At the Met's press conference yesterday, Levine told the AP that he has committed to conducting the Met's new Ring cycle, directed by Robert Lepage, which debuts in full in 2011-12 and repeats in 2012-13. The year 2013 is also Wagner's bicentennial year.
The remarks came as Peter Gelb, the Met's new general manager, said at the press conference that Levine was the "greatest opera conductor in the world" and that he was welcome to lead the Met "as long as he is alive."
Levine, 62, was named the Met's principal conductor in 1973, its music director in 1976, and its artistic director in 1986. He gave up the title of artistic director in 2004, when he became music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Gelb also told the AP that he hoped to hire Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt to sing Wotan and Br‹nnhilde in the new Ring. According to the news agency, Voigt was scheduled to sing Br‹nnhilde in the Met's revival of its current Ring in 2008-09 but has chosen to postpone her role debut.
Gelb also said that he envisioned Broadway's Kristen Chenoweth as Samira in the Met's revival of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles in 2008-09.