The Hunchback of Notre Dame (musical)

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Disneys Der Glöckner von Notre Dame Musical Logo.jpg
Artwork from the Berlin revival production
MusicAlan Menken
LyricsStephen Schwartz
BookJames Lapine (German version)
Peter Parnell (American version)
BasisThe Hunchback of Notre-Dame
by Victor Hugo
Productions1999 Berlin
2014 San Diego
2015 Millburn
2016 Fredericia
2016 Tokyo
2017 Berlin revival
2017 Budapest
2018 Göteborg
2019 Tampere

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a musical based on the 1831 novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo with songs from the 1996 Walt Disney Animation Studios film adaptation.

The musical premiered in 1999 in Berlin, Germany as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame ("The Bellringer of Notre Dame"). It was produced by Walt Disney Theatrical, the company's first musical to premiere outside the U.S. It ran for three years, becoming one of Berlin's longest-running musicals.

The English-language musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame had its debut at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California on October 28, 2014 and ran until December 7, 2014.[1] Subsequently, the show went on to open on March 4, 2015 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey.[2] The show closed on April 5, 2015, after it was announced that it would not move to Broadway.[3]

In April 2017 a new German production of the musical opened at the Theater des Westens in Berlin.[4] In February 2018 the musical moved to the Stage Apollo Theater in Stuttgart.[5]


Background (1996-1999)[edit]

In 1996, Walt Disney Animation Studios created an animated film adaption of Victor Hugo's novel of the same name. It received generally positive reviews and did reasonably well at the box office. Disney on Broadway, the stage play arm of the Disney Corporation, had staged successful versions of Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and The Lion King in 1997. Disney wanted to move The Lion King to Berlin.

Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (1999-2002)[edit]

For a long time, Berlin was in talks to stage The Lion King, but after those negotiations fell through, Disney offered this property instead.[6] This project, announced by Stella Entertainment on March 18, 1998, saw the stage musical-producing market leader of Germany depart from its tradition of only importing shows which had proven to be successful on Broadway.[6] Originally rehearsed in English, then retaught in German, the musical opened on June 5, 1999, for the opening of a theater named Berlin (now Theater am Potsdamer Platz).[7] After a successful run - where 1.4 million visitors saw the play over 1204 performances[8] - it closed in June 2002.[9]

Wie aus stein: is sung by Quasimodo towards the end of the show, exemplifying the darker Gothic tone of the musical. The song pits him against the three gargoyles, who are figments of his imagination created due to loneliness. As they try to encourage him to stay strong, despite Esmeralda loving Phoebus, Quasimodo fights back, arguing that they don't understand what he is going through because they are made of stone. He concludes, wishing that he too were made of stone so he wouldn't be able to feel the pain anymore.

Directed by Lapine, the German translation was by Michael Kunze, choreography by Lar Lubovitch, set design by Heidi Ettinger, costume design by Sue Blane, lighting by Rick Fisher, sound by Tony Meola and projections by Jerome Sirlin.[10][11][12] The production cost 45 million marks to produce,[13] much of which was subsidised by state funds.[14] The production featured forty-two actors from six different nations.[15] Nine new songs were written for this version.[15] This was Disney's first musical to premiere outside the US,[9] and it became one of Berlin's longest-running musicals to date. As with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame opened three years after the release of the movie on which it is based.

Intermediate period (2002-2013)[edit]

Der Glöckner von Notre Dame was an isolated show, i.e., it only played in one German theatre and was not licensable to other companies. The musical was not staged again in this format for many years, however adaptations of the 1996 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame could be seen in various productions around Disney theme parks and cruises.

In 2008, lyricist Stephen Schwartz revealed, "I think we're starting up Hunchback of Notre Dame, hopefully, next year."[16] In a November 2010 interview, composer Alan Menken confirmed that he was working on an American production, and that they would use James Lapine's book.[17] On January 9, 2013, it was announced that the musical would finally be produced for a Broadway performance with a new book by Peter Parnell and new songs by Menken and Schwartz, who did the songs for the movie and the original musical.[18] In April 2013, the very first English adaptation of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame was staged by the Fine Arts Department of The King's Academy Sports & Fine Arts Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.[19] According to The King's Academy, Walt Disney Productions personally selected them to adapt and premiere the work[20], and received a license to stage the English version, noting that Disney was workshopping this musical for a possible run on Broadway.[21] The King's Academy collaborated with Disney Executive Studios.[22] Their director, David Snyder, helped Disney cast talent for the new show.[21] This version did not include all the songs from Der Glöckner von Notre Dame, and excludes the deaths of Esmeralda and Frollo. While being an amateur production, it is notable as the first English staging of the musical, rather than a translation of the film.

At the D23 expo, which took place in August 9-11, 2013, Josh Strickland performed the first official English version of a new written for the stage musical version, Made of Stone.[23]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2014-present)[edit]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame had a workshop in February 2014, and its North American premiere at La Jolla Playhouse on October 28, 2014 and ran through December 7, 2014, directed by J. Scott Lapp.[1][24] The production featured Sacra-Profana, a local 32-voice chorus, appearing onstage during the entire show.[25] The La Jolla Playhouse production transferred to the Paper Mill Playhouse from March 4 through April 5, 2015[26][27], after which it was announced the show would not move to Broadway. The structure of the show was finalised and turned into a licensable work.

