In Thursday’s (9/22) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “The effects of James Levine’s accident this month and his replacement as conductor at the Metropolitan Opera have rippled across two continents. There is rage in Rome and vexation in Vienna. Genoese music lovers have been deprived of a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth. At an opera house in Essen, Germany, unsung assistant conductors and a British import get to shine. Even student musicians at U.C.L.A. are affected; a famous maestro had to postpone a concert with them. The Met called on Mr. Levine’s standby and heir apparent as music director, Fabio Luisi, to replace him. That caused Mr. Luisi to cancel engagements next month in Rome, Genoa, Vienna and San Francisco. Substitutes for Mr. Luisi had to be found, and in some cases Mr. Luisi’s subs needed subs. … The first casualty of Mr. Luisi’s Met engagement was a new production of ‘Elektra’ at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, which issued a blistering statement saying that Mr. Luisi’s abandonment of his obligations on such short notice was a ‘regrettable matter’ that had harmed the world of classical music. … Mr. Luisi also canceled concerts with his own orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, where he holds the title of chief conductor.”

Posted September 23, 2011