Lunching with Jimmy Levine

Lunching with Jimmy Levine


norman lebrecht

November 11, 2013

The Metropolitan Opera Guild has been celebrating the return of its maestro.

Here’s some inside stuff from our pair of scouts at the lunch:

welcome home jimmy

Lovely event, seeing lots of friends old and new, except the first course was dreadful. But that’s par for the course at the Waldorf.

Dolores Zajick pulled out of the musical tribute due to gallbladder surgery, so Christine Goerke stepped in at the last minute and was awesome.

Sherrill Milnes and Renata Scotto had a great Abbot and Costello routine. Sherrill loved being back on stage, he was the last man standing at the end of the program!

Roberto Alagna was sweet and his wife is Very pregnant. Also I got to meet Jesse Norman, who was surrounded by adoring fans.

The food improved slightly but no chance we’re having our wedding there. Service is terrible!!


  • Joel Stein says:

    Jessye Norman-she deserves to have her name spelled correctly.

  • PK Miller says:

    It IS wonderful to have Jimmy Levine back in the saddle again! He has been sorely missed. Glad Sherrill Milnes is still singing and I assume, well. He is a tremendous musician & singer.

  • Is this Schleppy Nabucco commenting on the luncheon? If so, I love it. Keep the amusing reportage coming!

  • Bernie says:

    I must say I’m perplexed by all of the adoration around James Levine. I mean, can anyone point to a Levine interpretive style? And what are his repertoire tastes? He doesn’t commission much new music. He liked difficult modernists in Boston but that rarely surfaces in New York. And I won’t even begin to get into the widespread rumors about his past, which is a whole other can of worms.

    • But they remain rumors. And there has been a lot of time for truths to emerge.

    • Daniel Farber says:

      “And I won’t even begin to get into widespread rumors about his past…worms.”—‘Bernie’

      The generosity and graciousness with which you treat the victim here calls to mind the same qualities in Richard Nixon. “I wouldn’t say Governor Stevenson is a Communist. I know others have said this, but I wouldn’t say it.” It would be more forthright, sir, were you to stand up and tell us at least the general stadium of these “rumors”. I have lived and attended concerts and operas in NYC and Boston, and I am unfamiliar with them. Murder, purgery, fraud, rape, pillage, habitually conducting music not to your taste?