Peter Gelb not jumping the gun on releasing James Levine

September 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

‘Some in the business call it “Peter’s Dilemma”…’

This is how a recent NY Times article began on the current situation of whether or not Peter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera’s General Manager, should release their Music Director, James Levine-who has given 40 years of his life to the Met, due to his failing health.

The article seems to be attempting to generate debate over Gelb’s handling of Levine – and I don’t think there is any debate at all. Gelb is doing exactly what he should do in this situation: he is keeping Levine on as Music Director until such time that Levine decides to remove himself from the post. In the meantime, Gelb has engaged maestro Fabio Luisi as principal conductor to cover Levine’s engagements until late January, 2012. Additionally, Gelb is asking Levine’s management to inform the Met if Levine will be able to satifsy his remaining conducting engagements through the end of the season.

Levine is an institutional icon, and Gelb is handling this exactly as he should do considering the situation, and considering what is best for the Metropolitan Opera.

It is particularly annoying that the press continue to celebrate and create controversy – they’re making an already difficult situation more tense.

Referenced NY Times article on Gelb/Levine:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/arts/music/the-dilemma-of-james-levine-and-the-metropolitan-opera.html?_r=2&ref=arts

More information about James Levine:
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/about/whoweare/levine.aspx

David Walker

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