Jessye Norman: Imagine Berlin at the time: Herbert von Karajan directing the Berlin Philharmonic. You had all of these wonderful — I lived across the street from the Schiller Theater, which is still one of the great theaters in Germany, where I would go and listen to really well-spoken German. So there was a lot that I was learning, just from being in that particular place at the time. I went to the opera practically every night. I went to something practically every night, just learning and seeing and absorbing, and what I noticed is that there were singers that were only sort of slightly older than I whose voices sounded as though they were many decades older than that, and didn’t sound pretty, and I needed to understand what was happening. I mean there were singers that were 28 or 30 years old or something, and I would speak to them afterwards to say, “Was your voice tired tonight? Tell me what’s happening,” because I didn’t understand it. Their voices should have sounded fresh and blooming and wonderful, but instead they sounded different, and it was because they were singing a different opera every night, and singing whatever was offered, and I didn’t understand and needed to understand — because no one was telling me these things — why they just didn’t say no. Why didn’t they just say, “Oh no, I don’t think I should.” Because it certainly could have happened that I could have been fired earlier in the process, but I didn’t have sense enough to worry about that. I was more concerned about preserving myself.