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Levine Skips the Rest of the Met Opera Season

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Conductor James Levine, who is music director of the Metropolitan Opera, has announced he will miss the rest of the Met's 2009-10 season due to another back operation. Fabio Luisi, who is currently chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony and artistic director of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, will replace him.

Levine, 66, had just returned to the podium in December following back surgery last fall meant to repair a herniated disk. The Met says that Levine will soon undergo corrective surgery for his ongoing lower back problem. Luisi will conduct the four performances of Tosca and three performances of Lulu that remain in this season.