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THE SCOOP | Former Met Opera Conductor James Levine Dies At 77

Former Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine has died at age 77. He passed away on March 9.The news was announced Wednesday by his physician Dr. Len Horovitz, who confirmed Levine died in his home in Palm Springs, California. It is not clear why the news was not announced until now.Considered one of the world’s greatest conductors, he led the Metropolitan Opera as Music Director for over 40 years before retiring in 2016 due to Parkinson’s disease. Throughout his career, Levine conducted 2,552 performances.He continued as the head of the MET’s Young Artist Development Program before being officially fired on Dec. 3, 2017, at the height of the #MeToo movement. An internal investigation by the Met Opera found that he had engaged in “sexually abusive and harassing conduct” involving four teenagers dating back to the 1960s.Levine filed a defamation suit against the Met, which resulted in Levine receiving $3.5 million after the two sides settled out of court.Despite his disgrace, the Met Opera’s General Manager Peter Gelb recognized his contribution to the Met, stating, “No artist in the 137-year history of the Met had as profound an impact as James Levine. He raised the Met’s musical standards to new and greater heights during a tenure that spanned five decades.”Levine was scheduled to make a come-back performance conducting at Italy’s Maggio Musicale Festival this past January, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.#LUDWIGVANGet the daily arts news straight to your inbox.Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE. Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all) Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all)

THE SCOOP | Quebec To Re-Open Concert Halls In Late March

Photo courtesy of L’Orchestre symphonique de MontréalQuebec Premier François Legault has announced the reopening of concert halls, theatres and movie theatres in red zones, with distancing and compliance with strict health measures, starting March 26.The provisions will allow events at venues for up to 250 people, but will require patrons to wear masks and adhere to physical distancing. Places of worship will expand to a maximum of 25 people, up from 10.According to Quebec’s director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, the number of new cases appears to be hitting a plateau. The variants remain a concern, and loosening of restrictions are being done step-by-step.It did not take long for Quebec’s Orchestre Métropolitain to announce their first live in-person concert on March 27 at Maison symphonique de Montréal.“We welcome this news with a lot of emotion,” wrote Yannick Nezet-Seguin in a statement on social media. “The public’s return to the indoor will give a breath to the Montreal community, our artists and cultural workers, to the citizens who will echo the emotions experienced in the last twelve months. It’s time to find yourself, to move, to escape, to rethink the living-together. The arts will show us the way to get there.”The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal was also quick to express their excitement that they would be returning to live concerts soon.“The Montreal Symphony Orchestre is delighted with the announcement made today by the Quebec government that the vibrant arts sector can gradually reunite with its audience in theatres,” wrote OSM CEO Madeleine Careau. “The safety and well-being of the public and all staff remains our top priority. We anticipate the pleasure of welcoming our loyal audience as soon as possible to the Maison symphonique during a new program to be announced shortly!”Quebec’s controversial 8 p.m. curfew in the red zones, will be pushed to 9:30 p.m., starting Wednesday. Event organizers will likely need to start concerts earlier, or shorten programs to ensure people can get home on time.Quebec currently has 6,753 active cases, with just over 1 million vaccinated. Ontario now has 12,506 active cases with nearly 1.5 million vaccinated***With files from Caroline Rodgers.#LUDWIGVANGet the daily arts news straight to your inbox.Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE. Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all) Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all)