Samuel Ramey is my favorite opera singer alive. Rarely do you find a bass who can combine such gravity with such fluid motion. I think he's thoroughly impressive, particularly in the more elegantly demonic roles, such as Don Giovannni or Mephistopheles.
Anyways, being from the South (ugh) the best opera house in my area is most definitely Houston Grand Opera - which is fantastic and fantastically affordable.
My friends and I went there to see Ramey in Faust. It was already an amazing experience to be able to hear him live. I have so many CD's and DVD's of this guy - to see him in person was almost unreal.
Then, the unthinkable happened. A voice teacher from where I went to high school tells me she can get us backstage - I actually got to meet him!! I introduced myself, told him that I was a flutist from Louisiana and that he's my favorite opera singer in existence. He was very nice, in spite of the fact that I was completely beside myself, lol.
Anyways, that's the experience of my year, if not decade. Everyone should meet their idol...especially within the classical music world. It gives you a sense of completion about the world - a sense of possibility and confidence. If it turns out that you don't like someone you've idolized - good - be better than her or him. If otherwise, you can have something of a role model, eh?