In most other versions the order of these songs is a little different. It goes Être Prétre et aimer une Femme, Phoebus, then Je te reviens vers toi and finally La Monture. Both orders make a level of sense but I prefer the original, it just always seemed odd to me that Frollo would sings about loving a woman right after he tortured her, but the order made sense to someone.

Phoebus

Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris  Phoebus picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda singing Phoebus

Phoebus is Esmeralda’s plea to the aforementioned. She bittersweetly asks him to save her and gives some exposition about how the man in black stabbed him. She then begs him to at least remember her.

It’s a pretty yet simple song that has a lovely melody that has wave like quality.

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme (To be a Priest and to love a woman)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Etre Pretre et aimer une Femme

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme lifts a lots of its lines from Frollo’s confession to Esmeralda in the jail, so basically I love this song and what is so great about Notre Dame de Paris is that we get two instances of the jail scene, so yay.

This song has a lot of power and moving lines. Frollo is a preist and therefore not free to love a woman but he can’t help it because as he stifled his emotions, he has no power to fight them when they are super strong.

The songs also makes it seem that Frollo’s “love” for Esmeralda is not just lust-based, he seems to love is some weird twisted way. This is in constast to other versions and even some versions of Notre Dame de Paris and it really could just come down to Daniel Lavoie’s acting.

The melody is also great. It has a great off-kilter tone that is still pretty which suits Frollo.

La Monture (The Mounting)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys singing La Monutre

La Monture is Fleur-de-Lys’ big number. It’s the songs that really drives home her personality which all the versions is the biggest is this musical. Pending on what version of the musical you are watching this songs is vastly differnet because of the order of song and the staging.

In the original, Fleur-de-Lys sings this song to herself/shadow. This looks cool on the DVD but perhaps to an audience it doesn’t have the same effect so they changed the staging. What is nice about her singing to herself is it makes her look desperate and at her limits and it also makes her asking for Esmeralda’s death seem like it has a pathos because she at the end of her rope and can’r cope with Phoebus anymore. There is no doubt that she means it, she wants Esmeralda dead as there is a just spitefulness in her voice.

The other staging has Fleur-de-Lys singing directly to Phoebus after he sings Je te reviens vers toi. She singings in less a desperate, spiteful way and more in a sexual way. Basically she doesn’t believe Phoebus‘ song even though Phoebus says in his song that Esmeralda will die (at least in the French and English version), though in English he asks Fleur-de-Lys what me must to to get back with her. This staging make Fleur-de-Lys more calculating, cruel and cold. She is more in control of herself and Phoebus and she uses her leverage to get what she wants, the competition dealt away with.

I think it comes down to preference. One staging gives Fleur-de-Lys a little more sadness as she in not as in control of herself or her emotions and the other gives her power and control but she uses it to ensure someone’s death.

Now as far as the song its self goes, because I almost forgot to discuss the song, silly me. It’s great. Like some other songs at this point in the show it has that off-kilter prettiness and Fleur-de-Lys‘ sweet voice is a great contrast to the horrors that she is singings. It’s is Fleur-de-Lys‘ best song in the show, which isn’t REALLY saying that much since it like three but it’s great non the less.

Je te reviens vers toi (I return to you)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi

I REALLY hate this song. It’s mean. Phoebus sings about how he is returning to Fleur-de-Lys and he is all better now. Since it’s clear that Phoebus is lying it probabdly why they switch the songs around but Esmeralda is going to die and yet Fleur-de-Lys is like, “ok makes she does,” not sure why that would have been hard for Phoebus, but even about the order changes.

I dunno this song just seemed mean but it does showoff Phoebus‘ singing and has a nice powerful beat. It’s the subject matter that is detestable and so is Phoebus.

Fun Fact – Patrick Fiori once made the mistake of saying “From the Deeps of you, it’s me I still love” instead of ‘From the Deeps of me it’s you I still love,” pardon my bad translation I only took a year of French but it’s a silly mistake that I could see a Phoebus saying.

Je reviens vers toi

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

Condamnés (Condemns)

Luck Mervil as Clopin from Notre Dame de Paris Condamnés picture image

Luck Mervil as Clopin performing Condamnés

I won’t beat around the proverbially bush, I don’t like Condamnés, not even a little. I will admit, I like somethings it does but on the whole, not a fan.

