Met Opera Suspends James Levine

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#1 Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby Up2u » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:08 pm


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#2 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby Gaybutton » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:16 pm

Sheeeeesh! Is there anyone left who isn't being accused of sexual harassment?

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#3 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby fountainhall » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:01 pm

So the net is expanding and is now encircling the rarified realm of classical music. The only surprise here is that it has taken longer than politics and the movie business. Many musicians had and presumably have a voracious sexual appetite. Tenors especially (and three of the best-known in particular!) are/were well-known randy womanisers. I suspect some of these female classical groupies hanging around stage doors might eventually allege some wrongdoing. The man voted in 2011 by 100 of his peers as the greatest conductor of all time, the late Carlos Kleiber (died 2004), always had a different young woman at his side whilst remaining married to his wife. So who knows what disclosures might be about to surface? Oddly, only few in the music profession seem to be gay - certainly not many are openly so.

It was well known that the composer Benjamin Britten and the tenor Peter Pears were lovers and partners. Also that Britten liked associating with young boys. But never once during his life or in various books penned since his death in the 1970s has it ever been suggested that Britten's interest was anything more than in young boys' voices and therefore musical in nature. Once voices had broken, the interest ceased. Two very public actor figures who were close to him and sang as boys in his choirs attest to this - the late David Hemmings and the still with us Michael Crawford (the original Phantom of the Opera in London and New York as well as star of the 1970s BBC sitcom series “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em”). Both incidentally are/were happily married with children.

Since his death, it has finally become known worldwide that the great conductor Leonard Bernstein was gay. In a recently published book of correspondence between him and his wife, Felicia – "The Bernstein Letters", she writes to him soon after their marriage that she knows he is gay. “You are a homosexual and you may never change.” Yet even though his gay affairs were known to some – and regulars in Tokyo’s gay bars were amongst them for he conducted there often, they were always with grown men, many in the early part of their careers and totally consensual. There is no doubt that he helped many in the development of those careers. There has never been any gossip whatever to my knowledge that he ever had any interest in under 20s.

As for Levine, the spate of articles over the last two days suggest an unhealthy and probably illegal appetite. But quite rightly the Metropolitan Opera has suspended Levine and hired an outside counsel. He needs to be given some time to undertake his investigations. Most worrying for that august institution which depends on public trust for $150 million + in donations every year, though, is a rumour that has been rife for years that about 15 years ago the Board paid a substantial sum to the family of one boy to keep quiet. Levine then was the public image of the Met and adored by the audience, orchestra and singers. If there happens to be any truth whatever in that particular rumour, the future of the Met itself may be in doubt.

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#4 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby thewayhelooks » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:02 pm

I'm still waiting for men to start accusing females of stalking or harassment or improper conduct but I bet they don't. Too embarrassed to admit it. But I'll never believe these claims only go one way. I doubt social media would be interested either - it doesn't fit the narrative of women being victims and men being evil abusers. As usual, the female shrieking is way over the top. I can't help thinking some women have a castration complex.

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#5 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby fountainhall » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:30 pm

Judging from the movie "The September Issue" - and always assuming that it paints a true picture of life at the headquarters of Vogue magazine (which may be totally inaccurate for all I know) - the coming days may bring some form of harassment claims against the Ice Queen of Fashion, Anna Wintour. ;) ;) Personally I think Margaret Thatcher must have more than a few harassment skeletons down there in her coffin.

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#6 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby fountainhall » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:33 am

This is now starting to seem like a witch hunt with shades of McCarthyism. In no way am I defending any of the actions involving the sexual molestation of minors or unwanted sexual advances by those in power over others. But when there is outrage at a painting that has been hung at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for some years, it's surely time to take a deep breath and examine what is underway here.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has refused to remove a 1938 painting by the artist known as Balthus that depicts a young girl in what some are saying is a sexually suggestive pose.

The painting , entitled Therese Dreaming, shows the girl sitting on a chair leaning back with her underwear visible. The late Polish-French artist, born Balthasar Klossowski, is known for his erotically-charged images of pubescent girls.

An online petition that had garnered thousands of signatures on Monday urged the museum to rethink its decision to display the painting in light of today’s climate around sexual assault.

“Given the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses, The Met is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children,” the petition reads.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesig ... -complaint

Image

Where does this sort of nonsense end? Centuries ago in fits of unusual morality for the times various popes had the dicks of classical statues in the Vatican hacked off. Is Michelangelo's David now to be covered up? What about this classical statue of the drunken satyr?

Image

Or the putti, those naked male babies seen in thousands of religious paintings in art galleries around the world and the Sistine Chapel?

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#7 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:51 pm

fountainhall wrote:This is now starting to seem like a witch hunt

This is getting so ridiculous. Now they want to remove paintings from museums? I wonder who is going around to various museums to be a self-appointed censor. Sorry, but I don't need someone else deciding for me what artwork I can look at.

I'm waiting for the naked babies to be painted over with fig leaves. Are we repeating the 15th century or something?

What's next, burning books?

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#8 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby Up2u » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Not sure why we're talking about inappropriate sexual conduct with young boys and outrage at a modern art museum in the same thread. They are completely different.

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#9 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby fountainhall » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:38 pm

For the simple reason that one is leading directly to the other (see the quote in my earlier post). There is some sort of feeding frenzy going on. This is sad because, as I have said, the issues of sexual abuse of minors and abuse by those in power over others are very important and need to be fully aired. Yet some are clearly taking this to ridiculous lengths!

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#10 Re: Met Opera Suspends James Levine

Postby thewayhelooks » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:55 am

Gaybutton wrote:What's next, burning books?

Why not? Quicker than banning them.


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