OP3285. LA BOHEME, Live Performance, 31 March, 1990, w. Ralf Weikert Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Neil Wilson [Wilson's last Met performance], Kallen Esperian, Nancy Gustafson, Brian Schexnayder, Timothy Noble, Kevin Langan, Renato Capecchi & Glenn Alpert, Mitchell Sendrowitz & Edward Ghazal. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio stereo YSL T-780.
"Neil Wilson, a tenor who sang at the Metropolitan Opera from 1988 to 1993, was particularly admired for his portrayal of the title role in Massenet's WERTHER. He began his operatic career in 1980 in a performance of Verdi's FALSTAFF at Wolf Trap. He also appeared in the early 1980s in performances with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall and at the Wurttembergische Staatsoper in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1988 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Macduff in Verdi's MACBETH. Other roles he sang with the company were Rodolfo in Puccini's LA BOHEME and WERTHER, both of which included broadcast performances, and Alfredo in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA. In 1990 he was selected as a leading tenor at the Komische Oper in Berlin, and over the last decade he gave more than 150 performances in leading roles, both in the house and on tour. In May, 2000, he was awarded the Wagner Prize by the Liederkranz Foundation, and performed in a concert that the Foundation presented at Alice Tully Hall.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 25 Aug., 2000
“Kallen Esperian won the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1985. She made her debut in Philadelphia as Mimi in LA BOHEME in 1986....She also sang Cio Cio San in MADAMA BUTTERFLY in 2004, a role she first performed for the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam in 2002 as well as for the Metropolitan Opera, New Orleans Opera, Mexico City, etc. Esperian has sung at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Desdemona in OTELLO and Amelia in SIMON BOCCANEGRA. She partnered José Carreras in Stiffelio at the Teatro alla Scala, for their first staging of the opera. She played Desdemona opposite Domingo at the Opéra National de Paris; Mimí at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; Liú in TURANDOT, Desdemona, plus Alice Ford in FALSTAFF for the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Desdemona and Maria Stuarda at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna; Verdi's Requiem at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Falstaff for Los Angeles Opera; Aida and Tosca for the Semperoper in Dresden, etc.
Esperian has appeared with Pavarotti in his annual concert, Pavarotti Plus, in 1991 at Lincoln Center and in 1995 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. These concerts have been televised and have been released internationally on CD and video. In 1991, she partnered Pavarotti in Verdi's LUISA MILLER at the Met and in 1993, she appeared in the Met Gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo at the house. She sang Desdemona to Pavarotti's Otello and Leonora in IL TROVATORE with Pavarotti and Domingo both singing Manrico….she appeared in the film, DISTANT HARMONY while in China with Pavarotti. Since then she has sung at most of the world's important opera houses and has specialised in Italian opera and especially in Verdi roles.”
"Though not possessing the vocal opulence associated with other star baritones of his era, Renato Capecchi was no vocal underachiever, and his feel for the Italian language and searching musical intellect made him one of the most valued singers of his time. His recorded performance of RIGOLETTO stands with the best for its mastery of the role's subtleties and dramatic truth. Likewise, as Rossini's Figaro, he captured both the quicksilver and pragmatic sides of that buoyant character. Capecchi's repertory was huge, encompassing hundreds of roles; as the years passed, he increasingly concentrated on the buffo parts, and eventually undertook directorial assignments, allowing him to share his theatrical fluency with other singers."
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com