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Re: "Cultural superiority".
While I don't propose to get into the spat regarding national prejudices, I would merely like to observe that I think it highly unlikely that, whatever their merits or demerits, two singers such as Plowright in her spinto soprano days and Bonisolli had voices too small for "Il trovatore"; Karajan didn't think so, anyway. Neither might not have been at his or her best here - I haven't heard it - but both sang big Verdi roles very successfully for the aforementioned Karajan, Giulini, Muti etc.
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