Opera boss explains his inflated expenses

Opera boss explains his inflated expenses


norman lebrecht

May 12, 2017

Serge Dorny, head of the Opéra de Lyon, has given account to France-Musique of his rather generous lifestyle.

He said he needs to travel widely to sell co-productions, a venture which he says has earned his company 600,000 Euros. He also needs to raise private donations, scoring well in Japan but failing in Dubai.

As for the luxury restaurant bills, ‘c’est une forme de coutume’ – it’s just business.

No mention is made of the pen he bought on expenses for 600 Euros.


  • Fred says:

    as I said, HE HATH NO SHAME, pas des scrupules, no morals

  • Pedro says:

    Thielemann was right when he sacked the guy from Dresden. He left with plenty of money but apparently it was not enough.

  • Frankster says:

    Time after time I see Peter Gelb in the audience in Amsterdam, Paris, London, etc. He makes three to four times more than any opera director in Europe and when he checks in hotels around the world, I’m sure it’s not the Motel 6. Dorny, unlike Gelb, has in the past been the subject of “leaks” from unhappy staff who have no idea what the cost of a Michelin-starred restaurant is.

    • Ricci says:

      there’s a huge difference between Gelb and Dorny.
      Who’s paying the bill for his outrageous behaviour?
      In Europe it’s the taks payer.
      As said dorny is scum and the board equally guilty and the ignorant politicians as well.

  • Simon S. says:

    Is this really unusual by French standards?

    • Frankster says:

      Costs like this are not unusual by international standards. You do not have lunch with a serious donors at McDonalds. As Dorny points out, his expenses are reviewed by government auditors regularly. Last year auditors were critical of the Paris Opera for Taxi expenses which also made this column. Gelb’s expenses are only known to the board of directors and are not revealed in public disclosures. He and his colleagues on the international director’s circuit travel often to hear singers and see productions and probably not in the tourist seats in the back of the plane.

  • operalover says:

    It’s usual business for a chief of a company to have higher expenses than “staff members”. If one thinks that this is unethical behaviour – you could continue with conductors, singers – and also with any company chief of products which you’re consuming daily. Or do you seriously think that President Macron is taking a Economy Class seat or having dinner in McDonalds?

    Please calm down everybody, and stop freaking out about a pen. This man works hard and passionately for the Opera Lyon and deserves to get huge honor about all his accomplishments in Arts and about the rise of the Opera Lyon in the past years. He doesn’t deserve to get judged because of a single pen.

    • MrMusic says:

      I agree with your comment. It seems like you know S.Dorny very well. Did you work with him?

    • EricB says:

      Serge Dorny, sort de ce pseudo !!!

    • MrMusic says:

      Operalover, it seems like you know S.Dorny well! Have you worked with him?

    • EricB says:

      “He doesn’t deserve to get judged because of a single pen.”

      It’s just appaling and pathetic how you dare reduce this affair to “a single pen” ! You OBVIOUSLY know NOTHING of the man nor of the situation that’s been going on since the man’s arrival in Lyon.
      How can you dare dismiss with a flick of the hand his firing from Dresden (for basically the same reasons the Lyon staff has been complaining about for over a decade now), his extravagant spending for YEARS (no, it’s not “a single pen” !), the numerous petitions, claims and complaints from the Lyon staff to the board, and up to the Ministere de la Culture over the past 14 years ?