I suppose February is going to be a month of French music for me. I like Franck's Symphony in D minor and some Ravel, and that's about it.
I never warmed up to any of the French composers and as a massive opera fan, I find all French opera excruciatingly boring.
I would appreciate any suggestions of the musical gems I have been missing.
A tough one. I love French music, but it is hard to recommned without being sure why you dislike it and knowing what you have heard. One composer I love is Adam - he wrote many ballets, the most famous of which is Giselle. That may be a place to start. Offenbach has wonderful melodies. His opera, Tales of Hoffman, is a classic, but there are orchestral discs as well that you could find. Bizet would be a natural place to start for many, and here I'd recommend the L'arlesienne and Carmen Suites. Debussy is wonderful, but not everyone likes this style. His La Mer is great as are numerous other pieces. Faure is famous for his Requiem, which I think is probably the prettiest of all the most famous requiems. Of course, Saint Saens has wonderful Piano Concertos (among lots of other great stuff) that is worth seeking out. If you like Franck, you might seek out a piano disc on Hyperion that I have always liked.
But I can go on and on with Hahn, Massenet, Gounod, Auber, Thomas, Boieldieu, Herold, etc. Anything you could add might help to narrow down a few choices.