She has performed on the same stage as everyone who’s anyone in opera — Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras.
Yet no performance in London, or Paris, or Milan, rattled future soprano star Kallen Esperian quite like being summoned to the dean’s office as an undergrad.
“I had been missing some morning classes, because of having been up late at night for opera rehearsals,” she says. “The dean opened our conversation with these words: ‘Miss Esperian, we would all like to see your name up in lights someday, but this is an academic institution, and you must go to class.’
“When I look back on this memory it makes me smile. But at the time, it was not funny at all. I was terrified.
“I made it to my morning classes after that, no matter how tired."