Music: The High Cost of Luxury

Out front in the red plush seats, the Metropolitan Opera often gives off the suggestions of high living—the rustle of silks, the lambent touch of mink, a bouquet of costly perfumes. But the $4,500,000-a-year business of putting on the opera, a money-losing enterprise at best, always is a matter of shirtsleeves and hard heads, of penny-pinching and tough bargaining. Last month the Met's money-harried management threatened to cancel next winter's entire season because the managers and the artists' union could not get together on contract terms. But last week, at the last moment, the Met was saved by one of the...

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