2016-7 saw the first wave of US regional theatres to produce the musical; one theatre (Music Theatre Wichita) received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to financially aid the production.[28] In December 2017 the show finally got its New York debut with its NY Regional Premiere at the White Plains Performing Arts Center and opened to outstanding reviews.

An adaption of the musical, debuted in 2016 at the Music Circus in Sacramento, embraced the novel's assertion that Quasimodo had become deaf after constantly ringing bells all his life by incorporating sign language into the show. Deaf actor John McGinty was cast as Quasimodo,[29] with a surrogate singer (one of the Notre Dame saints, played by Jim Hogan) singing Quasimodo's songs while McGinty signed.[30]

An unprecedented production featured an intimate rotating cast of 18 (with no additional choir), and reduced orchestrations with the cast playing their own instruments. The production was directed by Nicholas Wainwright at The University Of The Arts in December 2017; making its Center City premiere in Philadelphia.[31] I

The production's first Canadian performance was Theatre Sarnia's 2017 production, opening the company's 91st season. The production was directed by Virginia Reh and performed at the Imperial Theatre. It featured a relatively small cast of 19 with a choir approximately double its size. The show featured Brent Wilkinson as Dom Claude Frollo, Olivia Gogas as Esmeralda, and Adam Hobbs as Quasimodo.


Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Extended content

Act One

In 1482 Paris, Clopin, an elderly gypsy beggar, narrates the origin of the titular hunchback ("Die Glocken Notre Dames" - "The Bells of Notre Dame"). The story begins as a group of gypsies sneak illegally into Paris, but are ambushed by Judge Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice of Paris, and his soldiers. A gypsy woman in the group attempts to flee with her deformed baby, but Frollo chases and kills her outside Notre Dame. He tries to kill the baby as well, but the cathedral's archdeacon intervenes and accuses Frollo of murdering an innocent woman. To atone for his sin, Frollo reluctantly agrees to raise the deformed child in Notre Dame as his son, naming him Quasimodo.

Twenty years later, in 1502, Quasimodo develops into a kind yet isolated young man who dreams of seeing life outside the bell tower. A trio of living stone gargoyles, Charles, Antoine and Loni, serve as Quasimodo's only company and friends. Despite Frollo's warnings that he would be shunned for his deformity, the gargoyles urge him to disobey Frollo, ("Zuflucht" - "Sanctuary") and Quasimodo decides to go out for just one day ("Draußen" - "Out There").

While the Parisians continue their preparations for a festival, the gypsies prepare to attend the festival in their hideout, the Court of Miracles ("Tanz auf dem Seil" - "Balancing Act"). Their attention is taken by a newcomer, a young gypsy dancer named Esmeralda. Meanwhile, Phoebus of Frollo's guard arrives in Paris excited about his new promotion as its captain ("Ein bisschen Freude" - "Rest and Recreation"). He flirts with a young girl but is suddenly interrupted by a fleeing gypsy accused of theft. The gypsy pleads innocence, but Frollo arrives and orders his soldiers to arrest the gypsy. Frollo tells Phoebus that the city has become overrun by gypsies and that he plans to find the Court of Miracles and eliminate them all.

As the festival begins ("Drunter drüber" - "Topsy Turvy"), Quasimodo attends it and he is celebrated for his bizarre appearance, only to be humiliated by the crowd after Frollo's men start a riot. Frollo refuses to help Quasimodo, but Esmeralda intervenes, frees the hunchback, and uses a magic trick to disappear. Frollo confronts Quasimodo and sends him back inside the cathedral.

Phoebus refuses to arrest her for alleged witchcraft inside Notre Dame and has her confined to the cathedral. Esmeralda, encouraged by the Archdeacon, offers a prayer to God to help her and the other outcasts ("Hilf den Verstoß'nen" - "God Help the Outcasts"). Meanwhile, Frollo orders Phoebus to post a guard at every door to ensure that Esmeralda does not escape.

Esmeralda finds and befriends Quasimodo to the bell tower and is captivated by the view of the city ("Hoch über der Welt" - "On Top of the World"). Quasimodo helps her escape Notre Dame out of gratitude for defending him. Esmeralda entrusts Quasimodo with a pendant containing a map to the Court of Miracles. Quasimodo expresses his feelings, as he has been touched by Esmeralda's kindness ("Das Licht des Himmels" - "Heaven’s Light"). Meanwhile, Frollo soon develops lustful feelings for Esmeralda and, upon realizing them, he begs the Virgin Mary to save him from her "spell" to avoid eternal damnation ("Das Feuer der Hölle" - "Hellfire").

