The music director of the Metropolitan Opera keeps much of his life under wraps, including the fairly open secret that he has been suffering for several years from Parkinson’s Disease. The tremors have been noticeable.
But when Peter Gelb suggested that now was the time to make way for a younger man Levine, 72, took the New York Times to see his doctor in a bid to prove that, with an adjustment of medication, he was still up to the job.
Michael Cooper describes a desperate and peculiar situation in today’s Times:
Mr. Levine said he had feared his Parkinson’s was getting worse. “I was surprised, and I was worried,” he said, noting that for a while he played “telephone tag” with his doctor and was not seen. “I didn’t want to be doing substandard performances and stay working too long, but I felt so good about the way I was able to work — other than this gestural thing.”
Dr. Fahn, who is an expert on Parkinson’s, said in an interview with Mr. Levine present that Mr. Levine had Parkinson’s disease, but that it did not seem to be progressing and that his involuntary movements, or dyskinesia, seemed to result from too high a dose of the medication L-dopa…