The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra were today announced as the third-ever winners of the $1m Birgit Nilsson prize. In case you're thinking that sounds a lot, it only works out at about £4,000 per player - and it's more likely to be put towards educational or social work in any case.
Lissner's compensation includes a bonus of 120,000 euros, plus 85,000 euros for renting an apartment. More surprisingly, part of a further amount of 177,338 euros is severance pay - even though Lissner is leaving of his own accord in 2015 to take over the top job at the Paris Opera.
Lissner's not the only one who's milking it. La Scala General Manager Maria Di Freda gets 270,000 euros. Even Lissner's replacement, Alexander Pereira, was handed 50,000 for 'collaborating with the Intendant in planning the 2015-16 season'.
Music Director Daniel Barenboim's salary of 112,000 euros (excluding conducting fees) looks positively paltry in comparison. As do the pay cheques of most Italian theatre bosses, who typically make do with salaries of 100-200,000 euros or less.
When the leadership delivers that sort of example, is it any wonder La Scala has so much union trouble?
We all know that opera companies need to market themselves, and marketing costs money. And ENO certainly need to do something to fill those acres of empty seats. But is spending more than 5% of annual box office income on sending conflicting messages the way to do it?
Audiences are not as stupid as some organisations think. If the price is right - and, crucially the quality is too - then people will flock to even the most challenging work. The Royal Opera House proved that decisively with packed-out houses for The Minotaur and Written on Skin. ENO need to address what they're selling before they think about how to sell it.
But that won't have worried NYCO too much. The point of getting rid of 90% of their inventory, more than 80 productions' worth, was to save on storage costs. By no longer renting the storage facility, the company will save $500,000 a year. On a $14m budget that's one economy worth making.
See the full list of items sold together with prices here.