In the context of the show, Clopin has been told that Esmeralda has been arrested and will die if she is not saved. I took Clopin telling Gringoire not to tell him anymore as like a code for like leave it to me, I got this. I’m not sure why I thought this but that is how I took that exchange the first time I watched the musical. So Clopin then sings about how unfair the world is, again but this time it’s outside a jail and he gets arrested. So either that was his way of saving Esmeralda or he was just complaining, take your pick.

As a song, this is pretty much the same subject matter as Le Sans Papiers but more desperate and angry. The emotions are good but I don’t feel the show needed it has second song.

The big issue I have with the song is the dancing and the costumes. I mean dear god what are they wearing? Rain Gear and why white hooded shirts? Who thought that would be good? Clopin makes it work but on the dancers it looks dumb. And then there are the weird spazzy turing movement and flinging into the other dancers, I like it not.

If there was one thing that could have help this song it would have been the music but alas it really does nothing for me. I think the point of this number is because they needed something to fill in between Les Oiseaux qu’on met en Cage and Le Procés. And as a gap filler it does work and makes Clopin being saved later make sense but this song could have been so much better.

Le Procés (The Trial)

Helene Segara as Esmeralda and Daniel Lavoie as Frollo NOtre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Frollo

Le Procés is Esmeralda’s trial and Frollo is acting as the judge. Now I know what you might be thinking, why Frollo? That is a good question since really contextually it makes no sense that he would be running the trial as in the book he was just sort of there. However from a practical standpoint it is necessary as the show doesn’t have any extras for singing so they had to use Frollo in this capacity.

But how is the song? It’s great, it has a creepy yet sexy tone to it and Frollo adds great tension as he knows what happened but plays it like Esmeralda did it. The strong beats are also wonderful at adding drama in a short time frame.

I also like how Esmeralda while scared does stand up for herself, she throws it right back at Frollo that he looks like one who stabbed Phoebus and she has nothing to confess.

The part where Frollo and the disembodied chorus sings, She’s a witch, Foreigner, Gyspy and a non-believer, I used to have that as ring-tone. It was pretty awesome though I never answered my phone but I never really answer it anyway. But I really to love that part.

La Torture (The Torture)

Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris La Torture picture image

Esmeralda as Helene Segara performing La Torture

La Torture is weird. Basically Frollo calls for the torture, Esmeralda’s foot in put in the vice and she confesses with basically “I love him, I confess” and that is it and the Frollo takes that as the confession and she sentenced to death.

I heard somewhere that according to Daniel Lavoie, original Frollo, that Frollo takes that confession with its wording because Frollo didn’t want to torture her, so her confession it was enough. And sure why not? Makes a level sense. But if you are just watching the show, it’s like huh?

As far as a song goes it serviceable for scene but there isn’t a lot to it.

I will say that that the original version and other versions are quite different in how the actual torture goes. In other versions Esmeralda is not in the huge cage for this scene though it is in the background. Instead she is tied up at the start of Le Procés. It seems like instead of the boot they tie something around her ankle and pull the two ropes in two opposition directions for the torture. It’s more dramatic than the boot but instead of compressing it’s pulling. Just a weird staging difference, I guess.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

This is off-the-cuff

There is something about Stephanie Bedard that just doesn’t work for me. She is a very good singer and she has a nice power in her voice but I don’t get any feeling here. It’s just a tepid version of Vivre. She is not performing it she just singing it, albeit nicely but still there is like nothing to it.

It’s ok. Laurent is sing nicely which is odd considering how he typically sings Quasimodo but he injects some feeling into it. However, he has been in something like 500+ performances of Notre Dame de Paris so I would imagine it would be second-nature to him at this point.

This is cute. I feel like I get something from Bedard other than nice singing maybe it’s fun and relax. Laurent’s fast paced and rockfish Belle is weird but fun and I liked the duet angle with Bedard.

 

Act II Commence!

