Independent analysis of the Royal Opera House accounts shows a huge wake hike for the music director. Sir Antonio Pappano was paid £737,424 in 2014/15.
This breaks down to salary of £104,186 plus conducting fees of £633,238.
An ROH spokesman said he conducted a lot more nights last year. How many nights is two-thirds of a million quid?
Other high earners were chief executive Alex Beard (£266,875) and Royal Opera director Kasper Holten, who made £235,183 in salary, plus £14,900 in fees.
Pappano, 56, has given sterling service to the ROH over 14 years a music director, but he needs to move on before he becomes part of the furniture. Vienna Opera is vacant and Munich comes up in 2020.
Although he grew up in the US, he has never hit it off with US orchs and opera houses. On the plus side, no opera music director after Levine is more trusted by the best singers.
He is also music director at Santa Cecilia in Rome.
UPDATE: ROH swells the payroll.