Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Opera Cops

Turkish police may be cracking down on womens' heads, but French cops are busy cracking down on...opera musicians! As Brian Carney writes today in the Wall Street Journal Europe, the authorities are concerned that traveling opera productions are using musicians brought in from Eastern Europe. This upsets their union-card-carrying counterparts. Carney continues:

Of all the unsavory aspects of French police going about the country busting orchestras and locking up their conductors or managers, the worst canard is that it's being done to protect innocent violin-playing lambs from Sofia. In common with price-fixing cartels the world 'round, high-priced French and German musicians have only one interest in this affair, and that is keeping low-priced competition off the market. That this means smallish French towns get no opera, or get it only when heavy public subsidies are made available, concerns them not at all.

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