Florence

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire and Daniel Lavoie performing  Florence  Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire and Daniel Lavoie performing Florence

The second act opens in a very similar manner as the first act. Florence is a duet between Frollo and Gringoire and the sing about the changing weird mainly how the printing press will affect architecture. This of course is the subject to a long chapter in the novel but it was very interesting and it translates to a lovely song.

Unlike Le Temps, Florence has a more melancholic tone or at least bittersweet. However neither Frollo or Gringoire point to how they feel about this transition, they present it more as fact.

If there is a negative it that tonally Frollo ends the first act by stabbing Phoebus and now he is wondering about the state of the age. It’s just weird.

The Song has a lovely melody and both singer add great emotion. The Song ends with Frollo and Gringoire commenting on Quasimodo being in love.

This was Daniel Lavoie favorite song.

Les Cloches (The Bells)

Quasimodo with a Bell Les Cloches Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo with a bell

One this I love about this number are dudes hanging from the Bells, that looks like so much fun.

Les Cloches is on the one hand a fun song and on the other it’s rather sad. How can it be both? It’s fun because it up-tempo and Quasimodo sings all the instances when he rings the bells, which is pretty every hour of every day, busy guy.

However in his duty he has to ring the bells for lover getting married and he knows this doesn’t apply to him and more over the bells never ring for him which makes him sad as he loves the bells.

This precisely captures not all Quasimodo’s relationship with the bells but his feeling on love and his future. There also a lot emotion in this song and Garou exposes Quasimodo’s inner working perfectly.

Patrick Fiori once said in the Frequentstar special that of all the songs in Notre Dame de Paris, this is the one he would most want to sing.

Où est-elle? (Where is she?)

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire and Luc Mervil as Clopin during  Où est-elle? Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire and Luc Mervil as Clopin during Où est-elle?

What is this? Another trio about Esmeralda, this makes the second one of in the musical. This time it’s Gringoire, Frollo and Clopin. in Où est-elle ? Frollo asks Gringoire where Esmeralda is and he pretends he doens’t know but tells Clopin. Thet all miss her and remark that Paris is sadder without her.

It’s a pretty simple song but it heart-felt even from Frollo even with all his weird confused lusty feeling towards her. And all their voice work well together.

Les Oiseaux qu’on met en Cage (The Birds in Cages)

Esmeralda in jail les oiseaux qu'on met en cage Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda in jail

Ok, I’m just going to say it, Les oiseaux qu’on met en cage is one of my favorite songs in the show, like easy top three.

This song is a depressing duet between Esmeralda and Quasimodo. Esmeralda in jail asks for Quasimodo to save her and not Gringoire or Clopin as her and Quasimodo have a bond that she doesn’t seem to have with the other two. Quasimodo longingly wonders where Esmeralda is.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo have such pathos in their voices that it hard not to love this song. It’s also just a lovely duet with beautifully sad lyrics.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Helene Segara as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Helene Segara as Esmeralda

Notre Dame de Paris is often praised for being one of the more accurate version of Hunchback and while it is the wedding scene is REALLY rush to the point that it’s hardly there.

Really it’s glossed over. You could say it takes place during La Cour des Miracles, Clopin asks if a lady wants Gringoire and Esmeralda say she’ll take him. Clopin says in the original version something like “He’s yours as a spouse but not as a lover.” End of Wedding, no jug and no wedding merriment unless you count Esmerald and Gringoire dancing as the song wraps up.

In other versions Clopin’s line is more like Esmeralda had to sleep in his bed. Gringoire then sings a line about how she saved in just in time and Esmeralda response by singing that though she saved him she won’t sleep in this bed. In either version these line are a littler superfluous as the next song aging shoot him down though he is all like Baby you can be my muse, really do you need to repeat this two times but forgo much of the wedding scene?

Then they have their wedding night which is a sweet number though Esmeralda still rejects Gringoire for Phoebus. I mean she just changed the subject when he tries and it like I would rather know what the name Phoebus means. She doesn’t mince any words.

There is nothing much from the original book scene expect they get married in the court of miracles as a means to save Gringoire and Esmeralda rejects him afterwards. While it would have been nice to have the jug scene or a longer song with some of the book lines, Notre Dame de Paris did get the core basics of the scene and really that’s all it needed to do.

