Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (literally translated in English, The Bellringer of Notre Dame) is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and book by James Lapine. The musical is based on the 1996 Disney film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was inspired by the 1831 Victor Hugo novel of the same name.

The musical premiered in 1999 in Berlin, Germany, 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 musical opened on June 5, 1999, for the opening of the Musicaltheater Berlin (now Theater am Potsdamer Platz (DE)), Berlin.[2] After a successful run, it closed in June 2002.[3] 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.[4][5][6]

This was Disney's first musical to premiere outside the US,[3] and it became one of Berlin's longest-running musicals to date. As with Beauty an the Beast and The Lion King, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame opened three years after the release of the movie it is based on.

The musical is a darker, more gothic adaptation of the film. According to translator Michael Kunze, he was " 'campaigning 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. And it is a very romantic ending.' "[7] The producers wanted to see how "preview audiences react before making the final decision."[7]

An original cast recording was recorded in German.[8]

English adaptation

In 2008, Stephen Schwartz said, "I think we're starting up Hunchback of Notre Dame, hopefully, next year [2009]." In a November 2010 interview, Alan Menken confirmed that he was working on an American production: "We're bringing that one back, too! ... we are still using James Lapine's book."

On January 9, 2013, it was announced that the musical will finally come on Broadway with a new book by Peter Parnell and new songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who did the songs for the movie and the original musical. Nothing else is known, including the release date and casting. Many news sources have noted that they hope the production retains the dark and Gothic qualities of the German stage version, which they feel was censored by Disney studios for the film.

In April 2013, an English adaptation of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame by The King's Academy Fine Arts Department was staged in The King's Academy Sports & Fine Arts Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. According to TKA, "Walt Disney Productions...selected The King’s Academy Theatre to adapt and premiere their [1996 film]". The company collaborated with Disney Executive Studios. They explained via YouTube that "We received a license from Disney Productions to premiere the English version of Hunchback. Disney is now workshopping this musical for a possible run on Broadway. Our director, Mr. David Snyder, recently returned from NYC where he helped to cast talent for the new show!" This version does not include all the songs from Der Glöckner von Notre Dame, and excludes the deaths of Esmerelda and Frollo. Nevertheless, it is essentially a translation of that musical as opposed to a new adaption of the film. The entire musical is up on YouTube.

The musical had its successful US premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego from October 28 through December 14, 2014 (Originally, December 7 but due to popular demand, an extra week was added). It was directed by Scott Schwartz, with Josh Bergasse as the choreographer, Michael Kosarin as the music supervisor and arranger, Michael Starobin as the orchestrator, Alexander Dodge as the scenic designer, Alejo Vietti as the costume design Howell Binkley as the lighting designer, and Gareth Owen as the sound designer. The production soon moved to the Papermill Playhouse from March 4 through April 5, 2015.

Original Berlin Musical Synopsis

Act I

The musical opens in 1482 Paris, where Clopin, an old gypsy beggar, sings of the bells of the Cathedral of Notre Dame ("The Bells of Notre Dame") and tells the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The story begins as three gypsies sneak illegally into Paris, but are ambushed by a squadron of soldiers working for the Minister of Justice, Claude Frollo. A gypsy woman attempts to flee with her baby, but Frollo catches her and kills her outside of Notre Dame, intending to kill the deformed baby. However, he is stopped by the Archdeacon who accuses him of murdering the gypsy woman. Frollo accepts the Archdeacon's offer to raise the child in the cathedral's bell tower, naming him Quasimodo.

Twenty years later, Quasimodo is the bell ringer of Notre Dame and has become a kind young man with three gargoyles - Antoine, Charles, and Loni - as his friends. They encourage him to attend the annual Festival of Fools, but Frollo arrives and forbids Quasimodo to leave the tower, while the gargoyles urge him to disobey and venture out ("Sanctuary"). After Frollo leaves, Quasimodo decides to go out for just one day ("Out There").

