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. It’s 1984. In England’s mining towns, life is in upheaval: it is the time of the strikes. Eleven-year-old Billy Elliot lives in one of these towns. His father and older brother have joined the picket line to fight for a better living. His mother is dead. Following in the family tradition, the boy attends boxing lessons, but this violent sport doesn’t suit him much. One day he happens upon the girls at their ballet class and is smitten by the dancing. Will a young boy’s artistic talent be able to bring the family and the community together? Will Billy succeed in making his dreams come true?
The non-replica production was first produced at the Opera House in summer 2016 directed by Tamás Szirtes and choreographed by Ákos Tihanyi. The triple cast includes popular Hungarian stage actors, Judit Ladinek, Nikolett Gallusz, Éva Auksz, András Stohl, Sándor Tóth, Kristóf Németh, Eszter Csákányi, Ilona Bencze and Ildikó Hűvösvölgyi all of whom have been part of the adventure since the beginnings.
This summer a new generation of children is introduced to the audiences. 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. Every season, a complex casting precedes the series to find new talents.
The production to inspire would-be ballet dancers also includes a sequence from the classic Swan Lake featuring artists of the Hungarian National Ballet. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra is conducted by Géza Köteles and István Silló.
This production of Billy Elliot – The Musical has been developed with special permission from Music Theatre International [MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, New York 10019 – tel.: (1) 212 541 4684, www.mtishows.com], using material it has made available.
The children soloists featured in the Opera’s production have been trained and prepared in partnership with the Madách Dance School and the Hungarian Dance Academy.
Photography by Sziliva Csibi, Péter Rákossy