The Metropolitan Opera has announced that its music director will retire at the end of the season.
Levine, 72, has held the post since 1976. In recent years he has been confined to a wheelchair and his beat has been affected by a tremor. There would be speculation on premiere days whether he was fit to conduct that night.
Levine did not want to go. He showed the Met and the New York Times medical certificates indicating the he was fit to stay. But after a recent Simon Boccanegra wobble the board insisted he went.
Now, the agony is over, along with the indignity.
James Levine has lived to witness his own history.
UPDATE: The official announcement here.