Breaking: Met settles with stage unions. Another surrender.

Breaking: Met settles with stage unions. Another surrender.


norman lebrecht

August 20, 2014

IATSE, the main stage union, has just announed the Local 1 has reached agreement with the Met. The terms are another humiliation for Peter Gelb.

He has been forced to accept ‘mandatory cost reductions from management and an independent monitor to track budget performance.’

Gelb has been trussed up hand and foot in these talks, left with no room for manouevre on future policy change – unless he gets the approval of the unions and the independent budget monitor.

What began as negotiation ended in total capitulation.


From the IATSE statenment

The tentative agreement we reached today – which includes mandatory cost reductions from management and an independent monitor to track budget performance– offers a way to get the Met on a track for success.

We look forward to presenting the details of the agreement to members of Local 1 for their decision on ratification.  And we’re committed to remaining at the bargaining table to conclude agreements for the other six I.A.T.S.E. local unions whose members make the magic happen at the Metropolitan Opera at every performance.


The Met’s version:

New York, NY (August 20, 2014) – The Metropolitan Opera announced tonight that a new labor agreement has been secured with IATSE Local One, the union representing the company’s stagehands. Final negotiations will take place tomorrow with eight smaller unions representing behind-the-scenes Met personnel. All are expected to reach agreements, preventing a potential labor crisis at the nation’s largest performing arts organization.

The new contract with Local One, subject to ratification, will provide the institution with savings comparable to those achieved through the recent agreements with Local 802 (which represents orchestra musicians and librarians) and AGMA (which represents chorus, principal singers, directors, and stage managers).

Pre-season rehearsals and preparations for the 2014-15 season will continue without interruption. The Met season will open as scheduled on September 22 with a new production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and continue with 221 performances of 26 operas in six new productions and 18 revivals.


  • Lewes says:

    So the Met and the unions have come to an agreement that should save the company about $30 million a year and the current season will go on without so much as a single day’s interruption in rehearsals, and yet the only prism through which you see this news is as a personal humiliation for Peter Gelb. Never mind the thousands of jobs saved or the avoidance of a canceled season that migh permanently shut down the Met: the only priority is sneering at Peter Gelb.

    Wouldn’t it be more dignified to do as the other children on the playground do, and just create fanciful insults about his mother?

    • sdReader says:

      Lewes, the terms of all these settlements do seem to be much closer to the unions’ positions than to the goals stated by Peter Gelb.

      It is wonderful news that the season is saved and livelihoods are unhurt, but this doesn’t preclude the reasonable observation that management largely caved, notably in the matter of the new oversight mechanism.

      • Lewes says:

        Examples of Lebrecht’s “reasonable observation” include “[A]nother humiliation for Peter Gelb…. Gelb has been trussed up hand and foot in these talks…. What began as negotiation ended in total capitulation.”

        This is the language of an announcer at a heavyweight prize fight. In contract negotiations, the point is to come to an agreement, not to leave one’s opponent bloody and unconscious.

        • sdReader says:

          Norman is a news man. He’s bringing you, us, a news service we don’t pay for. I think he’s allowed to paint in vivid colors if he chooses. The reader can discount for this.

          Entirely separately, I think leaving your opponent bloody and unconcious is precisely the objective in negotiations. What you describe is the mediator’s job.

          • Lewes says:

            Newsmen, even those worst newmen in the world, British newsmen, deal in facts. Lebrecht is a gossipmonger, dealing in innuendo and invective.

          • sdReader says:

            He delivers a phenomenal service to me and to many others, and, since facts and transparency quickly trump gossip in today’s world, I don’t see how your complaint adds up to much — beyond sour grapes and ingratitude.

      • Lewes says:

        And, sdReader, let me be clear that I don’t regard the outcome of these negotiations as a blazing victory for Gelb. Rather, it’s a compromise; half a loaf, as the proverb puts it. In this case it’s maybe even closer to a third of a loaf. But the positives are clear: the negotiations are completed and contracts are ready to sign for a four-year work periods for the Met’s major unions. Labor costs have been lowered for the first time in more than 30 years. Giving the unions a greater stake in the Met’s overall financial well-being will, I think, over time lead to a greater sense of teamwork instead of the adversarial relationship between unions and management that has until now prevailed. This more collegial relationship between labor and management is on trend with labor relations in general in the United States.

