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I have found the opposite effect. Nobody has set the bar so high that the others have been ruined.....actually the bar seems to get set so high by other opera fans for Callas, Tebaldi, and the other greats (and great they truly are) that I expect to get blown away but that doesn't always happen.

On the flip side, I almost never hear people rave about Beverly Sills. I borrowed a CD of hers from the library on a whim....and I was thrilled by her singing. Her beautiful diction, wonderful coloratura. She is a delight to listen to and I cannot wait to hear her on Barber of Seville. This doesn't mean I like her better than other opera singers I enjoy, I actually don't know who I enjoy the most. I have only just started exploring individual singers, as my previous discoveries were more focused on opera reportoire and specific composers. I really look forward to journeying along more really getting a feel for the different unique facets of the singers. And while I fully intend to indulge in the big names, I look forward to going off the beaten path from time to time due to pleasant surprises like this.
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