Marie-Anne-Catherine Quinault

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Marie-Anne-Catherine Quinault (26 August 1695 in Strasbourg – 1793 in Paris) (known as l'aînée) was a French singer and composer. Her father was the actor Jean Quinault (1656–1728), and her brother was Jean-Baptiste-Maurice Quinault, a singer, composer, and actor. She made her debut at the Paris Opera in 1709 in Jean-Baptiste Lully's Bellérophon. She remained at the opera until 1713. In 1714 she began singing at the Comédie-Française, where she remained until 1722. Quinault composed motets for the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Versailles. For one of these motets she was awarded the first Order of Saint Michael given to a woman.

She was the mistress of the Duc of Orleans and may have been secretly married to the Duc of Nevers. This brought her into higher social spheres and earned her a pension on the King’s tab. She would spend 1723–1793 living in an apartment in the Louvre, at the Pavilion de L’Infante. �


  • James R. Anthony. "Marie-Anne-Catherine Quinault", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed October 22, 2006), (subscription access).
  • Fétis, François-Joseph. Biographie Universelle Des Musiciens: Et Bibliographie Générale De La Musique. Firmin-Didot, 1889.
  • Quinault, Marie Anne. Mémoires De Mademoiselle Quinault L'ainée. 1836.
  • Scott, Virginia. Women on the Stage in Early Modern France: 1540–1750. Cambridge University Press, 2010.