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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Song List in French
Overture - Orchestra
2. Le temps des cathedrales - Gringoire
3. Les sans-papiers - Clopin & Chorus
4. Intervention de Frollo - Frollo & Phoebus
5. Bohemienne - Esmeralda
6. Esmeralda tu sais - Clopin
7. Ces diamants-la - Fleur-de-Lys & Phoebus
8. La fete des fous - Gringoire & Chorus
9. Le Pape des Fous - Quasimodo
10. La sorciere - Frollo & Quasimodo
11. L'enfant trouve - Quasimodo
12. Les portes de Paris - Gringoire
13. Tentative d'enlevement - Phoebus & Esmeralda
14. La Cour des miracles - Clopin, Chorus & Esmeralda
15. Le mot Phoebus - Esmeralda & Gringoire
16. Beau comme le soleil - Esmeralda & Fleur-de-Lys
17. Dechire - Phoebus
18. Anarkia - Frollo & Gringoire
19. Ã boire! - Chorus, Frollo & Quasimodo
20. Belle - Quasimodo, Frollo & Phoebus
21. Ma maison, c'est ta maison - Quasimodo & Esmeralda
22. Ave Maria paien - Esmeralda
23. Je sens ma vie qui bascule - Frollo
24. Tu vas me detruire - Frollo
25. L'ombre - Phoebus & Frollo
26. Le Val d'Amour - Gringoire, Chorus & Phoebus
27. La volupte - Phoebus & Esmeralda
28. Fatalite - Gringoire, Frollo, Quasimodo, Clopin & Fleur-de-Lys
29. Florence - Frollo & Gringoire
30. Les cloches - Gringoire, Frollo, Quasimodo & Chorus
31. Ou¹ est-elle? - Frollo, Gringoire & Clopin
32. Les oiseaux qu'on met en cage - Esmeralda & Quasimodo
33. Condamnes - Clopin & Chorus
34. Le proces - Frollo & Esmeralda
35. La torture - Frollo & Esmeralda
36. Phoebus - Esmeralda
37. Etre pretre et aimer une femme - Frollo
38. La monture - Fleur-de-Lys
39. Je reviens vers toi - Phoebus
40. Visite de Frollo a Esmeralda - Frollo & Esmeralda
41. Un matin tu dansais - Frollo & Esmeralda
42. Liberes - Quasimodo, Clopin, Esmeralda, Gringoire & Chorus
43. Lune - Gringoire
44. Je the laisse un sifflet - Quasimodo & Esmeralda
45. Dieu que le monde est injuste - Quasimodo
46. Vivre - Esmeralda
47. L'attaque de Notre-Dame - Clopin, Frollo, Phoebus, Esmeralda, Gringoire & Chorus
48. Deportes - Phoebus & Chorus
49. Mon maitre, mon sauveur - Quasimodo & Frollo
50. Donnez-la moi - Quasimodo
51. Danse mon Esmeralda - Quasimodo
52. Danse mon Esmeralda Reprise - Orchestra
53. Le temps des cathedrales Reprise - Gringoire & Ensemble
Difference between the musical and the book - What are some of the big difference between Hugo's novel and the musical?
- There are less characters,
- The refugees are more of a plot point,
- Esmerlda's backstory is different, she is a full-fledge Romani,
- The musical doesn't start with Feast of Fools,
- Fleur-De-Lys has a more realized role,
- Quasimodo takes a liking to Esmeralda when he is crowned Pope of Fools, in book he falls in love with her after she gives him water,
- Quasimodo's trial does not occur,
- Quasimodo taking Esmeralda into Notre Dame and her praying to Mary, doesn't occur in the book
- Phoebus' and Esmeralda rendezvous location, in the book it was a house and in the musical it's a brothel,
- Frollo's alchemy is now just science,
- Quasimodo's rescue of Esmeralda is very different, he helps her escape from prison instead of swinging from the Notre Dame before she about to hang and declaring Sanctuary for her,
- Scenes that occur while Esmeralda is in sanctuary do not occur,
-Quasimodo does not take part in the attack of Notre Dame,
- In the Book, Phoebus doesn't play a role in the attack of Notre Dame in the musical he does and he pronounces Esmeralda's sentence.
Differences between the Original version and Subsequent versions
The show has gone through changes since it premiered in 1998.
-In the original production Phoebus tries to arrest Esmeralda when she is introduced. In subsequent versions she is introduced by dancing when Phoebus finds her.
-In the original version Esmeralda wears a Bindi whereas in subsequent versions she doesn't wear it
-Esmeralda gets choreography during Bohemienne
-Esmeralda Tu Sais is a duet between Clopin and Esmeralda whereas in the original production it was sung by just Clopin.
