Is it Time For James Levine to Leave the Met?
A Survey of Opinions on the Revered Conductor
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Ongoing health problems recently forced conductor James Levine to announce his resignation as music director of the Boston Symphony, and now his main gig as music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York is suffering too. The Met said Monday that Levine will reduce his conducting dates for the rest of the season while he continues to deal with pain in his back.
Opera-watchers are increasingly divided over Levine’s perilous status with the company. Some bloggers argue that it’s time the Met follow Boston’s lead and cut him loose. They argue that his continued presence there will create "destructive dissension and strife." Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette noted that "the fact is, he hasn’t sounded quite as fabulous in recent outings as he did in his prime."
Still others, including WQXR’s Naomi Lewin believe that he has plenty more to give the opera world, and that he should rest up for a full recovery on the podium. What do you think? Is it time for Levine to step down? Or should he continue in a curtailed role? Take our poll: