L’Attaque de Notre-Dame (Attack of Notre Dame)

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris

This songs just hits like a ton of bricks after Vivre. Maybe that was the point but like I have said half the songs in the show are bridge songs that lead into the next song. Maybe that was the point to lull the audience in with nice flow and then break it but it seems to me that songs or scenes were cut between Vivre and L’Attaque de Notre-Dame and that whistle line was proof enough of that.
However how is L’Attaque de Notre-Dame? As a song it’s has a cool melody, though it’s mostly Le Sans Papier with another melody overlay over.

The song has two parts the first part is mostly Clopin and Phoebus singing. Phoebus and Frollo attack Notre Dame to get the Court of Miracles out as both Frollo and Phoebus want Esmeralda dead because Frollo couldn’t get some and Phoebus wants some, (wink wink.) Frollo at the start has a part where is gives Phoesbus the right to break the right of sanctuary, because he can do that. Phoebus’s main part is line line about outing the outlaws while Clopin sings the chorus of Le Sans Papiers.

The first part ends when Clopin is beaten to death and before dying asks Esmeralda to take over The Court of Miracles. Esmeralda then takes over singing Le Sans Papiers and Gringoire sings some verses from La Sans Papiers. However Phoebus and crew win.

While the music is very powerful, there is a weird context issue. Considering how accurate this version is regarded, this part is one of the least faithful versions. I’m not saying it doesn’t work within the show but I must mention it.

-Frollo in the book makes up the rumor that sanctuary is being suspended for a day but in the musical he can just do it.
-In the book the Court of Miracles attacks Notre Dame to save Esmeralda and get riches but in musical they are the ones defending the Cathedral with Clopin leading the charge.
-In the book Quasimodo defends Notre Dame to protect Esmeralda from people he thinks want to harm her but in the musical Quasimodo is not in this number at all.

I think for me that is a big little misstep, Quasimodo who loves Notre Dame isn’t there to protect it. It works in the musical but it seems off. The whole of this scene feels off, it’s a cool number but it is rushed and odd.

Déportés (Deported)

Esmeralda about to be hung Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda about to be hung

The bad guys win! Everyone who wants Esmeralda to die got their wish. In this song Phoebus passes the sentence on Esmeralda and the Court of Miracles. The Court are all deported and Esmeralda is dragged off to be hanged. Fleur-de-Lys and Phoesbus leave together happy with their scheme and Gringoire is powerless to help. This is the last we see of these characters in the show.

Frollo has moment of remorse but he is too far gone.

Déportés isn’t that much, just really two lines, exile and deported but Phoebus and the chorus sing the the lines with coldblooded authority that it’s crushing and chilling. It’s an effective number that gets you into a less than happy mood.

Mon Maitre, mon sauveur (My Master, My Savior)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon saver Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon sauveur

More death. As dawn breaks, Quasimodo begs Frollo to stop Esmeralda’s execution but Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that he organized the hanging. As Esmeralda dies Frollo laughs and Quasimodo pushes him to his death. In the show it’s down the stairs instead of off Notre Dame de Rock Climbing wall.

Mon maître, mon sauveur is a simple song without a lot of orchestration but that gives way for Frollo’s craziness to come through. There much to it except the deaths of Esmeralda and Frollo. Esmeralda is harnessed and lifted up so the sight of seeing her hanging lifeless in the air is disheartening. Frollo’s death is done with a silhouette falling down various stairs of Notre Dame. I’m going to guess it was done with doubles tumbling on cue and Lavoie appears out the bottom.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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

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

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

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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Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris

I’m at a loss as to what to say about Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris. Unlike Esmeralda and Frollo. Gringoire’s characterization doesn’t change version to version, so there isn’t a distinction between Bruno Pelletier’s Gringoire to the other actors.

 

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Daniel Lavoie as Frollo pointing at him picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Daniel Lavoie as Frollo pointing at him

Gringoire is the story teller and gives some exposition. He sort of interacts with other characters, mainly Frollo.

 

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire i

However Gringoire is likable. He just immersed into this world and story that he pulls the audience into it. Every song he sings there is a certainty to it and it makes him seem all the more wonderful.

 

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

Gringoire here isn’t a coward like he is in the book. He starts off liking Esmeralda but he doesn’t pursue her or fall in love with her like in some other versions. It does seem a little hurt when Esmeralda tells him that she likes someone else but he takes in strides. Speaking of Esmeralda, I wish he got another song with her. He only got one duet with her plus two ensemble numbers, they also get two lines in an addition to La Cour des miracles in other versions.

 

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire

That’s sort of it, he doesn’t have much a characterization as all the songs he sing say nothing about him except that he is a troubadour and not a ladies man, that’s it. This should bother me but there is so much power in the songs Gringoire sings  that it’s forgivable.

Next Time – Quasimodo

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris image picture

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo

Like Esmeralda, Frollo’s personality really come done to which Notre Dame de Paris cast you’re watching. Some play him big and expressive while others are restrained. However no matter which cast you are watch, Frollo in Notre Dame de Paris is the closest depiction to the novel that we will ever get.

Daniel Lavoie Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Frollo

Frollo was originally played by French-Canadian singer Daniel Lavoie. Lavoie plays a more restrain Frollo. Every movement Lavoie gives is tense. You get the feeling that he trying within himself to contain himself and is losing. But what makes him the best depiction of Frollo.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo

For one thing he is a priest though more than a few get that. Second he like science. Although it really just mentioned in a passing song but it counts. So far only THREE other Frollos even hinted at interested and and two where in dorky kid’s versions.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo

No, what what really makes this Frollo stand out as great is that you can get sympathy for him. You understand that he wants Esmeralda and does horrible things but there is pathos to him which is very in keeping with the book.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo

The sympathy that Lavoie’s Frollo portrayals gives the character a lot of complexity. I get the sense that his lust comes more from a place of love than most Frollos but his profession tortures him.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo

However Lavoie may have too much pathos and restrain. Don’t get me wrong, I really like version but that deafening madness of lust doesn’t truly over take him as it does in the book. The most Lavoie does is a mad laugh at the end. Like I said you feel his inner craziness cause by his lust but it remains too inward, we need outward drama especially at the end.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo

That being said I would take a Frollo that has his lust drives him to pathos over a Frollo that is just evil or elicits zero sympathy.

