Music: Sad Song

The start of any new musical season usually raises the old question of whether the audience will show up. This year the question seems to be whether the orchestra will show up. A month ago, a capacity-plus crowd of 2,900 city and suburban dwellers arrived for a Saturday matinee at the New York City Opera only to find the house shut down.

The orchestra had gone on a surprise strike.

Last week that dispute was finally settled, with the musicians getting a $40 raise (from a $300-a-week base) over the next three years. No sooner was that accomplished than the members of the...

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