CANNES — Midem’s big event Tuesday was a shortened preview of the English-language version of “Notre Dame de Paris,” to bow in full at London’s Dominion theater May 23.
The musical, based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, has been huge in French-speaking markets, accounting for 2 million admissions, 7.5 million in record sales from the studio and live soundtracks, and two singles. The studio album spent 17 weeks at No. 1 in France.
Sony Music is hoping to replicate that success with the release of the English soundtrack in the U.K. on Feb. 21, and then later in the U.S. The first single, “Live for the One I Love,” sung by Tina Arena, will be out March 6 in Britain.
The Aussie singer will also star as Esmeralda in the London production for at least four months. The plan is to bring “Notre Dame” to New York eventually. Another production has just opened in Las Vegas.
Sony’s conspicuous presence at Midem this year, however, has turned some of the music major’s senior execs into deer in the headlights given the merger of Warner and EMI.
One exec, constantly cornered by journalists trying to gain info on a possible linkup between BMG and Sony — something that is emphatically denied — responded, “If I get asked that question one more time …”
Meanwhile, Warner and EMI execs were in a party mood at the trendy Moulin de Mougins restaurant on the outskirts of Cannes on Monday night.