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Vagabond Opera & Juana Ghani perform in Utah tonight

Published March 18, 2013 11:00 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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 CityTickets • $15 at thestateroom.com