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News, Clippings, Press

December 16th, 2008

SELECTED PRESS QUOTES

“Eric Stern, a mustachioed 36-year-old operatic tenor and accordion player…has a back story nearly as bohemian as the music he plays.”

~ The Washington Post

“Stern has found an exuberant and satisfying place where operatic vocal technique and popular idioms intersect… while also exposing unlikely audiences to the visceral pleasures of a Bel Canto voice.”

~ The NY Press

“…maniac, razor-sharp…delightfully nuts.”

~ The Toronto Star

“To hear Stern intone the introduction to “Ravella” in the stentorian tones of a carnival barker is to hear a man whose love of the absurd is matched only by his complete lack of inhibition.”

~ New York Forward

“His voice is alternately serenading and commanding, and his original numbers often reverberate with wry humor.” “Last Saturday, it was the cleverest of cabarets, performed by Eric Stern, he of Vagabond Opera, the gypsy-jazzy-klezmer troupe of his own invention; he of the huge, swooping tenor; he of the long face and lightning wit. Stern is an artist seemingly comfortable in any habitat, be it singing onstage in a gilded opera house, roving around a party working his accordion or, as was the case at Bold Sky, wedged in at upright piano with no more than six inches separating him from the closest diner. ‘I don’t mind if they don’t mind,’ Stern says, of the close proximity.” ~ The Oregonian “Singer-accordionist Eric Stern, a man whose imagination is as big and colorful as his cabarett-primed voice.”

~ The Oregonian

“Prepare to seriously crush on Eric Stern of Vagabond Opera Friday night at Jazzbones. There’s something about his decadent, chocolaty voice and his rebellious use of unusual music that makes him at least a fascinating, enigmatic character and at most a goddess, demon, virgin whore. (After you’ve seen the show that last line will make a lot more sense to you.) Anyway, back to Stern (no relation to Howard), not only does he have tremendous talent and academic degrees to back up his skill, he also has this sexually ambiguous Tim Curry charisma thing going on - which is no small accomplishment while playing the accordion.”

~ Tacoma Volcano Weekly

“easily overwhelms audiences with a culture-jamming cabaret act centered around the mighty-voiced Eric Stern.”

~ The Willamette Week

“With lungs all mighty, the multilingual Eric Stern squeezes the metaphorically apt accordion, in the Eastern European flavor…”

~ Music Liberation Project: a journal of Portland Music

“… it’s still Eric Stern who’ll knock your socks off. With his masterly accordion work and a robust voice capable of either the sly, light touch of “The Transformation Into Marlene” or the show-stopping sustain and vibrato he employs for occasional snippets of opera, he’s a wonderfully outsized and charismatic character.”

~ The Oregonian

“Where else do you have a trained operatic tenor that straps on an accordion, singing in Arabic, Spanish, Yiddish, French and Italian?”

~ Ashland Daily Tidings

“Band leader Eric Stern, complete with Russian fur hat and Czarist moustache, filled the hall with a passionate operatic tenor…”

~ Tacoma News Tribune