James Levine secret settlement revealed

The Met Opera paid James Levine USD3.5m (€3m) in compensation when he was fired over sexual misconduct allegations.

Levine was fired in 2018 after the Met investigated allegations made by seven people. Levine then sued the Met for breach of contract and defamination. The Met countersued, before an out of court settlement was announced in August 2019.

The details of the settlement were subject to a non-disclosure agreement, but have now been revealed in a story by The New York Times. The Times said the payment “casts doubt on the strength of the [The Met]’s case had it gone to trial”.

The news of the large payment will likely cause anger for Met employees – including members of the orchestra and chorus – who have been furloughed without pay since April.

Prior to his dismissal Levine was the Met’s conductor emeritus, on a salary of USD400,000 with a USD27,000 fee on top of that.

Levine still denies all the allegations made against him and is due return to the stage in January with at the Maggio Musicale festival in Florence.