Biz break: Boutique agency signs 7 artists

Biz break: Boutique agency signs 7 artists


norman lebrecht

February 01, 2021

New York-based Stratagem Artists has broken the Febriary ice with a swoop for seven artists, all of the Canadian.

The new artists are: Sopranos Lucia Cesaroni and Aviva Fortunata, mezzo-soprano Reilly Nelson, baritone Phillip Addis, composer Cecilia Livingston, conductor Robert Tweten, and director Aria Umezawa.

The two person agency has also taken on Toronto-based Associate Artist Manager Jenna Simeonov to handle the expansion. Jenna is better known as an arts writer at the Globe & Mail and  founder of the Schmopera blog.

This could be a red-letter day for maple-leaf opera.



  • Jeremy . says:

    Mortifying and laughable. This associate artist rep will not only get a kick back $$ on those she reviews but those who she helps hire? Ah, yes. I’d be weary of the woman who slapped Stephen Lord as a sexual predator then supported him on the national opera publication fb page.

    Gross incompetence but hey, she’s running the show in that country.

    Anyone stupid enough not to see past this play should sign up. Because neither Canada nor NYC are in operation nor will they be for a very long time it seems.

    Well done for her own P. R.

  • Jeremy Higgins says:


  • Yolanda says:

    I’m a bit concerned about the ethics here, if Ms Simeonov keeps writing for the Globe and Mail and Opera Canada while securing contracts for artists…. this is most certainly a conflict of interest. Will her clients get coverage because they are her clients? Will the shows she’s affiliated with get more coverage simply because they hire her artists? Slippery slope. We already have the issue of paid-advertising influencing PR opportunities… this is one step further… it’s important to keep conflict to a minimum.

    Bravo to her on this next step though and it’s great as long as the writing does not advertise shows or feature artists. A book perhaps?

    • V.Lind says:

      It reads to me like a career change. Loads of people in PR, press secretaries and communications directors I have known have been journalists previously.

  • Knowing Clam says:

    Correct. She should absolutely not review opera performances at all–not just in shows with her clients–any longer. Massive conflict of interest.

  • Rob says:

    Rich move coming from her. A few months ago she penned a go eff yourself Neef. Claiming he reaped the opera company of it’s assets. She’s doing the same here. Why she is on the cover of this story rather than the artists (?) speaks volumes.

    Meanwhile she’s creating conflicts of interest. Hire your friends and write about them too. Opera Canada has become a publication and online portal of some awful talent in the country being passed as great – by her.

    She should be released by Opera Canada and the Globe. Don’t wish to sound so unkind but it’s no fun when the critic is in the hot seat now is it?

    She’s running a monopoly and this only furthers the problem with transparency in opera.