Music: Curtains for the Met?

The rhetoric was familiar. "We don't like the word strike," said Max Arons, president of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians. "We prefer to say 'withdraw our services.' " However one cared to put it, the lines were drawn last week for a possibly fateful labor struggle at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Since he was appointed executive director a year ago, Anthony A. Bliss, 62, has been negotiating with the 14 artistic and craft unions at the Met over new contracts. All have been performing since the summer under contract extensions that expire on New Year's Day. The musicians...

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