Skip to main content

Notre Dame De Paris (the Hunchback of Notre Dame)

notre-dame-de-paris

Notre Dame de Paris, The Musical (Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Notre Dame de Paris is a musical originally from France, based on Victor Hugo's novel by the same title.

It premiered in 1998 and made musicals popular in France. The show has been translated into many languages and performed in countries all over the world. It made stars out of it's original cast. The original cast has performed reunion concerts of the show in Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg in December of 2010. And they also performed the Notre Dame de Paris Concerts in 2011 in Kiev and Paris. They also gave concerts in Beirut on July 9th & 10th 2012. The Original cast of Notre Dame de Paris performed the Notre Dame de Paris concerts in Kiev March 5th 2013, Moscow 7th & 8th 2013 and in St Petersburg March 10th 2013.

There has also been a World Tour Cast that performs the show in French and has a member of the original cast in it.


Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori, and Helene Segara in Costume

Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori, and Helene Segara in Costume

Brief History of the Show

The creators of the musical, Richard Cocciante (music) and Luc Plamondon (lyrics,) wanted to create a show based on a story that was big and universal.

It took them thirteen years to complete the musical. In January 1998, the original cast (with Noa as Esmeralda) performed the musical as a concert at MIDEM International Music Conference. 800 people were expected to attend but 2000 showed up.

The show premiered on September of 1998 and was a huge success and ran for over a year. The song of the show "Belle" sold over 2.5 million copies and remained on France's top ten chart for 18 weeks in a row. It was prize winner of Victories de La Musique, a prize winner at World Music Awards and nominated for Song of the Century.

The show has gone to be performed in Italy, Spain, London, Las Vegas, Canada, Russia, Korea, Belgium, and there was an Asian Tour in French in 2005 and World Tour in 2016 also in French as well as other Tours.

It was performed in English in Russia, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. The Original cast also perform a concert versions of the show.

In many ways despite being restricted by limits of the stage it is one of the most faithful adaptations to the book. Notre Dame de Paris also made musical theatre popular in France.

Factoid- There were 16 dancers in the original French production.

Notre Dame de Paris Cast from the top left to bottom right - Patrick Fiori, Daniel Lavoie, Helene Segara , Garou, Julie Zenatti, Luck Mervil, Bruno Pelletier

Notre Dame de Paris Cast from the top left to bottom right - Patrick Fiori, Daniel Lavoie, Helene Segara , Garou, Julie Zenatti, Luck Mervil, Bruno Pelletier

The Original of Cast

From the top left to bottom right - Patrick Fiori, Daniel Lavoie, Helene Segara , Garou, Julie Zenatti, Luck Mervil, Bruno Pelletier

Esmeralda- Originally Noa was casted in the role. She quit before the show premiered but there are a few recordings of her performing as Esmeralda.

The part was filled by Helene Segara. Originally from the South of France, prior to Notre Dame de Paris she sang in the French Rivera in piano bars. Since Notre dame she has released 10 albums.

Frollo - Daniel Lavoie , originally from Manitoba, Canada, Lavoie has been singing professionally since 1967. He released several albums before Notre Dame. Since Notre Dame he has released four albums, written songs, and in 2005 he performed in Le Petite Prince in Paris. He has reprised his role as Frollo in other productions of the show

Gringoire - Bruno Pelletier, originally from Quebec, he began by forming a band and sining in bars. He performed in musicals before Notre Dame de Paris and worked with Luc Plamondon. Since Notre Dame de Paris he has released several albums and has performed in many musicals. He also reprise his role as Gringoire in the 2000 London Production of Notre dame de Paris.

Quasimodo - Garou, originally from Quebec, he began singing in jazz bars. He was discovered by Luc Plamondon, who thought he was perfect for the role as Quasimodo. Since Notre Dame Garou has released several albums and is very popular in Europe. He also reprise his role as Quasimodo in the 2000 London Production of Notre dame de Paris.

Phoebus - Patrick Fiori, originally from the South of France, he has been singing since he was a teenagers and sang in Eurovision 1993 with the song "Mama Corsica" and he came in fourth place. Fiori also song in the French Version of Mulan the song "I'll make a man out of you" (Comme un Homme). After Notre Dame he has released several albums.

