Scene from Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera
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Metropolitan Opera in union talks to avoid lockout

The Metropolitan Opera in New York could be on the brink of a shutdown.

On Thursday, unions representing the orchestra and chorus at the Met agreed to bring in federal mediators - in an attempt to prevent a threatened lockout of the workers on Friday.

Labour costs account for two-thirds of total expenses, and the Met says pay cuts are essential to avert financial ruin.

But the unions say too much money is spent on lavish productions. The BBC's Nick Bryant reports.

  • 31 Jul 2014