Fulwell 73 acquire format rights to TV show Virtuosos for UK and US
One of the world’s greatest opera singers, Plácido Domingo, is giving his backing to a new classical music talent show created in Hungary to bring it to a wider international audience, it was announced today by Virtuosos founder and Chief Executive, Mariann Peller.
Domingo, the globally renowned Spanish tenor who reached global viewing audiences of 1.3 billion performing as part of the legendary Three Tenors and has been dubbed “the King of Opera” in the international press, has become a shareholder of VIRTUOSOS HOLDING LTD., the UK based company which owns the international rights to the VIRTUOSOS TV format.
Fulwell 73, the acclaimed producers of hit TV series Sounds Like Friday Night, The Late Late Show and Roast Battle, has acquired the format rights to produce an international version of the show in the UK and US.
The concept of TV show Virtuosos has revolutionized the perception of classical music in its native Hungary and provided a level of accessibility to the genre previously unknown to mainstream audiences.
The show is now one of the most popular programmes on Hungarian television – making household names of its finalists. Since its broadcast, applications by young people to attend music colleges in Hungary have dramatically increased as a result of Virtuosos impact on popular culture. As part of the Virtuoso alumni – the show’s most popular contestants have been given the opportunity to be a part of the show’s global tour – performing on the stages of some of the most prestigious venues in the world including New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Domingo said,
“The Virtuosos talent show and activities that surround it are a wonderful addition to the world of classical music, the encouragement of young musical talent and broadening the appeal of classical music.
Since my very first involvement I have been incredibly impressed by the talent discovered in Hungary alone and am sure this will be repeated in other countries as the format finds new audiences and new lovers of classical music, presented in a contemporary way. I hope that by becoming an active shareholder in Virtuosos Holding Ltd I can lend further encouragement to both the talent we discover and the management of the company with my experience and connections around the world.”
Leading entertainment producers, Fulwell 73 are now in development on localized versions for both the UK and US. Tapping into the phenomenal success of classical music while also recognizing its renaissance amongst a new generation of young fans through its appearance in video games, movies and modern pop – the creators of Carpool Karaoke and Sounds Like Friday Night are planning an innovative and accessible spin on the classical talent show format. The series plans to give a platform to undiscovered young artists who will appeal to a mainstream audience and have the potential to turn the classical genre on its head and become a global star.
Leo Pearlman, partner of Fulwell 73 said: “Virtuosos is a phenomenon in Hungary discovering and then showcasing the undiscovered stars of the classical music world, from all walks of life. Plácido Domingo is undoubtedly an integral part of the show and he alongside the talented young musicians, their incredible backstories and the confluence of a mainstream entertainment format and classical music are what we believe will make this a success in the UK and US. Classical music has long been hugely influential for artists in many different genres of popular music and now for the first time we’ll be highlighting this fact through a popular entertainment format in the way we know best.”
Commenting on the double boost for the business, which was established 5 years ago in Budapest, Ms Peller said,
“The support of Maestro Domingo for our idea and values is a wonderful boost for the Virtuosos brand as we look to capitalize on the success we have had domestically in the international market. He has supported Virtuosos since conception and has been a true inspiration to the talented young people we have discovered. It is an honor and privilege to welcome him now as a shareholder.”
In speaking about the link up with Fulwell 73 Mariann Peller said, “Leo Pearlman, James Corden and their creative teams are producing some of the most progressive and entertaining work in television today. I am delighted that they will be using some of their creative energy to develop Virtuosos for the USA and UK markets and know they will surprise and delight audiences with their production. I am personally looking forward with great excitement and anticipation to working with them”
VIRTUOSOS Holding LTD recently secured additional investment by Chinese Wailian Education Group owned by Linda Mei He which will help finance its upcoming international expansion plans.
Wailian Group is committed to providing overseas immigration, education, and investment consulting services, with more than 500 employees and 30 branches located in major cities in Asia, North America, Europe and Oceania. Wailian’s project teams are well known for their high-level expertise and research ability. Wailian Education, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wailian Overseas Consulting Group, is a fast-growing education company dedicated to delivering superior education solutions to students who aim to study or work in the United States of America.
Deer Capital is a venture investment fund established in 2015 by Mr. Roy Fu, regional manager of HSBC Investment Bank, conducted to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation, wealth creation and inventions of young talents. Deer Capital takes delight in helping determined, internationally aware young entrepreneurs making their dreams come true. Deer Capital is focusing on early stage investing to TMT (Telecommunication, Media Technology) industries such as artificial intelligence, corporate services, healthcare, sports & recreation, e-commerce, consumption upgrade & education etc.; keeping the company growing together with the entrepreneurs.
About Fulwell 73
Fulwell 73 was founded in 2005 by lifelong friends Ben Winston, Leo Pearlman, Ben Turner and Gabe Turner and strives to make top-quality television and film productions. In 2017 James Corden joined the company as a fifth full partner. Fulwell has over 400 hours of prime time television under its belt including the currently on air Sounds Like Friday Night for the BBC, Roast Battle for Comedy Central and the Late Late Show which it co-produces with CBS.
It has produced many films and TV programs across different genres including box office hits One Direction 3D: This is Us (Sony/Columbia) and I am Bolt (Universal) and is co-producing two spin-off shows with CBS Television Studios: “Drop the Mic” for TBS and “Carpool Karaoke” for Apple.