This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Les Misérables is a sung-through musical based on the 1862 novel Les Misérables by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. Having premiered in Paris in 1980, it has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer. The London production has run continuously since October 1985 – the longest-running musical in the West End, and the second-longest-running musical in the world (after The Fantasticks ).
There have been several recordings of this material, including ones by the original London cast and original Broadway cast. However, no recording contains the entire performance of songs, score and spoken parts as featured on stage; The Complete Symphonic Recording comes closest, but a pair of songs that were cut from the show following the initial London run, as well as one song only present in the Original French Concept Album, are not included.
The characters who sing solos or duets are:
The "Overture" is the opening song and a dramatic instrumental introduction that establishes the setting as Toulon, France, 1815. The "Work Song" flows from the "Overture", the former opening with a choir of imprisoned men singing a melody later used in "Look Down" but eventually becoming a dark duet between the prisoner Jean Valjean and the guard Javert. In early versions, such as in the Original London Recording, the "Overture" was essentially just a minor version of the beginning of "At the End of the Day", but is now almost exclusively played with part of the same melody as the "Work Song" and "Look Down".
"On Parole" is the second song in the Prologue. Sometimes this is the first half of "Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven", but is commonly known as the first part of "The Bishop of Digne".
The song contains two parts, the first in which Valjean is invited in by the Bishop and steals the silver, the second, where Valjean is caught by two constables. The former is often cut out of recordings. When the both parts are played, the song is usually known as "The Bishop of Digne".
"What Have I Done?" is the fourth and final song in the Prologue, sung by the main character, Jean Valjean.
The music of "At the End of the Day" is fast and intricate, with different melodies coinciding as sung by various groups of poor women and men, female workers, solos by certain workers, and repetitious instrumentation.
"I Dreamed a Dream" is a solo sung by Fantine during the first act and the play's most famous number. Most of the music is soft and melancholic, but towards the end becomes louder and taut with frustration and anguish as she cries aloud about the wretched state of her life and her unfair mistreatment.
"Lovely Ladies" is a song from the first act. It is followed by "Fantine's Arrest" and sometimes the two are counted as one song. Fantine, now unemployed, wanders to the docks where she eventually turns to prostitution to survive.
"Fantine's Arrest" is a song from the first act. It follows "Lovely Ladies" (the two are sometimes counted as one song). Valjean's appearance in the song is sometimes referred to as "Valjean's Intervention". This song is followed by "The Runaway Cart".
"The Runaway Cart" is a song from the first act, divided into two parts. The chorus, Fauchelevent, and Valjean sing the first with instrumental parts. Valjean sings the second one and Javert on a medium-paced tune often picked up by Javert or other policemen (first sung in "Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven"). The song is cut heavily or left completely out in most recordings. It is known in the School Edition as "The Cart Crash". In the 2012 film, the first part of the song follows "At The End of The Day" with the second part following "Fantine's Arrest"
"Who Am I?" is a song from the first act, a solo sung by the main character Jean Valjean. It is rather slow-paced, and shares a melody with Valjean's solo in "One Day More", as well as the ten-years-later sequence after the Prologue.
"Fantine's Death", also known as "Come to Me", is a song from the first act. It is followed by "The Confrontation". It is slow-paced and the tune is very soft. It has the same melody as the more famous "On My Own".
The main opposing characters Jean Valjean and Javert sing "The Confrontation". It follows "Come to Me" and is followed by "Castle on a Cloud". The song is low and slow-paced. The instrumentation behind the vocals is the same as in the "Work Song", the melody partly also picks up that song. The song's highlight is Javert and Valjean singing in counterpoint, with the lead alternating.
"Castle on a Cloud" is a solo for the part of young Cosette. She sings about a castle where she does not have to sweep floors and a lady all in white looks after her. It is followed by a tag that breaks away from the main melody, involving the first entrance of Mme Thénardier, which is cut from many recordings. Mme Thénardier verbally abuses Cosette, orders her to fetch some water from a well, praises her daughter young Éponine (a silent role), and again refers to Cosette (after Éponine points to her to show she did not leave), warning that she never asks twice.
