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James Levine expected to return to Metropolitan Opera by Saturday

November 11, 2010 |  9:50 am

Levine A bout with a stomach virus was the culprit behind conductor James Levine's decision to bow out midway through Wednesday evening's performance of "Don Pasquale" at the Metropolitan Opera, the company said.

Levine, 67, withdrew during the intermission of the Donizetti opera, which was being performed in New York and broadcast on satellite radio. An announcement from the Met stage stated that Levine was "unable to continue" conducting. He was replaced by conductor Joseph Colaneri for the remainder of the performance.

The Met said Thursday that Levine is "feeling much better today" and that he is planning to conduct Saturday's matinee performance of "Don Pasquale," which will be broadcast to movie theaters as part of the Met's Live in HD program.

The revival production of "Don Pasquale," created by Otto Schenk, stars superstar soprano Anna Netrebko, baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, bass-baritone John Del Carlo and tenor Matthew Polenzani.

Wednesday's incident was the latest health setback for Levine, who took significant time out from last season's engagements with the Met and Boston Symphony to treat ongoing back problems.

-- David Ng

Photo: James Levine, with the Boston Symphony in October. Credit: Josh Reynolds / Associated Press

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