While the Parisians continue their preparations for the festival, Clopin, King of the Gypsies, prepares his gypsies for the festival at their underground hide-out, the Court of Miracles ("Balancing Act"). Their attention is taken by a newcomer, a young gypsy dancer named Esmeralda. Meanwhile, Captain Phoebus arrives in Paris excited about his new promotion as Captain of the Guard ("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 ("Topsy Turvy"), Quasimodo arrives in disguise so Frollo will not recognize him. Frollo crosses paths with Esmeralda while she is dancing for the crowd. Afterwards, people begin to audition for the King of Fools. Thinking Quasimodo is in costume, Esmeralda pulls Quasimodo onstage and the crowd crowns Quasimodo as their king, only to be humiliated by the crowd after Frollo's men start a riot. Esmeralda intervenes and openly defies Frollo's orders to let the hunchback suffer. Esmeralda comes to Quasimodo's rescue and Frollo orders Phoebus to arrest her but Esmeralda disappears. Frollo scolds Quasimodo and sends him back to the cathedral.

Esmeralda follows Quasimodo but Phoebus catches her inside the cathederal. Phoebus is dissatisfied with Frollo's methods and refuses to arrest her for alleged witchcraft inside Notre Dame and has her confined to the cathedral. Frollo arrives and interrogates her but the Archdeacon orders Frollo to leave, because those in the cathedral are protected by the law of sanctuary. Esmeralda prays for her people and the down-trodden ("God Help the Outcast"). Meanwhile, Frollo orders Phoebus to post a guard at every door to ensure that Esmeralda does not escape.

Esmeralda follows Quasimodo to the bell tower and is captivated by the view of the city ("Top of the World"). To repay Esmeralda for rescuing him, Quasimodo offers to show her a way out of the cathedral. Before leaving, Esmeralda gives him an amulet leading to the Court of Miracles should he ever need to find her, and she also kisses him on the cheek. After Esmeralda leaves, Quasimodo expresses his feelings, as he has been touched by Esmeralda's kindness ("Heaven's Light"). Frollo begins to realize his lustful feelings for Esmeralda and begs the Virgin Mary to save him from her "spell" to avoid eternal damnation. ("Hellfire").

Discovering that Esmeralda escaped, Frollo asks Quasimodo where she is, but he says that he does not know. Frollo, now fallen into madness, orders a city-wide manhunt to find Esmeralda. Realizing Frollo's evil reputation, Phoebus defies Frollo, who orders his execution for refusing to burn the miller's cottage. Pheobus flees while Frollo and his men begin to search the city ("Esmeralda"). Phoebus falls off a bridge and into the river below after being shot by an arrow, but Esmeralda rescues him.

Act II

The soldiers continue searching the city ("City Under Siege"). Esmeralda rescues Phoebus and tells him to seek sanctuary 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 ("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 and discovers that Quasimodo helped Esmeralda escape. Frollo tells Quasimodo that he knows where the Court of Miracles is and 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 ("Out of Love").

Using Esmeralda's amulet as their guide, Quasimodo and Phoebus find the Court of Miracles. The gypsies assume them to be Frollo's spies, but Esmeralda assures them that the two men are friends. Phoebus tells the gypsies about Frollo's plan and Clopin orders the gypsies to prepare to leave. Esmeralda and Phoebus decide to leave the city together while Quasimodo, heartbroken, watches Esmeralda leave with the man she truly loves ("Out of Love (Reprise)"). However, Frollo's army appears and captures them, with Frollo revealing that he had followed Quasimodo.

Frollo visits Esmeralda in the dungeon in the Palace of Justice. She refuses Frollo's offer for freedom in exchange for becoming his mistress ("Sanctuary (Reprise)"). Quasimodo, chained up inside the bell tower, refuses to help and tells the gargoyles to leave him ("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 ("Someday").

