- Category : 1936-births
- Type : PE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (12,36)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Planning 2
French composer, famed for his lyrical and melancholy operatic arias that pleased the public of his time. In 1863, he won the Rome prize for his cantata, "David Rizzio." His other works include "Manon," 1884 and "Sapho," 1897. As a prodigy, he entered the Paris Conservatory at age 11.
A Massenet Revival supported by Richard Bonynge and Joan Sutherland did not enjoy the same critical acclaim of Massenet's time. Modern critics complained that his music was too "sweet." California-born soprano Sibyl Sanderson became his inspiration for several operas he wrote for her and they collaborated in other works. She was his "favorite" as much for her beauty as for her ravishing voice. He would not allow his works to be performed by another soprano while Sanderson was still able to perform. Massenet was known for his use of diplomacy and ability to flatter. However, his "Hérodiade," the biblical story of Salome, won Massenet and his librettist Paul Milliet secondary excommunication.
One of the first individuals to enjoy an unlisted telephone number, a popular story emerged as a result of a conversation with his librettist Jules Claretie. They were deciding how the heroine should die and another caller whose wires managed to cross happened to overhear the key portions of the conversation and threatened to call the police.
Massenet died on 13 August 1912, Paris, France.