The first cut is the deepest?... Not for me, at least not in Opera.
Most of the operas I know more than one version of it, my preferred one is not the first I heard. There are exceptions, though, and one of them is I Puritani. This was my first exposure to Bellini's masterpiece:
And to this day, I think this incredible mad scene is one of the top recorded operatic fragments of all time: