Jules Massenet.
Jules Massenet (12 May 1842 – 13 August 1912) was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). After winning the country's top prize in music, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres. He wrote more than 40 stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, and lyric dramas. He also composed oratorios, ballets, cantatas, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, and songs. Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public, and he became the most popular composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although critics do not rank him among operatic geniuses such as Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, his operas are now widely accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque.