“Poor Mariette Duplessis is dead... the first woman I ever loved, and now she's in goodness knows which cemetery, abandoned to the maggots of the sepulchre! It's as she said to me fifteen months ago: “I won’t live: I’m a strange girl and I won’t be able to keep living a life I don’t know how to lead and that I don’t know how to bear either. Take me, lead me wherever you want; I won’t bother you, I sleep all day. In the evening, you’ll let me go to the theatre and at night you’ll do with me as you wish!” I’ve never told you of the singular attachment I felt for that charming creature. And now she's dead... And I don’t know what strange old elegy echoes in my heart at her memory.” Thus spoke Franz Liszt of Marie d’Agoult, the unforgettable ghost of the woman who would become the Dame aux camélias. After Dumas fils, it was Verdi who would give her immortality in his remarkable masterpiece, one of the repertoire’s most striking portraits of a woman, at once cruel and sublime.