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One thing Dr Koreff did do for her, though, was to introduce her to Franz Liszt. She became strongly attracted to the piano virtuoso and wanted him to take her along on his next concert tour. He was fearful of catching her illness, however, and traveled alone, promising to come back and take her to Constantinople. He never did and probably regretted it. Much later he wrote: 'I am not normally interested in the Marion Delormes or the Manon Lescauts, but Marie Duplessis was an exception. She had a great deal of heart, a great liveliness of spirit and I consider her unique of her kind ... she was the most complete incarnation of womankind that has ever existed.'

Sean Panikkar as Alfredo and one of the dancers, in the gambling scene (Act II Scene 2) from 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2008 Scott Humbert
Sean Panikkar as Alfredo and one of the dancers, in the gambling scene (Act II Scene 2) from 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2008 Scott Humbert

She passed on in 1847 at the age of twenty-three. Following a lavish funeral at the church of La Madeleine, her possessions were auctioned off, leaving a substantial estate after all debts were paid. Although she never conformed to the conventional morality of her era, for a short time she was able to make her dreams come true. Her fame lived on, however. Dumas published his novel La dame aux camélias in 1848. The story appeared as a French play in 1852 and Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata was premièred in 1852.

Sean Panikkar (Alfredo) and Alexandra Deshorties (Violetta) with Stephen Powell (Germont), James Flora (Gastone) and members of the Arizona Opera Chorus in the gambling scene (Act II Scene 2) from 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2008 Scott Humbert
Sean Panikkar (Alfredo) and Alexandra Deshorties (Violetta) with Stephen Powell (Germont), James Flora (Gastone) and members of the Arizona Opera Chorus in the gambling scene (Act II Scene 2) from 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2008 Scott Humbert

 

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Copyright © 4 May 2008 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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