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James Levine withdraws midway through performance at Metropolitan Opera

November 10, 2010 |  9:45 pm

Levine Conductor James Levine had to withdraw midway through a Wednesday evening performance of "Don Pasquale" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as it was being broadcast on satellite radio.

An announcement from the Met stage stated that Levine was "unable to continue" conducting the Donizetti opera and that he had been replaced. It remains unclear what caused Levine to leave midway through the performance.

Levine's health has been an object of growing speculation in the past several months as the conductor has suffered a series of personal setbacks. He withdrew from a series of concerts in New York and Boston in the fall of 2009 to undergo back surgery. This spring, he canceled a series of appearances to undergo corrective surgery for an ongoing lower back problem.

The 67-year-old conductor returned to the podium this fall and seemed to be back in form. In addition to serving as music director of the Met, Levine also works as music director of the Boston Symphony.

The Met is scheduled to broadcast a performance of "Don Pasquale" to cinemas on Saturday.

Check back later with Culture Monster for more details.

-- David Ng

Photo: James Levine in 2006. Credit: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press


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