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VAGABOND OPERA

European Cabaret! Vintage Americana! Balkan Belly Dance! Neo-Classical Opera! Old World Yiddish Theater! Welcome to the six-piece, Portland, Oregon-based Vagabond Opera.

Bohemian Cabaret ensemble Vagabond Opera is described by the Washington Post as “A band of ceaseless charisma, boundless energy, impeccable musicianship and more than a little touch of both the naughty and exotic.” The group delivers passionate offerings of Bohemian cabaret for young and old. Paris hot jazz, gut bucket swing, tangos, Ukrainian folk-punk ballads, klezmer and vigorous originals meet a world of riverboat gambling queens, Turkish belly dancers, and the enigmatic Marlene Dietrich. Weaving elements of Kurt Weil, Duke Ellington and Edith Piaf with absurdist flair, theatrics and an old world mood, Vagabond Opera presents the new wave of opera–lusty voices singing in 13 languages and presenting a cabaret of rich musical phrasing, sparkling lyrics and indomitable stage presence, all played with exuberance, skill and a gritty Vagabond edge. This is Opera liberated and reinvented for everyone!

The band’s lineup features trained operatic tenor and soprano vocals, accordion, tenor saxophone, cello, stand-up bass, and drums. Guest performers often appear with the ensemble.

 

Vagabond Opera is at the vanguard of a growing popularity in the Neo-cabaret phenomenon, and through their theatrical performances, lyrics in 13 languages, and an eclectic repertoire, they liberate opera from its usual construct, expanding musical and theatrical biodiversity. Vagabond Opera has performed all over the USA and in Europe. They have been featured on NPR, in the Washington Post and Jazziz Magazine, and have shared stages and players with Pink Martini, The Decembrists, Al Franken and the Oregon Symphony. Vagabond opera has two full-length albums and will be releasing their third album in the Spring of 2009.

Vagabond Opera was created in 2002 by European-trained opera singer and composer Eric Stern. Then disillusioned with the classical opera world, Stern created a new context for opera: Performance on a more intimate scale incorporating not only opera but elements of Weimar Cabaret, Arabic and Balkan forms, and the original music that springs from the ensemble’s fertile creative work. This is not your granny’s opera, but a visceral artistic ensemble that features powerful instrumental and vocal performances coupled with a highly eclectic and theatrical experience.

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