Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Royal Opera House

By Gemma Cleanslate

I spent another enchanted afternoon at one of my favorite theaters, The Royal Opera House. It is the Musical, Notre Dame de Paris, based on the novel of Victor Hugo. This show was directed by Ina Carpaccio. Just arriving at the theater makes me feel grand and I always choose a gown that will sit well at the theater. 

The setting is the vastness of Notre Dame Cathedral entrance area. The old man, Clopin narrates the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, or the bell ringer of Notre Dame as he is also known. He is made out to be an “idiot” and a very ugly man, Quasimodo. 

The story was written by Hugo in 1881 as a way of getting more people interested in the gothic architecture which was being neglected.  The story was made into a musical in several countries. in the early 1900‘s. There have been several movies depicting the story, including a Disney one in 1996.  If you would like to review the whole story before you go to the theater to see this check wikipedia. 

The story becomes very convoluted as it progresses, with many misunderstandings. The main issue is everyone is in love with the gypsy Esmerelda. That is the crux of the problem. Deception is everywhere along with misunderstandings that change the course of history in the story. 

The presentation of the story here flows from musical pieces and dances one into the other and is most enjoyable. The staging is simple and remains as it is until near the ending. Esmeralda is portrayed by Ina Carpaccio. Andy Loon plays Quasimodo .They both die at the ending of this tragic tale along with Frollo. the Church official  who has the decreed the death of Esmeralda.   

The show will be presented again but dates are not set yet. Keep an eye out for advertisement. Visit the theater to see the grandeur of not only the building, inside and out,  but the surroundings. You will find posters of upcoming shows and dates and view the steps and doors to the Opera House and a map of the building. 

Gemma Cleanslate 

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