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Eric Stern

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Birth name
Eric Canniere

Years active

Eric Stern

The Zeitgeist Beckons

Eric Stern ericsterneventscomwpcontentuploads201008eri

June 9, 1971 (age 52) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US (

Opera, Cabaret, Jazz, Bohemian

Musician, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, songwriter

Vocals, piano, accordion

Associated acts
Vagabond Opera, The Eric Stern Trio

Vocalist ·

Vagabond Opera Eric Stern & Co Live in Vancouver

Eric Stern (born Eric Canniere) is an American vocalist, accordionist, composer, arranger, and pianist based in Portland, Oregon. He performs as a soloist, as well as with the Eric Stern Trio, and is the founder and artistic director of Vagabond Opera. Eric Stern has appeared on NPR and performed at the Kennedy Center, The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Joe’s Pub in NYC, throughout the Northwest, and internationally from Portland to Paris to Poland.



Stern was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in June 1971 and trained as a vocalist at the Delaware Valley Opera Company until deciding to become a writer instead and leaving for Paris at age 21. After returning to the US, and to music, a year and a half later.

Stern is a tenor with a wide vocal range and he performs a variety of musical styles including opera, cabaret, jazz, klezmer, bohemian, Balkan music, and many others. As an opera singer, Stern has appeared in over thirty operas including leading roles in La Boheme (Schaunard), Die Fledermaus (Dr. Falke), Gianni Schicchi (Gerardo), Carmen (El Dancairo), and the American Premiere of The Beggar’s Opera (Ben Lockit). He has performed with a variety of musical acts including the Decemberists, Balkan Beat Box, Unwoman, Pink Martini, and Devotchka. He also plays for many belly dance performers including Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, and Aziza.

In addition to performing, Stern wrote and composed the opera Queen of Knives (in which he also plays the character Chaim Meyer). Queen of Knives debuted in Portland, Oregon in May 2010 and included cast members from Vagabond Opera and Wanderlust Circus.

Eric has been involved in many ventures including writing the music for Prince of Fences (a new musical based on the story of the real Fagin), the score for the Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre’s production of Pinocchio, pieces for the Northwest Professional Dance Project, settings for Jewish liturgy for the P’nai Or synagogue choir, and Open Hearts, Open Minds (an organization that helps prison inmates make positive changes through theatre production).

“If Stern has a musical philosophy, it's "Let's bring opera back to the fundamentals." Strip away the layers of traditions that have accumulated over opera's 400-year history.”

“And while the opera world today seems to be changing, there are still few opportunities for singers to create new roles, or to present operatic singing in contexts outside the concert hall or opera house.”

"Back at the turn of the century, poor Italian immigrants flocked to the opera," says Stern. "The classical tradition is totally valid, I think, but not when it becomes a class thing... we're trying to create an operatic atmosphere that's for everyone."


ASCAP Concert Division Panel award recognizing creative contributions to American music (September 2011).

Current Projects

In March 2015, Stern's newest project, independent production company Hungry Opera Machine, debuted its first opera at the Alberta Rose Theatre: Flour, Salt, & Moonbeams. It was well received by critics. Stern's most well-known project, the steampunk band Vagabond Opera, announced a hiatus in May 2015 via its official Facebook page. Stern is also known to collaborate on the Sepiatonic project with tribal-fusion belly dancer Karolina Lux (MarchFourth Marching Band).


Stern Little Stories (2012)

Published works

Queen of Knives (Full-length Opera)
9 lives
Fremont Street Stomp
Get on the Train
Goodnight Moon
King of the Gypsies
Merci Django
Reine de la Roca
River Song
Scary Tale Theater
Sing for Your Lives
Suites for Pinocchio
The Transformation into Marlene
Tough Mazel
Vagabond Tango


Eric Stern Wikipedia

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