- In subsequent versions Gringoire and Frollo have a line each at the end of Tentative d'enlèvement, this because Frollo and Gringoire both appear at Esmeralda and Phoebus' meeting place and the line is just repeating the meeting place so the audience knows how they knew to go to the Cabaret de Val d'Amour in the first place.
- Esmeralda and Gringoire get more lines during Cour des Miracles. In the original, Esmeralda hold off on telling Gringoire that she's not interested in him till the next song, Le Mot Phoebus.
- Phoebus gets a second outfit, a white button down shirt. In the original he only wears chain-mail.
- In the original production as Quasimodo sings Belle, he sits on top of the pillory unchained. In subsequent versions Quasimodo remains chained during his verse and stands while singing and make lunges towards Esmeralda despite the chains.
-In the original production after Esmeralda sings Ave Maria Païen, Frollo sings a brief song before sing Tu vas me Détruire called Je sens ma vie qui bascule.
It's a prelude to Frollo's feelings. In subsequent versions Quasimodo sings the melody of Je sens ma vie qui bascule, but the song focuses on how he wishes Esmeralda knew his feelings as result Tu vas me Détruire comes out of nowhere.
- In subsequent versions Esmeralda makes an appearance during the Val d'Amour number opposed to the original where she comes into Val d'Amour during La Volupté.
- In some of the different versions Esmeralda has a third costume, a red dress with fringe at the end of sleeve which are 3/4, rose details on the skirt, and a green fringed kerchief wore at her hip. It's been wore by Shirel from a French cast, in the London cast, and in the Russian cast. Though this Red Dress in the 2005 French and the London Casts was just wore for promotion purposes it was wore in the Russian Version during La Volupté.
- In subsequent versions, during Le Procès and La Torture, Esmeralda is tied up whereas in original she is in a cage. In the 1999 version, Helene Segara was tied up instead in the cage. Click here to see a picture of the scene (Helene Segara as Esmeralda and Herbert Leonard as Frollo)
- Subsequent versions changes the order of the songs Phoebus, Etre prêtre et aimer une femme, La Monture, and Je reviens vers toi so that Etre prêtre et aimer une femme comes first then Phoebus, Je reviens vers toi, La Monture.
- In some subsequent versions, Frollo tears off his shirt in Etre prêtre et aimer une femme to varying degrees. In the Italian version he rips it so the shirt is just slightly open but the Russian version he rips it to expose his whole chest.
- Fleur-de-lys sings La Monture directly to Phoebus and as a result it's more sex-up in subsequent versions. In the original Fleur-de-lys sings La Monture to herself.
-During Liberes the jail opens horizontal across the stage in subsequent but in the original it open vertically up into the wings. This is mostly due to stage/theatre conditions.
- In subsequent versions Je te laisse un sifflet is a duet between Quasimodo and Esmeralda opposed to the original where Quasimodo sings as a solo.
Notre Dame de Paris Amusement
- Patrick Fiori says "Je suis le capitaine chargè de la sècuritè" ("I am the captain in charge of security," ) in the last performance the word "SECURITY" was written on his chain mail.
- During one performance, during "La volupté" the bed was covered with condoms.
- During one performance Fiori replaced Esmeralda's knife with a comb.
- During the song "Je reviens vers toi" Fiori instead of singing " au fond de moi c'est toi que j'aime encore" (From the depths of me, it's you I still love) he sang "au fond de toi c'est moi que j'aime encore" (From the depths of you it's me I still love)
- In the London production during "The Bird they put in Cages" Garou accidentally sang "do the children they put in cages" instead of " do they birds they put in cages." (This one is less funny now)
-In the December 2010 concerts in Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg, the last two lines of Belle were sung in Russian which delighted the crowds.
- In 2009, Garou, Daniel Lavoie and Patrick Fiori performed Belle on the Show "Vive les comedies musicales" and it wasn't not Esmeralda that the verses addressed but each other ^_~. (it's very silly because before the switch is revealed you can tell they're up to shenanigans) to see click here
- When Notre Dame de Paris was being translated into Russian, they decided to have a contest to see who could write the best Russian Lyrics for Belle. The winner was a 14 year girl. to see click here to see the Russian Music video to Belle with English lyrics. (Though I have read (in a master thesis) that the girl wrote Ces Diamnts-la and not Belle, so I'm not sure which source is likely true)
- The Frequent Star Special on Notre Dame de Paris, Patrick Fiori claims he lost 5 Kilo ( that's 10 pounds) as a result of running around in Chain Mail. He also tosses the Chain-mail shirt around to show that it was heavy.
