Gustave Charpentier, pronounced: , born in Dieuze, Moselle on 25 June 1860, died Paris, 18 February 1956) was a French composer, best known for his opera Louise.
Charpentier (no relation, incidentally, to the seventeenth-century composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier) was the son of a baker, and with the assistance of a rich benefactor he studied violin at the conservatoire in Lille before entering the Paris Conservatoire in 1881. There he took lessons in composition under Jules Massenet (from 1885) and had a reputation of wanting to shock his professors. In 1887 won the Prix de Rome for his cantata Didon. During the time in Rome that the prize gave him, he wrote the orchestral suite Impressions d'Italie and began work on the libretto and music for what would become his best-known work, the opera Louise.
Charpentier returned to Paris, settling in Montmartre, and continued to compose, including songs on texts by Charles Baudelaire and Voltaire. He eventually completed Louise, and it was accepted for production by the Opéra-Comique. A realistic portrait of Parisian working-class life, it is sometimes considered a French example of verismo opera.