Exclusive: New York artists agency faces major breakout

Exclusive: New York artists agency faces major breakout


norman lebrecht

June 09, 2014

We hear dark rumblings at Opus 3 Artists, a mid-sized agency with headquarters in New York and a branch in Berlin.

It appears that Opus 3 Vice President Jeffrey Vanderveen, who was Anna Netrebko’s manager before he was fired by Universal Music,

vanderveen netrebko

has been hatching a plan that will abandon his present artists at Opus 3 and launch him into a new business, known as Music Media Enterprises (MME).

Vanderveen was in Phoenix, Arizona, last Thursday to cement the deal.

We have seen a letter of agreement with his investors in which Vanderveen pledges ‘our ‘all-in’ commitment to devote 100% of our time (including the termination of Jeffrey’s current employment contract on or before September 1, 2014) to this partnership’.

The other signatory to this letter is Vanderveen’s colleague, ‘Jessica’…. apparently independent agent Jessica Lustig.

Just another case of agents behaving badly?



  • Hasbeen says:

    I am very sceptical of this report. Has anyone verified the story ?

    • norman lebrecht says:

      As the piece states, I have their signed letter of agreement to leave Opus 3.

      • Fille Noire says:

        Jessica Lustig does not even work for Opus 3, does she?

        • Gene Gaudette says:

          Last I heard, Jessica was still with 21C. She’s one of the most savvy, go-getting classical music promoters in New York. Looks more like a case of agents acting savvily.

  • Nick says:

    I sometimes wonder where the ‘facts’ come from in such rumblings. Was Mr. Vanderveen Ms. Netrebko’s manager at Universal? Not according to his Linked In profile where he merely states he did two special events with the soprano. On the other hand, he appears to have been Ms. Netrebko’s
    manager in a former incarnation at IMG Artists.

    That Linked In profile does claim Mr. Vanderveen worked at Opus 3 as a Senior Vice President. Not according to Opus 3’s own site, though, which lists 2 Executive VPs and 6 Senior VPs. Mr. Venderveen is merely a somewhat lowly Vice President (of which there are but 2).

    Agents leaving a lower position in agencies to run their own companies is surely hardly newsworthy unless they take with them especially well known artists. We’ve seen a bit of that in recent years as IMG Artists “refocuses” its business. Opus 3’s site does not list the managers against each artist, but my guess is it’s unlikely he will be taking any ‘names’.

  • Peter says:

    Jessica Lustig has for many years had her own company, 21C.

  • Hasbeen says:

    I have never heard of a ‘letter of agreement to leave’ an agency. Netrebko was managed by Mr Vanderveen at CAMI, IMG and then Universal but chose stay at Universal with Judith Neuhoff when Mr Vanderveen left Universal. Ms Lustig was/is employed by 21C.

  • Cyrus says:

    Sadly, I wouldn’t deal with either of these people. I have had dealings with them in the past, but they are not what I would call, “reliable” and good colleagues,, but rather the usual egomaniacs that prevail with ever more prevalence in this so-called ‘classical music’ business.