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NEGOTIATIONS FAIL, N.Y. OPERA CANCELS SEASON

SHARE NEGOTIATIONS FAIL, N.Y. OPERA CANCELS SEASON

The New York City Opera canceled the remainder of its repertory season this week after failing to reach a contract agreement with orchestra musicians, despite a 48-hour negotiating extension. The season failed to open on Sept. 13, and had been scheduled to run through Nov. 19.

The cancellation, which put more than 500 people out of work, was announced by Martin Oppenheimer, vice president of City Opera's board and its chief negotiator.

New York City Opera has a history of difficult labor relations, resulting in a strike or lockout in every contract renegotiation except one since 1962.i

The musicians demanded to be brought into wage parity with musicians at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the San Francisco Opera, houses that charge much more for tickets than the popularly priced City Opera. This would mean an immediate 20-percent wage increase.

"We met with Local 802 negotiators Tuesday evening, prepared and anxious to negotiate and we renewed our suggestion that we go to arbitration," said Oppenheimer.

"But the union demanded that we sign on the dotted line . . . for an astronomical package that exceeds what any performing arts union has gotten in this city, or in the nation, for many years. We simply can't live with such an exorbitant contract."