HBO orders musical drama pilot from Elton John and ‘True Blood’ creator Alan Ball

Titled 'Virtuoso', the drama will be set at an Academy of Music in 18th century Vienna

HBO has ordered a pilot episode of Virtuoso, a musical drama from Elton John and True Blood creator Alan Ball.

Ball will write and direct the 60-minute drama, which follows a class of musical prodigies at an Academy of Musical Excellence in 18th century Vienna. Elton John and his husband David Furnish will serve as executive producers alongside Ball.

The drama will star Peter Macdissi, who played recurring character Olivier Castro-Staal on Ball’s earlier HBO drama Six Feet Under. Macdissi, who will also serve as an executive producer, will play Salieri, a composer and conductor is who is hired by Austria’s dying Emperor to found the Academy in his honour.

The cast will also include Alex Lawther, recently seen playing the young Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, and former Skins star Nico Mirallegro. Shooting will take place in the spring in Budapest.

Meanwhile, HBO has recently ordered a full season of an unnamed drama executive produced by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese[/url]. Bobby Cannavale, who won an Emmy for his performance as Gyp Rosetti in season three of Boardwalk Empire, is set to star as Richie, a cocaine-addicted record executive trying to relaunch his label in 1970s New York as the new sounds of disco and punk bubble up from the underground.