A musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel "Notre Dame de Paris" which follows the gypsy dancer Esmeralda and the three men who vie for her love: the kind hunchback Quadimodo, the twisted priest Frollo, and the unfaithful soldier Phoebus.



(libretto), (novel)

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Cast overview:
Hélène Ségara ...
Daniel Lavoie ...
Bruno Pelletier ...
Garou ...
Patrick Fiori ...
Luck Mervil ...
Julie Zenatti ...


A musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel "Notre Dame de Paris" which follows the gypsy dancer Esmeralda and the three men who vie for her love: the kind hunchback Quadimodo, the twisted priest Frollo, and the unfaithful soldier Phoebus.

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Did You Know?


Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Bruno Pelletier, and Luck Mervil reprised their roles in the original London production of the musical. See more »


Alternate-language version of Notre Dame de Paris - Live Arena di Verona (2002) See more »


Written by Riccardo Cocciante
Performed by Luck Mervil
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Most successful of our modern musicals
19 December 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The voices alone prove just why this musical was such a success in Europe and Asia. All of the cast have been decorated with various musical honours in and out of live theatre in Quebec (with the exception of Helene Segara, a native French pop singer, and Garou, a newcomer to the live entertainment circle). Their strong musical backgrounds made this show absolutely irresistible.

Garou's performance as Quasimodo could not have been more perfect as his rough voice accurately portrays the heartbreaking sadness of the character. Helene Segara is sweet without being distasteful (one of the only Esmeraldas who does not plaster herself all over Phoebus right from the get-go), and is powerful with her voice when she needs to be while retaining a lighter sound when required. Daniel Lavoie's voice fits Frollo perfectly, but his songs seem lacking when compared to others. Patric Fiori and Julie Zenatti are wonderful when they sing together as Phoebus and Fleur-de-Lys, but both are equally strong in their individual roles. Luck Mervil's Clopin is strong as the leader of the Gypsies, though his notes are mercurial and quite unpredictable at times. And lastly, Bruno Pelletier narrates and threads the entire story as Gringoire, his voice ever so brilliantly bringing out the mood of each scene. The acting, on the most part, is very well done. Considering that most of these actors have done some kind of theatre in the past, there are very few exceptions, mostly to do with dancers and the lack of interaction between the characters.

The style of presentation is really very refreshing, and it doesn't seem to matter that these actors no longer sing to each other but to the audience through very obvious head-mics. There are some small concerns with the pre-recorded tracks and chorus, but this little cheat is forgiven in view of the awesome live performances by the cast. This kind of presentation along with the dancers who often become an extension of the set makes this musical seem more like a pop/rock concert, perhaps more appealing to a younger audience. The choreography is very expressive, and the dancers set the perfect rhythm and feeling for each piece of music performed. The acrobatics, however impressive, never upstage the performers, striking an even balance. The dark, cold and rather barren feeling of the empty stage evokes a sense of modernism, and enhances the tragedy within the story.

Plamondon's libretto strengthens Cocciante's music, though both are obviously very able in each of their own discipline. The plot stays true to the book and omitted only things unnecessary in this particular depiction of the story. The English subtitles are accurate enough for one to appreciate the lyrics, and several of the songs do translate well into English. But when available, the original French language audio track is the best to listen to in order to appreciate how the music carries the lyrics, even if the audience isn't fluent in French.

If there is anything left to be desired, it is actual editing of the made for TV/DVD version. For the most part it does its job well. Besides giving a clear view of what the actors are doing individually and what the dancers are doing, the editors added some cropped closeups within a distance shot to give the feeling of the entire stage. However there are some very, very clichéd stills inserted in attempts to emphasize certain things (such as the insert of Phoebus' face at the end of Beau Comme le Soleil, depicting Fiori straining for a note). That being said, one can at least be appreciative of being able to see what the actors look like.

Overall, a wonderful musical/performance that delivers an enjoyable experience, and a very successful attempt at an innovative presentation. It is absolutely a worthwhile musical to spend some time appreciating.

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