After discovering that Esmeralda escaped, Frollo instigates a citywide manhunt for her, which involves setting fire to countless houses in his way. Phoebus is appalled by Frollo's evil reputation and defies him. Frollo sentences him to death. Phoebus is briefly struck by an arrow and falls into a river but Esmeralda rescues him. ("Esmeralda").

Act Two

The soldiers continue searching the city ("Trommeln in der Stadt" - "City Under Siege"). Esmeralda tells Phoebus to seek refuge at Notre Dame while she returns to the Court of Miracles. Meanwhile, the gargoyles convince Quasimodo that Esmeralda finds him romantically intriguing, and they reassure him about her safety ("Ein Mann wie du" - "A Guy Like You"). The Archdeacon brings Phoebus to the bell tower and Phoebus, knowing Quasimodo to be a friend of Esmeralda's, asks Quasimodo to hide him.

Frollo returns to Notre Dame later that night and discovers that Quasimodo helped Esmeralda escape. He bluffs to Quasimodo, saying that he knows about the Court of Miracles and that he intends to attack at dawn. After Frollo leaves, Phoebus comes out of hiding and asks Quasimodo to help him find the Court of Miracles and warn Esmeralda. Quasimodo refuses to leave the cathedral again, but Phoebus and the gargoyles teach Quasimodo the value of devotion and selflessness ("Weil du liebst" - "Out of Love").

Using Esmeralda's amulet as their guide, Quasimodo and Phoebus find the Court of Miracles to warn the gypsies. Esmeralda and Phoebus decide to leave the city together while Quasimodo, heartbroken, watches Esmeralda leave with the man she truly loves ("Weil du liebst" - "Out of Love" (Reprise)). However, Frollo follows them and captures the gypsies present.

Esmeralda rejects Frollo's advances exchange for becoming his mistress. Tied up in the bell tower, Quasimodo refuses to help and tells the gargoyles to leave him ("Wie aus Stein" - "Made of Stone"). As dawn approaches, Esmeralda awaits her execution in the dungeon with Phoebus, hoping that one day the world will be a better place ("Einmal" - "Someday").

Frollo prepares to burn Esmeralda at the stake, but Quasimodo rescues her and brings her to the cathedral. Phoebus then frees himself and the gypsies and rallies the citizens of Paris against Frollo and his men, who attempt to break into the cathedral. Quasimodo calls upon the saints and the gargoyles before pouring molten lead onto the streets to ensure no one enters, but Frollo himself successfully breaks in. In the cathedral, Esmeralda thanks Quasimodo for being a good friend and dies from smoke inhalation. Frollo arrives and, after asking Quasimodo if she is dead, tells the hunchback that they are finally free of her poison. Encouraged by Antoine, Quasimodo throws Frollo to his death in the molten lead. The gargoyles comfort Quasimodo and tell him the world is full of good as well as evil. The citizens watch as Quasimodo carries Esmeralda's body through the square with Phoebus by his side. Clopin appears again and asks what makes a monster and what makes a man ("Finale Ultimo" - "Grand Finale").

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

(This is a summary of the show as currently licensed by MTI (i.e. as originally performed in the 2015 Paper Mill Playhouse production).)

Act One

On the morning of January 6th, 1482, the day of the Feast of Fools, a chorus of congregants gather for a sermon by Claude Frollo, archdeacon of Notre Dame. They begin to narrate his backstory and that of the eponymous ‘hunchback of Notre Dame’.

Years prior, orphaned brothers Jehan and Claude Frollo were taken in at Notre Dame. Jehan grows to be mischievous and deviant while Claude remains pious, reluctantly covering for his brother's misdeeds. After Jehan is caught with a gypsy woman named Florika in his room, he is expelled from Notre Dame, leaving with Florika and not being heard again in years. Frollo eventually becomes the archdeacon of Notre Dame; one day, he receives a letter from Jehan. The two meet in a hidden location; when Frollo arrives, he finds Jehan dying from the pox. Jehan explains that Florika had died three months ago from the same ailment and that his baby boy needs to be taken care of. Frollo notices the baby is deformed, calling it a ‘monster’ and punishment for Jehan's misdeeds. Jehan dies; as Frollo is about to kill the child, he feels the gaze of Notre Dame's saints and statues; feeling that it is a test from God, he feels compelled to save the child. He names the baby Quasimodo (meaning half-formed) and raises him in Notre Dame. At this point, a male actor asks the audience “What makes a monster and what makes a man?” before strapping on a prosthetic ‘hump’, putting on Quasimodo's distinctive costume and painting deformities onto his face to transform into Quasimodo before the audience's eyes. ("Bells of Notre Dame")

In the present day, Quasimodo, now a young man, has gone partially deaf from ringing the bells. While he daydreams about going to the Feast of Fools, speaking to the various statues of Notre Dame, Frollo arrives at the bell tower and asks him who he is speaking to. When Quasimodo answers that he has been speaking to his friends, Frollo reminds him that the stone statues cannot talk. They recite the biblical story of the flight into Egypt and Saint Aphrodisius (whose name Quasimodo has trouble pronouncing), after which Frollo complains about the Feast of Fools and expresses his hatred for Paris's gypsies ("Sanctuary Part I"). Quasimodo offers to accompany him for protection; Frollo declines and warns him that he would be shunned for his deformities if he were to step foot outside Notre Dame ("Sanctuary Part II"). Quasimodo reminisces about his ‘sanctuary’ and how he yearns to spend one day outside of the church ("Out There").