Other Notable Casts
Esmeralda - Lola Ponce and Rosalia Misseri
Quasimodo - Giò Di Tonno and Fabrizio Voghera
Frollo - Vittorio Matteucci and Fabrizio Voghera
Gringoire - Matteo Setti and Heron Borelli
Phoebus - Graziano Galatone and Heron Borelli
Clopin - Marco Guerzoni and Cristian Mini
Fleur de Lys - Claudia d'Ottavi and Chiara Di Bari
Esmeralda - Tina Arena
Quasimdo - Garou
Frollo - Daniel Lavoie
Gringoire - Bruno Pelletier
Phoebus - Steve Balsamo
Clopin- Luck Mervil
Fleur-de-Lys - Natasha St-Pier
Esmeralda - Nadia Bel
Quasimodo - Matt Laurent
Frollo - Jerome Collet
Gringoire - Richard Charest
Phoebus - Laurent Ban
Clopin - Roddy Julienne
Fleur-de-Lys- Marie-Eve Janvier
Esmeralda - Thais Ciurana and Lily Dahab
Quasimodo - Albert MartÃnez
Frollo - Enrique Sequero
Gringoire - Daniel Anglès
Phoebus - Lisardo Guarinos
Clopin - Paco Arrojo
Fleur-de-Lys - Elvira Prado
Esmeralda - Teona Dolnikova, Diana Savelyeva and Svetlana Svetikova
Quasimodo Vyacheslav Petkun
Frollo - Alexander Marakulin
Gringoire - Alexander Postolenko
Phoebus - Anton Makarsky
Clopin - Sergey Lee
Fleur-de-Lys - Ekaterina Maslovskaya
Esmeralda - Choi Sung-hee (Bada), Oh Jin-yeong, and Mun Hye-won
Quasimodo - Yun Hyeong-ryeol, Kim Beop-rae
Frollo - Seo Beom-seok, Ryu Chang-woo
Gringoire - Kim Tae-hun, Park Eun-tae
Phoebus - Kim Sung-min, Kim Tae-hyeong
Clopin - Lee Jeong-yeol, Mun Jong-won : Clopin
Fleur-de-Lys - Kim Jeong-hyeon, Gwak Sun-young
Esmeralda - Janine Masse and Jessica Grove
Quasimodo - Doug Storm
Frollo - Francis Ruivivar, T. Eric Hart
Gringoire - Deven May
Phoebus - Mark W Smith
Clopin - David Jennings
Fleur-de-Lys - Jessica Grove
Esmeralda - Sandrine Van Handenhoven and Sasha Rosen
Quasimodo - Gene Thomas
Frollo- Wim Van Den Driessche
Gringoire - Dennis ten Vergert
Phoebus -Tim Driesen
Clopin - Clayton Peroti
Fleur-de-Lys - Jorien Zeevaart
2011-2012 Asian Tour Cast
Esmeralda - Candice Parise
Quasimodo - Matt Laurent
Frollo - Robert Marien
Gringoire - Dennis Ten Vergert
Phoebus - Stephen Webb
Clopin - Ian Carlyle
Fleur de Lys - Lilly-Jane Young
Quasimodo/Frollo - Nigel Richards
Gringoire/Phoebus - Tim Driesen
Esmeralda/Fleur de Lys - Myriam Brousseau
Quasimodo/Clopin - Marc Akinfolarin
Esmeralda - Alessandra Ferrari
Quasimodo - Matt Laurent
Frollo - Robert Marien
Gringoire - Richard Charest
Phoebus - Yvan Pedneault
Clopin- Ian Carlyle
Fleur de Lys - Elicia MacKenzie
French World Tour Cast
Esmeralda - Hiba Tawaji
Quasimodo - Angelo Del Vecchio
Frollo - Daniel Lavoie
Gringoire - Richard Charest
Phoebus - martin Giroux
Clopin - Jay
Fleur de Lys - Alyzée Lalande
In 2009 in an interview with Helene Segara, she hinted that the original troupe was talking about a reunion.
In December 2010 the Original Troupe performed four concerts; two in Kiev, one in St. Petersburg and one in Moscow.
In December 2011, they returned to Kiev and returned to where it all began; Paris, for three performances in Bercy. They have also performed in Beirut in July 2012. They also performed the Notre Dame de Paris concerts in Kiev March 5th 2013, Moscow 7th & 8th 2013 and in St Petersburg March 10th 2013.
This begs the question, will they continued to give perform Notre Dame de Paris Concerts and where will they perform next? I hope they have a few in North America.
The Original cast did not but the the World Tour cast is performing in New York City 2022 for a week. It was pushed back due to covid. Originally was to be September 2021.
Notre Poll de Paris
Tell me what want you think?
seodress on September 09, 2013:
Great videos and photos. Nice lens.
jadehorseshoe on December 25, 2011:
anonymous on July 13, 2011:
Hmm... I should have been here before taking your quizzes! Nicely done. :)
cdevries on May 02, 2011:
A very interesting Lens with a lot of information. In the introduction though, you forgot to include the title "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"... it might help readers understand faster! Also, a few minor English mistakes - maybe get a friend to read over it? Keep improving this good article - Squid Angel enthusiasm!