James Levine, the ailing music director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is having back surgery this week and has announced that he is withdrawing from conducting engagements this fall. The Metropolitan Opera said that Levine will miss all of his scheduled conducting appearances with the company through the beginning of December.
"Levine's doctors expect him to recover in time to conduct the new production of 'Les Contes d'Hoffmann,' which opens Dec. 3," said a Met spokeswoman by e-mail. He also will miss two performances this week with the Boston Symphony.
-- David Ng