        The point of this exercise is not for Gelb or the unions to be King of the Hill, but rather for the Met to produce opera in a way that balances artistic vision with prudent financial sense. I think this agreement is generally helpful to this mission, and as such I regard the this completion of negotiations as a success.

        • sdReader says:

          Yes, a third of a loaf.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          You have changed your tune. Two days ago you were claiming a triumph for Gelb. Our information is based on sources within the negotiating room and on years of close observation of the personalities involved. Yours?

          • Lewes says:

            Show me where I said “triumph.” One would think that given your dismal history of journalistic inaccuracy, you would by now have learned to check your facts before blabbing in print.

          • Lewes says:

            I reviewed my comments, and the strongest thing I ever said was that Gelb “succeeded.” It’s lucky for you that blogs can’t be recalled and pulped or else you’d be reduced to standing on a street corner screaming at passers-by.

      • Lewes says:

        Actually I spoke yesterday with an attorney who specialized in American labor law, and he told me that labor’s agreement to any sort of reduction in compensation (without any equivalent rise in another area of compensation, that is) is in fact quite rare, absent imminent bankruptcy on the part of the business in question. Ordinarily holding union compensation flat relative to the previous contract is regarded as a victory on the part of management; the most usual expected outcome is a relatively small rise in compensation equivalent to the rise in the cost of living index. As I understand it, the last time the Met unions agreed to a “giveback” was in the mid-1970s when the company was in extremely dire financial straits.

        The conditions imposed upon Met management are exotic and, at least as described so far, somewhat vague, so it’s difficult to tell how they will affect Gelb’s governance. He likely will not have as free a hand as he has had until now, which is probably to the good: too much freedom tends to result in throwing money at problems as a first resort when, with a little more digging and ingenuity, less expensive solutions might be found. (I only wish there had been more of this sort of oversight when James Levine was Artistic Director of the Met and lobbied for higher and higher orchestra compensation that far outpaced the cost of living.)

        It’s hard to make predictions at the moment besides saying that the Met is back on schedule or rather never went off schedule, and the season will proceed as planned. It’s a particularly interesting season too, featuring Anna Netrebko’s second performances ever of Verdi’s Lady Macbeth — which programming is a tribute to the flexibility of the Met under Gelb. (She was originally contracted to sing in “Faust,” but around a year ago started indicating she didn’t think that role was right for her. Covent Garden and Vienna got caught in the lurch and ended up having to present the Gounod with frankly unstarry sopranos, but the Met deftly changed its repertoire and “rolled over” the star singers Joseph Calleja and Rene Pape into the Verdi opera. Therefore the Met will have not only Netrebko’s Lady but also and HD of the performance that can later be sold as a DVD….)

        • Nick says:

          Anyone who knows anything about opera scheduling is perfectly well aware that occasionally artists are booked for roles years ahead and then find the role is not right for them. The great Janet Baker, an artiste loathe to cancel for any reason, was billed to sing Alceste at the Edinburgh Festival. After learning the role, she felt the tessitura was too high for her voice at that time. The role was then taken over by Julia Varady. In other cases, operas are changed to accommodate the artists. The Met merely followed standard professional practice. Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.

          And since Lewes’ memory is, as we have discovered elsewhere, more than suspect, to bolster his argument he fails to point out that the Royal Opera’s presentation of Faust opened on 4 April 2014. Ms. Netrebko withdrew on 28 February 2014 by which time it was far too late to change an opera already in rehearsal. And Lewes tells us this all happened “around a year ago.” Sorry Lewes, wrong again! It was less than half a year ago. Always best to check your facts, don’t you agree?

          • Lewes says:

            Learn to read. I said “around a year ago started indicating she didn’t think that role was right for her.” The official date of her withdrawal from the Royal Opera is arbitrary, negotiated by the ROH and Ms. Netrebko’s management so that neither party is “surprised.”

            Netrebko’s dissatisfaction with “Faust” was first reported as a rumor on Parterre Box on August 13, 2013 at and then the details about the “Macbeth” substitution were filled in a couple of months later at

            My experience in reading Parterre Box is that the “rumors” presented there are generally very accurate indeed. In the case of the Netrebko “substitution,” the gossip was bolstered by details from the Future Met Wiki, the crowdsourced descendant of Brad Wilber’s lamented “Met Futures” website:

            But these are details. The point is, the Met has Netrebko in an exciting new role on the second night of the fall season, whereas the ROH and Vienna have a miscellany of second-tier singers performing “Faust,” an opera that has fallen out of fashion.