Frollo arrives and pronouces Esmeralda's sentence. The Archdeacon begs Frollo to let Esmeralda go. Giving her one last chance, Frollo reminds Esmeralda about his offer before she spits in his face. Witnessing Frollo burning Esmeralda at the stake, Quasimodo gives in to his anger, breaks free from his chains, rescues her, and brings her to the catherdal claiming her sanctuary. Frollo orders his men to break into Notre Dame. Phoebus frees himself and ignites a mutiny and leads the citizenry to fight Frollo's soldiers. Quasimodo calls upon the saints and the gargoyles before pouring a cauldron filled with molten copper onto the streets to make sure no one gets inside. Frollo, however, breaks into the cathedral. Esmeralda dies from smoke inhalation after thanking Quasimodo for being a good friend. Quasimodo breaks down beside her body as Frollo comes into the room to comfort Quasimodo before he tries to kill him with a dagger. Quasimodo fights back and after a long struggle, he pushes Frollo over the balcony's edge to his death. The gargoyles comfort Quasimodo and tell him the world is full of good as well as evil. The Parisians 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 ("Grand Finale").

North American Premiere Synopsis 

Act I

The story starts off in Paris, 1482. The audience is introduced to brothers Jehan and Claude Frollo, orphan brothers who were taken in by the priests of Notre Dame. Jehan is mischievous and deviant while Frollo is pious. After Jehan is caught with a gypsy woman in his room, he is kicked out of Notre Dame by Father Dupin. Jehan leaves with the woman, named Florika, and is not heard from again in years. Frollo, meanwhile, becomes the archdeacon of Notre Dame. He then gets a letter from from Jehan, pleading to meet him at another location. When Frollo arrives, he finds that Jehan is dying from the pox. Jehan explains that his wife had died 3 months ago from the same ailment and that his child needs to be taken care of. When Frollo sees the deformed child, he tells Jehan that he will get rid of him. Jehan dies and as Frollo is about to kill the child, he feels the glances from Notre Dame’s statues and decides against it, feeling that it is a test from God. He names the child Quasimodo and forbids him from leaving the confines of Notre Dame's bell tower ("Bells of Notre Dame").

Quasimodo, now grown up, has gone partially deaf from ringing the bells. He speaks to the objects in the cathedral such as the bells, statues, and gargoyles. He daydreams about going to the Feast of Fools. Frollo arrives at the bell tower and asks him to whom he is speaking. When Quasimodo answers that he has been speaking to his friends, Frollo reminds him that stone cannot talk. They recite the biblical story of the flight into Egypt and Saint Aphrodisius, whose name Quasimodo has a hard time pronouncing. After that, Frollo complains about how he must attend the Feast of Fools ("Sanctuary Part I"). Quasimodo offers to accompany him for protection. Frollo rejects the offer and tells him that he must stay confined to his sanctuary, the bell tower, because the people outside will never accept him ("Sanctuary Part II"). Quasimodo reminisces about his “sanctuary” and how he’d love to spend one day outside the cathedral. ("Out There")

Down below, the Feast of Fools begins ("Topsy Turvy Part I"). Meanwhile, Phoebus, the new Captain of the Guard, arrives at the city and flirts with some women ("Rest and Recreation"). Frollo later welcomes Phoebus and tells him that there is no time for "rest and recreation" as they must get rid of the city’s scum. At the Festival of fools, Esmeralda is introduced and dances for the crowd ("Rhythm of the Tambourine"). After that, they get ready to crown the King of Fools, who ends up being Quasimodo, who was entered to the contest by Esmeralda. ("Topsy Turvy Part II") In the middle of the celebration, someone throws something at Quasimodo and mocks him. The entire crowd turns on him, ties him down, and whips him. Phoebus asks for permission to stop the cruelty, but Frollo forbids it as a lesson must be learned. Esmeralda appears at the scene and halts the beating. Quasimodo asks for water, which she gives him and then unties him. The crowd gets angry at Esmeralda for halting their fun, and she escapes in a puff of smoke, which Frollo believes is witchcraft. The crowd attempts to harm Quasimodo again, but Frollo stops them and scolds them for being barbaric and tells them to go home. Frollo 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 enters Notre Dame and is in awe of its beauty. Frollo spots her and tells her that her kind isn’t allowed in the church and asks her why she is there. She tells him she is there to try and help Quasimodo. Frollo responds that he’s his responsibility. He tells her she is licentious and accuses her of black magic. Esmeralda asks if he has any charity, to which Frollo 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 and they both argue and fight. Phoebus tells her not to cause anymore trouble and that he’s simply following orders. She tells him to please let her go so that she may see Quasimodo. Phoebus tells her not to fight battles that cannot be won, but she says that she can't help it ("In My Life").

