Saturday, August 29, 2015

James Levine injured in fall; Met Opera names new conductor

It's happened again. Poor James Levine can't catch a health break. The Metropolitan Opera revealed Tuesday that Levine underwent emergency surgery Thursday after falling in Vermont and damaging one of his vertebrae. He had been recuperating from previous surgery on his back when the accident occurred.

James Levine injured in fall; Met Opera names new conductor

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It's happened again. Poor James Levine can't catch a health break. The Metropolitan Opera revealed Tuesday that Levine underwent emergency surgery Thursday after falling in Vermont and damaging one of his vertebrae. He had been recuperating from previous surgery on his back when the accident occurred.

Levine has withdrawn from all of his fall performances with the Met, and Fabio Luisi will take his place. The Met has signified Luisi's increasing importance to the company by giving him the more expansive title of principal conductor. Luisi had been principal guest conductor; Levine retains his music director title.

“While Jim’s latest setback is hugely disappointing for all of us, he joins me in welcoming Fabio’s larger role,” said Met general manager Peter Gelb in a prepared statement. “I am very pleased that Fabio was able to rearrange his fall schedule, and I appreciate the understanding of those companies with whom he was scheduled to conduct.”

Luisi canceled performances with the Rome Opera, the Genoa Opera, the Vienna Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony to take up Levine's Met dates.

Levine hopes to return in January for the new production of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, as well as for the full cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen in April and May, the Met says.

Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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