If your opera tastes do not extend to complete performances, but the highlights grab your ear, these two CD recommendations are for you. Mad About Italian Opera features great voices and popular arias from Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, and Mascagni. The second CD is Opera's Greatest Moments. Greatest Moments is worth the price just for the duet from the Pearl Fishers (Les Pecheurs Des Perles) featuring Jussi Bjoerling and Robert Merrill. A fellow physics teacher, and opera buff, claimed Bjoerling was the greatest tenor of all time.
I recommend new CDs rather than used to be sure the quality is there. Enjoy as you are in for a treat.