Esmeralda runs up the stairs to the bell tower. Quasimodo frantically tries to hide, encouraged by the bells and gargoyles, but she catches up to him. She tells him not be afraid and that she is very sorry for what happened at the festival, but notices that he has a hard time hearing her. Quasimodo tells her that he is very good at reading lips, so as long as he can see her face, they can communicate. Quasimodo shows Esmeralda the view from the tower, which Esmeralda finds beautiful. The gargoyles and bells encourage Quasimodo to talk to her. ("Top of the World") Quasimodo rings the bells and tells them to “sing for her”. Frollo runs up to the tower, confused as to why he is ringing them at completely the wrong time. Frollo is startled by Esmeralda’s presence because he thought she had left. He offers her shelter at the cathedral so that he may save her soul. She rejects his offer because she does not like the way he looks at her. Angered, Frollo tells Phoebus to escort her out of the church and that she is to be arrested if she ever sets foot in Notre Dame again. Frollo scolds Quasimodo for thinking that Esmeralda is kind and that he must get rid of impure thoughts. He tells him to never think of her again, as she is dangerous and was sent from Hell to tempt them.

Not able to cease to think of Esmeralda, Frollo starts to roam the streets every night. After walking down an unknown alley, he discovers the gypsies celebrating with wine and dance ("The Tavern Song (Thai Mol Piyas)"). Phoebus pays them a visit to have a little fun, and discovers that Esmeralda is there. The dancing resumes as Frollo, despite his efforts, is unable to look away.

Up at the tower, some of the objects 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, is also unable to stop thinking about Esmeralda. He resents her for "casting a spell" and awakening impure thoughts within him. He now desperately needs her to be his, or she will burn ("Hellfire").

At the Bastille, Frollo arrives unexpectedly to ask King Louis XI for special powers to stop a gypsy witch in order to protect the citizens. The King tells him to do whatever he feels is necessary, but to be prudent. Having obtained the necessary permission, Frollo gathers the cathedral guards and Phoebus to hunt down Esmeralda. They look everywhere and offer money in return for her, and they finally end up at a brothel known for hiding gypsies. When they do not yield what he is looking for, Frollo orders Phoebus to burn it down. Phoebus refuses and Frollo orders his arrest. Esmeralda shows up to stop him, and a fight breaks loose. During the commotion, Frollo stabs Phoebus and blames Esmeralda after she picks up the knife. Esmeralda and Phoebus disappear into a puff of smoke with the help of Clopin. Frollo continues the hunt, while Quasimodo grows worried about her whereabouts ("Esmeralda").

Act II

Up at the tower, Quasimodo notices the fire ravaging through the city, and wonders if Esmeralda is safe. The structures assure him that she probably is, but should she need to be rescued, he’d need to find a way to help her, like a hero or a saint would. Quasimodo recalls the story of Saint Aphrodisius and his flight into Egypt. The stained glass window of St. Aphrodisius comes to life and encourages Quasimodo to go out and help Esmeralda ("Flight into Egypt").

Esmeralda shows up at the tower and asks Quasimodo to hide Phoebus, who is badly injured. She gives Quasimodo a woven band which doubles as a map to the court of miracles, and she leaves. Phoebus awakens and tries to get up, but Quasimodo carries him off to hide him before Frollo can find out. As Frollo arrives, he notices that Quasimodo is acting a bit strange. He tells Quasimodo that, if he were to know where the gypsy was hiding, that he must tell him. For the very first time, Quasimodo lies to him and denies knowing where she is. A guard comes up to the tower to tell Frollo that they know where the gypsy is. Frollo cheerfully tells Quasimodo that they will now be successful in capturing her and leaves.

Phoebus gets up to go help Esmeralda. Quasimodo offers to help, which Phoebus scoffs at. Quasimodo reminds him that he can barley walk and that he has her map. Phoebus refuses to believe that the woven band is a map, causing Quasimodo lift him up over tower to give him a good view of the city, which makes Phoebus finally agree with him. After that, they both go into the streets of Paris to try to find Esmeralda’s whereabouts.

