Organ music added to silent film

Art saved Notre Dame once and it can save it again, Buxton International Festival’s chief executive Michael Williams said in advance of the UK premiere of an award-winning musical performance inspired by the Parisian cathedral which was recently ravaged by fire.

South African organist Zorada Temmingh will use improvised organ music to add a new dimension to the 1923 silent film The Hunchback of Notre Dame which will be shown in the town’s parish church as part of the Festival in July.

Victor Hugo’s book, Notre Dame de Paris (1829-1831), was in part intended to spur the French authorities of the day to restore the cathedral to its former glory.

“Hugo’s art inspired the French to save Notre Dame then and it is now, thanks to the books, films and music which made its story an icon of French national life, that art will ensure it rises from the ashes,” said Michael.

Zorada Temmingh and the film can be seen on July 7, St John’s Church, Buxton. For more details go to