L’Ombre (The Shadow)

Daniel Lavoie as Shadow Form Frollo with Patrick Fiori as Phobus performing L’Ombre Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Shadow Form Frollo with Patrick Fiori as Phobus performing L’Ombre

I always found this song a little more than silly as Phoebus asks why his shadow is wearing a coat and a hat. I get that it’s lyrical but I would buy that Phoebus would wonder why his shadow was a better dresser that him. Also Frollo’s pose is kind of funny as he holds up his arms.

Again, L’Ombre is a bridge songs to get us to the encounter scene. It’s taken from the book which is called something like the Goblin Monk. It’s not as funny as the chapter. Frollo and Phoebus don’t have their witty banter where Phoebus wants to fight and is broke and Frollo offers to pay for the room but wants to watch.

The song is ok. I like the beats and melody. The Lyrics are a little weird. they start silly but then Phoebus aska who would follow him and them asks if he’s a man of god and he likes of course. So I have no clue if Phoebus knows who the shadow is or if he just being dumb. But it’s a good bridge song and it’s really the only song in Notre Dame de Paris that is suppose to be humorous.

Le Val d’amour

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with dancer during Le Val d’amour  Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with dancer during Le Val d’amour

Literally means Valley of Love but it’s a brothel. What kind of guy would ask for a tryst at a brothel? Phoebus, what a charmer. My guess is that because he a frequent visitor, he gets a discount for the room.

This scene is a vast departure from the book as Phoebus meets Esmeralda at a inn type house called Pomme d’Eve (or something like that). I guess that isn’t as romantic of a name. Le Val d’amour brothel was mentioned in the book however as the place Jehan goes to for some paid loving.

Le Val d’amour itself is a fun number. Gringoire sings it and sells it as THE brothel to visit when you’re in town as it offers good quality for low, low prices. He even gives detailed directions which is so Victor Hugo. It’s also a great number for Gringoire as he back into his fun party mood like in the Feast of Fools number. Plus this also really the last fun number in the show, so enjoy it.

The dancing is very sensual but in the Italian version is even more sexual. Also when I first heard the original London version I swear I heard the lines “Guitars implore Ga-Glor-ka-Glor.” Not really sure how to spell what I heard….

La Volupté (The Sensuous)

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus in La Volupté with his prize winning Smug look Notre Dame de Paris  picture image

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus in La Volupté with his prize winning Smug look

I’ll be blunt, I have never really liked La Volupté. The only thing I have really liked about is Phoebus’ smug look and that could just be Patrick Fiori. That being said I don’t think it’s a bad song, it didn’t make my hit list.

The music is fine and it has a nice sensual electric guitar thing but everything that is silly about the scene in the book is gone, except for that smug look. Also the song indicates that Esmeralda should have a darker skin tone than Phoebus, so at least with original cast, it takes me a little out of things but that is a major nitpick.

But you know what is NOT a major nitpick, we see shadow Frollo stab Phoebus but you also see Gringoire make the same gesture down stage. What this is meant to indicate is that Gringoire is telling the story and is pantomiming the actions, but it gets a little lost as it looks like Gringoire is the one doing the stabbing even though he is not.

All in all, it’s a okay song for moving the plot along but it’s a bit confused in execution. Thank goodness for that almighty smug look.

Fatalité (Fatality)

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire singing  Fatalité  Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire singing Fatalité

Again like La Volupté, Fatalité is not my favorite. But it is one of the few songs in Notre Dame de Paris where all the principle leads are on stage together. I think Belle is the other time unless you want to count the encore.

Again Fatalité has that nice guitar riff that is heard in La Volupté. It is very dramatic as Gringoire sings about how no can escape Fate. It’s a nice closer to Act I but it seems a little lacking if I were to compare it to Le Mis (One Day More) or Phantom (All I ask of you reprise) or even Der Glockner von Notre Dame (Esmeralda). I mean it’s fine but it’s not a song I’m inclined to listen to a lot.

I’d give it a B- as a grade, though I’m not grading the songs so that doesn’t really mean that much.

End of Act I!

