Popular Hungarian stage actors, Judit Ladinek, Nikolett Gallusz, Éva Auksz, András Stohl, Sándor Tóth, Kristóf Németh, Boglárka Simon, Renáta Krassy, Eszter Balla, Eszter Csákányi, Ilona Bencze and Ildikó Hűvösvölgyi have been cast in the adult roles of the production.
The Hungarian State Opera announced it in Februray 2015 that the musical by Lee Hall and Grammy Award winner Sir Elton John would be included in the repertoire. The piece is based on the three times Oscar-nominated film Billy Elliot, which tells the story of a talented boy born into a poor family who are against his wish to become a ballet dancer.
The title role is extremely difficult as it requires the child actors to be able to say prose, sing and dance including step and ballet. The cast of the premiere and the subsequent performances was announced following a year-long series of casting that began on 7 March, 2015. About 100 children aged 9 to 12 arrived to the casting from all over Hungary and beyond, later another 50 arrived. There was even one who was only 7.
The jury consisted of Tamás Solymosi, director of the Hungarian National Ballet, director Tamás Szirtes, vocal teacher Mária Toldy, choreographer Ákos Tihanyi, as well as the two conductors of the production: Géza Köteles and István Silló. The final exam took place on 10 February, when new members joined the panel: György Szakály, rector of the Hungarian Dance Academy, Gyula Sárközi, manager of the Madács Musical Dance School, Mónika Barna, docent of the Hungarian Dance Academy, ballet master Pál Csillag, and all those teachers who had helped the children prepare for a year. As in the first year the Hungarian State Opera plans to put the musical seventy times on stage, the board chose seven "Billys" and five "Michaels". In addition, 29 girls aged 9 to 12 are also going to be featured in the production.
Photo by Zsófia Pályi
This production of Billy Elliot – The Musical was made possible by special permission from Music Theatre International (MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, New York 10019 – Tel.: (1) 212 541 4684, www.mtishows.com) for the use of the material specially issued by it.