As for opera, I'm totally challenging myself to go out on a limb with things I've got a feeling will be a while before they are heard in public! Like Violetta and Konstanze and Gilda. Then there are the things that can come out a bit sooner-- like Juliette and Alcina-- those are closer to what I have already been doing.
So as I'm listening to all these different singers sing all these different things, I realize that there's really no reason to listen to any body but Jessye Norman. And Anna Moffo. And Edita Gruberova. And Joan Sutherland. No seriously. Talk about resonance and presence in every note. With Jessye, I love the humanity of her singing. As for Joan, I can aspire in some way to her perfect other-worldliness. But one thing I learned from my most recent experience onstage is that while inspiration comes from lots of places, the very best thing I could ever be is me.
Which sometimes takes a lot of work.