About Us

WELCOME TO MINERVA ARTISTS!

 

This new company has been born from my 25 years’ experience at Columbia Artists working for some of today’s most acclaimed opera singers.

 

I represent a small number of clients, because I try to give to each of them as much attention as possible.  Building careers means helping artists make the best choices so that they can perform at the highest level for many years.

 

I encourage you to explore my roster and perhaps discover artists that you may not have heard or seen before. As I believe the voice is the mirror of the soul, I hope their recordings may open new doors to you. Don’t we all want to be touched, surprised, or even feel new emotions?

WHY MINERVA?


She was, of course, the Roman goddess of wisdom and the protector of the arts, but there is a more personal reason for my choice. A few years ago, I discovered a certificate of Ottoman citizenship for my great-grandfather Moscu Haravon.  Born in Constantinople in 1873, he died in 1917 in Romania where he was a successful printer. I had wondered why his business was named Minerva until I visited Istanbul and discovered in the heart of Galata (the former Jewish, Greek and Armenian neighborhood where my family likely lived) the imposing historic Minerva building.  Who knows if this location meant something special to him or if his printing firm’s name came from it? But I pay tribute to my ancestor by adopting Minerva for my own company!

WHO WE ARE

Michael Benchetrit, President

Michael Benchetrit, a former vice-president at Columbia Artists, was born in France into a family of trained operatic singers; he was raised both in Paris and Los Angeles and studied at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, majoring in Film History and Aesthetics.
He then worked in the film and video industry as a screenwriter, an assistant editor and an assistant director. After deciding to turn from film to opera, he received the advice from Marilyn Horne—first his idol and later his friend and mentor—to enter the field of artist management.

In 1996 he left Paris for New York City where he was hired by Columbia Artists as a managerial assistant, working his way up to vice-president and artist manager. For the next decade he gained invaluable experience working with Ronald Wilford, Andrea Anson, Ken Benson and Karen Ashley, before starting his own roster. Since then, he has enjoyed the support and guidance of Matthew Epstein. Mr. Benchetrit has also been frequently asked to judge vocal competitions and to work with the students of music schools including Juilliard, Yale, Music Academy of the West and Mannes.

After Columbia Artists closed its doors in August 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, he knew he wanted to continue working with some of the world’s finest singers and thus has now opened his own management firm, Minerva Artists

John Primavera, Managerial Associate

John Primavera is an arts and tech professional with experience in non-profit and for-profit arts organizations. He worked at Columbia Artists Management for over 6 years, where he began in the Vocal department and ultimately served as Internal Business Affairs Manager, overseeing the 

company’s database, communications logistics, and software projects. Past experience has included work with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Knights chamber orchestra, and the Metropolitan Opera. John obtained an MBA and an MA in Non-Profit Arts Management from the University of Cincinnati.