- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 11, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — Conductor James Levine will miss the rest of the Metropolitan Opera’s season because of a shoulder injury that requires surgery.

Mr. Levine, music director of the Met and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, was injured March 1 when he tripped and fell on the stage of Boston’s Symphony Hall during ovations that followed a performance.

Though initial tests showed no bones broken, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam and X-rays revealed a torn rotator cuff, an injury more common to baseball pitchers than conductors.

Mr. Levine likely would need three months to recover after the operation, Met General Manager Joseph Volpe, who met with the conductor on Friday, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Mr. Levine, who has led more than 2,000 performances at the Met, will be absent from the podium for his longest stretch in more than three decades, canceling appearances in Beethoven’s “Fidelio” that were to start March 20 and a new production of Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” that opens March 31.

He also will miss the season-closing gala on May 20 honoring Mr. Volpe, who is retiring Aug. 1, and the Met’s June tour in Japan, where he was to conduct Wagner’s “Die Walkuere” and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

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