Met's James Levine cancels fall shows after injury

September 6, 2011 - 3:10 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine (luh-VYN') has canceled his fall conducting engagements after reinjuring his back.

The Met announced Tuesday that Italian conductor Fabio Luisi (FAH'-bee-oh loo-EEH'-zee) has been named the Met's principal conductor. He's filling in for Levine, who has led performances at the nation's premier opera house for four decades.

Levine was to start rehearsals Tuesday for the new season.

He was in Vermont recuperating from previous back surgery when he fell last week and damaged one of his vertebrae. The 68-year-old musician underwent surgery in New York on Thursday.

Luisi was appointed the Met's principal guest conductor last year. He will conduct "Don Giovanni" and "Siegfried."

Levine's remaining shows will be led by Louis Langree (looh-EEH' lahn-GRAY') and Derrick Inouye (ih-NOH'-ay).