Odd Saint: Jean-Baptiste Lully

Actually, this fellow was the opposite of a saint.  He did a lot of ladies, and a lot of fellows, but libertine shmibertine! He had a weird death, and so I write of him today.

Jean-Baptiste Lully, pre-gangrene

Jean-Baptiste Lully, pre-gangrene

Born in 1632, he is responsible for bringing the grand edge of spectacle to French opera.  He was very into stage effects and dance (which makes him comparable to Baz Luhrman in my mind).  According to Fred Plotkin’s Opera 101, Lully was every bit as intense and dramatic as his operas.  He oversaw all rehearsals, and one day, while pounding out the beat with a stick, he pounded so hard that he accidentally “drove the pole through his foot.” And then he died of the gangrene because he wouldn’t let them cut off the infected parts.

So, lesson learned. if you get involved while you work, do your best to make sure you don’t pierce any limb with your instruments. It’s like biting on a fork while eating, but awful.


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