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Theatre / Notre-Dame de Paris

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Notre-Dame de Paris is an enormously popular (as in, "played in Korea" popular) French-language rock opera created in 1998 by French musician Richard Cocciante and songwriter from Quebec Luc Plamodon.

It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, better known in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It originally starred Québecois singer Garou as Quasimodo and French singer Hélène Ségara as Esmeralda.


Tropes found in the musical Notre-Dame de Paris:

  • Adapted Out: King Louis XI, who appears in the novel and most adaptations, is absent from the musical.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Several characters are cut out of the musical, including Frollo's brother Jehan, Esmeralda's mother, and King Louis. The plot doesn't suffer much.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Quasimodo is played by the adorably baby-faced Garou. He’s given makeup that's meant to distort his features, but the success varies greatly by the production and actor's actual face.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations
  • Artistic License – History: In order to fit the rhyme scheme, Florence changes the city that Gutenberg built his printing press from Mainz to Nuremberg.
  • Broken Pedestal: Esmeralda's love for and faith in Phoebus is utterly destroyed when he brutally kills Clopin in front of her.
  • BSoD Song:
    • Quasimodo's "Danse mon Esméralda", right after Esmeralda's death. He's witnessed the death of the woman he loves and killed his adoptive father. He's resolved to die holding Esmeralda's dead body, because "dying for you is not dying". Yeah, he's pretty broken.
    • Frollo finally goes insane, complete with Insane Laugh, in "Mon maître, mon sauveur (My Master My Saviour)".
    • Fleur-de-Lys also has a one, in "La Monture", about how she was destroyed by Phoebus and she'll only take him back if he hangs Esmeralda.
  • Crowd Song: Whenever Clopin sings, he usually has the rest of the outcasts (ensemble) singing with him ("Les sans-papiers", "La Cour des miracles"). There's also the reprise of "Le temps des cathédrales" at the end.
  • Dark Reprise: "Les sans-papiers (The Refugees)" reappears during the attack on Notre Dame, but this time it's even more serious and Clopin dies in the middle of the song.
  • Distant Duet: Esmeralda and Fleur-de-Lys sing about how much they love Phoebus and how they believe he will love them back forever ("Beau comme le soleil"). Also Esmeralda and Quasimodo in "Les oiseaux qu'on met en cage (The Birds They Put in Cages)".
  • Epic Rocking: "Le temps des cathédrales" again.
  • Grief Song: "Danse mon Esméralda", as noted in BSoD Song
  • "I Am" Song: "Bohémienne", sung by Esmeralda
  • Ignored Epiphany: "Tu vas me détruire (Your Love Will Kill Me)" is this trope in song form.
  • Looped Lyrics: "Beau comme le soleil" (guess which line is repeated over and over!)
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Fatalité," the last song of Act 1, has the members of the main cast who are not incapacitated comment on fate.
  • Mr. Exposition: Gringoire only interacts with the characters three times and for the rest of the musical his only purpose is to act as a neutral third-party witness to what's going on in the story.
  • Never My Fault: "Je reviens vers Toi". Phoebus tells Fleur-de-Lis that he was bewitched by Esmeralda, and that he wasn't in his right mind. Also, Frollo claims Esmeralda seduced him so he's not at fault for his lust.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Averted in the musical. While in the book Quasimodo drives Clopin's followers and Esmeralda's would-be rescuers away from Notre Dame due to misunderstanding, in the musical he rescues them from the prison and they fight together to defend Esmeralda in Notre Dame. The mob of outcasts still gets killed.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Tu vas me détruire" for Frollo
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Un matin tu dansais (One Bright Morning You Danced)". The instrumental starts out bright and cheerful, as Frollo and Esmeralda sing of the ones they love. Then he tries to blackmail her into having sex with him or face execution. Then he tries to rape her. All the while, the same bright, twinkly tune plays on.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: All over the place, most notably in "Les temps de cathedrales" and "Danse, mon Esmeralda", with the latter being especially notable due to it coming to a conclusive close after it's already shifted gears several times, and still going up one last time, to top out at a powerful high A-flat.
  • Woman Scorned: Fleur-de-Lis is engaged to Phoebus, but he cheats on her with Esmeralda. In the song "La Monture", she says she will only take him back if he promises that they will kill Esmeralda.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: As the classic Notre Dame story goes. Exemplified best by the song "Belle", where the three male leads sing about their urgent sexual desire for Esmeralda.
  • Villain Love Song: "Être prêtre et aimer une femme": Frollo about Esmeralda.
    • "Tu vas me détruire" sung by Frollo is kind of an inversion. He's being "seduced" by one of the good guys.