So where's Netrebko going next? Nowhere, now her girlfriend's been promoted (update)

Universal renewed her record contract this summer, then fired her manager as co-head of its artists agency.

Will Anna follow her dearly beloved Jeff?

Unlikely. Jeffrey Vanderveen is trying to get a job with Opus3 artists agency, but it’s fairly low-level. Not even head of vocal, I hear.

Universal fired him partly for an earlier embarrassment (all can now be revealed) and partly because it needed to make a move to Berlin, where IMG has started a vocal agency with two very smart cookies, David Blackburn and Thomas Channel.

Anna won’t follow Jeff because she can’t face the hassle and it doesn’t matter that much to her any more. She’s got her exit strategy in place – a restaurant in Vienna, she tells everyone. She won’t be singing arias for the rest of her life.

If there had been a risk she was going to leave, Universal would never have dumped Jeff, I’m told.

But to make assurance doubly sure, it granted a swift promotion to Judith Neuhoff, who works part-time for Daniel Barenboim and enjoys a girlie-talk relationship with Trebs. She is now co-director of the agency with one specific task: Keep Anna Happy.

LATE ADD: Internally, she is credited with saving Rolando Villazon from the depths of despond and getting him booked again at the Met on the strength of his recent Onegin in Japan.

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  • Sounds like over-analysis to me. Universal obviously had to cut costs and the move to Berlin makes a lot of sense considering the difference in general costs between London and Berlin (about half?) and that UNI is already there. Seems to have little to do with the Berlin off-shoot of IMG. Speaking of which, the already “conflict of interested” David B. who is both artistic advisor at the Palm Beach Opera and running the NYOP auditions, is now also going to be an agent, thus becoming “thrice-conflicted” if there are no changes.

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