"Master of the House" is one of the better-known songs of the musical. It introduces the Thénardiers and the crooked way that they operate their inn. The song is preceded by a lengthy introduction sung largely by regulars at the inn and Thénardier himself, which is cut from almost all recordings.
"The Well Scene" is sung by Valjean and Young Cosette. Cosette is walking alone in the woods with a bucket of water. Valjean arrives and Cosette sees him. Valjean tells her to not be afraid. He asks for her name and Cosette tells him. He takes the bucket for her and walks her back to the inn. (only in the new video production in 2013 and in Czech version)
"The Bargain" and "The Waltz of Treachery" are two intertwined songs. Much of the number is often cut from recordings. The latter part of "The Waltz of Treachery" is largely instrumental. It flows directly into "Look Down".
"Suddenly" is a song created for the 2012 film. The song "explains what happens when Valjean takes Cosette from the inn and looks after her".The song appears only on Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack .
"Look Down", sometimes referred to as "Paris: 1832", or in the School Edition as "The Beggars", involves one of the best-known themes in the musical, imitating that which is first heard in the "Work Song". It is important for plot, introducing Gavroche, Enjolras, Marius, the adolescent Éponine, the adolescent Cosette, and the plight of the working poor; it flows directly into "The Robbery". The song comes after "Stars" in the Original London Recording and the 2012 film.
"The Robbery" is a lesser-known song from the musical. The young adults Eponine, Marius, and Cosette are introduced (though Cosette's part in the scene is silent). Marius and Cosette bump into each other and fall in love at first sight. Thénardier attempts to rob Jean Valjean, realizing he is the one "who borrowed Cosette", a brawl breaks out. Éponine cries out as Javert arrives on the scene (a segment of the song commonly known as "Javert's Intervention") but, because Javert does not immediately recognise Valjean, the latter escapes; Thénardier then convinces Javert to let him go and pursue Valjean instead.
"Stars" is one of the two chief songs performed as a solo by Javert. It is among the better-known songs from the musical. It comes before "Look Down" in the Original London Version and the 2012 film.
"Éponine's Errand" is an important scene in the show in which Marius asks Éponine to discover where Cosette lives and then take him to her. It is clear that Éponine is reluctant to encourage the brewing romance between Marius and Cosette, but because of her love for Marius, she cooperates. The first part follows the same melody as L'un vers l'autre (Towards One Another), a solo for Éponine that appeared on the original concept album but did not make it to the current version. This tune appears throughout the show.
"The ABC Café – Red and Black", on most recordings referred to as simply "Red and Black", introduces the group of young student revolutionaries, who have formed an organization called the Friends of the ABC. The song name is a mixture from the Café Musain, which was their favourite meeting place in the book and their name, "La Société des Amis de l'ABC" (literally in English, the Society of Friends of the ABC). The name is a pun, as in French "ABC" when pronounced one letter at a time is "abaissé", which is also the word for "lower" (therefore, "Friends of the Lower Class or the Poor"). The song consists of many different changing parts. The song involves a tag, in which Gavroche enters and announces to the students that General Lamarque is dead; Enjolras then sings a solo about how this is a sign for the beginning of the revolution, transitioning directly into "Do You Hear the People Sing?"
"Do You Hear the People Sing?" is one of the principal and most recognizable songs from the musical, sometimes (especially in various translated versions of the play) called "The People's Song". A stirring anthem, it is sung twice: once at the end of the first act, and once at the end of the musical's Finale. Instrumentally, the theme is also prominent in the battle scenes. In the 2012 movie, it is performed after "One Day More".
At the special Les Misérables 10th Anniversary Concert in 1995, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" was sung as an encore by seventeen different actors who had played Jean Valjean around the world. Each actor sang a line of the song in his own language (except for Jerzy Jeszke, who although Polish sang a line in German, having performed the role of Valjean in Germany), and the languages sung included French, German, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian, Czech, Danish, Icelandic and English.
