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Kara Shay Thomson performs in Schoenberg's "Erwartung" during the final dress rehearsal in March of the New York City Opera production of "Monodramas." City Opera - which for decades has built daring new productions along with the careers of such stars as Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming and Beverly Sills - is now fighting for its life. A bitter contract dispute has led to a lockout of musicians and could be a possible "death knell" for one of New York's cultural treasures. (New York City Opera via Associated Press)

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In this March 23, 2011 photo provided by the New York City Opera, Kara Shay Thomson performs in Schoenberg's "Erwartung" during the final dress rehearsal of the New York City Opera production of "Monodramas" in New York. (AP Photo/New York City Opera, Carol Rosegg)

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In this March 18, 2011 photo provided by the New York City Opera, Jose Adan Perez, center, performs as Belcore with the chorus during the final dress rehearsal of "The Elixir of Love," at the New York City Opera in New York. (AP Photo/New York City Opera, Carol Rosegg)