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tinkerbell7733

Eponine/Fantine?

Hello everyone!

So I'd like to try out for either the part of Eponine or Fantine (we are supposed to pick only one) and I'm not sure which one to pick. I really love all of the songs each one sings, but I wouldn't want to miss out on half of the play if I was Fantine. My voice seems to be ok with both of them, aren't they pretty similar ranges? My only problem is it is the high school version. I'm 17 but look fairly young for my age because of my height-would this mean I could only be Eponine? I'm not sure how old Fantine is supposed to be, does anyone know?
Which would you rather pick? In the musical version I saw (in Vancouver, BC) Fantine wasn't a huge standout to me, but I do love IDAD.
MlleTholomyès

Fantine, I think, is around 16-20 ish.
curlyhairedsoprano91

Fantine's a much better role.
Yakko

Yeah Fantine is a much better character to perform then Eponine.
MlleTholomyès

Although, you have to admit, playing a psycho can be fun. Wink As in: bellowing out OMO melodramatically is one of the goals I have in life.
tinkerbell7733

Thank you, may I ask why you prefer Fantine to Eponine?
Yakko

Because Fantine has more character devolpment the Eponine does.
sasquatch223

Re: Eponine/Fantine?

tinkerbell7733 wrote:
Hello everyone!

So I'd like to try out for either the part of Eponine or Fantine (we are supposed to pick only one) and I'm not sure which one to pick. I really love all of the songs each one sings, but I wouldn't want to miss out on half of the play if I was Fantine. My voice seems to be ok with both of them, aren't they pretty similar ranges? My only problem is it is the high school version. I'm 17 but look fairly young for my age because of my height-would this mean I could only be Eponine? I'm not sure how old Fantine is supposed to be, does anyone know?
Which would you rather pick? In the musical version I saw (in Vancouver, BC) Fantine wasn't a huge standout to me, but I do love IDAD.


Did you watch it last summer at the Stanley Theatre? I watched that production twice, once with my mother and once with my father. I agree Fantine wasn't a huge standout, but the actress was pretty solid.

(Do you go to school in Vancouver? If so, is it okay if you PM me your school name? I'd like to watch that production.)

I don't think your age/appearance will be a problem, because as you said, it's the school edition. Plus, the actual ages for Eponine and Fantine aren't that far apart.

Range-wise: Fantine has the lower note, but most of her stuff is higher than Eponine's belting fare. (Does that make sense? Fantines lower notes would kind of be outliers, although they do need to be solid).

Ooh, also, Eponine MUST belt; Fantine can but doesn't have to.
Alexia Dark

If you can vocally handle either of their parts, it comes down to type; do you look and sound more like a young, hopeful teenaged girl or a wise-beyond-her-years, more mature young lady? You have to look at yourself and the characters objectively, and figure out if you seem to fit one more than the other.
tinkerbell7733

Thanks. I feel like I look more like an Eponine, but I'd rather have the part of Fantine...not sure what to do.

Yes, I went to the Stanley stage! Did you like it?
sasquatch223

The first and only production I've seen as of now.

I liked it, although I thought the guy playing Marius was a little lacking in depth (after listening to Michael Ball as Marius).

PM me the school name pretty please?
tinkerbell7733

Oh, sorry, my school is actually in Calgary. I was in Vancouver in the summer visiting some friends, so thats why we went to go see it
Fantine

Oh I thought we were gonna discuss some Fantine Eponine slash, but alas.
Eppie-Sue

Fantine wrote:
Oh I thought we were gonna discuss some Fantine Eponine slash, but alas.


That made my day.

You see, I wouldn't be as opposed to playing Eponine, guys - yes, her role is just that of the lovelorn girl, but if you forget our opinion of Eponine for a moment, she is probably (sadly) the most popular character with many people and while, yes, OMO is melodramatic, it's still a great song (as is IDAD of course).
It really is about what you want your story to be like - you can make Fantine's scenes amazing if you care about her enough and understand her situation, I wouldn't another actress's performance influence me here.
What do you want your character's conflict to be like? Fantine's problems are quite possibly among the deepest of the musical, whereas Eponine just appeals to the regular audience more because everyone has had their heart broken at one point.
That said, I think that giving a great performance as Eponine is easier than as Fantine, because people - especialy young girls - are going to sympathise with her immediately, but in terms of character development Fantine is definitely the better and much more interesting part.
Orestes Fasting

Your chances of missing half the show are about equal with Fantine and Eponine, actually. They get about the same amount of stage time. Either the production you're in will give you small ensemble roles when you're not on in-character, or you're going to miss half the show. In the professional productions, the Cosette and Eponine actresses play factory workers and whores, and the Fantine actress dresses like a boy and is one of the extras at the barricade.

Vocally they have about the same requirements at the upper and lower ends of the range, but Fantine's part lies slightly higher in general. For Eponine you absolutely have to have a strong belt; Fantine is a little more flexible and you have more choices about whether to use head voice, chest voice, or a mix.

Eponine is definitely meant to be a teenager; Fantine is about 25 when she dies in the book, but in the musical there's much more freedom of interpretation about her age. One of the Broadway revival understudies was tiny and looked about fifteen years old, which did raise questions about how she had an eight-year-old kid...
jdeng

Just to Copy & Paste parts of an official character introduction (and mathematical numbers for their vocal ranges).

Fantine is the beautiful young girl who, abandoned by her lover, is left to fend for herself and her daughter Cosette. She is rejected by society and forced through circumstances to become a prostitute. She is a brave woman defeated by life, sustained by her love for her daughter and clinging to her dignity. Sick with consumption, we witness her descent through poverty, hunger, cold, loneliness and destitution to death. She is a noble and proud character, whose life becomes a series of terrible events that rob her of her pride, character, and ultimately her life. The actress playing the role needs a powerful voice that is more mezzo (or alto) than soprano. Vocal range: G flat (below Middle C) to E flat

Eponine is the daughter of Thenardier. She is a young girl who is streetwise and tough, but also sensitive and lonely. She is in love with Marius, knowing that he will never love her. She bravely follows Marius to the barricades in the hope that they will die there together. Once grown up, Eponine moves with her family to Paris where they fall on hard times. Now poor, living hand to mouth, she survives by helping her father break the law. Eponine is a tragic character, hopelessly in love with Marius. She sings one of the most famous numbers in the show, "On My Own" and should therefore be an excellent singer with a contemporary edge to her voice and an excellent actress. Vocal range: F sharp (below Middle C) to E

Could anyone cast some light on whether or not there is a reason for writing the same key using two different names [G flat and F sharp] in this introduction]?
Orestes Fasting

I don't have a school edition score handy or anything, but my guess would be that it's because they're in different key signatures. IDAD is generally done in Eb minor and the low note is marked as a Gb; in the pro productions ALFOR is in F major, but they could've taken it up half a step for the LMSE which would explain the F#.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

I thought Fantine went down to a bottom D - I just checked with the CSR and it does there (in the finale). Is this cut from the SE?
Ulkis

I always say if you like to act better you should go for Fantine and if you like to sing better you should go for Eponine.

Also, I imagine it would be easier to get Fantine simply because there will probably be less people trying to get the role. As Eppie-Sue said, Eponine IS the most popular character.
Orestes Fasting

l'ivrogne transfiguré wrote:
I thought Fantine went down to a bottom D - I just checked with the CSR and it does there (in the finale). Is this cut from the SE?


If they went to the trouble of taking ALFOR up a half step just so there wouldn't be any scary low F's? Probably.
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