People stand in front of the fountain outside the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center in New York in this July 30, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Files
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James Levine's motorized chair rose in the orchestra pit and turned to allow him to face the audience, prompting a 30-second ovation that began the evening.Friday night's performance of Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" starring 75-year-old Placido Domingo was Levine's first scheduled opera since Jan. 7, and the pair got warm welcomes -- with the audience also applauding when Domingo made his first entrance.Levine has conducted from a chair since late 2001 .Levine, who has conducted the Met more than 2,500 times, is scheduled to lead four more performances of "Boccanegra" through April 16 followed by five performances of Mozart's "Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio)".Levine is scheduled to conduct 31 performances of four productions at the Met next season, but Met General Manager Peter Gelb said in February it was too soon to say whether Levine would be up to it physically.
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