Notre Dame de Paris is a French-Canadian musical which debuted on 16 September 1998 in Paris. It is based upon the novel Notre Dame de Paris by the French novelist Victor Hugo. The music was composed by Riccardo Cocciante (also known as Richard Cocciante) and the lyrics are by Luc Plamondon.
Since its debut, it has played in Canada, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, South Korea and Taiwan. A shorter version in English was performed in 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) and a full-length London production, also in English, ran for seventeen months. Popular songs from the show, such as Belle and Le temps des cathédrales have also been translated into Belarusian, Catalan, Czech, German, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and English.
“Notre Dame de Paris”, according to the Guinness Book of Records, had the most successful first year of any musical ever.
Hearing or performing music comes closest in the range of human activity to a visceral connection to the past. As long as we have notation and knowledge of how to interpret it, we can effectively experience something like our ancestors did when they sang the same music. Of course, our 20th-century sensibilities and knowledge–or lack thereof–prevent us from sharing identical responses, but as with the music on this disc, when we hear it we are in some way transported to another place. We know a completely different sound world from our own; we know that the accepted order of certain things was different. And we also know that in many ways people haven't changed. Machaut's music conveys a spirituality–both joyful and contemplative–that's as true in its impact as it must have been 600 years ago, a point made ever so clearly by these especially vibrant and vital performances.