The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (radio)

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (radio)

“The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” is a program from the American radio anthology series Radio Tales. The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio. The series was a recipient of numerous awards, including four Gracie Allen Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (in 2004, [ [http://www.awrt.org/press-releases/2004/Press_Release_%20Announce_Winners.pdf "AWRT Press Release"] AWRT.org. Accessed March 21, 2008] 2003, [ [http://www.npr.org/about/press/030402.gracie.html "NPR Productions Win Gracie Allen Awards"] NPR.org. Accessed March 21, 2008] 2001, [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20011126020253/www.awrt.org/awards/2000GracieWinners.html "2001 Gracie Allen Award Winners"] AWRT.org, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed March 21, 2008] and 1998, [Hear Here: "Tales by American Masters". AudioFile Magazine, pg. 8, Feb/March 1999, Vol. 7, No. 5.] ) a New York Festivals WorldMedal, [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20050207122048/http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/res/pdf/2004RPwinners.pdf "2004 Winners, Radio Programming and Promotion, New York Festivals"] NewYorkFestivals.com, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed March 21, 2008] and a Golden Reel Merit Award. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20010802161539/www.nfcb.org/2001reelsinfo.html "NFCB Announces 2001 Golden Reel Award Winners"] NFCB.org, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed March 21, 2008] “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" program from the Radio Tales series was an adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the classic novel by Victor Hugo.

Broadcast history

The Radio Tales production of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” was first broadcast via National Public Radio on November 20th, 2001. [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Fall 2001". NPR Marketing, Vol. VII, No. IV] The program encompassed two half-hour installments that were distributed to NPR member stations as part of the NPR Playhouse cultural series. Since November 28th, 2002, the entire Radio Tales series has aired in reruns on the Sonic Theater channel (163) of the XM Satellite Radio service. [ [http://www.xmradio.com/onxm/features/sonictheater.xmc "Sonic Theater"] XMRadio.com. Accessed May 22, 2008.] “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” program debuted on XM Satellite Radio on September 6, 2003.

Production information

The program was produced and script edited by series producer Winnie Waldron, who also served as the on-air host. [ [http://www.winifredphillips.com/wp_bio.html "Winifred Phillips Official Site: Biography"] Winifredphillips.com. Accessed May 19, 2008.] Composer Winifred Phillips created over fifty-six minutes of music for the program, and also performed as the featured actress. [ [http://www.mninter.net/~jstearns/nprPH.html#top "NPR Playhouse - January - March, 2001"] MNinter.net. Accessed March 21, 2008.] “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” was part of the sixth year of Radio Tales on NPR Playhouse. [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Fall 2001". NPR Marketing, Vol. VII, No. IV]

Media

The Radio Tales production of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” has been available in numerous formats and venues, including burn-on-demand CDs manufactured and distributed by MP3.com [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20031129193548/artists.mp3s.com/artists/33/npr_radio_tales.html "MP3.com: Radio Tales"] MP3.com, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed July 15, 2008.] and Ampcast.com. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20060212003627/http://www.ampcast.com/music/25229/artist.php "Ampcast.com: Radio Tales"] Ampcast.com, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed July 15, 2008.] Beginning in 2005, programs from the series, including “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” program, have been available for download via the Audioville.co.uk web site. [ [http://www.audioville.co.uk/store/view.php?Id=581&ProductCategoryId=59 "audioVille | Stor>>Fiction | Radio Tales | Download Audio Books, Podcasts and more in MP3. Comedy, Fiction, sport, news, science, drama."] Audioville.co.uk. Accessed May 24, 2008.]

