I had a dream about Violetta Valery last night. I'm not exactly sure how or why. But perhaps listening to four different recordings of La traviata- Callas, Moffo, Cotrubas, and Gheorghiu- in the last month, triggered something. So, who was the Violetta of my dreams? I forget. (Why do dreams quickly fade?) But she certainly had the melancholic tone of Callas and most definitely Gheorghiu's darkest hue. In this rather vague dream, it got me thinking. No heroine in the entire operatic repertoire is more beloved and feared than Ms. Valery. Not even Tosca, the Countess or Cio-Cio San for that matter, can equal the irresistable allure and conviction of this tragic courtesan with the heart of gold. Part of her charm lies in the fact that she is totally believable. Interestingly enough, most women today still relate to her sad predicament. How many operatic characters can you say that about?