Disparity in Salaries of Opera Bigwigs Is Not Unusual

James Levine, 2007. (Courtesy PatrickMcMullan.com)

James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s music director reportedly earned $2.1 million in 2010, which is more than Peter Gelb, the general manager of the opera house, who only made $1.4 million, the Huffington Post reports. While the news might surprise some, even in light of all the controversy that has arisen over Mr. Gelb’s management philosophy, the Met says you can’t compare Mr. Levine’s apples to Mr. Gelb’s oranges.

From the piece:

The two numbers can’t actually be compared. The figure given for Gelb’s pay refers to his salary, while Levine’s refers to his entire compensation. “It is not unusual for the music director’s compensation to be higher than that of the general manager, since James Levine’s pay includes conducting fees and media payments that are not strictly salary,” wrote Met Press Director Peter Clarke in an email.