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Subject: Re: Levine
From: "David M. Wagner" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David M. Wagner
Date:Sun, 3 Dec 2017 11:46:32 -0500

text/plain (102 lines)

And then there are laws (state, but enacted to comply with federal funding requirements) that make an amazing range of people "mandatory reporters" of "child" (up to 18) sexual abuse. I have criticized these laws for 1) the overbreadth of whom they include (just about everyone a child is likely to encounter: all law enforcement folks; all health profession folks; all teachers; anyone else caring for a particular child); and 2) the absence of a "reasonable professional judgment" defense (i.e. defendant can prove that in his/her professional judgment there was no reason to suspect abuse: that and a valid farecard'll get you on the subway). 

But they are what they are, so, the people at the Met who should already be spending their retirement funds on fancy defense counsel would include anyone with direct or indirect responsibility for child performers and/or high school interns if any. That might well include most adults working at the Met. Perhaps this is the great budgetary salvation it's been waiting for. 

Otoh It wouldn't be a bad idea for Boards at other houses, employing other gifted but disturbed maestri, to initiate preemptive investigations, as failure to do so might later be seen as negligence per se. And then of course most of *their* staff will also require goldplated defense counsel....

Even if it allows the Met to offload some of the Great Overpaid, this is not good for opera as such. #Save the arts

-David Wagner

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 3, 2017, at 10:29 AM, Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I too will not be surprised if yesterday’s performance turns out to have
> been the last. In other branches of the media and performing arts, we are
> seeing people fired for allegations far less offensive than these. If he
> were scheduled to conduct tomorrow, what kind of reception would he get? I
> think his next scheduled date is *Tosca* on New Year’s Eve. I think the Met
> will have its answer by then.
> A common thread in many of these cases (Weinstein, Lauer, Rose, *etc.*), is
> that once the allegations come out, it turns out there were lots of people
> who knew, or at least strongly suspected, what was going on. A Facebook
> friend of mine who is on the Met staff, wrote: “I have known the
> allegations for decades.” You think he is the only one?
> Bear in mind, by the time Gelb took over, Levine was already in late
> career, and not in the best health. If the Met turned a blind eye, most of
> the alleged behavior probably took place on the watch of other General
> Managers. You would have to blame them a lot more than Peter Gelb. Of
> course, unless the smoking gun was in their hands, they could always say,
> “It was just a scurrilous rumor, without evidence, and Jimmy vigorously
> denied it.” Exactly what Gelb is now saying.
> The Met would have been morally obligated to investigate if the alleged
> offense occurred on their property, or with one of their employees. The
> situation here concerns a kid who visited Levine backstage at the Ravinia
> Festival. Sure, there could be more kids, but that’s the only concrete
> allegation so far. The Met’s obligation in *that* situation is not so clear.
> Although Jimmy might have paid off the young man out of his own funds, it
> doesn’t mean the Met was a party to it. I know there are also rumors that
> the Met participated actively in the payoffs, but so far there is no
> confirmation of that. As in any situation fueled mostly by rumor, there is
> probably a lot of exaggeration, even if the portion that’s true is still
> pretty ugly.
>> On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 7:05 AM, Brian T <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Some one yesterday said "drop it"?  Looking on line today at all the
>> reports by various news org's, I don't think it can be dropped now.
>> If anything is going to be "dropped", it will Levine himself, and Gelb
>> will be holding the axe.  And Gelb doesn't come off looking squeaky clean
>> if he knew about it all these years and how could he not know?
>> I have never read Ms. Fielder's book, but why didn't the Met open its own
>> investigation then?  Because Levine had paid this young man over many
>> years, but that is wrong too, that's just hush-up money.  And the Met
>> didn't want a scandal, sure I get that, with all the fiscal concerns, empty
>> seats, etc.
>> But now it's a different climate.  And where there was one young man under
>> Levine's spell, there were likely others,too.  How many didn't come forward
>> due to embarassment, or even threats from Met lawyers?  This will now all
>> come out, and rightly so.
>> I am guessing yesterday's Requiem broadcast and performance was Levine's
>> last with the company.  Maybe fitting--a requiem for Levine.  A sad way to
>> end a great musical career, but Levine should have never done what he did,
>> no matter how long ago it may have been.
> -- 
> Marc Shepherd
> New York, NY
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