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Happy Birthday, raemonde!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

ballerine
Plural of ballerina, feminine of Italian ballerino, "dancer".
--C. A. M. Fennell's The Stanford Dictionary of Anglicized Words and Phrases, 1964


Birthday of Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)
Born Giovanni Battista Lulli in Florence, he immigrated to France as a boy and, in 1672, became operatic director to the courth of Louis XIV. Credited with popularizing opera in his adopted country, he collaborated with Phillipe Quinault and Molière on numerous successful operas that integrated ballet, often including women as dancers. Unlike modern conductors, he kept time by tapping a baton-staff on the stage, in the manner of ballet instructors, while directing his musicians. Lully died of a "gangrenous abcess" three days after accidentally skewering one of his feet with the baton-staff. Ironically, this freak occurrence came during a performance of Te Deum, which Lully had composed to celebrate the Sun King's recovery from an illness.

Not quite being hoist on your own petard, but close enough. Yikes.

-The Gneech

Comments

raemonde
Nov. 28th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
] Thanks! I've always wanted a some of these! My nefarious plans shall proceed!

-Rob

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