Ballet Comique de la Reine
The Ballet Comique de la Reine (at the time spelled Balet comique de la Royne) was a court entertainment, now considered to be the first ballet de cour. It was staged on 15 October 1581 for the court of Catherine de' Medici in the Great Hall of the Petit-Bourbon in Paris. It was produced and choreographed by Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx and danced by Queen Louise and the women of the court. This ballet was also known for its long length of over five hours and its elaborate and scattered stage design. It had elaborate costumes and centered on the myth of the Greek goddess Circe.
Nicolas Filleul de La Chesnaye, the King's almoner, wrote the text, sets and costumes were designed by Jacques Patin. The music was provided by Jacques Salmon, maitre de la musique de la chambre de Roi, and a certain "Sieur de Beaulieu." This composer was identified as "Lambert de Beaulieu" by Fétis' in his Biographie universelle, following a probable error in a letter by Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, but is today identified with the bass singer Girard de Beaulieu who with his wife, the Italian soprano Violante Doria themselves sung the airs to Circé.
- Anthony 1997, p. 41, and Lawrenson 1986, pp. 182–184, both identifiy the location of the performance as the Petit-Bourbon, and Lawrenson reproduces the engraving shown here. Lacroix 1876, p. 506 (the source of the image) identifies it as the "Gallery of the Louvre", and McGowan 1998, p. 275, gives "Salle de Bourbon of the Louvre". Brette 1902, pp. LIV–LXIX, discusses the history of the confusion of the location of this room in the Petit-Bourbon with the Louvre in great detail.
- Kasey Marie Mattia, Crossing the channel: Cultural identity in the court ... 2007 Duke University Page 11 "Beaujoyeulx had ultimate control over the ballet, but was assisted by Lambert Beaulieu and Jacques Salmon who composed the music, La Chesnaye who wrote the text, and Jacques Patin who designed the stage sets and costumes.
- Kristiaan Aercke -Gods of Play: Baroque Festive Performances As Rhetorical Discourse 1994 - Page 27 "... Balthasar Beaujoyeux (actually Baltazarini), with music by Lambert de Beaulieu and Jacques Salmon on a text by La Chesnaye and painted scenery by Jacques Patin (who also designed the costumes), it is the earliest such ballet of which ..
- Anthony, James R. (1997). French Baroque Music from Beaujoyeulx to Rameau, revised and extended edition. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 9781574670219.
- Brette, Armand (1902). Histoire des édifices où ont siége les assemblées parlementaires de la Révolution française et de la premère République, tome premier. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. OCLC 457140401. View at Google Books.
- Cohen, Selma Jeanne, editor (1998). International Encyclopedia of Dance (6 volumes). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509462-6 (hardcover). ISBN 978-0-19-517369-7 (2004 paperback edition).
- Graafland, Arie (2003). Versailles and the Mechanics of Power': The Subjugation of Circe. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. ISBN 9789064504921.
- Lacroix, Paul (1876). Manners, Customs, and Dress during the Middle Ages, and during the Renaissance Period. London: Chapman and Hall. View at Google Books.
- Lawrenson, T. E. (1986). The French Stage and Playhouse in the XVIIth Century: A Study in the Advent of the Italian Order, second edition, revised and enlarged. New York: AMS Press. ISBN 9780404617219.
- McGowan, Margaret M. (1982). Le Balet Comique by Balthazar de Beaujoyeulx, 1581: A Facsimile, With an Introduction. Binghamton, New York: Medieval and Renaissance Texts. ISBN 9780866980128.
- McGowan, Margaret M. (1998). "Balet Comique de la Royne, Le" in Cohen 1998, vol. 1, pp. 275–277.
- Sharp, Cecil (1924). "The Dance, an Historical Survey of Dancing in Europe". London: Halton & Truscott Smith. OCLC 335923.
- Media related to Ballet comique de la reine at Wikimedia Commons
- Balet comique de la Royne, copies 1 and 2 at Gallica.
- "Le Balet Comique de la Reine, 1581: An Analysis" by Elizabeth Cooper at the Wayback Machine (archived June 4, 2011)