As revealed here back in May, Dresden Semperoper have earmarked Lyon's Serge Dorny as their new Intendant, a position vacant since last year. So why no official announcement?
The problem is that the two parties have yet to sign a contract. The sticking point is reported to be Dorny's salary. Dresden's previous Intendant earned €200,000 (£170,000), a sum that goes a long way in low-cost Saxony. However Dorny's current job pays €300,000 (£260,000) - and he doesn't want to move for less.
If Dresden were to match his Lyon salary, it is believed Dorny would become the highest-paid opera boss in Germany. Any inch they give will not only hit the Semperoper budget, but set an inflationary precedent for other houses. On the other hand, competent and successful leaders like Dorny are rarer than a well-cast Ring cycle. If Dresden let him slip away, they're unlikely to find his equal.
So much, incidentally, for Tony Hall's defence of his £390,000 ROH salary. He claimed that in mainland Europe "people in my position are paid roughly what I am paid."