Highest earner at Royal Opera House was paid £800k last year

The venue's accounts for the year to 27 August 2017 show that Sir Antonio Pappano, the charity's music director, was paid £794,591, a rise of more than £110,000

Sir Antonio Pappano (Photograph: Getty Images)
Sir Antonio Pappano (Photograph: Getty Images)

The salary of the highest earner at the Royal Opera House increased by more than £110,000 to almost £800,000 last year, the charity’s latest accounts show.

The venue’s accounts for the year to 27 August 2017, which were published on the Companies House website last week, show that the salary of Sir Antonio Pappano, music director at the ROH, rose from £684,400 in 2015/16 to £794,591 last year.

According to the accounts, Pappano had a basic salary of £115,000 and also earned fees of £679,591.

Pappano is paid separately for each performance he conducts at the ROH, the accounts say.

The charity’s director of opera, Kasper Holten, is paid in a similar way, the accounts say. He received a basic salary of £120,602 and fees of £15,000 until 11 March 2017.

Holten’s replacement as director of opera, Oliver Mears, was paid £88,654 from 30 January 2017.

Other high-earners named in the accounts include Alexander Beard, chief executive of the ROH, who was paid £286,095.

Kevin O’Hare, director of the Royal Ballet, was paid £192,563, the accounts show, and Sally O’Neill, chief operating officer, was paid £189,603.

Total income for the charity was up to £140.7m in the 52 weeks to 27 August 2017, the accounts say, compared with £139.4m in the previous set of accounts.

But charitable income from the operation of the ROH, including box-office takings, was down from £59.7m to £57.6m in the latest accounts.

Expenditure was also lower in the latest accounts, falling from £133.6m to £130.3m.

In a statement, a spokesman for the ROH said: "Sir Antonio Pappano receives a fixed salary in addition to fees that are paid for each of his conducting engagements with the Royal Opera. As he conducted five productions in the 2016/17 season, compared with three the season before, his fees were higher."

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