I have not been keeping up with the new production of Notre Dame de Paris, bad me. So far, I think Tawaji is great Esmeralda and I will have to look more into the other comments of this production.


Also shameless plug since it’s Christmas time,

Dieu que le monde est injustice (God made the world unfair)

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo

Dieu que le monde est injuste is heartbreaking. Quasimodo sings as a lament that Esmeralda doesn’t love him the same way she loves Phoebus. It’s more than strictly he’s ugly and Phoebus is handsome it’s more about rich and poor. Quasimodo is ugly and poor and Phoebus is handsome rich lord, they are as unequal as two people can get.

Quasimodo doesn’t blame Esmeralda for her preference, he blames god as God made the world unfair. He then asks who God and Jesus prefer the rich or the poor though the implication is that Quasimodo believes it’s the rich who don’t have the some heart and are not as faithful. Might be a unfair but since the two representations of the nobles in the show are Fleur-de-Lys who wants a poor girls to die because she is jealous and Phoebus a two-timing slut, Quasimodo might have the right of it.

Most Quasimodos sell this song with sad anger though I think Garou just nails this song wit the right amount of angst.

Vivre (To Live)

Helene Segara as Esmeralda performing Vivre Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda performing Vivre

Vivre is a gorgeous song and I throw that word around a lot but it really is beautiful. Esmeralda sings this song as a yearning for unconditional love. Love without barriers or social status. Esmeralda wants love and believes in its power  The lyrics have a lovely flow and Helene Segara gives a lot of emotional power to this song.

The main irony of this song is that Quasimodo wants to give her that kind of love but she can’t see it. It’s a little unclear if at the point in the musical she still longs for Phoebus as she never say him specifically and this musical isn’t shy about using names.

Vivre is Esmeralda’s growth song, she wants to live in a world where love belongs to everyone and if she has to die for that she would. And since she talking about loving in a more unconditional way and that as a hope for all humanity, I think it more than her singing with Phoebus in mind. I do wonder that if Esmeralda and Quasimodo had more time together Esmeralda could have loved him. I don’t think book Esmeralda could have without some more maturity but this Esmeralda I think could have.

Both of the songs are great foils for each other and flow wonderfully into each other which makes the next song very jarring.


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.



Stéphanie Bédard (brunette) and Myriam Brousseau (blonde) are currently playing Esmeralda in the French Korean/Asian tour of Notre Dame de Paris with Bédard as the principle Esmeralda and Brousseau as the alternate. Brousseau has been the alternate for Esmeralda and Fleur de Lys since the English Asian Tour in 2012 and Bédard one of the newest cast additions.

This video is lovely as the both sing beautifully. Bédard’s voice has a very soulful quality to it while Brousseau is more clear. If I had to pick a preference it would probably be Brousseau but it’s apples and oranges. I wish I could see/hear more from this current cast.

Whose voice do you like better?

Renaud played Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris in the 2005 Canadian Cast as well as the 2005 French Cast.

I like her singing but the arrangement in parts or a little strange.


It’s a very lovely performance but I gotta say what it up with music selection? The start with Vivre sung by Noa, then a weird insturmental  version of La Cours de Miracle, then the symphonique version of Val d’amour and then Garou sining Danse mon Esmeralda. I got that they used the concept CD but the two instrumental piece were odd picks. But whatever, it was a lovely performance and I always enjoy people skating to music from Notre Dame de Paris and the announcer said nice this about the music ^^.

This was the debut of Davis and White Free skate to the Notre Dame de Paris suite. They also were crowned with their 5th straight Ice Dance Championship



This is a Music Video of Tina Arena singing “Live from the One I Love.” Which is   the English version of Vivre. Arena played Esmeralda in the first London  cast.  This video reminds me so much of Jim Henson’s 1986 movie The Labyrinth.  She sings it in a Labyrinth  and there is a white owl.

However this may have be a connect to Notre Dame de Chartes which has a Labyrinth and Chartes is considered the Seat of Mary, as it’s believed that her veil is housed there.  Also all the water imagery relates to Mary too.

Or it could that a labyrinth stands for  the singer being trapped and lost without it being a apparent that the song is from a musical.

For the most the video is kind of cheesy with its blues tones, CGs, weird overlays,  weird cross fades and odd costumes. However despite the clunky lyrics, Arena sounds great.

Sofia Essaïdi picture image

Sofia Essaïdi

In a post on Notre Dame de Paris Fans, there was note from a tumblr blog called  Passing Dreams that had a list of who they thought  would be the ideal casting choices for Esmeralda, Quaismodo and Frollo if there was a French revival of Notre Dame de Paris. Just got to say that a new French cast would be awesome. The Show hasn’t been performed as a musical in France since 2005. Anyway so I’m going to look at these people and first up is Sofia Essaïdi  for Esmeralda.

Sofia Essaïdi picture image

Sofia Essaïdi


Sofia Essaïdi is half French and half Moroccan so there is no denying that she has a the right look for Esmeralda and she is very beautiful. She was on the third season of France’s Star Academy (2004) which she came in second.  On Star Academy she performed Vivre (see video at the bottom of the page) . She has also released an album in 2005 called Mon Cabaret (see video to hear Mon Cabaret). She was also on the French version of Dancing with the Stars were she came in  second.  She also played Cleopatra in the 2009 French musical Cléopâtre, la Dernière Reine d’Égypte

Sofia Essaïdi as Cleopatra from Cléopâtre, la Dernière Reine d'Égypte picture image

Sofia Essaïdi as Cleopatra from Cléopâtre, la Dernière Reine d’Égypte


Essaïdi would make a great Esmeralda, she can sing and she dances very well. I just happen to not be overly fond of her voice, it’s not that it’s bad, it just doesn’t resonate with me. I also didn’t care for her rendition of Vivre but I think a musical director could help if she was cast (plus those hamster-ball people wouldn’t be there either). However I did like her as Cleopatra.

Sofia Essaïdi picture image

Sofia Essaïdi


I think if she were to play Esmeralda it would be would be a great casting choice.


Sofia Essaïdi picture image

Sofia Essaïdi

Videos of Sofia Essaïdi


Christopher Stills would make a good Phoebus.

click here to buy the song

These videos are from “Chabada” a French Tv Show from Decemeber 4 2011 with the orginal cast of Notre Dame de Paris (except Bruno Pellatier) right before the reunion concerts. The last video is the whole thing, so if you have 50minutes to kill, give it a watch or watch the song clips. I think I got all them. Enjoy!