Massenet, Jules (Emile Frédéric )
- Annegret Fauser,
- Patrick Gillis
- and Hugh Macdonald
(b Montaud, St Etienne, 12 May 1842; d Paris, 13 Aug 1912). French composer. He was the most prolific and successful composer of opera in France at the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th.
Born into a commercial family in the provinces, Massenet followed the archetypal course for a French composer by moving to Paris, studying at the Conservatoire and pursuing a career based firmly in Paris for the rest of his life. His father was director of an engineering company making agricultural implements. Jules was the youngest of four children of his father’s second marriage, and their mother, born Eléonore-Adelaïde Royer de Marancour, ‘the very model of a wife and mother’, as Massenet described her, took care of his moral and musical upbringing. She was a gifted pianist who composed a little and gave piano lessons, especially after her husband retired from the business in ...