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Casting Announced For London Run of Notre Dame De Paris

Quasimodo (Angelo Del Vecchio) and Esmeralda (Hiba Tawaji). Photo - Alessandro Dobici
Quasimodo (Angelo Del Vecchio) and Esmeralda (Hiba Tawaji). Photo – Alessandro Dobici

Nicolas Talar for Enzo Products Ltd and Adam Blanshay Productions are pleased to announce the principal casting for Notre Dame de Paris. Twenty years after its Parisian debut, and after receiving international acclaim in 23 countries worldwide, the French musical is set to be performed at London Coliseum. The original French production in London will be performed with English surtitles and a live orchestra from Wednesday 23 – Sunday 27 January 2019, with a national press night on Wednesday 23 January 2019 at 7pm.

The production stars Angelo Del Vecchio, Hiba Tawaji, Daniel Lavoie, Richard Charest, Alyzée Lalande, Idesse, Martin Giroux and Jay, who are all members of the principal cast in the current world tour. Further casting will be announced in due course.

Based upon the acclaimed 1831 novel Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris will feature an international ensemble of singers, dancers and acrobats to tell the tale of the hunchbacked cathedral bell-ringer, Quasimodo, and his desperate love for the gypsy, Esmeralda.

Italian born Angelo Del Vecchio plays Quasimodo. Angelo has a long professional history with Notre Dame de Paris, and is the only singer in the world to have performed the show in three languages. Angelo first played the role of Quasimodo in 2011 in the tenth-anniversary tour of the Italian version of the production (September 2012 – Verona Arena). Following this, he joined the international show (the English version) and performed in many Asian and European counties. Since 2014, Angelo has taken part in the revival of the Notre Dame de Paris Original French Tour in South Korea, Taiwan and Lebanon. Other credits include playing the role of Benvolio in Giulietta e Romeo, a popular opera, with which he toured around Italy in 2007 and 2008, and being part of the artistic cast of Rock Revolution as a soloist.

Esmeralda (Hiba Tawaji). Photo credit - Alessandro DOBICI
Esmeralda (Hiba Tawaji). Photo credit – Alessandro DOBICI

Hiba Tawaji plays Esmeralda, a role she has portrayed all over the world since 2016. Hiba is a Lebanese trilingual (Arabic, French and English) singer and musical theatre actress. Famous for her multi-genre music, Hiba was spotted very early on by one of the most influential producers, composers and pioneers of the musical theatre sector in the Arab world, Oussama Rahbani. Hiba was entrusted with the lead role in five of the Rahbanis’ creations, and over the years became a real star in the Arab world. Following this, she was keen to explore new horizons, and chose to make a move to France. She took a risk by participating in the fourth season of The Voice France, where she gained a huge public fan base and had strong media backing. Upon her exit at the semi-final stage, Hiba was signed by leading label ‘Mercury’, and she is currently working on new music.

The role of Frollo is played by Daniel Lavoie, who is an original cast member of Notre Dame de Paris, having been in the show since its inception in Paris in 1998. Daniel is a Canadian born author, composer, actor and comedian, most famous for his unforgettable song Ils s’aiment. Daniel is an established poet-pianist, and is known for his striking performances in daring projects such as Notre Dame de Paris, Human Rights Now, Le Petit Prince, la télésérie Félix Leclerc, Douze hommes rapaillés, La licorne captive and, more recently, Piaf à 100 ans. Vive la Môme! and Fortitudes. Daniel has won a dozen Félix Awards in Quebec, four Victoires de la Musique in France and a World Music Award for his participation in the song Belle from Notre Dame de Paris, and has twenty albums to his name. He is also the author of two volumes of poetry Finutilité and Particulités and has composed for Maurane, Isabelle Boulay, Eric Lapointe, Céline Dion, Mireille Mathieu and many others.

Richard Charest plays Gringoire. He first came to Notre Dame de Paris in 1999, when he crossed paths with the famous lyricist Luc Plamondon, who entrusted him with the future of the role of Phœbus. From 1999 to 2006, he did a series of performances in French around the world, playing the powerful role of the poet Gringoire from 2005, and went back on the road again in 2012 with the English version of Notre Dame de Paris. He recently celebrated his 1000th performance of the show. Other credits include Rabbi Jacob (alongside popular French comedian Eric Métayer), Il était une fois… Joe Dassin (Grand Rex, Paris and on a European tour) and Big Bazar (at the famous festival Les Franco Folies de Montréal in June 2010 and on tour around Quebec in 2011).

The role of Fleur-de-Lys will be shared by Alyzée Lalande and Idesse. Alyzée Lalande is the original Fleur-de-Lys from the 2017 touring cast. She started her career with the show Jean le fidèle and the comedy On ne magouille pas avec les impôts, by Thomas de Montgolfier, at the Théâtre Le Temple. She then landed the lead role in the musical Peau d’âne, directed by Ismaël Djema, at the Théâtre de la Madeleine, continued her journey with Jonas le musical, directed by Sébastien Tellier, and then with L’île aux trésors, also directed by Djema. In 2015, she joined the Théâtre Mogador with Le Bal Des Vampires, directed by Roman Polanski, followed by Le Voyage Extraordinaire de Jules Verne, where she brought the puppet hybrid Anna Verne to life, under the direction of Rabah Aliouane.

Belgian singer, Idesse, is a graduate of the International Academy of Musical Theatre in Paris. Soon after graduating, she played Luisa in The Sound of Music in Brussels. She originally understudied the role of Fleur-de-Lys in the worldwide tour of Notre Dame de Paris, and last year took over the role permanently.

The role of Phœbus is played by Martin Giroux. He first became famous as a contestant on the second season of Star Académie in 2004. In 2003, Martin was diagnosed with a very rare cancer on his left wrist and his album La vie ça s’mérite was inspired by his battle. He announced that he had gone into remission in 2008. Martin is an experienced stage, television and musical performer, whose credits include Dracula, Joe Dassin – La Grande fête musicale, Big Bazar and Party Time. He took over the role of Phœbus in Notre Dame de Paris at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.

Completing the principal cast is Jay who plays Clopin. Jay is best known for being a member of several bands. He was a member of the French group ‘Poetic Lover’ from 1997 to 2000. They had six singles and two albums in the national charts. After Poetic Lover’s split, he joined the R&B and hip-hop group ‘Class Vegas’ in 2001. Since 2013, he has been a member of the soul group ‘Vigon Bamy’. Their first work entitled Les Soul Men, reached number 7 in the French charts and became a gold album. In 2002, he participated in Luc Plamondon and Romano Musumarra’s musical Cindy.

All the principals can be heard on the 2017 Notre Dame de Paris live cast recording which is widely available.

Ahead of the twentieth-anniversary performance, producer Nicolas Talar says: “Myself and our wonderful cast are delighted to be bringing this classic tale to the London to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. Almost two centuries after the novel captured imaginations, we have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world with this fabulous show. And as an anniversary gift, and to show our excitement at bringing Notre-Dame de Paris to London, our first performance will be, we believe, the London Coliseum’s first ever one price performance at the amazing rate of £50, so we can share this story with as many people as possible. The earlier you book the better the seat you get.

Having sold out performances across 16 countries and been translated into nine different languages, Notre Dame de Paris originally debuted at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, 1998. Following its opening, the production was commended in the Guinness Book of World Records 2000 for its record success for a musical during its first year.

The music is composed by Richard Cocciante, with lyrics by Luc Plamondon.

Victor Marie Hugo (1802-1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement and is considered one of the greatest French writers. Hugo’s best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831, both of which have had several adaptations for stage and screen.

London Coliseum
St Martin’s Lane
Wednesday 23 – Sunday 27 January 2019


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