Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas was born August 5, 1811 in Metz, France. His father was a musician and so Ambroise learned music in childhood and played the piano and violin. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1828. He won the Prix de Rome in 1832 for his cantata, Hermann et Ketty. He had success in the Opéra Comique, he tried the Opera, but there was so much competition from giants such as Halévy, Auber and Meyerbeer, he returned to the Opéra Comique where he continued operatic success.