I’m not sure how many people know this, but in 1999, Disney Theatrical opened a stage version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in Berlin entitled “Der Glöckner von Notre Dame.” (Translation: “The Bellringer of Notre Dame”) It hasn’t come to America for some reason, even though it had a successful run in Berlin. Although apparently there might be some revamping of it done.
The other day I was on Amazon Deutschland looking to see if I could find a cast recording. According to Amazon, the lowest price for a used copy of the cast recording is 55 euros (approximately $76.94). Now, would I be so obsessive and nerdy to spend that much money on a cast recording?
Since it hasn’t come to America and if it does, there might be some revamping done, I would at least be interested in how the score sounded before they changed it and probably translated it into English. In addition to that, according to Wikipedia, the musical is much darker than the film to the point that (SPOILER ALERT) Esmeralda dies at the end.
Sure, I enjoyed the film when I was younger, but I also really liked Victor Hugo’s novel. One of the things that I liked about the film was that it was very dark for being a Disney film, which is something you see in several Disney films, but now that’s not that common. You have your basic bad guy, but he’s not that dark and evil. Which is something I liked about “Up” and “The Incredibles.” Yes, there is a happy ending to the film, but there is still an element of darkness that would probably go over most children’s heads. (For proof, listen to the song “Hellfire.”)
If I do actually purchase this cast recording, I’ll tell you what I think.
As many people are aware, “Wicked” seems like a global phenomenon. In fact, when it opened in Stuttgart, a cast recording of the German production was made. Over in Germany, “Wicked” is entitled “Wicked–Die Hexen Von Oz.” (Translation: “Wicked–The Witches of Oz”) And while I have seen the musical in America twice and have no intentions of seeing it again, I would consider buying “Wicked–Die Hexen von Oz” out of sheer curiosity. Also, I can get that cast recording for new for 14,95 euros (about $20.91).
But just how some of the titles have been changed makes me interested. For example, “One Short Day” is “Nur Ein Tag,” which means “Just One Day.” (Nur can actually mean “just” and “only,” so it could also be translated as “Only One Day.” But I’m positive that ein tag is “one day.”)
There is also the fact that I would be curious to see how Stephen Schwartz’s score sounds in German. For some reason, people insist that songs sung in German don’t sound beautiful. I can think of quite a few songs in German that sound beautiful. And judging from the customer reviews on Amazon, I would have to say that “I’m Not That Girl” sounds beautiful in German.