All in all, despite my criticisms, Act I is great.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

This part have FIVE songs because of someone’s weird decision to change a song

Ma maison c’est ta maison (My House is your House)

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame Ma Maison c'est ta maison garou helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame

Ma maison c’est ta maison is one of the sweetest songs in Notre Dame de Paris. In it Quasimodo offer Notre Dame as both protection and a home to Esmeralda, very nice. This is the only version really do this as Esmeralda isn’t in any trouble.

It also just a nice duet between Quasimodo and Esmeralda but it offer some character development, like what Notre Dame means to Quasimodo, like it’s his passion, his air, his prison his homeland etc. Esmeralda admits to being afraid of Quasimodo but through this interacting she changing her mind as he reminds her of the gargoyles which make her laugh when she is bored. That could sound mean but it’s not meant that way.

Melodically the song is very gentle and sweet. Unlike the other songs in the song the built isn’t with music, it’s Esmeralda and Quasimodo singing together which is a nice little change.

This song also makes Notre Dame seem great, cool in the summer and warm in the winter, I live in New England so that sound wonderful as we have insane winters and crazy humid summers.

One more thing, I really like when Esmeralda takes Quasimodo’s hands, it’s very nice. It’s always nice when the performer have good chemistry and Garou and Helene Segara have really wonderful chemistry.

Ave Maria Païen (The Pagan Ave Maria)

Helene Segara singing Ave Maria Paien in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Helene Segara singing Ave Maria Paien

Ave Maria Païen is one of Esmeralda’s big musical numbers. It’s a clear homage to the 1939 version when she prays to Mary. Disney had a similar scene but the tone and message was a little different.

In this song Esmeralda ask for protect for herself and she asks that barrier like race, nationality and other creeds that divide people be lifted which is her philosophy. So while she asks for protection and also ask for the welfare of people who get trampled on people in power much like God Help the Outcast.

The song itself is rather simple but gorgeous. Instead of having complex chords and music it instead has a children choir which just adds a lot of beauty and atmosphere. Also Helene Segara sells with song with a lot of passion in her voice.

Jens sens ma vie qui bascule (I feel my life slipping)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Jens sens ma vie qui bascule Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Jens sens ma vie qui bascule

While Esmeralda was praying Frollo was watching her and he becomes more fascinated by her. Really, this bridge song is meant to link Ave Maria Païen with Tu vas me détruire but in some way it’s more of introdution to Frollo’s song. It makes that point that Frollo is becoming vulnerable.

As a bridge song goes, Je sens ma vie qui bascule was perfect for Frollo’s character and the flow of the show and then they ruined it.

Si Tu Pouvais Voir en moi (If you could see inside me)

Gio di Tonno as Quasimodo, Notre Dame de Paris Itlaian version picture image

Gio di Tonno as Quasimodo, Notre Dame de Paris Itlaian version

Sometime in 2001 someone changed Jens sens ma vie qui bascule to Si Tu Pouvais Voir en moi song by Quasimodo, who is now the one watching Esmeralda pray taking Frollo out of the scene which makes his following song come out of no where which makes for sloppy flow.

But more than that this song is basically Quasimodo calling Esmeralda out for being shallow and not loving him as every other guy’s love is not true like his. This song is just fucking pointless, we already know this from Belle. I just don’t understand the thought process of ruining the pacing, the following song, and ruining Quasimodo’s character. Quasimodo is calling her shallow for not seeing inside and yeah Quasimodo did something like that in the book with vases but this song feels wrong for his character.
Really it would have been fine for Quasimodo to watch Esmeralda pray but it ruined too much to be meaningful to the show. I HATE this song, hate, hate, hate. Boo!

Tu vas me détruire (You will destory me)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris

This is Frollo’s first big solo number. In Tu vas me détruire, Frollo sings about how his obsession is going to destory him and he on the one hand cares as he curses her but on the other he doesn’t care. He is going to sink into his obsession without any remorse.

The performer playing Frollo typically put their own spin while singing this song. Some are more angry while others are tragic. What I like about Lavoie’s version is that he has a great combination of pathos and desperate anger which is perfect for the character. I also like the way he hold his hand with a lot of tension like he trying to retain what little control he has left.

The staging is also really great. As Frollo sing pillars are trying to crush him. Literally his issues of purity and purity are trying to kill. If you really look at those pillars, you can see eyehole and a doors.

The music has a weird mix of being gentle but really off and I don’t mean off like the timing but like a stirring madness which again is perfect for the character and mood.

When I was first into this show, this song was one my favorites.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

Here are two promo videos for the July performances in Lebanon

 


 

Ok, here are some off-the-cuff things because I got too lazy to do the post I original planned.

Number 1 – I know they do this ALL the time in NDdP promos but the mixing of the casts is so hilarious to me. The first video is guilty of this and not the second one. It’s defiantly audio from the original cast but I swear it’s the 2011-2012 Asian tour cast, I could be wrong, but the Esmeralda at 0:26 looks like Candice Parise and judging by the dress it isn’t the same as the one used when Alessandra Ferrari played the role in the “World Tour” cast.

For the record this cast version for the Beymouth performances is the latest French Cast that played in Korea in February 2015.

Number 2 – Why? Why is the audio so bad. Honestly, I can’t tell if this cast sucks or not because of the horrible audio in like every video I have seen from it except the Vivre duet. Such bad audio quality. Though I THINk I like this cast’s Fleur-de-Lys. But it should be a crime for Belle to have that bad of audio quality.

Number 3 – So, I dunno, when do you think France will get performances outside of those concerts they used to do? I means it’s always nice to hear about new Notre Dame de Paris performances but they now seldom leave Asia and let’s not forget that Lebanon did get a Notre Dame de Paris concert in 2012, just saying.

If I sound bitter perhaps I am but I mean besides in Italy there haven’t been a performance of this musical in Europe since 2010 and forget about North America and yet there has been three difference casts in two different languages playing the same cities in East Asia and Russia since roughly 2011. Then again I freely admit that I know nothing about booking and putting on a show of this scale perhaps the blame should go to a lack of interest in the West. Still I for my part can be bitter and jealous.

To those who are fortunate to go to these performances, enjoy and do let me know how the cast is, stupid bad audio in the promo makes it hard to tell.

Anarkia

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Anarkia Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Anarkia



Ok, I love this bridge but it is 43 seconds of three completely different subject matters.

Subject Number 1; 0:00-0:17

Frollo asks Gringoire about Esmeralda. Gringoire says that she is his wife and Frollo orders Gringoire not to touch her which Gringoire would never permit himself to do but not for the lack of trying, am I right?

Subject Number 2; 0:18-0:33

Gringoire asks about the word craved on the wall, Anarkia. Frollo tells him that it means “fate” in greek. Which is a simplified definition of the word but it’s not wrong.

Subject Number 3; 0:34-0:43

Gringoire sees Quasimodo being taken away and Frollo says (or sings) that God know why he got arrested but the jerk knows.

Anyway three magical subjects and my goodness do they not blend together at all. I mean they needed a song likeAnarkia but this song suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder. I mean I love that they put concept of Ananke in the musical but it so shoe-horned in.

ReallY just find the three subjects throw together hilarious but it does get us to the next scene, it sort of lifted from the books and helps the plot so I don’t hate it.

A Boire (A Drink)

Garou Helene Segara Quasimodo and Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

This scene is one of the most important scenes in the book as it’s when Quasimodo falls in love with Esmeralda after she gives him some water and pity. The song itself is fine, Quasimodo is emotional and pathetic as he tied to the pillory. I like how he is rocked back and forth as it’s a nice visual.

There isn’t really too much to A Boire though. It has a nice tonal shift with a march at the beginning then become sad and haunting. But that is pretty much it. It feels more like a bridge song to get us to the song of the show.

Belle

Notre Dame de Paris Belle Esmeralda Helen Segara, Garou Quaismodo, Frollo Daniel Lavoie Phoebus Patrick fiori picture image

Garou as Quasimodo , Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, Patrick Fiori as Phoebus and Helene Segara as Esmeralda performing Belle

There is very little contest over what the star of the show is and it is Belle. For many it was that first song they heard from the show, myself included.