Down below, the Feast of Fools begins, led by Clopin, the gypsy king ("Topsy Turvy Part I"). Meanwhile, Captain Phoebus, new Captain of Notre Dame's Cathedral Guard, arrives at the city and flirts with some women, having spent four years on a military campaign. Frollo welcomes Phoebus and tells him that there is no time for "rest and recreation" as they must get rid of the city's gypsies, or 'scum' ("Rest and Recreation"). Clopin introduces the crowd to Esmeralda, an attractive gypsy who dances for the crowd ("Rhythm of the Tambourine") - Quasimodo, Frollo, and Phoebus are all entranced. After that, Clopin and the crowd get ready to crown the King of Fools (the ugliest person in France); Quasimodo enters upon Esmeralda's encouragement, immediately winning ("Topsy Turvy Part II"). In the middle of the celebration, he is humiliated by the crowd after a citizen starts a riot. Frollo refuses Phoebus's request to intervene, but Esmeralda rescues the hunchback and uses a magic trick to evade arrest. Frollo finally intervenes and stops the riot, and then asks Quasimodo if he is now aware that he was right about how cruel and wicked the world is. Quasimodo tells him that he will never leave the bell tower again ("Sanctuary Part III").

Esmeralda follows Quasimodo inside Notre Dame, but Frollo finds her, telling her that gypsies are not allowed in the church and that Quasimodo is his responsibility. Esmeralda asks if he has any charity, to which Frollo, after some thought, responds that he may be able to save her. After Frollo leaves to conduct mass, Esmeralda prays to the Virgin Mary and asks God to help the less fortunate ("God Help the Outcasts"). Phoebus finds Esmeralda; they argue and fight, Phoebus telling her not to cause more trouble and not to fight battles that cannot be won, which she retorts by saying that she cannot help it.

Esmeralda heads up to the bell tower, finding Quasimodo there. Encouraged by the saints, Quasimodo musters the courage to speak to her; the two soon befriend each other ("Top of the World"). Quasimodo rings the bells and tells them to "sing for her", offering to show her how he fixes the bells using molten lead stored in the towers. Frollo runs up to the tower, angry at Quasimodo for ringing them at the wrong time - he is shocked by Esmeralda's presence, thinking she had left. He offers her shelter at the cathedral so that he may save her soul, but she rejects his offer, saying that she sees the way Frollo looks at her. This greatly angers Frollo, who orders Phoebus to escort her from Notre Dame and to arrest her if she ever sets foot in it again. Frollo lectures Quasimodo, telling him that she is a dangerous person sent from Hell and warning him not to heed any lustful feelings he feels towards her; yet, having developed such feelings for Esmeralda himself, Frollo starts to roam the streets every night. After walking down an unknown alley, he discovers Esmeralda, Clopin and multiple other gypsies celebrating with wine and dance amidst a visit from Phoebus, who hopes to have some fun ("Tavern Song (Thai Mol Piyas)"). Frollo, despite his efforts, is unable to look away from a kiss between Esmeralda and Phoebus, which Phoebus describes as “pleasant.”

Up at the tower, some of the statues tell Quasimodo not to think of Esmeralda because Frollo forbade it while others tell him that no one should be able to dictate his thoughts. Quasimodo thinks about the many times he's observed couples in love, and how he never thought himself worthy of being loved until now ("Heaven’s Light"). Frollo, meanwhile, begs the Virgin Mary to save him from Esmeralda's "spell" by either condemning her to Hell or giving her to him so that he can avoid eternal damnation ("Hellfire").

Frollo approaches King Louis XII, asking for special powers to stop a 'gypsy witch' to protect the people of Paris; the King tells him to do whatever he feels is necessary, but to be prudent. Having obtained permission, Frollo instigates a citywide manhunt for Esmeralda, eventually ending up at a brothel known for hiding gypsies. When the brothel's owner refutes Frollo's accusations, Frollo orders Phoebus to burn it down; Phoebus defies him, hearing Esmeralda's voice in his ear, causing Frollo to order his arrest. Esmeralda shows up to stop Frollo and a fight breaks loose; during the commotion, Frollo stabs Phoebus and frames Esmeralda for it. Esmeralda uses a magic trick to help her and Phoebus escape. Frollo continues the hunt, while Quasimodo grows worried about her whereabouts ("Esmeralda").