Next Time Gringoire

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris

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

Notre Dame de Paris is often praised for being accurate to the novel but there are A LOT of differences.

Esmeralda Helene Segara Bohemienne Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda

The biggest one is no Djali, I mean how could they? But in all seriousness, Esmeralda is in this version is a full-fledge Gypsy who at one point in her life knew her mother. As we have seen in other versions, Esmeralda being a Gypsy is the norm over her backstory in the novel where she is the daughter of French woman and stolen, so it’s not big changes considering the film/adaptation history of the character.

tu sais Esmeralda and Clopin Helene Segara Luc Mervil Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Clopin

Clopin also serves as not only the leader of the Gypsies and thieves but as a father figure to Esmeralda, as her mother entrusted Esmeralda to him when she died. Clopin himself is different than other versions as he care for the blight and safety of his people more than previous versions of the character.

Quasimodo and Esmeralda Le Pape des fous Helene Segara Garou Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

The show opts to start with introducing characters and not the Feast of Fools, except for Quasimodo who appears during that Feast of Fools number. It’s a little unclear if Quasimodo had seen Esmeralda before or if he first saw when she crowned him as the Pope but he does take a liking to her when he is crowned and not when she gave him water.

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

Quasimodo also brings Esmeralda into Notre Dame and offers it to her as a home. Esmeralda has gone into Notre Dame a few times before prior to Quasimodo saving her in different versions but it is the first time Quasimodo invites her in, usually she goes in for another reasons mainly to escape guards. Though in the 1923 version it was to met Phoebus.

Phoebus and Esmeralda Tentative d'enlevement Helene Segara Patrick Fiori Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Phoebus and Esmeralda

Speaking of meeting Phoebus, who liked that segue, Esmeralda and Phoebus arrange to met at a brothel called the Cabaret de Val d’amour whereas in the book they meet a tavern/inn/house called Pomme d’eve. However there is actually a Val d’amour in the book, it is a brothel that Frollo’s brother Jehan frequents.

It just weird that Phoebus would meet a girl, who not 2 seconds before turned him down, at a brothel. Oh well, it’s suppose to make him look sleazy.

Esmeralda on Trial with Frollo Helene Segara Daniel Lavoie Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda on Trial with Frollo

The biggest and most glaring of the differences comes in the second act. First off, Frollo handles Esmeralda’s trail and torture. I would venture a guess that the reason for this is more practical than artistic as they would have needed another singer.

Frollo makes sense to fill this role but it’s just weird. Though and I forgot where I heard it but when Esmeralda confesses she just says something like “I love him, I confess,” and Frollo orders the torture to stop, somewhere Daniel Lavoie (Frollo’s original actor) said that it’s because Frollo loved Esmeralda that what she said was deemed enough. So there ya go.

Esmeralda and Frollo Un matin tu dansais Helene Segara Daniel Lavoie Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Frollo

Also scenes that occur in Notre Dame after Esmeralda is brought there do not happen. The Port de Rouge scene and the scene where Frollo gives Esmeralda the final ultimatum are merged into the Jail scene, which is fine, they blended nicely together.

Also Frollo just likes science in general and not just alchemy which is just minor change and a nitpick.

Quasimodo freeing Esmeralda Liberes Helene Segara garou Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo freeing Esmeralda

Another BIG difference is Quasimodo saving Esmerlada, Clopin and the rest of the Court of Miracles. Everyone knows that Quasimodo descends from Notre Dame, saves Esmeralda and proclaims sanctuary while holding her aloft but not here.

In fact Quasimodo never says Sanctuary. He claims freedom for her but he never says “Sanctuary.” The closest is Clopin says “Asile” which can means sanctuary although is closer to asylum. And I’m now resisting making a Asylum Films joke.

Also Quaismodo is no where to be seen when the attack on Notre Dame is occurs. It really seems to be Clopin who is defending the cathedral and not Quasimodo, which just wrong.

Esmeralda about to be hung Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda about to be hung

Phoebus is there though and he is the one who proclaims Esmeralda’s death sentence as it’s what his fiancee wants. It a like more of a twist of the knife as Esmeralda was still in love with Phoebus when he passed judgment on her although that did not happen in the book but it makes for good drama.

Fleur-de-Lys and Phoebus Julie Zenatti Patrick Fiori Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Fleur-de-Lys and Phoebus

Lately and this is a good change, Phoebus‘ fiancee, Fleur-de-Lys has a must more of a fleshed-out character. In the book we know she loves Phoebus and jealous of Esmeralda but not too much more.

Here we see more of her inner workings. She knows Phoebus spouts lies and she was ok with that till Esmeralda came along. Unlike the novel where Esmeralda was only meant to be a one night thing for Phoebus, here Phoebus wanted to balance them out. This makes Fleur-de-Lys go a little crazy and pending on what version you watch, she either wishes for Phoebus to ensure Esmeralda’s death or demands it of him. It’s just nice to see the character have a little bit going for her than nothing.

I’m sure there are many more difference but those are the core ones.

Next Time – Esmeralda

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

Helene Segara singing Ave Maria Paien in Notre Dame de Paris