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Louis Gaulard Dumesny

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Title: Louis Gaulard Dumesny  
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Subject: Armide (Lully), Haute-contre, Médée (Charpentier), Acis et Galatée, Amadis (Lully), Roland (Lully), Persée, Achille et Polyxène
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Louis Gaulard Dumesny

Dumesnil (also known as Louis Gaulard Dumesny) (fl. 1677–1700, died 1702) was a French operatic tenor.[1] His surname is sometimes found spelt Duménil, Dumény, du Mény, or Du Mesny.

Little is known about Dumesnil's early life, legend has it that he was working as a cook when Jean-Baptiste Lully heard him singing and was impressed by his natural and well focused voice, his vocal range was then known as haute-contre.

He made his stage debut in 1677, singing a small part in Isis, and then went on creating all roles within his range in a series of operas by Lully. After Lully's death he created several other roles in operas by different composers, notably Pascal Collasse, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, André Campra, and André Cardinal Destouches.

An excellent actor with a powerful voice, he seemed to have learned all his roles by memory as he did not know how to read music. Reputed as a libertine, and for his dispute with La Maupin.

Roles created

  • 1682: The title role in Persée by Lully
  • 1684: The title role in Amadis by Lully
  • 1686: Renaud in Armide by Lully
  • 1686; Acis in Acis et Galatée by Lully
  • 1687: Achille in Achille et Polyxène by Lully and Collasse
  • 1689: Pélée in Thétis et Pélée by Collasse
  • 1690: Énée in Énée et Lavinie by Collasse
  • 1693: Énée in Didon by Henri Desmarets
  • 1693: Jason in Médée by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
  • 1697: Octavio in L'Europe galante by André Campra
  • 1697: Philémon in Issé by Destouches
  • 1697: Adonis in Vénus et Adonis by Henri Desmarets
  • 1699: in Amadis de Grèce by Destouches


  • Weller, Philip (1992), 'Dumesnil' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie (London) ISBN 0-333-73432-7
  • Le guide de l'opéra, les indispensables de la musique, R.Mancini & J.J.Rouvereux, (Fayard, 1986), ISBN 2-213-01563-5
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