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Jules Massenet
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    (May 12, 1842-August 13, 1912)
    Born in Saint-Etienne, France
    Composed the operas 'Manon' (1884), 'Werther' (1892), 'Thais' (1894), 'Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame' (1902) and 'Don Quichotte' (1910)
    He married one of his piano students.
    His preferred outfit while composing was a red robe and purple skullcap that 'made him look like a young cardinal.'
    He avoided public performances of his works.
    His memoirs ended with an odd last chapter, 'Thoughts After Death,' speculating what people would say when he was gone, including 'Now that he is dead, they'll play him less, won't they?'
    That proved an accurate assessment, as after WWI his style was considered outdated and, apart from 'Manon' and 'Werther,' his operas were almost never performed.
    He usually woke at four in the morning to begin composing.
    His response to criticism of his work was 'The public likes it and we must always agree with the public.'
    He interrupted his music career to serve in the Franco-Prussian War.
    When he was 36, he became the youngest member elected to the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
    His operas underwent a revival in popularity during the 1970s

Credit: C. Fishel

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