Visite de Frollo à Esmeralda (Visit of Frollo to Esmeralda)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image Visite de Frollo à Esmeralda

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Esmeralda as Helene Segara

I once had the je t’aime as a ringtone, it was awesome. I want to say that any good version of Hunchback should have a jail scene but what I really mean is a confession scene. In that scene the lines do not have to be line for line of the book but lines that capture the mood energy of the scene. That’s what separates a good confession scene like the 1939 version from a meh one like the 1977 version.

However Visite de Frollo à Esmeralda is the perfect version, it gets the scene down perfectly. They only thing that is different is that Frollo isn’t as threatening or a scary as he is in the book, he is done right crazy. Here is just more sexually-repressed which gives was to crazy laster one but he doesn’t have the ice gaze with fiery eyes, however that more on a perform level than the intention of the show, but I don’t mind it, Lavoie’s Je t’aime is powerful, it’s great.

As far as the song goes, it is a lead in to the next song. It has the same off-ness that the other songs have had, defiantly a tone of this part of the musical. But it a a really good lead in.

Un Matin tu Dansais (One morning you danced)

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

Esmeralda and Frollo

Un Matin tu Dansais is the really the confession scene proper. In it Frollo confesses his feeling and thoughts towards Esmeralda, she rejects him and he tries to force himself on her, so we get the port de rouge scene mixed in. You got love Lavoie acting here when she pushes him away and he touches the spot where Esmeralda pushed him.

Again. like the lead in, the tone of the song has that off-balanced vibe that we all have come to love, haven’t we?

I don’t have any complaints about this song, the tone it perfect, I really enjoy the acting and the staging. If I did have one issue it would that Esmeralda isn’t scared of Frollo, which fits her character in the musical but not the book.

Libérés (Liberty)

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

Quasimodo freeing Esmeralda

Libérés is a great high energy song that is the perfect contrast to the songs that have some before however I do have some issues with it.

In the song, Quasimodo sets Clopin and his people free and then they save Esmeralda. The song is about revolution and their rights to asylum. The singer just sings this some with such power and conviction that it’s great. Also the staging and use of the space is awesome. They remove the iron bars and people suspend down the climbing wall which is cool.

Now it may seems like have a lot of issue with this song but I nitpick and just watching the musical you would more than likely not even think about these things.

1, As powerful as this song is, it is weak if you compare its counterpoint in the book where Quasimodo descends from Notre Dame and save Esmeralda right before she about to be hanged and proclaims Sanctuary. Here he just opens a cage door and the Clopin is the one to actually save Esmeralda.

I get why they did it this way, practicality and budget.

2, On contextual level, how did Quasimodo know where to go and when to show up?
Last time he was on stage he was in Notre Dame asking where Esmeralda went off to.

One could speculate that Gringoire told him as Clopin failed to save Esmeralda with his complaining song but how would Gringoire know that Quasimodo had interest in Esmeralda? Gringoire and Quasimodo have zero interaction with each other except for the Feast of Fools. Gringoire’s part in Libérés seems to indicate that he told Quasimodo BUT Gringoire has a storyteller role in Notre Dame de Paris so is he in this song as Gringoire the character or as Gringoire the storyteller?

Consider this? Gringoire’s part in Libérés is independent of the other singers, he is singing on his own and he off to the the side for most of the song and comes in separately from Quasimodo toward the middle on the song. It seems like he more of a storyteller than a player in the plan.

However the simpler method is typically the more likely so we”l just go with Gringoire told Quasimodo even though it makes no sense, since the play made it a point that Gringoire told Clopin but not Quasimodo, better drama I guess.


Side Note- The English version of this song is really awkward. it sounds like an ad for a Mattress Store One Day sale.


Book 8, Chapter 4, Lasciate Ogni Speranza

Helene Segara as Esmerada & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, un matin tu dansais  from Notre Dame de Paris   picture image

Helene Segara as Esmerada & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, un matin tu dansais from Notre Dame de Paris

This is my favorite chapter in the whole book. This is where Frollo confesses his twisted love to Esmeralda and she rejects him. Pretty much everything so far as boiled down to this chapter. It just such a rich quotable monologue for Frollo and I do like how Esmeralda doesn’t pity him and doesn’t except his “love.”

