James Levine not well enough to return to the Met

James Levine (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)
James Levine (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

James Levine, former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will not be returning to work at the Metropolitan Opera any time soon. Levine, whose chronic health problems forced him to step down from the BSO, will miss the remainder of the Met’s current season – and all of the 2012-13 season – to recover from the spinal injury he suffered last August. The Met announced today that Levine’s health has “greatly improved’’ in recent months, but he needs more time. “While this is a blow to Jim, our company, and his many fans, we want to make it possible for him to eventually return to the Met,’’ said Peter Gelb, the Met’s GM. “The extended time off will give him the opportunity to recover fully, while also providing the Met with the chance to offer the best replacement conductors for next season.’’

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