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Neal Zaslaw

(b Lyons, c1720; d ?Paris, after 1764). French dancer and composer. He first appeared on the stage at the Académie Royale de Musique in Lyons in 1739, dancing in Montéclair’s Jephté and Destouches’ Omphale. He may have been the Denis who worked in Paris at the Foire St Laurent and in the Grand Troupe Etrangère, between about 1738 and about 1742. In 1749 Denis arrived in Berlin with his wife, the ballerina Giovanna Cortini, called ‘La Pantaloncina’, and was shortly appointed maître de ballet to the Prussian court. He provided choreography and music for the ballets in about 50 stage works in which he and his wife danced, including Graun’s operas Coriolano (1749), Fetonte (1750), Armida (1751), Britannico (1751), Mithridate (1751), Orfeo (1752), Semiramide (1754), Ezio (1755), Montezuma (1755) and ...


James R. Anthony

(b 1718; d Paris, after 1775). French composer, dancer, ?singer and harpsichordist. In his contemporary manuscript, Notices sur les oeuvres de théâtre, the Marquis d'Argenson commented that Duval, ‘une jeune fille de l'Opéra’, was 18 in 1736 when she composed Les Génies, ou Les caractères de l'Amour. Fétis gave 1769 as her death date; Choron identified her as a ‘singer at the Paris Opéra’ and claimed that she was ‘still living in 1770’; the Anecdotes dramatiques for 1775 referred to her as a ‘former actress at the Opéra’ and included a ‘Mlle Duval’ as a supernumerary among the dancers.

Duval was best known as the composer of Les Génies, ou Les caractères de l'Amour (libretto by Fleury [de Lyon]), a ballet-héröique in a prologue and four entrées (printed in Paris about 1736). The dedication page reveals that the Prince of Carignan was her ‘Protecteur’. Les Génies...