[Sponsored agenda] It began with the song “Belle” 25 years ago. This summer, New York audiences will finally have the chance to discover the breathtaking phenomenon of Notre Dame de Paris for the first time when this international musical makes its New York City debut on July 13th.
Since it premiered in Paris in September of 1998, the show has toured the world, including stops in Canada, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Japan, Turkey and China. As the word spread, Notre Dame de Paris became an acclaimed success around the world. It’s been performed in twenty three countries and translated into nine languages, and to date, over fifteen million spectators have enjoyed the show worldwide.
Everywhere, that is, except New York City.
But not anymore. The wait is over.
The production, performed in French with English subtitles and featuring a dazzling international 30-member cast, including Daniel Lavoie – the famous Canadian singer – from the original cast, and a live orchestra, will play for seven performances only, from July 13th to July 17th, 2022, at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
In 1996, the legendary Quebecois songwriter, Luc Plamondon, was looking for new ideas for his next show when he became intrigued by Quasimodo, the character of Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. He reached out and suggested a collaboration with the famous Italian singer and composer Richard Cocciante. Soon after, the ballad “Belle” was born.
In 1998, “Belle” took off on French radio, capturing the hearts of listeners across the country. The single sold more than three million copies and three million tickets sold in two years.
Under the operatic direction of Gilles Maheu, and with electric choreography from Martino Müller, audiences and critics fell in love with the emotionally charged story of the hunchback cathedral bellringer, Quasimodo, and his unwavering devotion to the stunning Esmerelda.
If it’s been a while since you read this Gothic tale, this is the prime occasion to discover or rediscover this love story through Luc Plamondon’s fantastic lyrics. Notre Dame de Paris is set among the church spires that dot the Paris skyline in the late 1400s. The deformed Quasimodo falls in love with the gipsy dancer, Esmerelda, unaware that two other men are also vying for her heart; the formidable archdeacon, Claude Frollo, and the seductive Captain Phoebus. The four are caught in a tangled web that ensnares the doomed Quasimodo in its grip.
Gilles Maheu said what makes this musical adaptation so meaningful is that it’s the “perfect mixture of the biggest vocal and stage performances” with the dramatic storytelling elements of American musical theater. But there’s something else that makes the show so captivating: its heart.
“Above all, ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ is a magnificent love story,” said Maheu. “If you like being in love, if you like the thrill, you are inevitably touched by this show.”
But if you think you know the story of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” think again. More than a musical, Notre Dame de Paris speaks, and sings, to audiences from eight to eighty and has now a place of its own in the French culture. You must see it to understand it.
“Its uniqueness in every respect – from writing to direction and choreography – has created a new genre, ‘The Opera Populaire,’” said Cocciante. “Moreover, it is rare to see different generations enjoying the same show, and this is what has happened everywhere, in every language.”
The show arrives in New York City with not just global acclaim, but also excitement and anticipation. New York Magazine recently included it as one of the “29 Plays, and Musicals We Can’t Wait to See This Summer.” Although it has been performed around the world for over 20 years, when Notre Dame de Paris comes to New York, there’s no question that it’s a show to see. It’s that kind of magical.
“It has long been a dream to perform Notre Dame de Paris in New York in one of the greatest arts complexes in the world,” said the producer, Nicolas Talar. And that dream has now become a reality.
Notre Dame de Paris – its love story, its energy and its complexity – is the perfect match for New York City. And now you can see this strictly limited engagement at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. To book your ticket, please visit the show’s website.
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