It seems Salzburg Festival boss Alexander Pereira has a mouth so big that he can put his foot in it while biting the hand that feeds.
In an astonishing Kurier interview, he claims that the disappointing first-night reception of Die Zauberflöte was due not to the dull production or quotidian musical standards I myself noted at a later performance - but to the 400 sponsors' guests in the 1400-strong audience.
If the audience isn't in the mood, says Pereira, there's no spark, so the stage performance falls flat. "I've learned," he says, "that we in future we need to reduce the sponsor quotas for these sorts of shows". That's an interesting way to get the euros rolling in.
Despite Pereira's high-handed attitude to the money men, Salzburg has managed to raise 13.5 million euros in sponsorship for nest year's Festival, meaning that for the first time commercial funding will exceed public subsidy.
It remains to be seen how Pereira's expansionist approach has affected the Festival's finances overall. The number of shows was increased in 2012, meaning that 20% more tickets were available than in 2011. Unsurprisingly, the highest-ever number - nearly 280,000 - were taken up. Despite a number of those tickets being distributed on a free or discounted basis, capacity was only 90%, a fall from last year's 95%, and the lowest since 1999.
The final accounts should make interesting reading.