Kallen Esperian



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"Vissi d'Arte" Sound Clip (Requires the RealPlayer).

Kallen Esperian, who was born in Barrington, Illinois on June 8, 1961, has emerged as one of opera's most acclaimed lyric sopranos and has appeared in major opera houses around the world.

After earning her degree at the University of Illinois, Miss Esperian performed as a mezzo-soprano in Luciano Pavarotti's Vocal Competition in Philadelphia in 1981. Shortly after, the Metropolitan Opera National Competition judges suggested that she perform as a soprano instead, and she did just that when she returned to the Pavarotti Competition in 1985 and won the prestigious award.

Miss Esperian made her debut in Philadelphia as Mimi in La Bohème in April of 1986. A few months later, she performed as Mimi when she joined Luciano Pavarotti in Beijing at his historic visit at the Genoa Opera. Soon after, she made her debut at the Metropolitan as Mimi opposite Placido Domingo's Rudolfo followed soon after by her role opposite Luciano Pavarotti in Verdi's Luisa Miller. She also made her La Scala debut in Luisa Miller, which received international coverage after she took on the role a month early (with little preparation) after Katia Ricciarelli's abrupt departure. She has also performed in a premiere production of Stiffelio with Jose Carreras.

Miss Esperian made her debut in London at a Tibor Rudas production of "Pavarotti Plus" in Royal Albert Hall in May of 1995, in the presence of the Princess of Wales. This concert was recorded for CD and video release. Her debut at London's Royal Opera House followed soon after, in Verdi's Aroldo. She has opened the opera season in Paris, at the Bastille, on two occasions, first in a historic production of Otello which was seen on television across Europe, and later in Simon Boccanegra, an opera she has also sung in Chicago. She has also sung Il Trovatore in the Metropolitan Opera's New York Parks performances and with Opera Memphis. She has also had great success in the Requiem with the orchestras of Detroit and Atlanta, the Collegiate of Parma on tour in Italy, and with the legendary Robert Shaw & the City of Birmingham Symphony in England. She has also appeared in Verdi's Requiem on Pay-Per-View with Colin Davis and Daniel Oren.

Recent engagements include two performances of Verdi's Requiem in France, Simon Boccanegra with the Washington Opera, Norma with Opera Memphis, and Three Sopranos concerts around the world.. Miss Esperian is married to opera director Thomas Machen.



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