Belle is a highly emotional song as it perfectly expressives the feelings for Esmeralda from three different perspectives. Quasimodo sings about a tenderness with underlying sexual desires, Frollo sings about a conflictions of desires against seeing her as combination of evil and pure and Phoebus just can’t resist wanting to have sex with her even though it hurts his fiancee.

These perspectives are not only perfectly captured by the lyrics but the key changes. Quasimodo is sweet and melodic, Frollo is a little stronger and his a heavy drum beats, and Phoebus has a more rock-like vibe.

The staging is also wonderful. Pending on the version, Quasimodo either sits on top of the pillory for his part or his hands are still tied but he can make lunges towards Esmeralda. With him on the pillory it makes the part seem more dream-like but the other way makes him seem more protective towards Esmeralda. Frollo and Phoebus more of less just stare intently at Esmeralda, though Frollo knells before her and Phoebus motions toward Fleur-de-Lys. At the end when they all sing together Esmeralda lies on the floor in a crucifixion like pose as the three mean close in around her, foreshadowing these loves are fatal for her.

If I had one criticism of this song, it’s that I don’y have any criticism of it. It’s pretty perfect. Well maybe one but it has to with the staging, what are those guys doing with Fleur-de-Lys. they like push her around and then Phoebus saves her? Huh? Is it to show Phoebus likes Fleur-de-Lys while still desiring Esmeralda, because we kind of got that already. It’s just weird. But again that is staging and not the song.

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Can you guess the theme of these songs?

Le Mot Phoebus (The word Phoebus)

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Helene Segara as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Helene Segara as Esmeralda

Le Mot Phoebus is one of my favorite little bridge songs in Notre Dame de Paris. First off the melody is very pleasant and sweet. Second this the ONLY time that Gringoire and Esmeralda get a duet, which is a shame, makes sense but a shame, though in other versions the get two lines in La Cour des Miracles but still.

In Le Mot Phoebus Esmeralda tells Gringoire he has been Friend-zoned and Gringoire isn’t that upset about it. I think he would have been happier with her be his muse, nymph, his lady but Gringoire is a chill dude and just goes with it.

It’s just a few nice lead into the next song.

Beau comme le Soleil (He is like the Sun)

Juie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys & Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris Original Cast, picture image

Juie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys & Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris Original Cast

And what is this? It’s the next song, fancy that. Beau comme le Soleil is a rather interesting song as it’s another duet sung by Esmeralda and Fleur-de-Lys in tandem but not really together about the man-whore know as Phoebus.

Now Esmeralda has known him for a solid day and had two interactions with him. One she was more-or-less flirtatiously gave a vague account of her life and the second time she refused him after he saved her and then somewhat agreed to met him at a brothel and now she in totally in love with him, teenagers am I right? Whether or not it’s believable from a logical stand point, Esmeralda’s part is a directly foiled by Fleur-de-Lys’ part.

Esmeralda’s part is just about a growing love or fascination for a guy she doesn’t know at all. All she knows is he is handsome. Fleur-de-Lys knows more about him like he is rascal but she is attracted to me on a more physical level than romantic idolization. It’s an interesting pairing of two loves that are both shallow and immature.

The melody is nice and the part they sing together is really pretty. I love how great the original cast harmonizes toegther.

Also I haven‘t talked about the editing very much but that overlay at the end with Phoebus is so derpy. In other versions, Phoebus appears between the ladies but on the Original cast DVD, that overlay makes me laugh every single time.

Déchiré (Torn)

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus from Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus Notre Dame de Paris

Ah Déchiré, Déchiré and I go way back to my first AMV, the character was pretty the embodiment of this song. And what is Déchiré all about? It’s about how Phoebus is super duper happy that two lovely ladies want him.

Unlike in the book, Phoebus here expresses a desire for having both women in his life instead of Esmeralda being a one night stand. Fleur-de-Lys would have been the wife and Esmeralda would have been the mistress. At some points in times, mistresses were totally ok, I’m not sure if that was the case for 1482 France but the point is two women want his love and he is normal for being happy about it.

I really enjoy this song. I would say this song is upbeat even though it’s a little disguised as being being moody and other versions don’t have the same level of dark wit. The song defiantly has great energy and is a testament to the stupid male ego.

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