Island families, music lovers and theatre buffs flocked to the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center over the weekend for the regional high school’s production of Les Misérables.

Each audience was rewarded with a stirring, fast-paced performance of the international blockbuster, in a slightly shorter version designed for younger performers.

The show was directed by drama instructor Brooke Hardman Ditchfield, who has been working on Les Misérables with the musical theatre class since the start of school last September. Their many months of preparation were evident onstage. The young actor-vocalists truly understood and inhabited the often complex characters they played, from the reformed but desperate fugitive Jean Valjean and his nemesis Inspector Javert to the street urchins Éponine and Gavroche and their feral parents, the Thénardiers.

Anabelle Brothers as Cossette. — Ray Ewing

As Island audiences have come to expect from the annual musical, the singing in Les Misérables was as much of a joy as the acting. And this show is almost nothing but singing, with its few spoken words — “General Lamarque is dead!” — as weighty as they are rare.

A small army of children from town schools and a handful of adult singers from the Island community joined the high school cast on stage for the biggest numbers, such as the anthemic Do You Hear the People Sing? But when it came to solos and ensemble work, notably the three-way duets outlining the story’s two tragic love triangles, the high school singers needed no vocal reinforcements.

Tenor Ben Yancey’s voice soared as the tormented, but faithful Valjean, while Emmett Favreau’s baritone lent extra menace to his portrayal of Javert as an automaton of justice — and pathos to the moment when the machine-man finally breaks down.

Seniors Engracia Scheller and Tenley Brooks alternated the role of Éponine, the spunky slum girl who gives voice to her hidden heartbreak in the song On My Own.

The revolutionaries. — Ray Ewing

Fantine, the gentle factory girl whose death sets Valjean on a fateful course, was played alternately by seniors Haley LeCoq and Ella Buchert.

Mr. Yancey and Mr. Favreau are seniors as well, but the cast included a number of younger students that Islanders can hope to see in future high school musicals. Tenor Jack Crawford, as the romantic student Marius, is a junior, as are both of the actor-singers who alternated in the role of his love interest, Cosette: Faith Fecitt and Annabelle Brothers.

Aiden Weiland, a freshman, drew applause every time he took the stage as Enjolras, the charismatic leader of the student revolutionaries. In his singing, Mr. Weiland — whose father Brian played guitar and percussion in the show’s 16-piece orchestra — revealed a ringing tenor ideally suited to Enjolras’s rallying cry Red and Black. Aiden also tripled up on roles in the show, appearing early on in the pivotal role of the Bishop of Digne and not long afterward as a pimp.

Celebrating the four-day run. — Ray Ewing

Another young performer worth watching, sophomore Gabby Silveira, turned in a brief but soaring performance as Gavroche, the homeless boy who becomes the revolutionaries’ beloved mascot and dies by their sides on the barricade.

Junior Ava McGee and senior Ingrid Moore also stood out as a frazzled Madame Thénardier and her corpse-robbing husband, Monsieur Thénardier.

Based on Victor Hugo’s sprawling 1862 novel, the musical Les Misérables got its start in French as a concept album from composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and author Alain Boublil. It was brought to the stage in Paris in 1980 and its English version, with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, opened in London in 1985.

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