"Rue Plumet – In My Life", referred to on most recordings as simply "In My Life", is among the better-known songs from the musical. It largely involves a duet between Cosette and Valjean, though Marius and Éponine also sing near the end. In the Original London recording alone, it plays alongside a Cosette solo, "I Saw Him Once", (Te souviens-tu du premier jour ? in the original 1980 French production) cut out of all other recordings.
"A Heart Full of Love" is sung by Cosette, Marius, and Éponine, immediately following "In My Life".
"The Attack on Rue Plumet" is a three-part song, the first part of which plays in only two recordings: a long version in the 1980 Original French recording and a much-shortened version only on the Complete Symphonic Recording and added into the beginning of "The Attack on Rue Plumet". The second is best known and is played in all recordings while the third is again more important for plot than music. On the London Original Cast recording, it is called the "Plumet Attack". Éponine, bringing Marius to Valjean's house to see Cosette, stumbles upon her father Thénardier and his gang Patron-Minette, made up of Brujon, Babet, Claquesous, and Montparnasse, preparing to rob the house; Éponine screams, dispersing the robbers, while Valjean is led to believe that Javert or his minions have discovered his whereabouts at last, and so prepares to leave at once with Cosette. It is one of the lesser-known songs of the musical, yet serves as an important plot point. Interestingly, the large majority of this song's music is not heard anywhere else in the musical.
"One Day More" is a choral piece with many solos: all of the main characters (except for Fantine and The Bishop, both of whom have died by this point) sing in it in a counterpoint style known as dramatic quodlibet, as well as parts by the ensemble. It is the finale to Act 1. The song borrows themes from several songs from the first act.
Each character sings his/her part to a different melody at the same time (counterpoint), before joining for the final chorus:
Other uses The song was used by Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 campaign for the presidency of the United States.Another version was used by Barack Obama supporters during his successful 2008 election campaign. It was also used as a finale to the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Misérables at The O2, sung by the OLC with Ramin Karimloo singing the part of Enjolras.
"Building the Barricade" is the entr'acte of the musical and contains a new theme, which transitions into Éponine's appearance at the barricade, and her sung dialogue with Marius and later with Valjean as she passes to him a letter from Marius intended for Cosette. It is often cut out of recordings in part or completely. On the Complete Symphonic Recording, this song is mislabeled "At the Barricade".
"On My Own" is a solo part for Éponine. The refrain of the song is the same tune as that of "Fantine's Death (Come to Me)", although it adds a bridge and the tune of the verses are different. Beginning in the key of D, modulating to B♭ (even though the song does not actually change key), then ending in F, this is her most important song. In the film adaptation, the song comes after The Attack on Rue Plumet and before One Day More .
Other uses "On My Own" has appeared in many famous events outside of Les Misérables, for example:
"At the Barricade", also called "Back at the Barricade", begins with an instrumental reprise of the "Red and Black" and a sung reprise of the "Upon These Stones" musical themes. It is also the first of the two times that a National Guardsmen sings a warning to the revolutionaries. On the Complete Symphonic Recording, this song is mislabeled "Building the Barricade".
"Javert's Arrival" or "Javert's Return" involves Javert's return to the barricade to report on the enemy's plans; however, he is interrupted by Gavroche's exposing him as a spy in "Little People".
"Little People" begins as Gavroche proudly and merrily uncovers Javert's identity as an undercover police inspector.
The Original London Recording included a much longer version sung by Gavroche, sung in the first act, between "Look Down" and "Red and Black". This original version was related to Gavroche being able to be useful even though small, rather than the uncovering of Javert. For later versions of the musical, the song was halved to its current length. Gavroche's gleeful uncovering of Javert is sung to an entirely different melody, already used in the Original French Version and is much shorter, before leading to the musical bit that was left in.