Act Two

Esmeralda returns to Notre Dame, asking Quasimodo to hide Phoebus, who is badly injured. She gives Quasimodo a woven band which doubles as a map to the Court of Miracles, a hiding place for gypsies in Paris, and she leaves. Inspired by the story of Saint Aphrodisius and encouraged by the saints, Quasimodo resolves to go out to help her ("Flight into Egypt"). Frollo returns to Notre Dame later that night and asks Quasimodo about Esmeralda's whereabouts, to which Quasimodo responds that he doesn't. Frollo appears to believe him, before a guard comes up to tell Frollo that they know where Esmeralda is. Frollo tells Quasimodo that they will now be successful in capturing her and leaves. ("Esmeralda (Reprise)")

Using the map Esmeralda gave him, Quasimodo and Phoebus head to the court in an attempt to warn the gypsies. ("Rest and Recreation (Reprise)") Initially, the gypsies attempt to kill the two, but they are saved by Esmeralda who reveals that she led them there. ("Court of Miracles"). The two disclose that Frollo will attack at dawn, causing the gypsies to pack up and prepare to relocate. When Phoebus asks Esmeralda to go with her, they embrace and acknowledge their love for each other. Clopin wonders if the gypsies will ever truly be safe, while Quasimodo looks on, heartbroken that his love will never be returned ("Heaven's Light (Reprise)/In a Place of Miracles"). Frollo interrupts and thanks Quasimodo for helping him find the Court of Miracles, having followed him, and arrests the gypsies present as well as Phoebus - only Clopin manages to escape. Frollo then tells the guards to lock Quasimodo away in the bell tower and ensure he cannot escape.

Frollo visits Esmeralda at her prison cell and tells her that he can save her if she accepts being with him. When Esmeralda refuses, he threatens Phoebus' life as well. In the process of admitting his love to Esmeralda, he attempts to rape her ("Sanctuary (Reprise)"). He halts when Esmeralda cries out in protest, calling him a demon. Frollo thinks that allowing her to have a final conversation with Phoebus will make her rethink his offer. Esmeralda tells Phoebus that the only way to save both of their lives is for her to give herself up to Frollo. Phoebus pleads for her to do it so that she may save herself, which Esmeralda refuses. They speak about a future when life might change for the better ("Someday"). Meanwhile, in the bell tower, the gargoyles and saints try to encourage Quasimodo to free himself and save Esmeralda; Quasimodo angrily denounces them, refusing and declaring that he will remain stoic until the day he dies as if he too were made of stone ("Made of Stone").

At dawn, outside the cathedral, Esmeralda is tied to a pyre as Frollo reads off her crimes - entering Paris illegally, stabbing a soldier of the church, and witchcraft. He declares her sentence is death before offering her one last chance to save herself; Esmeralda answers by spitting in his face. Angered, he orders her pyre to be lit. Quasimodo swings down on a rope from the bell tower down to the pyre and unties Esmeralda before taking her back to the bell tower and invoking Notre Dame's status as a sanctuary in an appeal for protection. Frollo orders the Cathedral Guard to retake the church by force if necessary. Clopin frees Phoebus; the two rally the people of Paris to fight against the guards, but the guards are still able to break in. To stop them, Quasimodo dumps molten lead used for fixing the bells onto the guards; Frollo, however, manages to enter ("Judex Crederis"). In the cathedral, Esmeralda thanks Quasimodo for being a good friend before dying of smoke inhalation ("Top of the World (Reprise"). Frollo comes in and asks Quasimodo if she is dead, which he broken-heartedly confirms. Relieved, Frollo tells Quasimodo that they are finally free of her poison. Spurred on by the gargoyles, the ghosts of Jehan and Florika, and his own anger, Quasimodo throws Frollo to his death. ("Esmeralda (Frollo Reprise)")

Devastated, Quasimodo realizes that everyone he's ever loved is now dead. Phoebus arrives and discovers that Esmeralda has perished; he tries to carry her away but is unable to due to his injuries. Quasimodo then begins to carry Esmeralda's body away.

At this point, the chorus paint their faces and twist themselves, revealing that even the figures Quasimodo admired were themselves 'deformed' and flawed too. The actor playing Quasimodo tells the audience that years later, two skeletons were discovered in the crypts of Notre Dame - one with a crooked spinal column and the other, in the former's arms, with a woven band (Esmeralda's) around its neck - and that when it was attempted to detach the two the former crumbled to dust. The actor then proceeds to remove his costume as well as the facial paint and hump prosthetic signifying Quasimodo's deformities. The entire company, now all with deformities painted on their faces - except for Quasimodo's actor, whose face is the only one clean - returns and addresses the audience one final time with the question asked at the beginning of the show, "What makes a monster, and what makes a man?" ("The Bells of Notre-Dame (Finale Ultimo)")


Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Extended content

An original cast recording was recorded in German.[33]


  • Reed I (Flute, Piccolo)
  • Reed II (Oboe, English Horn)
  • Reed III (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Flute, Electronic Wind Instrument)
  • Reed IV (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Oboe, English Horn)
  • Reed V (Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Bassoon)
  • 2 Trumpets
  • 2 Horns
  • 1 Trombone/Euphonium
  • 1 Bass Trombone/Tuba
  • 2 Percussion
  • 3 Keyboards
  • 4 Violins
  • 1 Viola
  • 1 Cello
  • 1 Contrabass

