Cher Public

There will be blood

hes_my_agentAs perhaps you know, if there’s anyone Norman Lebrecht hates more than opera singers and superstar conductors, it’s artists’ managers. So imagine his glee when he got his mitts on an email “leaked… in the dark of night” detailing “the balance of terror that prevails between a soloist and the person who supposedly has his or her best interests at heart…. the stuff of nightmares.” 

La Cieca doesn’t know the details of this obviously cataclysmic artist-management breakup, but to tell the truth, the email doesn’t sound all that harsh to her. Firm, yes, but we are, after all, talking about a singer who is trying to break a contract. Now, as to the identity of that beleaguered songbird, she will leave that as an exercise for the hive mind of the cher public, with the assistance of the rosters of Universal Music Classical Management and Production and Deutsche Grammophon.

  • Valmont

    It seems that the only common man on both rosters is Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. Poor guy, I didn’t know he was broke.

  • Pelleas

    Okay, seriously--“the stuff of nightmares”? Lebrecht should brave the waters of publishing these days--that letter would be considered egregious ass-kissing.

    Too many writers are too far removed from the sort of work world in which 90% of people spend the majority of their waking hours.

    Then again, maybe he’s got some kind of minimum word count and was short for the week, hence not only the exaggeration but the fact that most of the post was someone else’s writing.

    • Valmont

      Well, if it bleeds, it leads.

      I guess Lebrecht is thinkging: If it’s not bleeding yet, punch it in the mouth editorially.

    • It’s hard to imagine anything with a closing of “big hugs” as “the stuff of nightmares.” (I’m adding “having to write emails closing with ‘big hugs'” to my list of things I hope I will never have to do at work.)

      Also, it can’t be Villazon, the email references the release of a second DG CD and Rolando’s already had at least two.

  • operadunce

    I thought I saw Rolando on both lists. Although in the context of the e-mail, he doesn’t seem to fit.

  • LittleMasterMiles

    I didn’t know Lebrecht even had a blog. This is sure to be bad for my blood pressure.

  • hagenschmagen

    I’m not sure that it’s D’archangelo. The email says “Also, I need to point out that you are singing in London and Paris in the future. Only Salzburg is left, and I have asked you to give me a few weeks to try to confirm an engagement for you there.”

    Based on the context of the email, it sounds like the singer in question would be making his or her debut in London and Paris in the future and have not yet sung in Salzburg.

    D’Archangelo has been singing in Paris since at least 1996 and in London since 2002 (according to operabase)and has most definitely sung in Salzburg already -- with audio/video proof by the way of that Harnoncourt Figaro with Trebs. Perhaps this comment is only refers to future engagements rather than those in new theaters?

    On the other hand, D’archangelo only has one solo recording with DG and the email goes on to say, “Stop ALL recordings with Universal, including the potential of not releasing your second recording. ”


    • Valmont

      It seems to me like they must be referring to future engagements, as there isn’t a singer on DG’s roster that hasn’t sung in Paris, London and Salzburg yet.

      • operalover9001

        Also, the email mentions something about a ‘much needed Italian career’ or something. D’Arcangelo sings a lot in Italy, and so I would doubt that it is him.

        • In fact, D’arcangelo built his career in Italy…

  • DonCarloFanatic

    My eyes stuck on the word “lawsuit.” Nothing else is important. All the rest is yada yada. The e-mail clearly says, “If you quit, we will sue your a**, and stop all your current means of income, too.”

    Pretty big threat, couched in a lot of verbiage.

    • Harry

      I agree DonCarloFanatic, it is a letter, crouched in layers of greasy charm but with menace just behind its sick ‘love yer’ facade.As well having copious threats of bad mouthing and whispers to boot. Lurking oily leeches who only care about their commission and power plays…f#*k and dictate to the artists, if the artist does not play ball.

      Isn’t being an opera signer just so wonderful????!!!!
      I was once in the agent game too, and gladly got out.

  • MontyNostry

    That’s show business, fellas.
    Who knows what the artist might have written to the agent.
    Mr Lebrecht and his big bleeding heart.

    • Harry

      Limp -dick Lebrecht is pissing gleefully in his pants, thinking he has momentary credibility.Instead he is looking like a trash Hedda Hopper in drag. A fat incredulous case of ‘DID YOU KNOW about this……really folks I’m so shocked? AND….AND YOU KNOW I CAN”T possibly publish who the person was.’
      Reminds one of all those plastic surgery -botox ballooned ‘things’ that appear on morning TV via satellite (Hollywood Hills -- mandatory background)spilling their guts and ‘opening their verbal lunch’ about some soap star’s latest scandals. Lebrecht , join your cohorts.


    I don’t see what’s wrong with the agent’s email. They seemed to have done a lot for this singer and the greedy little twit wants to leave and deny them the commissions that they have worked so hard to get by GETTING HIM WORK. It’s showBUSINESS people, F**K that artistic blah, blah, blah. Singer X sounds like an ungrateful little bastard, but of course without the singers side of things who knows?

  • LittleMasterMiles

    If this is the tenor I think it is, and if the agent’s description of services rendered is really accurate, then said ought to be very grateful indeed for the work, since his career is on pretty thin ice these days.

    (Oh, I can’t keep up the Lebrechtian coyness—I think it’s Villazon.)

  • Regina delle fate

    It’s Garanca -- she’s gone to Florez’s agent, Ernesto Palacio.

  • Regina delle fate

    Oops -- sorry, he mentions Garanca. Then it’s probably Ildebrando d’Arcangelo who has made one recording for DG -- the not very good Handel arias…

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      It’s rubbish isn’t it -- very rare for me to return a CD to a shop, but with D’Arcangelo’s Handel I just knew I’d never want to listen to it again.

      • Harry

        Unfortunately for all of us, Cocky Kurwenal there are plenty of recent CDs that are not worth bothering about.

      • LittleMasterMiles

        Where did you find a record shop that would let you return an open, non-defective (in the technical sense) CD?

        Come to that, where did you find a record shop?

        • Cocky Kurwenal

          HMV, Oxford Street, London. They’ll let you return anything for a full refund or exchange as long as it is undamaged and you do so within, I think, 14 days, but it could be 21 or 28. Technically, I think you have to say it was an unwanted gift or something, but yes, you’re allowed to open it and play it before you discover it is unwanted.

  • florezrocks

    Ernesto Palacio is not Florez’ agent…..
    it’s his vocal mentor

    • rapt

      Yet Florez is listed as a client on Palacio’s website as an artists’ manager. Is it possible he serves both functions for Florez?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    The story will run much deeper than this when the word breaks about the rumored embezzlements at one of the largest artists’ management companies in NYC.