Prosecutors: No charges for Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine

Event Cinema has had to cancel its screening of Mozart's Die Zauberflote which had been pulled from opera production

But the Met suspended Levine on Sunday as emeritus director after the Times published accounts from three accusers who said Levine sexually abused them when they were teenagers; a fourth person said he was 20 at the time of the alleged misconduct. Levine was serving as music director at the nearby Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, from 1973 to 1993.

James Levine, the former music director of Ravinia Festival accused of sexual abuse of a Kenilworth teenager in 1986, will not face criminal charges in Lake County because of the law at the time, according to a news release from State's Attorney Michael G. Nerheim.

In New York, the opera appointed Robert J. Cleary, a partner at the Proskauer Rose law firm, to investigate the accusations against Levine as it weighs his future.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which employed Levine as music director from 2004 to 2011, in a statement on Twitter said the information was "deeply disturbing".

Levine, who was music director of the Metropolitan Opera in NY for 40 years, denied the accusations in a statement reported Friday.

James Lestock, 67, who says he was abused by Levine as a 17-year-old cello student, issued a strongly worded statement responding to the conductor's remarks. But at the time the Met took no action.

That police investigation slowed last fall, but the Lake County state's attorney's office spokeswoman, Cynthia Vargas, told The Associated Press on Monday that it was still active.

"We are bound to apply the law that was in effect at the time the allegations occurred rather than the law as it now exists", the statement says.

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Levine's ties to the Chicago area go back decades.

During his career, Mr Levine has conducted more than 2,500 performances at the Met.

"I do not believe that the existence of homosexuals within management, or for that matter on our Board, can be considered a cause for dismissal", he said.

Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, told the New York Times it had chose to suspend its relationship with the conductor and cancel his forthcoming engagements after learning of the accounts of two other men who described similar sexual encounters beginning in the late 1960s.

"Both my friends and my enemies checked it out and to this day, I don't have the faintest idea where those rumors came from or what goal they served", Levine said.

An author, Johanna Fiedler, also wrote about the Levine rumors in a 2001 book, Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera, commenting that inside the company "the stories were dismissed as preposterous".

The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October.

"I would always say, be out with it because in this era of social media and exposure that the internet offers, the truth will come out", he said.


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