As one German newspaper speculates that Serge Dorny could claim €1.5m for his Semperoper sacking, Dorny himself has given an interview to the Sächsische Zeitung.
He dismisses talk of a personality clash. "I had several meetings with [Thielemann]," says Dorny. "They were very cordial. But our discussions didn't lead anywhere."
When you read the example Dorny puts forward, you probably won't be surprised at the deadlock. "I suggested that any conductor who was interested should be allowed to conduct symphony concerts as well as operas in order to raise the overall quality of the opera. Thielemann made it clear that appointing conductors for symphony concerts fell outside my authority."
But why would anyone else think otherwise? What an independent orchestra does outside the opera house is surely its own business. Dorny's authority to pick conductors for operas does not seem to have been disputed by Thielemann. But concerts are not operas, and the Staatskapelle Dresden are not simply an opera house orchestra who happen to do the odd concert in their spare time. Their extensive touring schedule and their size (enough to staff an opera and a concert simultaneously) demonstrate that. The Vienna and Berlin state operas offer the closest parallel. And since when has Dominique Meyer told the Vienna Philharmonic what to do in the Musikverein?
Intermezzo has also learned that Dorny was keen to make his mark on orchestral repertoire as well, by introducing themed concerts related to the opera programme. Is it really surprising he was rebuffed? He sought powers above and beyond those of his predecessors at the Semperoper and his opposite numbers elsewhere.
Whether greater integration of the orchestra into the opera house would have benefited either or both parties is debatable. What is surprising is that Dorny seems to have expected Thielemann and his orchestra to accede without question.