Levine pulls of of METs new ‘Goetterdammerung’’ and news of the DVD release of the full cycle

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday, 5 November 2011 | 9:59:00 am


Due to his continuing illness, the MET has announced that James Levine will not be conducting the premiere of Gotterdamermerung on January the 27 or indeed any part of the first run there of. It will probably be of little surprise that  he will be replaced by Fabio Luisi

On Friday, Peter Gelb, the METs general manager said:

‘He’s feeling good. He’s in rehab and he continues to make improvements. He agrees and feels strongly that he wouldn’t want to return until he’s fully recovered. ‘‘I know that his doctors are optimistic that he will be able to eventually return, but there is no specific timetable.’’

Whether he will return for the full cycle in April is as yet unknown. Continued Gelb:

‘‘I’ve discussed it with Jim and we’ve agreed that within the next month or two we’re going to have to make a decision about the rest of the season,’’

Interestingly, Gelb did inadvertently provide some information on what has now been confirmed as the DVD release of the Cycle. Due to be released in Autumn 2012,  if and when Levine returns, they will not re-record Levine conducting either Siegfried or Goetterdammerung’. Said Gelb:

‘‘We have put enormous resources into producing these, and from a schedule point of view, from a financial resource point of view, for all those reasons, it’s absolutely impossible.

This will leave us with the unusual position of having a Ring Cycle on DVD where two parts are lead  by one conductor (Levine - Rheingold and Walkure) and the latter two by someone else.