Vagabond Opera & Juana Ghani perform in Utah tonight
Published: March 18, 2013 11:00AM
Updated: March 18, 2013 11:03AM

Portland, Ore.’s Vagabond Opera, a hybrid opera-cabaret-Gypsy music ensemble, performs tonight and is led by tenor Eric Stern — a classically trained opera singer who swerved.

“I was disillusioned,” he said in a telephone interview. “I love opera, but I think the Western classical tradition was a deep tradition to be mined. In this country, opera has an institutional mindset. The whole thing seems clunky.”

So he assembled a group of musicians who also were performance artists and created Vagabond Opera. “Opera tries to get young people involved, but it’s not going balls-to-the-wall in a visceral way,” Stern said.

While there is no explicit storyline, Stern said he likes “people to think they’ve been on a narrative journey,”

Local Gypsy-rock ensemble Juana Ghani opens.

When • Monday, 8 p.m.
Where • The State Room, 638 S. State St., Salt Lake City
Tickets • $15 at