Opening narration

Plot summary

A one-eyed hunchback named Quasimodo is the bellringer of the cathedral of Notre-Dame in the year 1482. As a fosterling of the Archdeacon, Quasimodo had grown up within the cathedral walls, which had served as a refuge for the ill-formed wretch whom the beneficent priest had pitied and taken for his own. The cathedral looks out on a large courtyard known as the Place de Greve, and from the cathedral can be found an excellent view of the pillory which holds a position of honor at the Place. Quasimodo had himself been chained to the pillory once, after having endured a beating at the hands of the authorities of justice in answer to some crime of which Quasimodo was not guilty. It was on this occasion that Quasimodo had first met the gypsy streetdancer Esmerelda, who had brought him water while the rest of the crowd showered him with derision, when they were not pelting him with stones. At length, Quasimodo had been released from his public punishment, but it would not be the last time he would attract attention in the Place de Greve.

Now, it is Quasimodo’s turn to watch as Esmerelda is brought into the Place, charged with a murder that she did not commit. The hunchback watches from the roof of the cathedral as Esmerelda is led to the gallows where she will be executed. He watches as the ArchDeacon speaks low to Esmerelda – Quasimodo has no way to know that the ArchDeacon is offering the girl her life if she will be his alone. The girl does not answer. The ArchDeacon retreats into the cathedral, and then Quasimodo takes that moment to launch himself from the roof of the cathedral, sliding down to the ground by way of a rope he had prepared for that purpose. He knocks the guards aside with his fists, snatches Esmerelda away from the executioners, carries her into the church and shouts, “Sanctuary!”

The crowd explodes into ecstatic cheers. Esmerelda is safe from the gallows as long as she remains on hallowed ground. Quasimodo carries her through the church and up to his small room near the top of the cathedral, emerging into the view of the watching populace on several occasions as he does so. In those moments Quasimodo shouts “Sanctuary!” many times, and the crowd cheers wildly. Reaching his little room beneath the flying buttresses, Quasimodo makes Esmerelda as comfortable there as possible, giving her his food and sleeping mattress for her own, and bestowing upon her a whistle that she must use to summon him if ever she is in jeopardy.

That night Esmerelda is attacked by the ArchDeacon, who had earlier learned where the hunchback had hidden the girl, and would now take from her what she had been unwilling to give. She struggles against him, blows the whistle to summon her protector, and Quasimodo charges into the room, quickly overpowering the ArchDeacon. The darkness of the room prevents Quasimodo from recognizing the identity of the man who had attacked Esmerelda, but when the hunchback drags the man out of the room to dispatch him, he sees the ArchDeacon’s face in the moonlight. Thunderstruck, Quasimodo lets his foster father go, and the priest flees with vengeance in his heart.

The next day, Esmerelda is missing from her room. Quasimodo can not find her anywhere, despite frenzied searches. At length, he sees his foster father walking across the roof of the cathedral – Quasimodo follows, and discovers that the ArchDeacon has found a perfect view for observing the execution of the gypsy streetdancer in the courtyard below. Taken by surprise, Quasimodo can do nothing to help as Esmerelda is hung upon the gallows, her body spasming as the rope chokes the life from her. Watching all this, the ArchDeacon laughs. Enraged, Quasimodo throws his foster father from the rooftop to his death.

After these events, Quasimodo is never seen again at Notre-Dame. However, some years later when the vault of criminals is opened in order for the bodies of the unjustly slain to be taken to a more honorable resting place, a curious tableau is discovered. Lying in an embrace which death had not been able to break, the skeleton of Esmerelda is discovered, close encircled by the loving arms of a skeleton that is bizarrely malformed. Evidently this unidentified corpse had not been hanged, but had met his death in the crypt. When the attempt is made to disentangle this skeleton from that of the young woman, the skeleton of the deformed stranger crumbles into dust.

References

External links

* [http://www.audioville.co.uk/store/view.php?Id=581&ProductCategoryId=59 The Hunchback of Notre-Dame Streaming Audio Samples on Audioville]
* [http://www.radiotales.com/ The Official Radio Tales® Web Site]
* [http://www.audioville.co.uk/store/view_productcategory.php?Id=59 Radio Tales Streaming Audio Samples on AudioVille]
* [http://www.http://www.xmradio.com/onxm/channelpage.xmc?ch=163 XM Satellite Radio – Information on the Sonic Theater Channel]


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