Girard de Beaulieu

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Engraving of the first scene of the Ballet Comique de la Reine. Click to enlarge.

Girard de Beaulieu, better known by the incorrectly recorded name Lambert de Beaulieu (? - after 1587) was a French bass singer and composer.[1] He was employed at the court of Henri III as basse singer and composer from 1559. He was associated with the Académie de Baïf, one of whom's aristocratic poets, Nicolas Filleul de La Chesnaye, the king's almoner was to provide the lyrics for the ballet Circé in the first French opera-ballet, the Balet Comique de la Royne of 1581, to which Beaulieu and Jacques Salmon provided the music. Choreography, and overall direction was provided by the Italian dancing master Baltazarini, known as Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx. Sets and costumes were provided by Jacques Patin.

Beaulieu's wife was the Genoese soprano and luthenist Violante Doria.[2] They had a daughter Claude de Beaulieu who later was paid as a luthenist at the court.

The original documents of 1581 indicate the composer only as "Sieur de Beaulieu." The error concerning his name, and consequent separation of the bass singer and composer into 2 biographies, is due to an erroneus "Lambert de Beaulieu" in a letter by Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor to the French king attempting to employ the composer Beaulieu for his own court. The error in Rudolf's letter was reproduced by François-Joseph Fétis in his influential Biographie universelle des musiciens.[3]

Works, editions and recordings[edit]

  • Lambert de Beaulieu, Airs[4]
  • Lambert de Beaulieu, Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx: Balet Comique de la Royne 1581. Ensemble Elyma, K617 080, 1998


  1. ^ Jean Balsamo Philippe Desports (1546-1606) 2000 "Girard de Beaulieu, par erreur prénommé « Lambert » dans une correspondance"
  2. ^ Jeanice Brooks Courtly Song in Late Sixteenth-Century France 2000 Page 201 "sang with her husband Girard de Beaulieu while accompanying herself on the lute."
  3. ^ Iain Fenlon Early Music History: Volume 22 Page 9 2003 "to corroborate or contradict this information, Fetis reasonably supposed that the 'Lambert de Beaulieu' the emperor hoped to recruit was the ... There are, however, dozens of payments and references in court documents to Girard de Beaulieu."
  4. ^ Lambert De Beaulieu (The Sixteenth Century Chanson Series) [Hardcover] Jane A. Bernstein (Editor) Hardcover: 280 pages Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (March 1, 1994) ISBN 0824031083 ISBN 978-0824031084

External links[edit]