          • sdReader says:

            Aaaah! So you’re Parterre Box’s mole inside the Met.

            Got it.

          • Lewes says:

            I am not Parterre Box’s mole inside the Met. I am not anyone’s mole. I do read Parterre Box regularly, as most thinking, well-informed opera lovers do.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Well said!

      • Nick says:

        Lewes has alerted me to Parterre Box. Up now I have read precisely one article from that blog. Now I see I should be reading it more often, and for that I thank Lewes. But it is disingenuous to suggest that an artist like Ms. Netrebko would permit the management of the Royal Opera to continue to sell tickets and get as far as starting to rehearse “Faust” in the knowledge that she would not be singing. That is misrepresentation in a legal sense but frankly mere fanciful thinking. The Royal Opera has an excellent reputation with its audience. Far more likely that Ms. Netrebko had not made up her mind – perhaps in view of the smaller size of the ROH. But I admit that is speculation.

        Also interesting that Lewes’s –

        experience in reading Parterre Box is that the ‘rumors’ presented there are generally very accurate indeed.”

        Noted. Very interesting. Getting back on to topic, I have checked back on Parterre Box and noted this comment and a point which I have made several times in recent past posts –

        The last contract negotiations, which took place without any suggestion of the need for drastic cuts, were just three years ago during one of the worst years of the fiscal downturn. In that year, the Met needed $140 million in donations to break even. The fiscal picture was only marginally rosier than it is now, yet the company granted increases.

        True, Volpe was doing the negotiating but he was operating under the direction of the Met management and board. What financial model could have possibly led them to think increased expenses were justified?

        When Gelb took over the Met he stated that increased attendance and new sources of revenue would restore the company to fiscal health. Wasn’t it obvious three years ago that the plan wasn’t working?

        And a little earlier in that article, the writer prophetically adds that the Unions –

        only substantive proposal has been to set up a financial oversight board with union representation to provide oversight over spending on new productions and the like.

        Frankly, I think this would be a nightmare. NO SELF-RESPECTING DIRECTOR would tolerate that level of hostile micromanagement.

        And what has happened? Virtually exactly what Parterre Box claimed no self-respecting director would tolerate. Gelb’s emasculation is complete!

        No doubt Lewes will once again claim that I should be quoting more as the context is wrong. Sorry Lewes. All Parterre Box suggested was a more workable approach might be to let the unions have a single representative on the financial subcommittees of the Board of Directors. But that didn’t happen, did it?

        Oh, and by the way, I am still awaiting your written apology for accusing me of lying “ALL THE TIME”. That, as you are aware, is a LIE.

  • Anon says:

    Dare I proffer an alternative view?
    Gelb has secured wage cuts (or limited rises), and a season which goes ahead. Whatever you may think of the initial negotiating position, these have been achieved.

    Moreover, allowing the unions “oversight” in budgetary matters may be more a clever move than capitulation. Before, saying to the unions “there’s no cash, we need lower wages” led to derision. Now, if Gelb was right all along, it’s the unions who bear a responsibility to look at the numbers and consider what is best in their members’ long-term interest. If the money really isn’t there, the unions will be the ones who have to go to their membership and offer the stark choice of wage cuts now, or no job in X years; it will be the unions offering this to their own members, not Gelb. In this scenario he has removed his bogeyman costume, and given it to the unions without them noticing.

    Of course, if Gelb was telling porkies all along then this isn’t the case and he deserves everything he gets; but I’ve half a suspicion he might be proved right in the long run.

    • sdReader says:

      Well, any past porkies were presumably rooted out by the auditor, who is also now the man assigned to operate the new mechanism. I wouldn’t call the concession “clever” but would agree that the greater transparency could work in management’s favor.

    • Nick says:

      Yes, something has been achieved – but not much if you are Peter Gelb. If you spend months – yes, it was months – telling the world – and yes, it was the world for some of the early salvos were fired in a German magazine – that opera is staring into the abyss and that the only way to prevent the Met reaching that abyss is to achieve 17% cuts in overtime payments and benefits BUT very specifically NOT in basic salaries, and that you will lock staff out on August 1 unless such cuts are achieved, if you then cave in and achieve almost nothing in these crucial areas but instead gain some basic salary cuts, you look a fool.

