Notre Dame de Paris, a new musical that was first seen in Paris in September 1998 and has subsequently toured through Canada, France, Belgium and Switzerland, is to receive its West End premiere at London's Dominion Theatre on May 23, 2000, following previews from May 15.
Based on Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, the musical has music by Richard Cocciante and lyrics by Luc Plamondon, with English lyrics by Will Jennings, who won an Oscar for the the hit song 'My Heart Will Go On' from the film Titanic.
The cast of the London production will be headed by Australian recording star Tina Arena as Esmeralda (who was featured on the concept album of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down the Wind), with Steve Balsamo (who starred in the title role of the most recent West End production of Jesus Christ Superstar when it first opened) as Pheobus and Daniel Lavoie as Frollo. Prior to opening in London, the stars of the UK cast will present a showcase at the Midem Festival in Cannes on January 25, which will be followed in March by the advance release of an English album of the score, with Celine Dion making a guest appearance to sing 'Live for the One I Love'.
The show is one of three French-themed musicals planned for the West End next year. Also on the cards are bio-musicals named after their subjects: Napoleon, a musical first seen in Toronto a few years ago, and Lautrec, featuring original music and lyrics by Charles Aznavour.