I love quote, “tis madness to halt midway in the monstrous,My version of the hunchback is a slight variation of this but I still remember this wording from the first time I read the book.

So things of interest, Esmeralda was in that cell for a while, in fact in book 8 chapter 6, it says that her execution is in May but the crime was in March, so pending on the trial this makes her jail time at least a good month.

Also Frollo clearly says that she wore blue when he first saw her dancing. To my knowledge, black and white versions aside, Esmeralda has only been depicted in blue once in a movie. And you know what that version was, freaking Secret of the Hunchback! She also wore a little teal accent in the Disney but it was mostly purple which is better than red. Oh, wait, she wore blue in the 1982 version in the first half, then again 1982 Esmeralda is timid and hates dancing so not a strong character depiction there.

I don’t mean to harp on the color of Esmeralda’s costumes, after all I wrote a long post on the matter two years ago, which you can read here, but it’s right there filmmakers. Then agin, filmmakers tends to gloss over this scene which makes me sad.

No film version has ever given this scene the depiction I think it deserve, some come close but of the versions I have seen, I think Notre Dame de Paris
is best.

The opera La Esmeralda does this scene well but libertto was written but Hugo himself and it hasn’t performed as an full opera since like 1836, people didn’t like it. I also know Der Glockner von Notre Dame had this scene in it but I have seen it and I can’t recall the script that I read ages ago.

I hope there is some adaptation someday that will do this scene right because it would be amazing.

Book 8, Chapter 5, The Mother

Sister Gudule (Gladys Brockwell) Hunchback Notre Dame 1923 picture image

Sister Gudule (Gladys Brockwell) Hunchback Notre Dame 1923

This is another Sister Gudule focus chapter. It’s her lamenting her daughter and learning of Esmeralda’s impending death, which makes her happy.

Now this chapter may seem trivial but it’s not. In this chapter she asks god to let her see her daughter if only for a moment. It’s a case of be careful of word choice. The larger implications of this chapter will come up later.

It’s really a shame only like two versions have touched on Gudule and one didn’t handle it well at all (the 1923 version) and they one is really, really badly done (the dingo version).

Book 8, Chapter 6, Three Men’s Hearts, Differently Constituted

Quasimodo declares Sanctuary for Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo declares Sanctuary for Esmeralda

This chapter is the big one for many of a film, Esmeralda execution and recuse by Quasimodo. What we really see in this chapter is Phoebus, Frollo, and Quasimodo’s true feeling about Esmeralda as indicated by the title.

Phoebus is done with her and believes she bewitched him, his stance is I don’t care. Frollo cares but he would rather have her die if she won’t be his alone, his is selfish lust. Quasimodo saves her for no other reason than he doesn’t want her to die, his unselfish love.

This is an epic scene, no question, especially at the end. Although Quasimodo never swings down from Notre Dame and recuse Esmeralda from giblet only to swing back up on to Notre Dame.

Instead he climbs down while Esmeralda is in front of Notre Dame and grabs her and run into the cathedral. Some version opt for the impossible feat of swinging down off the church and swinging back, makes it more epic for a film. These version include the Disney version, the 1939, the 1986 and the 1997. The 1923 and the 1956 do the drop down in front of Notre Dame and run in. The 1982 is a mixture, as Quasimodo swings down but runs into Notre Dame. And the 1977 version has Quasimodo walk up to the pillory, save her and runs back.

The scene ends with Quasimodo declaring sanctuary for Esmeralda and showing off his rescues to the happy crowd. Many versions do this, some don’t which is a little weird. Or in the case of the 1956 version, they should have either cut it or not have had that awkward fade. Because it really shoehorned in.

This video was taken from the Frequenstar episode on Notre Dame de Paris. It features  It includes Julie Zenatti and Nadia Bel singing La Sorcière, Patrick Fiori reveals a mistake he made and Garou singing Un Matin Tu Dansais.

I think Notre Dame de Paris was totally missed cast Julie Zenatti should have played Frollo. Her rendition of  La Sorcière was brilliant. I’m joking of course though it would be cool if they did a mixed up concert where the roles are shuffled around.

The yellow text was done by me  but other than fades and the text/subtitles, the clip wasn’t edited.