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Extended content

§ Included as part of "Out There" on Studio Cast Recording

† Not present on Studio Cast Recording


  • Reed I (Flute, Piccolo, Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet)
  • Reed II (Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
  • Reed III (Bassoon, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet)
  • 1 Piccolo Trumpet/Trumpet
  • 1 Trumpet/Flugelhorn
  • 1 Horn
  • 1 Bass Trombone/Euphonium/Tenor Trombone
  • 1 Drums/Percussion
  • 2 Keyboards
  • 2 Violins
  • 1 Viola
  • 1 Cello

Design and themes[edit]

Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Alan Menken noted that "some songs complement the original composition of the film" while "others are very different from the film compositions and extend the musical spectrum", making a special mention of a song in Act II which was inspired by traditional gypsy music.[34] Translator Michael Kunze "campaign[ed] to allow Esmeralda to die at the end, as she does in the book. There was a feeling that the audience would be depressed if Esmeralda dies. I feel that a European audience would see this as a very romantic ending ... two lost souls finally find each other. People will cry, but they'll be moved."[35] The producers wanted to see how preview audiences reacted before making the final decision.[35] The set for the production utilized many large hydraulically controlled boxes that can be placed at any height, onto which projections were used in every scene for scenery and effects.[36] The finale of act one shows Phoebus' plummet from a bridge over the Seine after being shot by an arrow.[32]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

"These characters all come together, all with purpose, all trying to do the right thing facing extraordinary obstacles... We don't offer a solution, but we go to this place that you or others may call dark, that I would call life."

Thomas Schumacher, interview with State of the Arts NJ for the 2015 Paper Mill Playhouse production of Hunchback.[37]

The style of the show is a "Victor Hugo adaption with the score of Disney's Hunchback."[38] "The Bells of Notre Dame" is rewritten to include Frollo's past as a priest as well as his relationship with his brother Jehan before becoming the cathedral's archdeacon. The gargoyles, Victor, Hugo, and Laverne (Charles, Antoine, and Loni in the Berlin production), who are the comic reliefs in the 1996 movie, are cut. Quasimodo speaks with a "strangled slur", rather than his pure voice in the movie. He relies on a form of sign language that he has invented, and while he is unable to articulate, the statues of Notre Dame serve as figments of his imagination, which provide insight into his thoughts and attitudes as a Greek chorus.[39] Some of the original characters from the novel are added, as well as songs such as "The Tavern Song", "Rhythm of the Tambourine," "Flight into Egypt" and "In a Place of Miracles." The musical relies on a series of musical leitmotifs, which are reprised either instrumentally or vocally. Each of the central characters has a theme ("Out There" for Quasimodo, "God Help the Outcasts" for Esmeralda, "Hellfire" for Frollo, and "Rest and Recreation" for Phoebus). "The Bells of Notre Dame" acts as a narrative device to tell parts of the story. Thomas Schumacher, president of the Walt Disney Theatrical, noted that the English adaption of the musical embraced the darker elements of the original source material by Victor Hugo.[40] After Michael Arden, who played the role of Quasimodo in this version, read the book and discovered that Quasimodo is actually deaf from bell-ringing, he incorporated this aspect into his character, including a sign language-based form of communication. He had to selectively choose the moments to forgo the ailment in order to sing, such as moments when Quasimodo is alone; from his perspective he does not see his deformities.[41] Michael Arden said of his part that he would retire from the role in future incarnations of the show.[42] The ending was proposed by director Scott Schwartz, who turned to the original source material for inspiration; it was inserted during tech rehearsals for the Papermill staging.[43] According to Thomas W. Douglas, musical director of a 2017 adaption at MTW, the musical may leave the audience feeling thoughtful and pensive, rather than compelling them to stand up and cheer, due to the story's moral ambiguity and complexity.[28] The theme of the play, according to Kyoto Quasimodo actor Tanaka Akitaka, is of how to behave when in contact with others different from ourselves.[44][45] Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz felt that having a live choir on stage was integral in achieving the full-bodied sound they had crafted for the film; in addition James Lapine gave them his blessing in tinkering with his book for the new production.[46]

Critical reception[edit]

Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Matt Wolf of Variety said, "The prevailing tone, indeed, is far and away the most somber of the three Disney film-to-stage shows yet." He wrote that "the design is likely to be the show's talking point in any language, coupling as it does the best of British and American talent with a new $100 million dollar-plus playhouse specifically adapted to accommodate the demands of the piece. The aquamarine stage curtain, Gothic tracery already encoded within it, rises to reveal set designer Heidi Ettinger's ever-shifting array of cubes that join with Jerome Sirlin's projections to conjure the medieval world of the Parisian belltower inhabited by Sarich's misshapen orphan Quasimodo, his unyielding master Frollo (Norbert Lamla) and a trio of very chatty gargoyles."[12]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee/work Award Result
November 1999 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame Goldenen Europa (Golden Europe) award for Best Musical of the Year Won
January 2000 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame B.Z.-Kulturpreis (B.Z. Culture Prize) for Best Stage Design Won

