Louis Gaulard Dumesny

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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,[2] 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[edit]


  1. ^ Weller, Philip (1992), 'Dumesnil' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie (London) ISBN 0-333-73432-7
  2. ^ In fact, Dumesny (spelt Du Mesnil) is already cited as a member of the chorus performing the Hours of the Day, in the 1776 libretto of Lully's Atys (accessible for free online at Gallica - B.N.F.).