Sat 7 May – Met Opera: Maestro Levine to retire, last day of season

I have some friends who are inoperable.

No matter what I’ve tried, they don’t like opera.

What sort of person could they be?!?

In any event, in case you didn’t know, I believe that tomorrow is the very last conducting appearance of James Levine as the Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera.  HERE He will conduct Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail for the matinee.  With some seminarians I saw him a couple weeks ago conduct Abduction (Die Entführung aus dem Seminar).  Great cast.

You might try to tune in on radio or stream to hear a historical moment.  MET Check your local radio stations and also your satellite radio.

End of an era for opera.

Excerpt from the link above:

Levine made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1971, when, at the age of 28, he conducted a performance of Puccini’s Tosca. Less than a year later, he was appointed as the company’s principal conductor, and he became the Met’s music director in 1976. To this day, he had led a total of 2,551 performances with the company—more than twice the number led by any conductor in Met history—of works by thirty-three composers. Levine significantly also expanded the breadth of the Met’s repertoire, conducting the company’s first ever staged performances of Berg’s Lulu; Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; Rossini’s La Cenerentola; Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani, Stiffelio, and I Lombardi; Mozart’s Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito; Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Moses und Aron; Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; Busoni’s Doktor Faust; and Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini, as well as world premieres that included John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Events, Just Too Cool and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. benedetta says:

    Refusing to like opera? Inoperable, I agree…

    Maestro Levine is a lion among the greatest of conductors, may he enjoy his well earned retirement.

  2. JARay says:

    Indeed he will be missed and fondly remembered

  3. kiwiinamerica says:

    Opera…..that’s kind of like theater, right?

    Except when people get killed, instead of dying, they sing!

  4. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I had not heard this! But a bit of ‘homework’ leads me to the Opera News 14 April announcement article which says that it is “owing to health reasons”, and, happily, adds “Levine will continue as the artistic leader of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and will still conduct some Met performances” – indeed, it goes on say, “the company reported that he does intend to lead revivals of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Verdi’s Nabucco and Mozart’s Idomeneo” next season.

    Mat he long continue successfully to “shepherd his resources” (to borrow a phrase from Opera News). (Sir Adrian Boult went on recording until he was 89 and conducting until he was 91, though his style – at least in his later years – was less energetic than what I remember of James Levine’s style.)

  5. TomG says:

    At least he was still around for the bicentenary of Wagner’s birth. IMO, the greatest Wagnerian conductor of the last 50 years. Indefatigable, when he was healthy; he is a joy.

  6. VexillaRegis says:

    The divine Levine!

  7. Giuseppe says:

    He’s scheduled to conduct Nabucco, L’Italiana in Algeri, and Idomeneo next season. I think he still has some good performances left. More like a bishop retiring but still remaining active in the diocese.

  8. kbf says:

    @ Fr Z: No matter what I’ve tried, they don’t like opera. What sort of person could they be?!?

    Ones with musical taste?

    Opera is to music what Donald Trump is to American politics. Loud, shrill, over-indulged, financially supported by a monied few because it could never be economically self-sustaining, and devoid of any real merit.

    The reason that it is traditional for ladies to wear black to the opera is that it’s simply symbolic of the mourning of the passing of good musical taste.

  9. Anthony says:

    When he’s done… will the fat lady sing?

Comments are closed.