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The English version of the musical received positive reviews. The New York Daily News wrote, "This stage musical smartly excises comic relief from the film’s giggling gargoyles...The look of the show is also very good. Alexander Dodge’s lavish bell-tower, Alejo Vietti’s gritty period costumes and Howell Binkley’s dynamic lights lend to the atmosphere."[47] The New York Times deemed it a "surprising[ly] self-serious...polished but ponderous musical" with a "simultaneously impressive and oppressive" stage and "rich choral singing."[39] The Hollywood Reporter said "Menken's uncommonly complex, classically-influenced score often soars."[48] AM New York called the musical "an unusually dark and chilling piece of musical theater which explores physical deformity, religious extremism, sexual repression and even genocide."[49]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2014 The Hunchback of Notre Dame San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Resident Musical Nominated[50]
2014 Brent Alan Huffman San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Musical Direction Nominated[51]
2014 Patrick Page San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Male Performance in a Musical Won[52][53]
2014 Howell Binkley San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Lighting Design Won[54][55]
2014 Alexander Dodge San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Scenic Design Won[56][57]
2014 Scott Schwartz San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical Nominated[58]

Principal cast[edit]

Character Original Berlin Cast La Jolla Playhouse Cast Paper Mill Playhouse Cast
Quasimodo Drew Sarich[12] Michael Arden[12]
Esmeralda Judy Weiss[12] Ciara Renée
Phoebus Fredrik Lycke Andrew Samonsky
Clopin Jens Janke Erik Liberman
Claude Frollo Norbert Lamla Patrick Page
Charles Valentin Zahn does not appear
Loni Yvonne Ritz Andersen does not appear
Antoine Tamàs Ferkay does not appear
The Archdeacon Carlo Lauber does not appear
Lt. Frederic Charlus does not appear Ian Patrick Gibb
Jehan Frollo does not appear Lucas Coleman Jeremy Stolle
St. Aphrodisius does not appear Neal Mayer
Choir n/a SACRA/PROFANA Continuo Arts

Cast albums[edit]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Studio Cast Recording)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame cover.jpg
Soundtrack album cast recording by Various
ReleasedJanuary 22, 2016
LabelGhostlight Records

German (1999)[edit]

A German cast album was recorded in 1999.

English (2015)[edit]

On May 15, 2015, it was announced that the Paper Mill cast would be releasing a cast recording of the show.[59] Recorded on September 28–30 at Avatar Studios,[60][61] the album features a 25-piece orchestra, with a 32-strong choir.[62] The recording was released by Ghostlight Records in January 2016.[63] The cast album was released to critical and commercial acclaim.[citation needed] It debuted at number one on Billboard's Cast Albums chart upon its release, thereby ending the 17-week run of Hamilton on this list.[64]

Chart Peak position
Cast Albums Sales 1[64]
Top Album Sales 17[citation needed]
Billboard 200 47[citation needed]

German (2017)[edit]

