Met names replacement for James Levine

Met names replacement for James Levine


norman lebrecht

December 05, 2017

Emmanuel Vuillaume will conduct the new production of Tosca on New Year’s Eve, and most of the run.

The music director of Dallas Opera will stand in for the discredited James Levine, whose signature piece this is.

Here’s the Met’s announcement:

Casting Update: Emmanuel Villaume will conduct the Met’s new production of Tosca on December 31, 2017, and January 3, 6, 9, 12, 23, and 27, 2018, replacing James Levine.

Maestro Villaume, who recently conducted Massenet’s Thaïs at the Met, is Music Director of the Dallas Opera and Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia. He made his Met debut in 2004 conducting Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and his subsequent performances with the company have included Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, Bizet’s Carmen, Massenet’s Manon and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

Sir David McVicar’s new staging of Tosca opens on December 31, with Sonya Yoncheva as Tosca, Vittorio Grigolo as Cavaradossi, and Bryn Terfel as Scarpia. The January 27 matinee will be transmitted live as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, which reaches more than 2,000 movie theaters in 73 countries around the world.

Later performances on April 21, 26 and 30, and May 4, 8 and 12, 2018, will star Anna Netrebko in the title role opposite Marcelo Álvarez as Cavaradossi and Michael Volle and Željko Lučić sharing the role of Scarpia. The April and May performances will be conducted by Bertrand de Billy.

Gareth Morrell will conduct the performance on January 18, 2018. The conductor for the January 15 performance will be announced at a later date.



  • The View from America says:

    Well, it’s a start …

  • Olassus says:

    Saint-Saëns’s ??? jeesh!

    • Hilary says:

      The self-confessed pedereast. It is ironic in a way.

      However, in those days I don’t think much of a distinction would be made between that and being gay. Times change.

      Saint-Saens is much underestimated by the way. I was bowled over by a recent performance of his Violin Sonata in Dminor. Scintillating stuff!

  • Mark says:

    Oh, great, a mediocre time-beater instead of a great musician …

    • Stuart W Rogers says:

      The last time I heard him conduct was 2016 Santa fe Fanciulla – “mediocre time-beater” he was not.

    • john f kelly says:

      Superb conducting of Thais, standing O from the orchestra. I think you should listen again……………………

    • Bratschegirl441 says:

      If you think Villaume’s on-podium demeanor is that of a “time-beater”, you may have him mistaken for someone else. I’ve played under him many times. Extremely passionate and electrifying.

    • Ken says:

      Mark, you are off the mark. I have never heard a better performance of LA MER than the one Villaume gave the other night at Alice Tully with Juilliard. and his THAÏS was ravishing. There is a very good reason why he has become a regular at the Met.

  • Raymond says:

    “whose signature piece this is”?

    such nonsense!

  • Todd Lefkowitz says:

    Fabio Luisi?

  • Ross says:

    I’m surprised that no MET musician has come forward to make any kind of public statement regarding this mess.

  • Charles Fischbein says:

    I was at The Met for Thais and the conducting was,world class.
    Levine should not be,allowed to conduct any more
    There may or may not be criminal consequences to his actions due to various statute of limitations.
    However morally he should be gone. Gelb and even Joe Volpe certainly knew of these rumors decades ago and closed their eyes to them
    I would expect this behavior from Gelb but am saddened to think Joseph Volpe who spent his life devoted to the Met apparently also turned a blind eye to these persistent rumors without looking into them.

  • Ilio says:

    If there were no SUBSTANTIATED criminal complaints or charges during Volpe or Gelb’s era or the BSO, legally what could they have done? Rumors AFAIK are unsubstanciated. Even if he was seen with young men in public is there any proof of wrongdoing? I wonder how much of the hunt is more homophobia than proven fact. Apart from tailing Levine and bugging his place what could management have done differently?

    • Charles Fischbein says:

      Pedofelia does not equate to adult consenting homosexual relationships.
      Even though I personally view BOTH as perversions and immoral I would never consider terminating a consenting adult for any sexual act if legal
      Levine is both a pedofile and homosexual using his power to control much younger men
      Moral men and women don’t fall for straw men your type likes to put up.

      • Hilary says:

        You seemi to have the wrong definition of paedophilia.
        Thus far, all the alleged sexual activity has been with boys in their teens upwards and *not* pre-pubescent. Yes, there seem to have been friendships formed with earlier age groups but nothing sexual. It’s a dangerous road to go down to conflate all these this as the same thing.

        Amidst great hysteria a paediatrician’s premesis was once attacked in the U.K. Idiocy on a monumental scale.

  • Angela says:

    At least three of the young men who have lodged complaints were over the age of consent, one by several years. The other, the sixteen year-old, may or may not have been depending on a) which state they were in at the time and b) when Illinois raised the age from 16 to 17.

    Reprehensible behaviour is not necessarily illegal.

  • Fred says:

    1. someone who manages to mess up a mere recital disc (Brian Hymel) is not a great musician

    2. Levine: this whole thing makes me puke with these self-proclaimed moralists who judge on a plethora of mainly hearsay. Has Levine indeed ever been arrested? Was there ever a formal complaint with the justice system? There’s more to it that the eye can read…
    By the way and I never bought a single CD or opera just for Levine…..

  • JL says:

    “To err is human…to post bail is Levine.” L. Bernstein

  • Kwonco says:

    Wake up. People !
    Jimmie has been a predatory homosexual and pedophile for at least 49 years only his musical genius and a conspiracy of silence, fostered by musicians (ie faculty, mentors) and “benefactors of the arts” in many cities , has kept him out of trouble