Table of contents:
- Noah (Esmeralda), 51 years old
- Helen Segara (Esmeralda), 49 years old
- Garou (Quasimodo), 48 years old
- Daniel Lavoie (Frollo), 71 years old
- Patrick Fiori (Phoebus), 51 years old
- Julie Zenatti (Fleur-de-Lys), 39 years old
- Luc Merville (Clopin), 53 years old
- Bruno Peltier (Gringoire), 58 years old
Very French (despite the international composition of the troupe), very medieval, very gothic - this is how the musical "Notre Dame de Paris" was perceived by spectators and listeners all over the world. Luc Plamondon's famous production burst into the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful in its first year. Success was accompanied by each of the artists - and one of them took part in the renewed version of the musical, created in 2016.
In 1993, Luc Plamondon, the Canadian poet and librettist who wrote the rock opera Starmania, was looking for inspiration for a new project, and he turned to the classics for ideas. The choice fell on the book "Notre Dame de Paris" by Victor Hugo. Already in the process of reading to Plamondon, individual lines and phrases came to mind, which he then turned into lyrics. The very first was the famous "Belle" - these are the words that the author showed to his friend composer Riccardo Cocciante. He took up writing music. Four years later, Plamondon and Cocciante began to select artists for the musical Notre Dame de Paris.
Noah (Esmeralda), 51 years old
The Israeli singer, whose real name is Ahinoam Nini, took part in the recording of a CD with the songs "Notre Dame de Paris" - this album was released before the premiere of the musical. On the stage, Noah did not have a chance to sing - it was decided to replace the performer of the main female role, since the Israeli woman, according to the authors of the musical, did not speak French well enough.
It's funny that Noah, nevertheless, is considered a polyglot - she speaks, in addition to Hebrew, ten more languages, but her main vocation remains music - writing and performing songs, playing keyboards and percussion instruments. In 2009, the singer went to represent her country at Eurovision, where she took sixteenth place. For several decades, Noah has been active in social activities; she also became the first Israeli artist to perform at the Vatican.
Helen Segara (Esmeralda), 49 years old
Instead of the Israeli singer, Helen Segara (real name - Helen Aurora Rizzo) appeared on the stage, with Italian roots on the paternal side and with Armenian roots on the maternal side. From childhood, Helene could not imagine life without music, from the age of fifteen she performed in music bars on the Cote d'Azur, and in 1996 she moved from the south of France to Paris. There, Helen expected success: she recorded a duet with Andrea Bocelli and was noticed by the authors of the musical Notre Dame de Paris, who invited her to replace Noah, who had left the project.
In 1999, while touring with the musical, Helene lost her voice; she was diagnosed with a vocal cord cyst and was treated with surgery and complete silence for several weeks. Segara left the musical, but remained in the profession, having recorded more than a dozen music albums over the past twenty years. Helene Segara is the mother of three children and for seventeen years the wife of the musician Mathieu Lek.
Garou (Quasimodo), 48 years old
Canadian Pierre Garan, who took the stage name Garou, was also a singer in restaurants and bars before taking part in the Notre Dame de Paris project. It was at the bar that he met Plamondon. The role of Quasimodo, and then his solo career, brought Garu immense popularity.In 2010, the singer performed at the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, and among his many projects and achievements - participation in the Cirque du Soleil program, work in music competitions as a mentor, filming experience and even opening his own restaurant. concerts in Russia, including shortly before the announcement of quarantine in 2020.
Daniel Lavoie (Frollo), 71 years old
Canadian Daniel Lavoie (from birth he bore the name Gerald) was the eldest of six children, and he received his first musical education at a Jesuit school. At eighteen, Lavoie won the competition for young authors and performers of the Canadian television and radio channel CBC, after which he recorded singles one after another, many of which became hits. In 2002, Lavoie was invited to the new project of Riccardo Cocciante - the musical "The Little Prince", playing the role of the Pilot … Being not only a singer, but also a composer, Lavoie throughout his career wrote songs for other performers, including Mireille Mathieu, Celine Dion, Lara Fabian.
Daniel Lavoie became the only one of the participants in the 1998 musical who got a role in the new troupe. In 2019, he performed in Russia as part of the tour of the musical Notre-Dame de Paris.
Patrick Fiori (Phoebus), 51 years old
The singer, whose real name is Patrick Shushayan, was born into the family of an Armenian father and a Corsican mother. For the first time the performer of the role of Phoebus de Chateaupera in "Notre Dame de Paris" appeared on stage at the age of 12, it was a performance in the opera of Marseille. He also took part in Eurovision, taking fourth place in 1993 with the song Mama Corsica. Fiori was noticed by Luc Plamondon, and after recording the famous Belle, the young singer gained wide popularity in France. He has released more than a dozen albums, one of which went platinum. For some time, Patrick Fiori was in a relationship with the singer Lara Fabian, and after finishing his performance with the Notre Dame troupe - with Julie Zenatti.
Julie Zenatti (Fleur-de-Lys), 39 years old
Julie's family always sang, and for her herself this activity seemed as natural as talking and breathing. But the girl's special talent, however, was noticed early. Young Zenatti - at that time she was only fifteen - was invited to the musical in general for the main female role. But still, the part of Esmeralda was given to a more experienced singer - the creators of the project doubted that Julie would cope with the load, and the girl got the part of Fleur de Lys. role, replacing Helen Segara. For several years, Zenatti met with the performer of the role of Phoebus Patrick Fiori, and after parting, the couple continued their creative cooperation.
Luc Merville (Clopin), 53 years old
A Haitian Canadian, Lucknerson Merville lived in New York for several years before returning to Quebec where he recorded several reggae and rap albums. Merville's invitation to the role of Clopin was Plamondon's idea: the character of the Sanpapier leader was a gypsy, and therefore the dark skin color, according to the librettist, fit well with the concept of the musical. In 2018, Merville was accused of having an intimate relationship with a minor and spent several months in custody.
Bruno Peltier (Gringoire), 58 years old
By the time of the triumph of "Notre Dame" Peltier was already known both for his musical hits and for his role in the musical "Starmania", where he played Johnny Roquefort. The role of Gringoire, both the narrator and the protagonist of the musical, at first did not particularly interest Bruno, moreover, participation in this project violated the tour schedule. But Plamondon managed to convince the star - and Notre Dame de Paris won a lot from this deal: the magic of the story about a medieval cathedral, a gypsy woman and a hunchback in love with her captured the audience from the very first words and first notes - when the voice of Bruno Peltier sounded from the stage, narrator. He continues to record new songs and perform - even in the era of pandemic prohibitions: the recent Peltier Show is a virtual Christmas concert that ended "Crazy 2020".
But what kind of musicals won an Oscar: tap dance, waltz and thunder of the orchestra.
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