New York City Opera announces musician lockout
Published Sunday, January 8, 2012 12:04PM EST
NEW YORK - A bitter contract dispute has led to a lockout of orchestra and chorus members at the New York City Opera.
The opera and the unions have been in mediation talks since mid-December. Those negotiations broke down Saturday night.
Performers were supposed to rehearse Monday.
The musicians have rejected the company's offer, saying it doesn't guarantee work or pay. Under a management contract, the musicians' average annual income would drop from about $40,000 to as little as $5,000 for two productions.
City Opera General Manager George Steel says the company could not enter rehearsals with musicians threatening to strike for performances scheduled in February.
Alan Gordon, head of the union representing the orchestra, calls it "a very sad day for what once was a spectacular cultural icon."