On 13 March 1861 Bizet attended the Paris premiere of Wagner's opera Tannhäuser a performance greeted by audience riots that were stage-managed by the influential Jockey-Club de Paris. Towards the end of his address Gounod broke down and was unable to deliver his final peroration. Relations between the two had been cool for some years but Bizet responded positively to his former mentor's request for help writing: "You were the beginning of my life as an artist.
Georges Bizet (French pronunciation: [ʒɔʁʒ bizɛ]) formally Alexandre César Léopold Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer mainly of operas. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.