James Levine: 40 Years at The Metropolitan Opera, an extraordinary insider’s view of the legendary conductor’s Met career, illustrated with vivid historic photographs, will be published by Amadeus Press, an imprint of Hal Leonard, on May 3, and available for $32 at the Met Opera Shop and national retailers. Marking the 40th anniversary of Met Music Director James Levine’s company debut on June 5, 1971, the book celebrates his unparalleled artistic achievements through commentary by the maestro himself, as well as anecdotes and tributes from many of the great artists who have performed with him.
In James Levine: 40 Years at The Metropolitan Opera, readers will be taken behind the scenes as Levine shares his many artistic triumphs, the singular low point of his career in 1980, and challenges he has faced over four decades at the Met, including introducing works to the Met repertoire and developing the company’s orchestra and chorus. He reminisces about remarkable moments such as the phone call from tenor Richard Tucker minutes before his debut (“Jim, it’s Richard. Knock ’em dead.”), Kiri Te Kanawa’s transformation from unknown to star in her debut, the unforgettable farewell performance of Leontyne Price, and the historic prank Levine played on the great Luciano Pavarotti – in full view of the Met audience.