The Metropolitan Opera announced today that health issues will force music director James Levine to reduce his conducting dates with the company for the rest of the current season. On the advice of his doctors, Levine will forego conducting spring performances of Das Rheingold and Il Trovatore at the Met while he continues to recover from recent procedures to alleviate back pain.Here's a question that I'm sure many are asking: Are we sure that Maestro Levine is getting the proper care? It seems that he's had quite a few procedures in regards to this recurring back pain (amongst other ailments). Look, Chiclets ... I know he's James Levine and probably has some pretty-damned-amazing doctors. I'm just wondering whether or not the foundational issues are being addressed rather than just slapping on a band-aid in order to mask the issues.
The March 30 and April 2 performances of Das Rheingold will now be conducted by the Met's principal guest conductor, Fabio Luisi, while performances of Il Trovatore, scheduled for April 20, 23, 27 and 30, will be lead by Marco Armiliato, who conducted the company's performances of Verdi's opera earlier this season.
Levine is still scheduled to conduct performances of Wozzeck on April 6, 9, 13 and 16, as well as performances of the company's new production of Die Walküre on April 22, 25, 28, May 2, 5, 9 and 14. In addition, he will also lead the MET Orchestra in two concerts at Carnegie Hall on April 10 and May 15. Levine is also slated to lead performances of La Bohème and Don Carlo in Nagoya and Tokyo during the Met's June tour of Japan.
I don't know ... call me crazy, but I think something else is going on here.