James Levine, the greatest Opera conductor of the MET

James Levine, the great Opera conductor, who is musical director of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, celebrated his 70th Birthday on last June 23.

James Levine’s first performance conducting the Metropolitan Opera was on June 5, 1971, and, as of May 2011, he had conducted 2,442 Met performances, a record!

A have a lot of beautiful memories of James Levine conducting Opera at the Met.

The first opera that I saw with James Levine conducting was Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”and with Luciano Pavarotti, Eva Marton and Sherrill Milnes.                                                                               It was a wonderful experience!  It started my huge admiration for the Met Opera and James Levine’s conducting.

Many of my favorite broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera are:

Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” with Giuseppe Giacomini, Leontyne Price and Leo Nucci

Verdi’s “Don Carlo” with Plácido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Ferruccio Furlanetto.

Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” with Pavarotti and Milnes.

Puccini’s “La bohème” with Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto.

Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” in 1989 with James Morris as Wotan

Verdi’s “Aida” with Plácido Domingo

Puccini’s “Turandot” again, with Plácido Domingo

Verdi’s “Ernani” with Luciano Pavarotti and James Morris

Puccini’s “Tosca” with Luciano Pavarotti

Verdi’s “Nabucco” with Samuel Ramey

Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” with Luciano Pavarotti and Leo Nucci.

Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” with Bryn Terfel, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Renee Fleming.

Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” with Bryn Terfel

On April 27 of 1996, James celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Met leading a gala performance of more than 50 Met stars in more than 35 different works.

And on March 15 of 2009, James Levine conducted the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala, which was also a tribute to Levine’s longtime collaborator Plácido Domingo.

Thank you James Levine for all the extraordinary things that you have done for the Metropolitan Opera House!

Thank you, thank you again for making Opera an important part of my life!


From a huge Met Opera fan…




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