Auto accident a blessing in disguise for Memphis opera singer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Auto accident a blessing in disguise for Memphis opera singer

By Joe Birch - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC-TV) - Inside the historic chapel at Germantown Presbyterian, an angelic voice tuned up Thursday for act two of a brilliant career. 

Kallen Esperian, a Memphian who has shared the world's greatest opera stages has survived a summer with as much drama as any opera.

"The injuries looked bad but it could have been a lot worse," she said. "And it pointed out something that really needed taken care of."

Esperian was riding as a passenger in a car on August 16 when she was in an accident on Poplar near I-240. She was the only person injured in the crash.  Shortly after, a doctor-friend convinced her to get a CAT scan:

"The injuries from the accident were okay but they said, 'You've got a cyst inside your brain,' and they were very alarmed because the ventricles around it were very dilated," Esperian said.

The cyst centered on the part of the brain that focuses on short term memory - as key to an opera star as a gifted voice. Esperian underwent memory testing before she had surgery.

"I knew that in recent concerts, once in a while I'd have to use music because I didn't trust my memory," she said. "I chalked it up, you know, I'm under stress. I'm tired."

But the September 1 surgery at Methodist University Hospital was a complete success. Esperian is now healing and re-launching an operatic career, deeply grateful to her Semmes Murphy neurosurgeon and all the others who restored her.  She's even grateful for the accident.

"It saved my life," she said.

Esperian has a slate of charity concerts scheduled this fall, including one to benefit Church Health Center.  She is also auditioning for the most elite opera companies in the world, including the Met, where she hopes to return.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly