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Boggy Depot, Oklahoma, USA. Raised in a rural community as a member of a large family (she has seven siblings), from earliest childhood Sullivan took an active interest in the arts, especially music and literature. Also from an early age, she wanted to be a performer. In this she had the encouragement of parents who liked to sing and the family performed in neighbouring counties as the Sullivan Family Gospel Singers. Sullivan attended the University of Oklahoma, majoring in Fine Arts and studying opera. She also studied French and would later become fluent in Italian. After graduation, she relocated to Southern California, intent on becoming a Shakespearean actress and an opera singer. Although apprenticed to the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California, she eventually realized that her speaking voice was unsuited for the demands of Shakespeare and although she studied opera singing in Italy, her vocal range, coloratura soprano, restricted the available roles to...