I put a lot of thought into the pronouns for the subject line however there isn’t much to say on the characters’ characterizations, so we’re combining them into one post.
Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow
As Phoebus is Esmeralda’s primary romances focus there isn’t that much for Gringoire to do especially in the second act. Gringoire does marry Esmeralda, tries REALLY hard to seduce her and helps out with her act. Basically he is her friend. He does seem to be a writer as evident but him holding paper in his first number.
One thing that confuses me and I’m sorry if I didn’t mention it before, Esmeralda marries Gringoire BEFORE meeting Phoebus. This means her rejecting him is less about being a naive girl who thinks she was in love with handsome soldier and is more about that she just isn’t into him. I don’t know but it seems less dramatic if you ask me, which no one did.
Back to Gringoire. His character seems to air on the side of comic relief. His numbers are light and almost fun. Esmeralda rebuffing him and indicating he would be hanged if he didn’t do as he was told were cute. Though he does try to something to Esmeralda when she was sleeping which is creepy, though he did do creepy things in the book, like spy on her through a keyhole so it’s not out of character but why would you have that but mess-up the order of the story. There are some weird decisions in this ballet.
He does seem like a good friend to Esmeralda. He tries and comforts her when she learns about Fleur de Lys and he gives her two hugs in the second act. Once right before the first execution attempt and a second right before she actually executed. Since there is no attack on Notre Dame to save her hugs are all he really does and maybe that is enough to show he cares.
Clopin, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow
Clopin is definitely there. Since he looks like a pirate I would say that he is a leader of Court of Miracle- Leader of the Thieves and not the Duke of Egypt- Leader of the Romani. So many version combine the two characters and yet I’m pretty sure there was a third guy in that leader mix. Yet the text is confusing because it makes it seem like Clopin has all these titles, like Daenerys Targaryen, so reading the book I got confused and felt like an idiot that I would even think that Clopin wasn’t the Duke of Egypt but yes Clopin and the Duke are separate characters and there is a third guy, the Emperor of Galilee. Duke’s given name is Mathias Hungadi Spicali and the Emperor’s name is Gulillaume Rousseau. I do recall the duke being in the 1950’s version and the Jetlag version but no version has had a the Emperor of Galilee for good reason he is fat drunk who doesn’t do anything that I can recall.
Anyway back to this Ballet’s version of Clopin, I assume that is what they call him but I can’t read cyrillic so I don’t really know. While he doesn’t lead the attack on Notre Dame he does care for Esmeralda as evident by a hug he gives her in the second act.
He does try to hang Gringoire, which a one of Clopin’s tasks and oddly like the Disney movie he hosts the Pope of Fools crowning. Not much to him but he seems like a jovial guy in an eyepatch.
De Fleur de Lys
Fleur de Lys & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow
Fleur de Lys is a justifiable bitch, like in the 1956 version, I’m starting to see a little bit of a pattern. She loves Phoebus but her gives his love away to another girl. This metaphor is made clear by the scarf Fleur gives Phoebus which he gives to Esmeralda.
Unlike some other versions of Fleur, this version of her doesn’t help bring Esmeralda down or revel in her death. She is just sad and angry about Phoebus loving someone else but she does take him back without question and marries him. She is boring in this version and that is about it.