Founder and President
Justin Werner is an operatic professional with extensive experience in production, education, and artist representation. Mr. Werner founded Stratagem Artists in 2018, which cultivates and represents a select roster of operatic artists through artist driven collaboration.
Between 2014-2018, Mr. Werner was a co-founder and artist manager at Couret & Werner (C&W) Artist Management. Mr. Werner gained his initial Artist Management experience at IMG Artists, where he served as an Artist Management intern.
Mr. Werner was the founder and Artistic Director of New York Opera Exchange (2011–2015), which afforded numerous opportunities for emerging singers, directors, and designers to mount critically acclaimed productions. According to Opera Today, "Artistic Director Justin Werner manages to infect others with his enthusiasm through sheer force of charisma and passion." Additionally, Mr. Werner founded the Independent Student Opera Initiative at Boston University.
A valued advisor for emerging artists, Mr. Werner is a frequent panelist for Opera America's Career Blueprints and Feedback Audition programs. He has presented masterclasses and workshops for institutions such as Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA), Yale School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Boston University, Fort Worth Opera / Texas Christian University, Oklahoma City University, the University of North Texas, the New York Opera Alliance, the University of Delaware and the Seagle Music Colony. In past seasons, Mr. Werner served on the adjudicating panels of the McCammon Vocal Competition, Talents of the World Annual Voice Competition, MetroWest Vocal Competition, and CS Music Vocal Competition. In 2021, Mr. Werner will adjudicate the Opera Ithaca Competition as well as joining the faculty of the Atelier Lyrique at L’Opéra de Montréal and the spring of 2021, Mr. Werner will join the Mannes School of Music at The New School as an Artistic Advisor in Residence to the Mannes Opera.
Mr. Werner earned his BM in Vocal Performance from Boston University and his Advanced Certificate in Vocal Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Mr. Werner is also proud to be the chair of the On Site Opera Artistic Advisory Council.
Zoey Preston has performed with many leading orchestras and opera companies including the New York Philharmonic and New York City Opera, as well as recital tours in Europe and the Midwest.
In addition to her operatic experience, Ms. Preston has worked as a social media strategist for several companies ranging from high end restaurants to a children’s book series. Currently an Artist Manager with Stratagem Artists, she uses her marketing background to provide artists with consultations related to brand building and online presence as well as cultivating and supporting the Stratagem roster. She has completed account internships in two top advertising agencies, acting as the main channel of communication between the creative team and the client. Highlights include her time at Big Spaceship in 2017, where she worked on the Hasbro Games account, assisting in the coordination and development of Monopoly: Cheaters Edition. Ms. Preston has also worked on various analytics teams, using her social media experience to coordinate and communicate with influencers on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
In tandem with her work as an Artist Manager, Ms. Preston runs several arts based social media accounts including those of Mill City Summer Opera, The American Traditions Competition, and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, where she helps to creatively innovate virtual seasons and introduces use of digital media to expand audience bases. Drawing from her experience in account work and influencer based marketing, she has partnered with several small business and local restaurants to help turn digital performance into a tangible user experience.
Ms. Preston earned her BM in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and her MM in Vocal Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.
Associate Artist Manager
Jenna is an Ontario-based arts writer, voice coach, and general champion of opera singers. She is the creator and editor-in-chief of the opera blog, Schmopera, contributes regularly to The Globe and Mail and Opera Canada magazine, and is the host of The Everything Will Be Okay Podcast. Jenna’s fascination with opera came out of working with real, live opera singers. She’s a pianist with a background in coaching singers, assisting conductors, and collaborative recital performances. She was an Intern Coach with the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio Program, an Apprentice Pianist with the Merola Opera Program, and a staff pianist and coach at Oberlin College Conservatory.
Jenna’s favourite operas include Peter Grimes, Tristan und Isolde, Written on Skin, Jacqueline, and Anna Nicole. She has yet to see a full live Ring Cycle and that bothers her.
ARTIST COUNSEL: CONSULTATIONS & MASTERCLASSES
The art of classical singing is one that demands great commitment, discipline, and enthusiasm. Along each singer's journey arise questions of repertoire, presentation, and career viability. Stratagem Artists is proud to offer guidance to those singers who wish to improve their command of the operatic craft, while also addressing the realities of the current classical industry.
Stratagem Artists is committed to artist development. Justin Werner's experience in artist counsel includes presenting masterclasses for Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA), Yale School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Boston University, Fort Worth Opera / Texas Christian University, Oklahoma City University, the University of North Texas, the New York Opera Alliance, the University of Delaware and the Seagle Music Colony, as well as serving as artistic director / founder of the New York Opera Exchange (2011–2015). In past seasons, he served on the adjudicating panels the McCammon Vocal Competition, Talents of the World Annual Voice Competition, MetroWest Vocal Competition, and CS Music Vocal Competition. In 2021, he will adjudicate the Opera Ithaca Competition as well as joining the faculties of the Atelier Lyrique at L’Opéra de Montréal and the Mannes School of Music.