"A Little Fall of Rain" is the song of Éponine's death. Éponine, the eldest daughter of the Thénardiers, tells Marius that she loves him, and dies in his arms. Marius's reaction to her death in the musical is quite different from that in the novel. In the book, Marius does not really care much about Éponine until she dies, whereas in the musical they are portrayed as best friends, and he and his fellow students mourn her death, "fighting in her name"; Marius is quite devastated by his best friend's death, even crying while holding her in his arms, and refusing to let go when his fellow students try to take her body away, and refusing the comfort of Enjolras, and continuing to cry over his best friend being gone forever. The title lyric is often misinterpreted; she thinks she is wet because of rain, but Marius sees it's blood from her wound(s) that's "everywhere".
"Night of Anguish" is a musical interlude scene. The exact definition of this song and the following are hazy; sometimes the few lines following Éponine's death are named "Night of Anguish", sometimes it is the scene directly after the first attack that includes the dialogue between Valjean and Javert, that receives this name. In the 2012 film, this song following Eponine's death is omitted and replaced with a non-vocal musical interlude.
"The First Attack" begins as a largely instrumental number with only some short lines of singing; there also several lines shouted by revolutionaries during the attack. Depending on the definition of the song, it includes the scene in which Valjean sets Javert free. This scene, even though musically relatively uninteresting, is very important for the plot.
"Drink with Me" is the revolutionaries' mellow song as night falls and they await their enemy's retaliation.
Valjean begs God to save and return Marius to Cosette, even if he (Valjean) must sacrifice his life for Marius' safety. In a documentary on the Blu-ray of the film adaptation, Claude-Michel Schönberg revealed that the song was written specifically for Colm Wilkinson.
"Dawn of Anguish" is another minor interlude in which Enjolras and the revolutionaries come to the realisation that the people of Paris are not joining their revolution. Without the masses rising up to support them, they accept that the uprising's failure is inevitable and so Enjolras tells all the women and fathers of children to return to their homes, since they will only die if they remain at the barricades while he and the students remain to fight on.
"The Second Attack" or "Death of Gavroche" is important to the plot. Gavroche runs into the enemy line of fire to retrieve ammunition for the revolutionaries, but is killed during a reprise of his "Little People" solo.
James Fenton had written another song for Gavroche's death, called "Ten Little Bullets", using the melody of Gavroche's solo in "Look Down".The song did not make it past recordings, probably not even there. Only the Broadway Revival version restarted using it in 2006.
"The Final Battle" is a mostly instrumental number, often omitted from recordings. It repeats the first bar of the theme from "Do You Hear the People Sing?" with some variations and key changes, before erupting into a final reprise of the "Red and Black" theme, ending on a discordant chord instead of the major chord of that theme.
"The Sewers" is mostly a lengthy completely instrumental reprise of "Bring Him Home", though it also incorporates "Dog Eats Dog", a solo performed by Thénardier. In it, Thénardier describes his robbing the dead bodies from the battle at the barricades and justifies his actions by saying that somebody has to "clean them up...as a service to the town". He also declares that God is dead and that the only thing looking down from the heavens is the "harvest moon". It is one of the darkest songs of the musical.
The song was notably absent in the 2012 film adaptation, which instead contained a shorter chase-action sequence, scored primarily to "Look Down", in its place. The omission of the song allows Thénardier's character in the film to remain somewhat comical, though he is still shown in the sewers robbing dead bodies.
"Javert's Suicide" is the second and last chief song performed solely by Javert. It is preceded by a repeat of the beginning of "The Confrontation" theme (which is sometimes cut from recordings or incorporated into "The Sewers"), in which Valjean asks Javert for one hour to bring Marius to a hospital, a request to which Javert, this time, agrees. After Valjean leaves, Javert contemplates the paradox of hunting the man who has spared him his life; he proceeds to jump to his death in the river. The song is instrumentally an exact reprise of Valjean's Soliloquy, though sung by Javert with changed lyrics. Part of an instrumental from Stars is heard at the end of song as he is falling.
