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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Renowned opera soprano Kallen Esperian joins music faculty

Regarded by many to be one of the great lyric sopranos of our time, Kallen Esperian joined the music faculty as an Artist in Residence.

Esperian has sung in leading roles at every major opera house in the world. At the university she teaches private voice classes, master classes for voice students and special topics courses for all students covering audition repertoire, developing a career as a stage artist and the music business. Additionally, she works with the Ole Miss Opera Theatre and gives recitals and concerts.

Esperian is excited to teach at the university.

“For me, education of young people is the most important thing we do in this world and I want to give them a true picture of what having an opera career really means,” Esperian said. “Sometimes people imagine glamour—and there is some of that—but it’s also discipline, hard work and sacrifice.”

She specializes in Italian opera and has performed with Placido Domingo and her teacher and mentor, Luciano Pavarotti, with whom she was featured in the documentary, Distant Harmony, highlighting their performances in China. She is one of the Three Sopranos recorded on Atlantic Records and broadcast live on PBS.

Esperian visited UM four years ago and was immediately struck by its beauty. Although she could have chosen to live anywhere, quality of life was an important consideration, as well as the chance to teach budding music students.

After earning her degree at the University of Illinois, she won the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1985.