...is when you're traipsing around Academy, talking yourself out of things so as not to have to explain the importance of old Met broadcasts to the landlord, you should never count on those things being there the next day when you've decided that a Price/Bergonzi Ballo is indeed comparable in some way to a roof in the rain. The Irene Dalis Macbeth may also be gone, snatched up by some vulturous fiend who may or may not number among the select few who really get Irene. (Yeah, sometimes we like our divas even better when they feel like something we discovered.) And then, to make everything worse, you may get home to find that the Tucci/Corelli/Dalis Aida that you returned for to claim--because 1) see 'bove about Ms. Dalis, 2) the Corelli/Price Trovatore you got yesterday has renewed your understanding that it is all, all, all about Corelli and 3) you want to know what the golden age whiners are squawking about when they say "if a second stringer like Tucci walked among us today, she'd be worshipped as a god"*--is in fact a McCracken/Troyanos/Cruz-Romo Aida a kind friend slapped on CD for you years ago. Hm, the use of the second person here to universalize the experience is somewhat undercut by the specificity, I suppose, but I'm leaving it.
The one happiness of this tale of woe is that you get to feel like the most unbearable sort of smarty-pants for knowing what you've been stuck with, the moreso after you verify this fact by means of the distinctive bravo long into the applause for Celeste Aida. Well plus you did go ahead and buy that Tibbett set with a little of this and a little of that and the funny programs that declare Mr. T, I mean Tibbett, "a 'natural' negro" [please now sing "you make me feel...you make me feel...you make me feel like a..."] that turns out to be rather spectacular, so all is not lost.
But really, Bensar records. Why break my heart? Perche me ne rimuneri etc?
*Yes, the point is conceded: there's no really good Verdi spinto just now that I can think of. But I don't think it impossible one will pop up. Just for fun, let's say this: keep an eye on Dana Beth Miller whose Desdemona in Iowa (!) just got a great Opera News write-up, and who, when I heard her as a young pup at Glimmerglass, already had promising heft an plushness. It could be her. It could be Amber Wagner of last year's Finals. It could still be Racette, though actually for my shekels, Verdi doesn't seem to be the realm of her finest output. I actually live in much greater despair of ever hearing anyone do what Corelli did. Do you like it when my parentheticals are as long as the purported substance of posting? I can't help it.