There's Something About Maria

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The article in The New York Times about people who don't like cilantro, and/or manage to acquire a taste for it, reminded me, in a strange way, of Maria Callas.

I was a kid the first time I heard her voice--for my birthday, my father brought me home her recording of Carmen, which someone at the (dear, departed) Record Hunter had told him was THE one to get.  My reaction was the same as my reaction to cilantro: "Yuck!"  Not at all the sound I was used to hearing a singer make.  I couldn't understand why anyone would like it.  
But the moment I saw a video recording of Callas, I got it--the total involvement, the complete commitment to the music, the ultimate dramatic package.  You might question the technique, and all the other things that probably shortened her career, but you cannot question the excitement that a Callas performance generates.
What was your reaction to Callas the first time you heard her?  Did it change over the years?  And how do you feel about cilantro?