(Photo credit: Barbara Luisi)
Opera Chic reports that Italian Maestro Fabio Luisi will be called in to substitute James Levine for a handful of remaining Metropolitan Opera spring performances, Levine still recovering from his herniated disc.
Levine was supposed to conduct opening night of Tosca on April 14, continuing with April 17, 20, and 24th. Fabio Luisi (who Opera Chic calls "the conductor with a German brain and an Italian heart") will step-up to the podium for all four performances.
Levine has also cancelled the entire May run of Berg's Lulu (May 8, 12 & 15), and the Metropolitan Opera has called on Maestro Luisi to conduct in his place.
[UPDATE --> 10:40pm Milan time: Ten hours after Opera Chic announced that Fabio Luisi will be replacing James Levine in Tosca and Lulu, The Metropolitan Press office has confirmed.]
"James Levine has withdrawn from the four performances of Tosca and three performances of Lulu he was scheduled to conduct in April and May. He is to undergo corrective surgery for an ongoing lower back problem."
"Fabio Luisi will replace Levine for both Tosca (April 14, 17, 20, and 24 mat.) and Lulu (May 8, 12, 15 mat.). Luisi has conducted Hansel and Gretel, Le Nozze di Figaro and Elektra at the Met this season. Previous appearances with the company include Don Carlo (for his 2005 debut), Simon Boccanegra, Die Ägyptische Helena, and Turandot."