James Levine cancels rest of Met year, Fabio Luisi steps up

Breaking: James Levine cancels rest of Met year, Fabio Luisi steps up


norman lebrecht

September 06, 2011

Levine has not recovered from back surgery this summer, in addition to other complaints.

Luisi, named principal conductor, is covering Siegfried and Don Giovanni.

The Met needs to get its succession strategy in place, fast. Luisi has said he’s not interested in the #1 slot. He’s music director at Zurich Opera, thank you very much.


  • Thomas P says:

    “James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s music director, has withdrawn from all performances at the Met for the rest of the year after falling while on vacation in Vermont and damaging a vertebra, the house said on Tuesday. Mr. Levine had emergency surgery on Thursday and was to have begun rehearsals on Monday. The injury comes on top of a series of back operations followed by periods of rehabilitation to correct a painful spinal condition, called stenosis.

    While the Met said Mr. Levine would remain music director, it immediately elevated its principal guest conductor, Fabio Luisi, to the title of principal conductor and handed over to him most of Mr. Levine’s fall conducting assignments.” New York Times, 5 minutes ago

  • Ronald Stanton says:

    Luisi never said he is not interested in the job. Mr. Lebrecht is referring to an interview Mr. Luisi gave to a Swiss newspaper some months ago, but there Luisi stated that the two houses (Zurich Opera and Met) are very different and somehow complementary. My guess: he will try to do both jobs. Good for both houses to have such a conductor.
    Ronald Stanton M.A.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      I agree with Ronald Stanton’s reading of Fabio Luisi’s interview. He stated he had no offer [for the MET’s music directorship] and went on to explain the notable differences between the two houses.

  • ariel says:

    Whatever Luisis’ talents it will end up poorly for both houses . It is an ego trip and will
    be much like dinner theatre -where the theatre is second rate and the dinner is worse .