There are divas whose careers rise like a comet. For a few years, they fascinate millions of people before they disappear from the limelight, to live on only as legends. Others develop more slowly, but in their mature years, they may be even more successful. An example of the first kind of diva would be Maria Callas, and an example of the second is German soprano Hildegard Behrens. She was almost 40 years old when she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and her current age was never reached by Callas. Ms. Behrens, on her part, continues to be a highly acclaimed singer at European as well as North and South American opera houses. Just recently she was awarded the Danish Sonnings Award which is one of the highest honors in music. She has her domicile in the New World, where the opera has experienced increasing popularity over the past few years. "Where does the boom come from?" This was one of the questions Georg Hirsch asked Hildegard Behrens when he met her in a coffee house in Washington, D.C.
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