Notre Dame de Paris at the Palais des Congrès de Paris is a theatrical journey that transcends the boundaries of time and geography, enveloping the audience in a grand tapestry of contrasting perspectives and elements that shape its multifaceted identity. This comprehensive review examines the myriad opinions surrounding the musical, exploring its thematic depth, visual grandeur and musical essence as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.
The musical's international reputation is testament to its ability to captivate audiences around the world. Gian Marco Schiaretti's vibrant portrayal of the poet Gringoire infuses the production with energy, complementing the grandiloquent nature that defines the show. The narrative, inspired by Victor Hugo's timeless novel, takes the audience on a sunny journey through medieval Paris, deftly blending pop-rock sensibilities with profound social, political and artistic themes.
Opinions differ depending on how we perceive this unforgettable show. Some engage in nuanced discourse on the balance between grandiloquence and emotional depth. Others argue that the production's grandiloquence eclipses its potential for emotional resonance, and find solace in the visual spectacle that defies the constraints of time and space. This duality contributes to the musical's appeal, creating an immersive experience that elicits diverse reactions.
Musical prowess is at the heart of the production. Outstanding vocal performances bring iconic characters to life, and the timeless power of the songs, performed by a new generation, fuses harmoniously with contemporary arrangements, infusing the production with a modern touch while preserving its musical integrity.
One of the many strengths of Notre Dame de Paris lies in its ability to bridge the gap between historical resonance and contemporary relevance. Themes of diversity, inclusion, violence, victim-blaming and racism infuse the story, elevating the musical beyond mere entertainment.
The staging and set design, with vivid backdrops and Gothic lines reflecting the essence of Notre-Dame Cathedral, prove to be crucial elements. The visual richness immerses the audience in medieval Paris. The aerial acrobatics and stunts are applauded for their breathtaking execution.
The actors' performances are also to be applauded. Angelo Del Vecchio's heartbreaking portrayal of Quasimodo, Daniel Lavoie's thunderous presence as Frollo and Hiba Tawaji's interpretation of Esmeralda are all to be commended. The actors' unwavering commitment to their characters can only be unanimously appreciated.
Notre Dame de Paris is an excellent, thought-provoking show. Whether attracted by its soaring melodies, visual extravagance or thematic exploration, the musical invites audiences into a realm where the boundaries between classic and contemporary, historical and modern, meet. As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, the production is a testament to enduring musical excellence, continuing to captivate hearts while navigating the complexities that define this timeless theatrical experience.
Tonight's audience had the honor of seeing the musical's creators, composer Richard Cocciante and lyricist Luc Plamondon, take to the stage. You can find our photos on our Flickr page
Notre Dame de Paris
Dates and times: November 15, 2023 - January 7, 2024
Venue: Palais des Congrès (Place de la Porte Maillot 75017 Paris 17)
Access: RER C or metro line 1 station Porte Maillot
Prices: from €38 to €99
Official website: notredamedeparislespectacle.com
Photos : Copyright Alessandro Dobici