The Italian version of the sung-through French musical Notre Dame, is to tour Italy right up to the end of the year, hitting all major cities including Parma, where tonight’s performance takes place in the delightful Parco Cittadella. Based on the Victor Hugo novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, the music has been composed by Italian singer songwriter Riccardo Cocciante with original lyrics by Luc Plamondon, this Italian version having the lyrics reworked and translated by Pasquale Panella.

It’s a lavish production indeed with numerous dancers, the singers very technically able but also fine in their interpretation of the major players of this epic story. The huge stage set up in the park has as its backdrop the famous cathedral walls of Notre Dame, which after the drama of the tragic fire in April this year severely, damaging the real building, is appealing to all spectators who hold Paris and its architectural splendours in their hearts. The dancers especially, use the walls as well as the stage floor, for a series of spectacular acrobatic and athletic gestures that warrant attention and applause. However, what really convinces are the sweeping melodic harmonies of the songs that so captivate to allow the audience to engage in the troubles and strife of the main characters.

Special mentions are obligatory for an intense Quasimodo played by Giò Di Tonno, a bewitching Frollo played by Vittorio Matteucci and a moving and heartfelt performance by Elhaida Dam in the role of Esmeralda.

A most splendid theatrical musical production suited for all the family and undeniably destined to have many more future performances all over the world.