In "Turning", the women of Paris mourn the loss of the students and their own hopeless cycles of childbirth and misery. It is set to the melody of "Lovely Ladies". It is also the only song in the musical not sung by a major character.
"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" is a solo sung by the character Marius, who is mourning the death of all of his friends who were killed at the barricade. Part of it is to the tune of "The Bishop of Digne".
"Every Day" or "Marius and Cosette" is a two-part song sung by Cosette, Marius and Valjean. The second part is often known as "A Heart Full of Love (Reprise)". The 2012 film only used the second part.
"Valjean's Confession" is sung by Valjean and Marius. Though important for the plot, the music is more important as an introduction to "Who Am I?".
"The Wedding" is a very brief song, also known as the "Wedding Chorale", and is sung by the guests on Cosette and Marius's wedding. The second part is a dialogue-heavy song that is often abridged or cut, sung by Marius and the Thénardiers. This part is sometimes called "The Waltz of Treachery (Reprise)" as it is sung to a similar melody.
"Beggars at the Feast" is the second big musical number sung by the Thénardiers, in which they proclaim how through their treacherous ways they always manage to come out on top before waving the audience goodbye with the mocking line "When we're rich as Croesus, Jesus, won't we see you all in hell". It is a reprise of the "Master of the House" theme.
"Valjean's Death" is the penultimate (or last, depending on the song organization) musical number in Les Misérables. This and the "Finale", into which it flows without pause, are sometimes counted as one song. The combination is often known as "The Epilogue" (as the musical also has a Prologue). Fantine and Éponine come to welcome him into salvation. "Valjean's Death" borrows the tune from "Fantine's Death" and "On My Own", and towards the end, "Bring Him Home".
"The Finale", also known as "Do You Hear the People Sing? (Reprise)", is the last song in the musical; it is often incorporated with "Valjean's Death" into a single track on recordings, simply entitled "Epilogue".
|Song||Original London Recording||Original Broadway Recording||10th Anniversary Recording||Complete Symphonic Recording||Original French Concept Album||Paris Revival Recording||School Edition [a]||Motion picture (2012) [d]|
|Overture / Work Song|
|Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven|
|Valjean's Soliloquy (What Have I Done?)|
|At the End of the Day|
|I Dreamed a Dream|
|The Runaway Cart|
|Who Am I?|
|Come to Me (Fantine's Death)|
|Castle on a Cloud|
|Master of the House|
|The Waltz of Treachery|
|Little People (original)|
|The ABC Café / Red and Black|
|Do You Hear the People Sing?|
|I Saw Him Once|
|In My Life|
|A Heart Full of Love|
|The Attack on Rue Plumet|
|One Day More|
|At the Barricade (Upon These Stones)|
|On My Own|
|Building the Barricade|
|A Little Fall of Rain|
|Night of Anguish|
|The First Attack|
|Drink with Me|
|Bring Him Home|
|Dawn of Anguish|
|The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche)||[b]|
|The Final Battle|
|Dog Eats Dog|
|Empty Chairs at Empty Tables|
|The Wedding Chorale||[c]|
|Beggars at the Feast|
Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century.
Les Misérables is a 1935 American drama film starring Fredric March and Charles Laughton based upon the 1862 Victor Hugo novel of the same name. The movie was adapted by W. P. Lipscomb and directed by Richard Boleslawski. This was the last film for Twentieth Century Pictures before it merged with Fox Film Corporation to form 20th Century Fox. The plot of the film basically follows Hugo's novel Les Misérables, but there are many differences.
Jean Valjean is the protagonist of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables. The story depicts the character's 19-year-long struggle to lead a normal life after serving a prison sentence for stealing bread to feed his sister's children during a time of economic depression and various attempts to escape from prison. Valjean is also known in the novel as Monsieur Madeleine, Ultime Fauchelevent, Monsieur Leblanc, and Urbain Fabre.
Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is a sung-through musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, by Claude-Michel Schönberg (music), Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, and Herbert Kretzmer. The original French musical premiered in Paris in 1980 with direction by Robert Hossein. Its English-language adaptation by producer Cameron Mackintosh has been running in London since October 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after the original Off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks.
Les Misérables is a 1998 film adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, directed by Bille August. It stars Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman, and Claire Danes.
Les Misérables is a 1934 film adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name. It was written and directed by Raymond Bernard and stars Harry Baur as Jean Valjean and Charles Vanel as Javert. The film lasts four and a half hours and is considered by critics to be the greatest adaptation of the novel, due to its more in-depth development of the themes and characters, in comparison with most shorter adaptations.
Cosette is a fictional character in the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and in the many adaptations of the story for stage, film, and television. Her birth name, Euphrasie, is only mentioned briefly. As the orphaned child of an unmarried mother deserted by her father, Hugo never gives her a surname. In the course of the novel, she is mistakenly identified as Ursule, Lark, or Mademoiselle Lanoire.
Marius Pontmercy is a fictional character, one of the protagonists of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel Les Misérables. He is a young student, and the suitor of Cosette. Believing Cosette lost to him, and determined to die, he joins the revolutionary association Friends of the ABC, which he associates with, but is not a part of, as they take part in the 1832 June Rebellion. Facing death in the fight, his life is saved by Jean Valjean, and he subsequently weds Cosette, a young woman whom Valjean had raised as his own.
The Thénardiers, commonly known as Monsieur Thénardier and Madame Thénardier, are fictional characters, the main antagonists in Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables and in many adaptations of the novel into other media.
Les Misérables is a 1982 French drama film directed by Robert Hossein. It is one of the numerous screen adaptations of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. It was entered into the 13th Moscow International Film Festival where it won a Special Prize.
Les Misérables: Shōjo Cosette is a Japanese anime series by Nippon Animation, and is the first installment of the World Masterpiece Theater series in ten years after Remi, Nobody's Girl. It is an adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic 1862 novel, Les Misérables, and the fourth anime adaptation of said novel.
Les Misérables: The Dream Cast in Concert (1995), also titled Les Misérables in Concert, is a concert version of the 1980 musical Les Misérables, which was based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, produced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the West End production. It was filmed in October 1995 at the Royal Albert Hall and released on DVD, VHS and LD in 1998, and re-released on DVD in North America in 2008. The latest DVD presents the concert in its original 16x9 ratio.
"One Day More"("Le grand jour", The big day, in the original French version) is a song from the 1980 musical Les Misérables. The music was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer. It is the final song of Act I and is one of the most famous and iconic songs of the musical.
Les Misérables is a 1958 film adaptation of the 1862 Victor Hugo novel. Written by Michel Audiard and René Barjavel, the film was directed by Jean-Paul Le Chanois and stars Jean Gabin as Jean Valjean.
Les Misérables is a 1978 British made-for-television film adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The film was written by John Gay, produced by Lew Grade, and directed by Glenn Jordan. The film originally aired on U.S. television on CBS on 27 December 1978.
Éponine Thénardier, also referred to as the "Jondrette girl", is a fictional character in the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
Les Misérables is a 2012 epic period musical film directed by Tom Hooper and scripted by William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, who wrote the original French lyrics, Claude-Michel Schönberg, who wrote the music, and Herbert Kretzmer, who wrote the English lyrics. The film is based on the popular 1985 West End English translation of the 1980 French musical by Boublil and Schönberg, which itself is adapted from the 1862 French novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The film is a British and American venture distributed by Universal Pictures. The film stars an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary was performed and filmed at The O2 Arena in North Greenwich, London, England on 3 October 2010 at 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm. It marked the 25th anniversary of the original West End production of Les Misérables, which was based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, and has been running since October 1985.
Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables has been the subject of many adaptations in various media since its original publication in 1862.