When they land at the court of miracles located at the cemetery, they are greeted by its inhabitants who are displeased to see them. Clopin reveals that they will hanged for their intrusion ("Court of Miracles"). Esmeralda arrives in time to stop the hanging and explains that both men are her friends. Phoebus discloses that Frollo will attack at dawn, and the gypsies start to pack up to relocate. When Phoebus asks Esmeralda to go with her, they embrace and acknowledge their love for each other. 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. He arrests Esmeralda, Phoebus, and the rest of the people there. He tells Quasimodo that he is very disappointed in him and orders the guards to take him away and tie him up at the bell tower.

Frollo visits Esmeralda at her prison cell, and tells her that he can save her if she accepts to be with him. When Esmeralda refuses, he threatens Phoebus’ life as well. He tells her that his love for her burns like hot lead and attempts to rape her. ("Sanctuary (Reprise)") He halts when a guard shows up with Phoebus. 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 to give herself up to Frollo. Phoebus pleads that she does it so that she may save herself, which Esmeralda refuses. They speak about a day when will life will change for the better ("Someday").

At the bell tower, the structures try to encourage Quasimodo to free himself so that he may save Esmeralda. Quasimodo tells them all to go away; that he’d only make things worse. When they tell him that he doesn’t believe that, he angrily informs them that they can know nothing of what he feels; they’re only made of stone. He expresses that he wishes that he were also made of stone, so that he could cease to feel all the pain inside him ("Made of Stone").

Outside of the cathedral, Frollo reads off Esmeralda's sentence, which includes witchcraft and stabbing a soldier. Frollo gives her one last chance to save herself and tells her to think of his offer. Esmeralda answers with spitting on his face. Angered, he lights the pyre to which Esmeralda is tied. Quasimodo is finally able to break free and runs down to save Esmeralda and takes her back to the cathedral. Phoebus convinces the people of Paris to fight against the guards, but they are still able to make their way to the cathedral and they try to break into it. Upon seeing this, Quasimodo dumps a cauldron of molten lead onto the guards. Quasimodo goes to Esmeralda and tells her that they have been victorious and that she is safe. Weak from inhaling too much smoke, she feebly thanks him for being such a great friend and dies. Frollo comes in and asks Quasimodo if she is dead, which he confirms. Relieved, he tells Quasimodo that they are finally free of her poison. Angry, Quasimodo hears the voices of the structures encouraging him to kill Frollo. Despite Frollo's pleas, he throws him off of the cathedral.

In deep grief, Quasimodo realizes that everyone he’s ever loved is now dead. Phoebus arrives and finds out that Esmeralda has perished and and tries to carry her away, but is unable to due to his injuries. Quasimodo carries Esmeralda’s body outside and sets her down in front of the crowd. Afraid he will be blamed for her death, he starts to retreat. A girl emerges, and twists her body to show that she is just like him. The rest of the crowd follows suit, accepting him at last. Years later the skeletons of Quasimodo and Esmeralda are discovered in the catacombs of Notre Dame locked in an eternal embrace. When the remains were separated they crumbled to dust ("Finale Ultimo").

