Gelb’s message to staff about why Levine was fired

Gelb’s message to staff about why Levine was fired


norman lebrecht

March 12, 2018

Here’s the message that went up backstage. It differs slightly from the press statement:
From: Gelb, Peter

Sent: Monday, March 12, 2018 4:55 PM
To: Public Bulletin Board
Subject: Important News

Dear Members of the Company,

This is to advise you that after considering the findings of a thorough investigation conducted by outside counsel that lasted more than three months, the Metropolitan Opera has terminated its relationship with James Levine as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of its young artist program.

The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met. The investigation also uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority.

In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met. The investigation also found that any claims or rumors that members of the Met’s management or its Board of Directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated.

I want to assure you that we are committed to ensuring a safe, respectful, and harassment-free workplace at the Met. As part of this commitment we will be implementing some new measures to allow you to report any areas of concern you have in relation to the workplace, together with renewed sensitivity and anti-harassment training. Please do not hesitate to contact me or your department head at any time if you have concerns that you would like to discuss.

Best wishes, Peter Gelb



  • Caravaggio says:

    Oh right. Matter cleared. NOT.

  • Mark says:

    Peter Gelb is a snake. He hired the Little Canadian Hotdog who doesn’t have much of a clout (certainly not at the Met) and will not stand up to him. I, for one, don’t care about Levine’s private behavior (in the absence of a criminal conviction). As I mentioned on another thread, while I am not one of the top Met donors, cumulatively I’ve given a substantial sum to the Met over the years. Not a penny more !

    • Brian says:

      Except that it wasn’t private behavior. Read the Boston Globe article on the number of once-promising careers he controlled and damaged in just just his early days alone.

      • Mark says:

        Defintion of private behavior – any behavior that does not contain the elements of and gives rise to, criminal prosecution.

        • Julie Driskol says:

          Yeah, go ahead and cite that definition anywhere. That’s completely bogus. Private behavior can certainly be illegal. Not to mention those in the public eye as he was are held to a higher standard, and there are plenty of pigs out there doing this and getting away with it just because it isn’t illegal, but does that mean it’s not wrong? If this were your child (even +18) on the receiving end of these abuses, would you not want something done?

          The Met will burn to the ground for this, among numerous things, and I for one cannot wait to see something better rise from the ashes. And all you old farts that cannot understand why he needs to be punished, I can only be grateful you will soon pass on with the Met as well.

        • Bill says:

          So if it isn’t criminal, it is ok?

          • Mark says:

            That’s in the eye of the beholder

          • The View from America says:

            “Eye of the beholder.” That’s an opening so wide you can drive a semi-truck through it.

            Josef Stalin, Pol Pot and Osama bin-Laden are cheering you on from the other side.

          • Saxon Broken says:

            Mark says “that is in the eye of the beholder”

            Any employer can decide that although not illegal, they nevertheless disapprove of someone’s behaviour.

            And the Met has decided that it doesn’t like Levine’s behaviour.

        • roger says:

          it’s not private behaviour if it’s in the workplace.

    • HRBmus says:

      Little Trump-y Jr. here is so pathetically desperate to try to get his childish conductor nickname to stick – he keeps repeating it in every mention of the Met. Wonder what his ulterior motive is?

      • Mark says:

        You mad, bro ? 🙂

        • Cyril Blair says:

          Bro? Did you get lost on your way back to the Phi Delta Theta house?

        • HRBmus says:

          Ah, so that’s your motive – just generic trolling hoping to make somebody ‘mad’ for no reason. Well, that’s stupid, you’ll get a much bigger audience on reddit.

      • Michael Comins says:

        +1 – Obviously, Mark knows NOTHING about YNS’ considerable talents lauded by musicians of two of the worlds’ finest orchestras. He needs a new hobby.

        • Mark says:

          I don’t give a … about what musicians (whose boss he is) think. My opinions are based on attending his concerts at Carnegie Hall and the operas he led at the Met. I’ve heard more than enough to form an opinion.
          Incidentally, some of the singers at the Met are fairly dismissive of his talents. One (very famous) soprano told me that he doesn’t listen to them and the singers don’t feel secure, as they did with Levine.

    • cynical bystander says:

      Seems with charming views like “Little Canadian Hotdog” the MET’s problems are not just restricted to the “Snake”. You don’t care about Levine’s private behaviour, which is your prerogative, but your juvenile name calling shows that they are probably better off without your pennies or your custom.

  • R M Overened says:

    What else could he have announced? It’s interesting that these claims have only been advertised now that there is a hullabalooo about harassment claims. I’m not saying that the claims have been falsified but why were they not aired soon after they were alleged to have happened?

  • Anon says:

    ‘credible evidence’
    Bad choice of words, semantic confusion. Or carefully chosen?
    Evidence is evidence, regardless of someone believing it or not. Something is shown to be evident, and thus credible by definition.
    Unless you don’t want to believe it…

    Or is this a careful choice of words, to imply there always was evidence, and the Met leadership knew about it, but they chose to disregard it?

  • Seth Lubin says:

    The ‘little Canadian hotdog’ conducted one of the greatest PARSIFALs that I have ever heard. I hardly go to the MET these days, but am looking forward to ELEKTRA, this coming Saturday.

    Gelb’s running of the MET is one of the reasons I stay away. Levine is an old and physically weakened man. His conducting has suffered. The radio commentators praised him on his last and not very good Verdi Manzoni Requiem broadcast. The next day Gelb through him under the bus. He has been erased from MET history.

    If the MET board and Gelb knew nothing, they must have been living on the moon.

    As long as Gelb remains and continues to hire Domingo as a false baritone and an awful conductor; they will not get one penny in contributions from me.

  • Novagerio says:

    “As part of this commitment we will be implementing some new measures to allow you to report any areas of concern you have in relation to the workplace, together with renewed sensitivity and anti-harassment training.” – Right. Meanwhile, far greater Met bosses than Gelb kept their mouths shut and honestly didn’t get an apparent f*ck…

    The Levine stories about power abuse on the lines of exorbitant sexual molestation are legions and known to the musical community since four decades, and yet, I can’t get the thought out of my mind that the mediatic focus, as it’s being presented in the press, mostly looks – if not directly stinks of a mediatic strategy campaign in favour of Nézet-Séguin….

  • Novagerio says:

    Sorry, “didn’t GIVE an apparent etc” I meant.

  • Save the MET says:

    Two words, “utter balderdash” when it comes to the Board. I know for a fact from discussions with multiple board members over the years they were well aware. It was common knowledge discussed over dinners.

    • The View from America says:

      … and what scintillating dinnertime conversations they must have been:

      “Thank you for that delightful description of Levine’s blindfold masturbation sessions with his homeboys. Now I think I’ll order the sac de bonbons for dessert …”

  • Warren says:

    I am eager to see Gelb get the heave-ho from the MET as well. The administration, through the years, were Levine’s enablers. The MET needs a new Board of Directors.

  • Seth Lubin says:

    The Board needs to be shaken up. Decades of protecting Levine goes way past the blame being dumped on Gelb. That the board hired Gelb is reason enough to have them replaced and take him with them.