Quinault, Philippe (opera)
- Lois Rosow
(b Paris, bap. June 5, 1635; d Paris, Nov 26, 1688). French librettist. He was the principal librettist of Jean-Baptiste Lully. The son of a Parisian baker, he studied law and was certified as a jurist while still in his teens. At the same time he began writing plays; public performances of his works began around 1653. He described the poet Tristan l’Hermite as his teacher and mentor. The traditional belief that he had been Tristan’s valet is called into question by evidence that he began a formal Latin education at the age of 11. Through Tristan Quinault met the Duc de Guise, his first patron, and was introduced to the salons of the Précieuses, who influenced his literary style and helped establish his career. In 1660 he married a young widow, whose great wealth permitted him to insinuate himself into the circles of the royal court, and in ...