Scroll to Continue

Clopin - Luck Mervil, originally from Haiti and Quebec, he formed a group called Rudeluck and toured in France. Since Notre Dame de Paris he has released several albums and has been featured in television and movies. He also reprise his role as Clopin in the 2000 London Production of Notre dame de Paris.

Fleur-De-Lys - Julie Zenatti, originally from France performed in Notre Dame de Paris when she was 17 so prior to that she was in theater and she danced. Since Notre de Paris she has released severeal albums and was a judge on X Factor France.

Brief Synopsis - SPOILERS

Helene Segara and Daniel Lavoie during Act II performing Le Proces

Helene Segara and Daniel Lavoie during Act II performing Le Proces

Spoiler warning

Act I

The play opens with Gringoire (Bruno Pelletier) who acts as a story teller, tells about the age of cathedral and how ephemeral it is. We are then introduced to Clopin (Luck Mervil) who is trying to get sanctuary for himself and his group of refugees. Frollo (Daniel Lavoie), archdeacon of Notre Dame commands Captain of the Phoebus de Chateaupers (Patrick Fiori) to arrest the refugees. Phoebus then encounters a gypsy named Esmeralda (Helene Segara) who travels with Clopin and he takes a liking to her. Phoebus lets her go and sees his fiancee Fleur-De-Lys (Julie Zenatti).

The Feast of Fools starts with Gringiore presiding over it, this attracts Quasimodo (Garou) to leave Notre Dame and Quasimodo is then crowned The Pope of Fools (or King pending on the version.) Frollo then interrupts and blames Esmeralda for leading Quasimodo astray. Frollo plans to kidnap her later that night with Quasimodo's help. Quasimodo says he'll do anything for Frollo who took him in and cared for him when no else in the world would.

Gringoire then tries to follow Esmeralda but loses her in the dark streets of Paris. As she stop to warm herself, Quasimodo attempts to kidnap her with Frollo watching on. Before Quasimodo can get Esmeralda, Phoebus comes to her rescue and arrests Quasimodo. Phoebus asks to see Esmeralda again and she more or less agrees.

Gringoire then stumbles into the Court of Miracles where Clopin is king. Clopin plans to hang Gringoire for trespassing but Esmeralda takes him as her husband but she more interested in Phoebus and maintains that he relationship with Gringoire will be platonic.

The next day Quasimodo is sentenced on the pillory and Esmeralda gives him water. After Quasimodo's time up, he takes Esmeralda inside Notre Dame and tells her that if she ever needs a place she can come to Notre Dame. She prays to the Virgin Mary and Frollo takes notice and as she naps he tells her that she is destroying him because of his obsession with her. Frollo then goes to Phoebus to scare him into not meeting Esmeralda at a brothel, the Cabaret de Val d'amour. Despite being warned Phoebus meets with Esmeralda and he is stabbed by Frollo.

Act II

Frollo and Gringoire meet and discuss the changing world. They then hear the bells of Notre Dame ringing oddly, they surmise that it's because Quasimodo is in love. Quasimodo then explains that he rings the bells for all sort of occasions but he never rings the bell for himself. Frollo then asks Gringoire what has happen to Esmeralda, Gringoire tells he doesn't know but tells Clopin that she locked in tower and that she'll be hanged. Clopin tries to help her but he is arrested in the process.

Esmeralda is put on trial and is tortured and confesses under torture to killing Phoebus. After she is sentenced to die she prays to Phoebus to save her but Phoebus is crawls back to Fleur-De-Lys who is agrees because Esmeralda is going to die. Or pending on the version asks Phoebus to ensure Esmeralda's death.

Frollo visits Esmeralda and confesses his love for her and gives her his ultimatum, "the grave or my bed". She refuses and as he tries to corner her, Clopin, who was released by Quasimodo, hits Frollo on the head and they all escape.

Esmeralda takes refuge in Notre Dame. But she leaves Notre Dame when Clopin dies trying to save her. She is then arrested and lead to the gallows. Quasimodo begs Frollo to help but he confesses that he was the one who gave her over to the officers. As they watch Esmeralda die, Frollo laughs and Quasimodo throws Frollo from Notre Dame. Quasimodo then claims that Esmeralda belongs to him and as he mourns her to plans to follow her into death.

The Original Cast DVD Performance

Songs