Vagabond Opera

Vagabond Opera

 Portland, Oregon, USA

Euro-Americana Bohemian Gypsy Cabaret, featuring trained operatic vocals, songs in 13 languages, accordion, cello, saxophone, drums, bass musical saw and more. Absinthe, Opera and Yiddish theater meet Tom Waits, Kurt Weil and Marlene Dietrich. Have played with Devotchka, Pink Martini, Oregon Sympho


Opera is alive. Vagabond Opera (the critically-acclaimed sextet from Portland Oregon), pumps life into opera with the bellows of an untamed Romanian accordion, re-invents it, and accomplishes the near-impossible. The ensemble prompts Music Halls, Performing Arts Centers, taverns even, to resound with the ovations of the vox populi, clamoring, once again, for opera’s new wave.

The curtain parts: steampunked Absinthe-era vestments, thirteen languages, an operatic encounter that puts its green-backed silver dollar where its mouth is—square in the center of a ringing high C that beckons the zeitgeist in a juicy song. The words go like this: Opera’s no longer stuffy and elite; it’s for you and it brims and burns with new life, a gypsy bouillabaisse brewed of Balkan, Jazz, bohemian cabaret, Arabic maquam, vital and reinvigorating, marking uncharted territory. It’s a new world opera, a global one. The curtain closes. Encores. Room keys thrown on to the stage. Opera reinvented.

The band's lineup features trained operatic tenor and soprano vocals, accordion, tenor saxophone, cello, violin, musical saw, banjo-lele, stand-up bass and drums.

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, Devotchka, The Decemberists, and the Oregon Symphony. Vagabond opera has three full length albums.

Vagabond Opera is currently listed in the Young Audiences of Oregon and Washington Community Arts Resources Roster, offering an assembly program for youth. In addition to concerts, they are also always happy to play private events including weddings, mitzvah's, theme parties, and corporate events.


Vagabond Opera's newest CD "The Zeitgeist Beckons" was released in May 2009. They have two previous full lengths CDs, "Vagabond Opera" (2006) and "Get on the Train" (2004).

Set List

Vagabond Opera's extensive repertoire spans many genres, allowing them to adjust their set to suit a variety of venues and times.
Sample Song List:

MARLENE: Cabaret piece celebrating the great Deutsche Diva
MILORD: Famous French song written by Edith Piaf
RAVELLA: Swampy-Tonk song about love and gambling
OTCHI CHORNYIA: Famous Russian Tune
GANEF: Modern original Klezmer song about a thief
PORT OF AMSTERDAM: Drunken toothless sailor waltz
ST. JAMES INFIRMARY: Old New Orleans tale of heartbreak
LAYLA: Traditional Arabic belly dance song
VARSHAVER FREYLACH: Traditional Klezmer dance tune from Warsaw
DIRTY OLD TOWN: Famous Irish Song.
FREEMONT STREET STOMP: Old timey original.
AVRE TU PUERTA: Traditional Ladino love song
GRANADA: Song of revolution from the Spanish civil war
SVI TE TERREN: Ukranian Soldier�s Waltz