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They may be more careful in future but the compulsion will not abate because the cause is embedded deep in the maestro psyche.

One podium giant of pre-Viagra times told me he decided to retire from conducting the day his virility wilted.

Like a Premiership footballer who is benched by the manager, all he was ever told was ‘you’re not good enough’.

The ostracised victim in this case had enough sense to get out and make his life far from the maddening Met.

Among the more lascivious maestros, it is widely acknowledged that some are generous and tender-hearted.

Solti was always sympathetic to injustice in any institution where he worked and quietly supported dozens of hard-luck cases.

To give one inoffensive example: in 1990, Dutoit installed his girlfriend Chantal Juillet — later his fourth wife — as concertmaster of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. The young man indicated that he was not interested.

From that day on, the young staffer was shut out of all music activity in the building.

No one, he says, wanted anything to do with him because Levine — or those around him — had put out word that he was persona non grata to the music director.

I once knew a great conductor who claimed that he never boarded a plane to a new orchestra without a tube of lube in his pocket. Conductors are migratory birds who fly where their agents point them, hopping from one hotel bed to the next. Down the years, there have been few complaints about maestro sex. An opera conductor I know makes eye contact at the first rehearsal with younger members of the chorus, one by one, until someone stares right back.

There is no shortage of bright young things on an orchestra’s staff and besotted fans backstage who are open to a wink and the whisper of a room number. Inevitably, in so gregarious an activity as opera, everyone knows. They knew that Wilhelm Furtwängler’s secretary would bring a woman to his dressing room before a concert.

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