A German cast album of the 2017 version is available through Theater des Westens in Berlin, where the show was playing, but it is not commercially available in online trades or multi-media shops.[65] M1 Musical wrote that from the first notes of Olim in the German recording, the reviewer was given goosebumps; they ultimately deemed it a "masterpiece - the diamond in the CD shelf."[65]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Into the California Sunlight! Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame Will Have Its U.S. Premiere at La Jolla".
  2. ^ "Full Cast Announced for the U.S. Premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Paper Mill Playhouse. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Purcell, Casey (April 6, 2015). "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Will Not Move to Broadway; Fans Sign Petition for Transfer". Playbill. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Eine Legende kehrt zurück: Musical-Premiere von DISNEYS DER GLÖCKNER VON NOTRE DAME" (PDF).
  5. ^ Germany, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Stuttgart,. "Glöckner von Notre Dame in Stuttgart: Musical feiert am 18. Februar Premiere". (in German). Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  6. ^ a b "Weltpremiere im Frühjahr 1999 am Potsdamer Platz: "Der Glöckner von Notre Dame" als Musical". Berliner Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  7. ^ Simonson, Robert and Lefkowitz, David. "Disney's Berlin 'Hunchback'Will Rehearse in New York in Spring 1999" Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine., November 10, 1998
  8. ^ Germany, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Stuttgart,. "Nachfolgeshow für "Mary Poppins": "Der Glöckner von Notre Dame" kommt nach Stuttgart". (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  9. ^ a b "'Der Glöckner von Notre Dame'", accessed January 28, 2011
  10. ^ "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Find Articles at, Variety
  11. ^ "'Der Glöckner von Notre Dame', Production History", accessed January 28, 2011
  12. ^ a b c d e Wolf, Matt. "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Der Glockner Von Notre Dame)", Variety, June 21, 1999 - June 27, 1999, Section: Legit Reviews; Abroad; p. 86
  13. ^ Walter, Birgit. "Das Setzkastenmusical "Der Glöckner von Notre Dame" am Potsdamer Platz: Charmant wie ein Stein". Berliner Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  14. ^ "Musiktheater: Dem "Theater des Westens" geht der Atem aus". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 2001-08-16. ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  15. ^ a b "RZ-Online: Der Glöckner kommt". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  16. ^ Haun, Harry. "Playbill On Opening Night: 'The Little Mermaid' — Starfish Express" Archived 2009-04-08 at the Wayback Machine., January 11, 2008
  17. ^ Cerasaro, Pat. "Alan Menken Interview"., November 15, 2010
  18. ^ "Will Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame Swing to Broadway? | Broadway Buzz". 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  19. ^ Joy. "The King's Academy presents Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" - Christian Singles of Palm Beach (North Palm Beach, FL)". Meetup. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  20. ^ Chris. "TKA' s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame almost here". Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  21. ^ a b "Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame Live - Act I: Opening and Bells of Notre Dame". YouTube. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  22. ^ Name * (2012-11-08). "The King's Academy Theatre Company Set to Premier Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame | The King's Academy". Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  23. ^ knaacje118 (2013-08-21), Broadway and Beyond part1, retrieved 2018-06-26
  24. ^ BWW News Desk. "BREAKING: Disney's HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME to Have U.S. Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse".
  25. ^ Verini, Bob (2014-11-10). "Theater Review: Disney's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  26. ^ "Paper Mill Season Will Feature Can-Can, Hunchback, Ever After, Vanya and Sonia and More". February 26, 2014. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  27. ^ BWW News Desk. "Patrick Page, Michael Arden, Ciara Renee & More to Lead THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at La Jolla Playhouse!".
  28. ^ a b "Music Theatre's 'Hunchback' will be its most lavish production all season". kansas. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  29. ^ Crowder, Marcus (18 August 2016). "Deaf actor in lead role for Music Circus' darker 'Hunchback'". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Michael Arden: Inspiring Change with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Spring Awakening". OnStage. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  31. ^ "Fall 2017 Productions - The Ira Brind School of Theater Arts". The Ira Brind School of Theater Arts. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  32. ^ a b c Disney "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage production recording", at the musicalschwartz website
  33. ^ "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' Cast Album", accessed January 28, 2011
  34. ^ "Geschichte von Gloeckner von Notre Dame". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  35. ^ a b Geitner, Paul. "Disney's 'Hunchback' Goes to Stage", Associated Press Online, May 26, 1999, Section: Entertainment, television and culture, Dateline: Berlin
  36. ^ Lampert-Creaux, Ellen."Bells Are Ringing", October 1, 1999
  37. ^ Barbra Streisand live MGM Grand November 2nd 2012 Q&A. YouTube. 5 November 2012.
  38. ^ Disney Podcast - PATRICK PAGE INTERVIEW, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME - Dizney Coast to Coast - Ep. 144. YouTube. 3 December 2014.
  39. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles (2015-03-18). "Review: 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' at Paper Mill Playhouse". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  40. ^ The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse. YouTube. 28 March 2015.
  41. ^ "BWW TV: Inside Opening Night of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at Paper Mill with Michael Arden, Patrick Page, Stephen Schwartz & More!".
  42. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (31 October 2015). "Broadway's Michael Arden Hopes Cabaret Show Will Give Animals A Voice, Too" – via Huff Post.
  43. ^ Theme Park University (2015-03-19), Hunchback of Notre Dame Interview With Stephen Schwartz at Paper Mill Playhouse, retrieved 2018-06-26
  44. ^ "劇団四季「ノートルダムの鐘」関西初公演23日開幕へ向け入念リハ". スポーツ報知 (in Japanese). 2017-07-22. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  45. ^ INC., SANKEI DIGITAL (2017-07-22). "劇団四季ミュージカル「ノートルダムの鐘」京都公演 23日初演に向け公開稽古". 産経WEST (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  46. ^ Theme Park University (2015-03-19), Hunchback of Notre Dame Interview With Stephen Schwartz at Paper Mill Playhouse, retrieved 2018-06-26
  47. ^ "Hunchback of Notre Dame review Disney dark-side article". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  48. ^ Scheck, Frank. "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame': Theater Review". Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  49. ^ "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' theater review -- 3.5 stars - am New York". Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  50. ^ "San Diego theater: 2014 Craig Noel Award nominees announced". Retrieved 2015-12-26.
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  56. ^ "San Diego theater: 2014 Craig Noel Award nominees announced". Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  57. ^ "2014 Awards - The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle". Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  58. ^ "San Diego theater: 2014 Craig Noel Award nominees announced". Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  59. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Exclusive: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Cast Album in the Works!".
  60. ^ Khan, Jessica. "Sound the Bells! THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Heads to Utah Amphitheatre".
  61. ^ "Michael Arden, Patrick Page, and More Record Hunchback of Notre Dame Cast Album".
  62. ^ "The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Studio Cast Recording)". Ghostlight Records.
  63. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Photo Flash: Inside the Recording Studio with the Cast of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME!".
  64. ^ a b "The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Studio Cast Recording] - Original Studio Cast | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  65. ^ a b "Nun auf CD: DER GLÖCKNER VON NOTRE DAME - Musical1". Musical1 (in German). 2017-07-29. Retrieved 2017-08-15.

External links[edit]