Jules Massenet (1842-1912) was a French composer known for his operas and other works for the stage. He was born in Montaud, France, and began studying music at a young age. Massenet received his formal musical education at the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with some of the most prominent musicians of the time, including Charles Gounod and Ambroise Thomas. He began his career as a composer in the 1870s and quickly gained recognition for his operas and other works for the stage. Some of his most popular and enduring works include the operas “Manon,” “Werther,” and “Thaïs,” as well as the ballet “Le Cid.” Massenet’s music is known for its beautiful melodies and lush orchestration, and he was a pioneer in the use of leitmotifs (recurring musical themes associated with specific characters or ideas) in his works.