Met retiree warns of ‘destructive spiral’

Violinist Ira Lieberman, a former member of the Virginia Commonwealth University music faculty and music critic of the Richmond Times-Dispatch who went on to play for 36 seasons in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, urges US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to intercede with the management of the Met, to head off “a destructive spiral, as its union workers, unpaid since April, are threatened with a lock-out, already begun with its stagehands.

“A large percentage of the Met orchestra has already moved away from New York because they can no longer pay their rent or mortgage,” Lieberman writes. “Though their plight is no different from that of countless Americans, if the Met’s people are replaced with novices when a contract is finally agreed on, the edifice they inhabit will have become a mediocre sham.”

The full text of Lieberman’s letter, posted on Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc blog: