on allegations

by Laura Demilio

Hey, come on, it's all over the news and everyone knows about it. And knew (via rumor or anecdote, but knew) about Levine's unsavory penchants. I have to tell you, I'm not gleefully gloating about this; I admired his artistry as a conductor and to have the whispers and stories verified is more than disappointing, but sickening for a lot of opera lovers.

If I'd need a lawyer to defend me for saying what everyone else knows anyway, to protect me from wrath of a rich famous person who was ALWAYS protected because he was a rich famous big name in the classical music world, then this country is even in a sorrier state than I thought it to be, and I already think it's always been pretty bad when those of privilege literally can get away with crimes themselves and then influence and order others to be prosecuted for speaking out of line or insinuating the bad character of the more powerful party. It's always been that way.

What is being said about James Levine by me or people who've worked with him or the news media at large is not libel, slander, or defamation of character. Just last night my best high school friend from Cleveland emailed me -- she's always been very involved in the classical music scene there -- and informed me of local, middle-aged adults of our age who'd also been -- what shall we say, harassed, mishandled, molested? -- by James Levine when they were teenage students at the Cleveland Institute of Music some 40 years ago. So there it is. All over this country, musicians and music students from four decades ago ago up to now are going to have the courage to come forward with their own story. To a person they had thought J Levine a nice man and admired his artistry greatly; they did not want to be shamed, embarrassed, ridiculed or humiliated by not being believed or thought to be blackmailing a prominent artist -- or somehow bringing it all on themselves.

I don't need an attorney. I have said nothing that no one else has said. It's all out there on national news sites for everyone to see.

Posted on Dec 7, 2017, 12:04 PM

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