Gounod (1818 -1893) was a French operatic and choral composer born
and died in Paris. He lived in Paris at a time when light operas by
Meyerbeer and other foreigners resident in Paris were all the rage. He
started to contribute some more substantial, melodic and genuinely French music
to the Paris scene.
He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, won the Prix du
Rom,, became influenced by the music of Mendelssohn
and Bach, and started to write his own
Operas, and some oratorios.
Two of his operas remain popular today, Romeo
et Juliete, and Faust,
but the latter is by far his best known work.