      A poster on another thread has suggested Gelb’s many opening salvos were camouflage and that he wanted basic salary cuts in the first place. Granted, the art of negotiation is complex and full of strange byways and red herrings. But for the head of the Met to state unequivocally that he needs X and Y but ends up not just with a weak form of Z but is also thereafter shackled by a financial auditor who reports what he is doing to the Unions, that is a climb down on a very major scale. It is also a humiliation. His working life in the Met will never be the same again.

      • Lewes says:

        …opera is staring into the abyss and that the only way to prevent the Met reaching that abyss is to achieve 17% cuts in overtime payments and benefits

        He never said this, of course. I challenge you to produce a direct quotation in which he said this. (A direct quotation, by the way, involved inverted commas and a phrase like “Gelb said.” A paraphrase of a paraphrase might be good enough for the blogger-in-chief around here, but some of us have higher standards of accuracy than his.)

        I don’t understand why you think you can get away with lying all the time. Do you really think those few people who read Lebrecht’s blog are as stupid as all that?

        • sdReader says:

          It is now established that those “few people who read Lebrecht’s blog” include your Principal Conductor.

        • Nick says:

          This is the second thread in which you have ‘challenged’ me to produce evidence of what everyone is well aware – and I have produced at least 8 different sources. Are you saying that every newspaper, from the New York Times, the Washington Post and all the others are wrong? The latest wsj article you asked us all to read says this:

          “Earlier this year, the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, initially proposed 16% to 17% in labor-cost cuts, which he said were necessary for the company to survive amid depressed ticket sales and growing costs.”

          Now if you continue to pretend that this is not fact, there is something distinctly wrong with your though processes. Do you seriously believe that all those news outlets actually made up that Gelbism?

          SInce you clearly do, OK – here is actual evidence from the horse’s mouth. This is an interview on BBC Radio with Peter Gelb and Tom Service from June 2014. In it Gelb states – note I say ‘states’ = ‘says’ in his own words without the need for quotation marks the following:


          So much for your higher standards of accuracy! Now will you kindly apologise for wasting so much of readers’ time. And next time will you kindly be less quick to suggest and less forceful in continuing to suggest that other posters are lying when in fact they are telling the truth. The trouble with people who lie and are caught out is that you, Lewes, cast major doubts over the accuracy of YOUR future posts.

          • Nick says:

            To the above comment about your propensity to deviate from the truth, here is a direct quote from Gelb in inverted commas from The Guardian dated 6 June 2014 –


  • Scott says:

    Let me point out the interview with Manuela Hoelterhoff in Bloomberg. In reference to the 16% cuts (which Manuela referenced in her opening remarks), he said they were necessary, “Else we’re facing bankruptcy in a couple of years.”

    • Lewes says:

      This is what Gelb is quoted as saying:

      “But we need a rational, modest cost reduction. Else we’re facing bankruptcy in a couple of years.”

      Gelb chooses his words pretty carefully: if he’d intended to say, “We must have a 17% reduction in compensation or else we will go bankrupt” he most likely would have said that.

      Does nobody here understand how bargaining works? You propose a number, the other side proposes a different number, and then you start moving to the middle. Anyone who proposes a 17% figure as the very first gambit in a negotiation is not expecting to get 17%. Gelb may not have run an opera company before he took on the Met, but he certainly had experience of negotiating contracts before he arrived at LIncoln Center.

      There is no direct quotation anywhere in which Gelb says either the unions agree to 17% cuts in the specific areas he proposes or else the Met will go bankrupt, or fall into the abyss or stand on the precipice or however you want to paraphrase it. He continually uses phrases like “rational, modest cost reduction,” a plausible, achievable goal which, in fact, he has achieved with these new contracts. Maybe the cost reduction is rather more “modest” than he might have hoped, but it is in fact the first cost reduction in union labor costs in more than 30 years.

      I realize that mere facts are not going to prevent the Lebrecht groupies from playing “gotcha,” but you might at least admit that you are indeed playing rather that considering the subject seriously.

      • sdReader says:

        You won’t make much progress here by insulting other commenters, assuming that you’re being paid to coddle Peter Gelb’s reputation.

