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Met Opera fires famed conductor James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual harassment

In an investigation, the Met Opera found "credible evidence" that showed esteemed music director James Levine engaged in sexual misconduct.

New York's vaunted Metropolitan Opera fired music director emeritus James Levine after an investigation found evidence of sexual abuse and harassment, the opera said on Monday.

Levine was suspended by the Met in December pending the investigation.

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Image: Handout photo of MET musical director James Levine in Japan
James Levine in Japan in 2001.Koichi Miura / Metropolitan Opera via Reuters file

In a statement to NBC News, the Met said, "The investigation also uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority. In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met."

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The 74-year-old Levine had been a towering figure in the company's history, ruling over its repertoire, orchestra and singers as music or artistic director from 1976 until he stepped down under pressure two years ago.

The Met says claimed its management or board had covered up information of Levine's conduct were unsubstantiated.