The Lion King is 17 years old this year. The musical that is, not the movie. The movie is even older, celebrating its 20th anniversary earlier this week. That makes me feel old. I mean, I watched that in theatres.
Since then, after collecting a trophy case of accolades and over a billion dollars in ticket sales, The Lion King is being produced in Mandarin for the first time. Shanghai Disney Resort, the latest in a string of Disney theme parks, is set to open some time next year and will stage the Chinese version of the critically acclaimed Broadway show.
United Asia Live Entertainment, a company backed by the newly restructured Shanghai Media Group and South Korean conglomerate CJ Corporation, is holding open auditions for singers and dancers in the multimillion-dollar Mandarin adaption of The Lion King musical. This is the third international musical production for UALE, which previously brought Mama Mia and Cats to Chinese audiences, and marks SMG’s growing partnership with Walt Disney Studios. Hedging its bets, SMG is also partnered with DreamWorks Animation in Oriental DreamWorks.
Registrations for July auditions in Shanghai and Beijing are now open.
Male and female dancers
Between 18 to early-30s
Background in contemporary dance or ballet
Agile male and female singers
Between 18-45 years old
Both dancers and singers are required to prepare one of the following songs to showcase their voice and range. A piano accompaniment will be provided at the audition. Sheet music may be downloaded here. (Just so you know, these English song titles are not my translations. I’m not even really sure what “A Hard Waiting” means…) Interestingly, only a few of the songs are from the musical genre, highlighting the short history of musical theatre in China.