Original Berlin Musical numbers

Act I[9]
  • "Die Glocken Notre Dames" ("The Bells of Notre Dame") – Clopin, Archdeacon, Frollo & Chorus
  • "Zuflucht" ("Sanctuary") – Frollo, Quasimodo, Antoine, Charles & Loni
  • "Draußen" ("Out There") – Quasimodo
  • "Tanz auf dem Seil" ("Balancing Act") – Clopin, Esmeralda & Gypsies
  • "Ein bißchen Freude" ("Rest and Recreation") – Phoebus
  • "Drunter drüber" ("Topsy Turvy") – Clopin, Quasimodo & Crowd
  • "Zuflucht II" ("Sanctuary II") - Frollo & Quasimodo
  • "Die Glocken Notre Dames II" ("The Bells of Notre Dame II") - Clopin, Priests
  • "Helf den Verstoß'nen" ("God Help the Outcasts") – Esmeralda, Quasimodo & Parisians
  • "Hoch über der Welt" ("Top of the World") – Esmeralda, Quasimodo, Antoine, Charles & Loni
  • "Das Licht des Himmels" ("Heaven's Light") – Quasimodo
  • "Das Feuer der Hölle" ("Hellfire") – Frollo & Priests
  • "Die Glocken Notre Dames III" ("The Bells of Notre Dame III") - Clopin & Frollo
  • "Esmeralda" – Frollo, Quasimodo, Phoebus, Esmeralda, Clopin & Soldiers
Act II
  • "Trommeln in der Stadt" ("City Under Siege") – Clopin & Parisians
  • "Ein Mann wie du" ("A Guy Like You") – Antoine, Charles, Loni & Quasimodo
  • "Esmeralda (Reprise)" - Frollo
  • "Weil du liebst" ("Out of Love") – Quasimodo, Phoebus, Antoine, Charles & Loni
  • "Tanz der Zigeuner" ("Dance of the Gypsies") - Orchestra
  • "Weil du liebst (Reprise)"  ("Out of Love (Reprise)") – Phoebus, Esmeralda & Quasimodo
  • "Die Glocken Notre Dames IV" ("The Bells of Notre Dame IV") - Clopin & Frollo
  • "Zuflucht (Reprise)" ("Sanctuary (Reprise)") - Frollo
  • "Wie aus Stein" ("Made of Stone") – Quasimodo, Loni, Charles & Antoine
  • "Einmal" ("Someday") – Esmeralda, Phoebus & Parisians
  • "Grand Finale" – Full Company

American Premiere Musical numbers

Act I [10]
Act II

Roles and original Berlin cast

Source: Variety Magazine[6]

Roles and American Premiere cast


Differences from the original 1996 film

  • The gargoyles' names have been changed from Victor, Hugo, and Laverne to Charles, Antoine. and Loni. The gargoyles' comedy in the musical is greatly toned down; they sing in many more songs, and they are also firmly established as figments of Quasimodo's imagination. In the American production, they are completely replaced by a congregation of stone saints.
  • Neither Esmeralda's goat Djali nor Phoebus' horse Achilles appear in the stage musical, due to the difficulties of making them believable on stage.
  • Frollo has a younger brother in this version.
  • Esmeralda is shown a way out of Notre Dame rather than Quasimodo climbing down, holding her.
  • When narrating, Clopin appears as a crippled old beggar and no longer uses puppets. In the American production, narration duties are delegated to the congregation of saints.
  • The song "The Court of Miracles" from the film is replaced by a dance number called "Dance of the Gypsies".
  • Frollo's past is expanded to note that he was once a priest, harking back to his position as the archdeacon in the original novel. The American production goes as far as to add his brother, Jehan.
  • Esmeralda dies at the end, as in the original novel.
  • Frollo is thrown off the cathedral by Quasimodo, instead of falling from the crumbling gargoyle fixture.
  • "Sanctuary", the song that consists of Quasimodo and Frollo that played before "Out There" is expanded and the Gargoyles are added in the number. In the American production, the song is mostly the same as the movie, but with a few of Frollo's lyrics changed and a few lines of dialogue cut.
  • It is the archdeacon who brings Phoebus to Quasimodo instead of Esmeralda. The archdeacon is absent in the American production.
  • The ending of the American production stays true to the original novel by Victor Hugo, in which the skeletal remains of Quasimodo and Esmeralda are discovered locked together in an embrace.

