“Hard rock and sweet at the same time, a modern day opera. Kevin Hayes and his brilliant musicians and singers gave life to the music score that reawakens the film. Phenomenal… Hats Off!” – La Provence

The Phenomenal Music of Hunchback

La Provence

Of course we know the myth of Quasimodo and the diverse interpretations conceived by so many different artists. However, the film-opera created by American composer Kevin Saunders Hayes went beyond expectations. There were chills in the hall of the opera house of Avignon at 6:30 pm Monday evening. There, hundreds of happy movie enthusiasts and music lovers or simply those curious came to see the spectacle. The 2001 Avignon Film Festival presented the show’s European premiere. After “Metropolis” last year, it’s time for another masterpiece of the seventh art: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” filmed in 1923, produced by Universal Studios and directed by Wallace Worsley, to be shaken up by this new, daring American composer.

The curtain rises on Notre Dame Cathedral I Paris. Only a second before, music begins… flamboyant, explosive, and sparkling, Kevin Saunders Hayes, an orchestra in himself, directs a group of thirteen live performers: eight wonderful singers, two guitarists, a bass player, and drummer on top of an excellent soundtrack. Throughout the ninety-three minutes, everyone’s eyes are riveted to the spectacle, lead beat by beat without the slightest moment of dead time.

Electric rock or soft melodious chants in Latin(!), spitting guitars or voices of velvet, sweet music of the heart that evokes the amorous torments of the Hunchback, and then of Esmerelda, all come together to form a monumental score where, from the Court of Miracles to the high nobility, not one note is placed haphazardly.

An opera for our modern times where, contrary to all expectation, music from the 21st century marries, in perfect harmony and delight, with the images filmed in the early 20th century. To serve this universal myth, this eternal tale…

Hats offf.

(ABOVE PHOTO:) Monday evening, the American composer Kevin Hayes gave his orchestrated version of “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” the 1923 film. Hard rock and sweet at the same time, a modern day opera.

(BELOW PHOTO: ) Lon Chaney is Quasimodo. 2001: Kevin Hayes and his brilliant musicians and singers gave life to the music score that reawakens the film. Phenomenal…