        I don’t see Scott as anyone’s groupie, and he wasn’t playing gotcha.

        • Lewes says:

          You assume wrong: I’m interested in truth, not advocating for one side or the other.

          Any statement that begins “Let me point out” is most likely a “gotcha.”

          • Scott says:

            Your response is a bit disingenuous. Gelb was already on record of advocating (some would say “demanding”) a 16% cut, which was to be taken from the overall compensation of his union workforce. He did this broadly across the media, including his later interview with Paula Zahn. (This same case was made by the Board members when they took out their full page ad in the New York Times.) Hoelterhoff acknowledged this fact, and restated this number clearly as she set up her interview. And, she was asking Gelb to discuss those cuts… this was the basic premise of her piece. After this setup, he responded to her, “But we need a rational, modest cost reduction. Else we’re facing bankruptcy in a couple of years.” It is obvious in context that Gelb was referring to the 16% cut—which everyone was talking about and he himself was proposing—as being a “rational, modest cost reduction” and that if he didn’t get his “rational, modest cost reduction,” the company was facing bankruptcy. You might disagree with this characterization of the 16% cuts to his unionized workers as being rational or modest, but it is obvious that that is what he was talking about.

            If he was completely misquoted, or misunderstood, he would have said so (and done so loudly), because such a false statement would have enormous consequences to the negotiations and public relations battle. But he did not.

            Gelb never suggested that this was an opening bid… but made it clear that this was his offer, and he was willing to lock out everyone if they didn’t take it. This exact same procedure was followed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and other classical music organizations. The fact that he didn’t go through with his threat doesn’t mean that he somehow wasn’t making that threat. This is the key point those of us are making.

            And since the above comment was my first ever posting on this site, I’m not sure how I qualify as a groupie.

  • Lewes says:

    You need to learn to quote correctly. An “abyss” is not a “precipice,” and Gelb actual words were somewhat more measured what how you presented them. He says “I’m just trying to address this problem a few steps before the edge of the precipice instead of waiting until we are actually on the precipice.”

    Your use of ellipses in the “We have asked…” quotation is also deceptive. You took statements Gelb made several minutes apart and tried to make it seem like the “this change” had the antecedent “16% cuts….” which in context it did not. In the text you omitted, Gelb talks about cost savings in general, and Service quizzes him about various ways these cost savings can be achieved. “This change” obviously means the more general “cost savings” and not precisely the initially proposed cuts.

    I’m not going to respond further on this topic. You don’t understand how to quote accurately and so you’re basing your arguments on what you want to have heard instead of what you actually did hear.

    • Nick says:

      “Staring into the abyss” or “the edge of the precipice”. Dictionaries have difficulty separating the essence of those meanings. They are to all intents and purposes the same, the more so in the context frequently used by Peter Gelb in recent months. You are using semantics that do nothing to bolster your argument.

      As for the use of . . . in a quotation, you will know perfectly well this is standard practice when using quotes in journalism, academia etc. Most often they help focus the reader on the highlight of a text. Other times they are used to avoid unnecessarily lengthy comments. Since I have provided my sources, anyone can read the parts omitted.

      The essence of the quotations I included is perfectly clear in the context of the discussions on this thread. You have accused me of “lying all the time”. That in itself is an outright lie.

      • Nick says:

        I have written many posts on his blog over several months, You have falsely accused me of “lying ALL THE TIME”. Will you now kindly apologise?

  • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    As is to be expected, each union, and the Met management, will in due time publish their statements giving the best possible spin to their respective achievements. Everyone will make sure to save face. The coming season will show how the agreements hold. I, for one, sincerely hope that all the parties involved will practice the insights from the lessons they have learned and will learn as the agreements are implemented, and that the opera company will be able to live and work creatively within its budgetary means. That said, I further hope -as I have stated in earlier comments on this blog – that the Met will soon have a competent Artistic Director, and a Music Director Designate (sorry, Jim, I wish you well, but I think it’s time to allow the Met to take a step into the future while most respectfully accepting your resignation and appointing you Music Director Emeritus). I recently attended the Speight Celebration at Seattle Opera. It was a stunningly well organized, performed, and immensely enjoyed event by everyone in the house: audience, donors small and large, artists, staff, volunteers, management, board, and, of course, Speight Jenkins and his family. What remains with me as the strongest memory is the fact that, throughout the entire evening -and during my previous opera evenings in Seattle, including Ring 2009 and 2013- there was (and is) the palpable joyful sense of the whole company coming together to engage in and enjoy opera; how thrilled everyone is to have achieved such remarkable artistic success with Speight Jenkins, and how thrilled everyone is to soon work with Aidan Lang. I suspect that at the Met lots of trust and sense of community has been severely damaged. It may take years to recover. I hope that I may one day find the same thrill at the Met as I find in Seattle. One way for Mr. Gelb to make a beginning with rebuilding trust is to meet and greet opera lovers as they come up the stairs before the performance, and take interest in every person who does his or her job at the company – as Speight Jenkins has done for 31 years, and Aidan Lang did together with Speight on the festive evening on August 9, and will continue to do so after he takes over as General Director on September 1. After all, opera is about humans coming together as community, or, as was said often during Speight Jenkins’ farewell gala: family. In this context it does not matter whether the opera company/family is a huge one like the Met or a less huge one like Seattle Opera. “C’est le ton qui fait la musique”…

    • Nick says:

      “I further hope -as I have stated in earlier comments on this blog – that the Met will soon have a competent Artistic Director”

      Agree 100% For decades James Levine was the Artistic Director and others served as General Manager concentrating mostly on management duties. With Levine’s resignation from that post in early 2004, the Board handed Gelb the entire cookie jar. No need to repeat once again his utter lack of experience for either job. But the need for a qualified opera Artistic Director is increasingly obvious.

  • Nick says:

    Looking at the earlier comments (see about 25 posts above), Lewes is clearly a pedant. He really loves semantics.

    NL wrote: “You have changed your tune. Two days ago you were claiming a triumph for Gelb.”

    Note, the word “triumph” was not in inverted commas and it was therefore not reported speech. It was a summary of what Lewes had written.

    Immediately the aggrieved Lewes jumps down NL’s throat, “Show me where I said “triumph.” One would think that given your dismal history of journalistic inaccuracy, you would by now have learned to check your facts before blabbing in print.”

    But that is not all. Lewes now calls posters liars – not in respect of one post but lying “ALL THE TIME”. Apology time, Lewes.

  • Amy says:

    A significant number of the commenters on this thread have the style of one person’s writing. If just that one person stopped creating characters to argue with one another, the misinformation clutter would go down by an extraordinary amount.
    (Reading a shrill shout-fest of “Liar!” “Apologize!” sounds like character dialogue in a (bad) novel, doesn’t it?)

    • Nick says:

      It is relatively easy to see that a number of posters started appearing around the time the Met controversy started, whereas others have been posting for longer – in some cases much longer. If people are posting under more than one handle, then I assume they have multiple ip addresses or from a proxy server as I further assume that NL and his team should be able to filter out those coming from the same one.

      I post only under this handle and have done so for more than 7 months, well before the Met crisis threads. I therefore discuss and argue with others, not myself. In this thread, I will take issue with you – in a relatively minor way. To the best of my recollection, the poster known as LEWES has appeared only recently. He called me a LIAR more than one. He stated that I LIE in ALL MY POSTS (and, I repeat, my posts go back at least to January).That is hardly the cut and thrust of civilised debate.

      I did not and have not lied. I assume from your post that if I were to announce that all your posts were lies, you would just sit back and consider it a cheap novel-ish sub-plot. Sorry, Amy. If someone calls me a liar, I defend myself. I also ask for a retraction. The coward who is LEWES has not done so. Would you do differently?

  • Amy says:

    Don’t know, Pamela, but I would check my meds.

    • Nick says:

      Oh dear! Since there is no post by Pamela on this thread you are clearly another of the crazies club!

      OK! Check back to January 20 and the thread “Claudio Abbado: Exquisite Maestro is no more. A First Appreciation.” Presently that is page 173). My post is #31 and in this I recount my own experience of working with Abbado.

      Then you can start to eat your own humble pie, dear spammer!

  • Andrew Patner says:

    *In this thread,* Amy and Scott I know to be real people and using their real names (albeit their given names only). I have no idea who any of the other people are.

    • Amy says:

      It’s a puppet show. Pure Punch and Judy.
      I *almost* care what fictional characters have to say about the Met negotiations, or which of them is the greater liar.

      It’s a boring novel, going in the “donate” bin. 😉