Design features


The set for the original production utilized four large hydraulically controlled boxes that can be placed at every conceivable height and level, and used highly detailed photographic and motion images (such as the movement of waves on the river below the bridge). The finale of Act One shows Phoebus' plummet from a bridge over the Seine after being shot by an arrow.[9]


The bell effect is produced live in the orchestra pit with both chimes and at times electric keyboards and routed through the console, a Cadac J-Type with motorized faders.[11] Tony Meola noted that the Berlin theatre was "really quite good acoustically for a large musical. It's not too reverberant, yet reverberant enough to make the orchestra sound good and you can hear the words of the songs."[11]


The Hunchback of Notre Dame is set in medieval Paris with the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris as a central location. "I try to draw from elements of the period," says Jerome Sirlin, who spent a few days in Paris taking photographs of the Seine and of Notre Dame and the views from the cathedral. "The pictures served as source material," he explains, noting that he used versions of the cathedral's gargoyles and other architectural elements to capture the essence of Notre Dame. "You can create a lot of movement with the projections. The audience believes what you tell them if you do it right."[11]

There are projections used in every scene of the show. "Sometimes they are more for scenery or an effect, a texture or an image," continues Sirlin. "There are a variety of ways of working with the large-format projectors and defining your gobos a little differently." An incredibly beautiful use of the projections is a scene that takes place on a bridge above, and then in, the Seine."[11]


The Variety Magazine reviewer noted that "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...the music tilts towards the generic."[6]


Papermill Playhouse


  2. Simonson, Robert and Lefkowitz, David. "Disney's Berlin 'Hunchback'Will Rehearse in New York in Spring 1999", November 10, 1998
  3. 3.0 3.1 "'Der Glöckner von Notre Dame'", accessed January 28, 2011
  4. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Find Articles at, Variety
  5. "'Der Glöckner von Notre Dame', Production History", accessed January 28, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Wolf, Matt. "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Der Glockner Von Notre Dame)", Variety Magazine, June 21, 1999 - June 27, 1999, Section: Legit Reviews; Abroad; p. 86
  7. 7.0 7.1 Geitner, Paul. "Disney's 'Hunchback' Goes to Stage", Associated Press Online, May 26, 1999, Section: Entertainment, television and culture, Dateline: Berlin
  8. "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' Cast Album", accessed January 28, 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 Disney "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage production recording", at the musicalschwartz website
  10. 10.0 10.1 "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Know Before You Go", at the lajollaplayhouse website
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Lampert-Creaux, Ellen."Bells Are Ringing", October 1, 1999

External links

v - e - d
Films: The Hunchback of Notre DameThe Hunchback of Notre Dame IIVideo

Television: House of MouseEsmeralda
Video games: The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Topsy TurvyKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Music: SoundtrackStudio Cast Recording
Books: Big Golden BookClassic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of Reading

Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingStitch and Friends Summer Surprise

Entertainment: Animazment - The MusicalDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!Mickey's Gift of DreamsThe Golden MickeysThe Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Musical AdventureThe Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools
Restaurants: Clopin's Festival of Foods
Parade: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Topsy Turvy Cavalcade
Firework: Disney Dreams!Happily Ever AfterWorld of Color
Halloween: Disney's Not-So-Scary Halloween ShowHappy HallowishesIt's Good To Be Bad With The Disney VillainsRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Disney Villains Halloween ShowtimeVillains Mix and Mingle

Original: QuasimodoEsmereldaClaude FrolloPhoebusVictor, Hugo, and LaverneClopinArchdeaconAchillesDjaliQuasimodo's motherQuasimodo's fatherOld PrisonerSnowballBrutish and Oafish GuardFrollo's soldiers

Sequel: MadellaineZephyrSarousch

Original: The Bells of Notre DameOut ThereTopsy TurvyHumiliationGod Help the OutcastsThe Bell TowerHeaven's LightHellfireParis BurningA Guy Like YouThe Court of MiraclesSanctuaryAnd He Shall Smite the WickedInto the SunlightSomeday

Sequel: Le Jour D'AmourAn Ordinary MiracleI'd Stick With YouFa la la la Fallen In LoveI'm Gonna Love You
Musical: Balancing ActRest and RecreationRhythm of the TambourineInto Notre DameTop of the WorldThai Mol PiyasEsmeraldaCity Under SiegeFlight Into EgyptOut of Love (Reprise) • Dance of the GypsiesMade of StoneGrand Finale
Deleted Songs: In a Place of MiraclesAs Long As There's a MoonSomeday

ParisNotre Dame de ParisPalace of JusticeCourt of Miracles
MusicalDisney Sing Along Songs: Topsy TurvyThe Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at The Hunchback of Notre Dame (musical). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.