- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Recurring back pain will cause conductor James Levine to miss the Metropolitan Opera’s tour of Japan, including a performance of Verdi’s “Don Carlo” on June 5 that was to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his company debut.

The Met announced Friday that Fabio Luisi, its principal guest conductor, will replace Levine for “Don Carlo” and Puccini’s “La Boheme” in Japan, and for a Met orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall on May 15.

The 67-year-old has been the Met’s chief conductor, music director or artistic director since 1973. He has missed many performances in recent years for a variety of health issues and in March resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, effective Sept. 1.

The BSO also announced Friday Levine will withdraw from his appearances at its Tanglewood summer series on advice of his doctors.

At the Met, Levine withdrew from a run of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” this month and two performances of Wagner’s “Das Rheingold.” He missed a performance of Wagner’s “Die Walkuere” this week but the Met said Friday he remains scheduled for the remaining “Walkuere” performances on May 9 and 14 _ the latter will still be televised worldwide.

Levine remains scheduled for a new production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” that opens at the Met on Oct. 13.

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