A senior figure at Universal Music has contacted me to contradict my earlier report, based on several sources in Salzburg, that its controversial artists’ agency will be shut down. It will, instead, be ‘reconfigured’. More details here.
The project was always contentious, seducing a pair of ambitious agents with four major stars Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon, Karita Mattila and Thomas Hampson – to quit IMG and set up shop inside their record store. There were obvious conflicts of interest and Mattila soon quit. The agency, headed by Jeffrey Vanderveen and Manfred Seipt, struggled at attract new talent and an attempt to shore it up by means of a dodgy merger with the London agency Harrison Parrott crashed in flames before the lawyers were finished with the fine print.
Now Universal has finally lost patience with the operation. Vanderveen has approached other agencies to take him on, so far without success. The artists, I hear, have not been told. They are always the last to know.
Anna, Rolando, if you’re reading this: your agent is looking for a bed for the night.
Trebs with King Rollo
Trebs with Vanderveen