Columbia recording artist Tina Arena will star in the English version of the hit musical "Notre-Dame de Paris," which has been seen by audiences of two million in France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Canada since opening in Paris in September 1998. The show will debut in London at the Dominion Theater in May.
Arena will star in the role of Esmeralda in the musical, which is based on Victor Hugo's oft-interpreted 1831 novel "The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame." The new production will be launched at the MIDEM trade fair in Cannes on Jan. 25 by Columbia, which will release the accompanying soundtrack album in the U.K. on Feb. 21.
Luc Plamondon wrote the French version of the musical, with music by Richard Cocciante. Lyrics for the English production are by Oscar and Grammy-winning writer Will Jennings, known for such hits as "My Heart Will Go On," "Tears In Heaven," and "Roll With It."
Arena takes her place on the soundtrack album alongside a number of stars of the original show. First single "Live (For The One I Love)" is set to be released March 6 in the U.K.
-- Paul Sexton, London