Friday, May 6, 2011

Maestro Levine is calling it quits ... until next season.

Photo courtesy of - Thanks, LC!
Anne Midgette at the Washington Post just caught my eye via Twitter when she tweeted this.

So, of course I hopped on over to article at WaPo where she says in part:
Yesterday, the Metropolitan Opera sent out an advisory that James Levine would not be conducting last night’s Die Walküre (Derrick Inouye stepped in to replace him). A Met spokesman attributed the cancellation to a case of the flu. Today, however, the announcements went a step further: Levine will conduct the remaining “Walküres,” but then take the summer off to recover from his ongoing back problems. No Japan tour, no Carnegie Hall concert on May 15 (Fabio Luisi will replace him), and no Tanglewood...

...I’ve grown weary of speculating about Levine’s health, which has been a subject of conjecture for more than 10 years (I remember it coming up when he was originally in talks about the BSO, because I rather gauchely asked him about it in an interview we did in 2000 or 2001. His response: ”I’m fine. Thank you”). There was a period in the early 2000’s when something was badly impacting his conducting, but that’s over; now, we’re in a period when he seems barely able to walk, but his conducting sounds quite good and sometimes very good. I thought there was quite a lot to like about
Die Walküre, particularly the third act, and attributed some of the coolness or lack of pizazz of the first two acts to Levine’s relationship to the not-very-good production. Others were less sanguine.
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