Levine Returns to Met Opera Stage

The Metropolitan Opera will welcome back its maestro Tuesday night.

James Levine, the opera's longtime music director, will take the stage at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time since injuring his spine two years ago. Speaking earlier this year with WQXR's blog, Operavore, Levine said as he recovered from his injury he was cautious about his return to the stage.

"I didn't want to do a season where I'd wind up cancelling," Levine said. "I didn't want to overdo it, I wanted to be able to find out what shape I was in and what I could really do."

Levine will conduct Mozart's "Così fan tutte" Tuesday night. The New York Times reports he will conduct from a wheelchair accessible pit with a device called the "maestro lift."

Levine returned to performing in May with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, but those performances were not full-blown operatic productions.