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Conductor James Levine, early in his career. (Metropolitan Opera Archives)

The Official James Levine Puzzler

Jun 2, 2011

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Poor James Levine. One minute he's praised, the next he's condemned. Last night many PBS stations aired the documentary James Levine: America's Maestro. That's got to feel good. So too would the publication last month of the coffee table book James Levine: 40 Years at the Metropolitan Opera, not to mention the lavish new 21-DVD and 32-CD boxed sets of his Met years. He was even interviewed on Fresh Air by NPR's Terry Gross.

But then there's New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini. Two weeks ago he called for the maestro to step down from his job as the music director of the Met. Ouch! That could hurt more than Levine's debilitating back pain. His well-publicized health problems caused him to cancel many performances over the last 2 years, and he recently bowed out from his post as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Admittedly, there's not much I can do to help Mr. Levine through all his tributes and tribulations, except for one thing — give him his own official Deceptive Cadence puzzler! So, if you think you know Levine's Met career, carry on. Click on each music clip, then drag it to the correct image. Extra credit if you can name the actual aria or scene and the singers.

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