About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide


The Sound of Music Musical

The Sound of Music - The Trapp Family

At the end of the 1920s nun-to-be Maria Kutschera moved into the house of Captain von Trapp to work as governess to his 6 children. After a year, they got married and added another 2 children to their family circle. Von Trapp was a highly decorated World War I veteran and a widower with 7 children, living in Salzburg. Because of an unfortunate financial crisis, Maria started to arrange concerts with the children singing, making a family hobby to an profession.
In 1938 when Austria was affiliated by Hitler Germany, Captain von Trapp refused to join Hitler's army. The family had to flee. Packed with only their Rucksacks they left all their fortune and belongings behind them and crossed the Alps heading for Italy. In 1938, they arrived in New York with no money and Maria pregnant. Starting there with no money and without being known, they soon managed to reach national popularity. They had to return to Europe once more before they managed to get permanent residence in the states, where the family kept touring. In 1941, they purchased a large farm in Vermont, mostly because the landscape reminded them of the beloved Austrian Alps. It was Maria who wrote and published the family's story.

The book sold well. Maria accepted an offer of a German film company. "Die Familie Trapp" and its sequel were highly successful. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein turned the story into a highly successful broadway musical: The Sound of Music. Rodgers and Hammerstein adapted the musical for cinema. In 1965 20th Centry Fox released the film 'The Sound of Music' with Julie Andrews cast as Maria. The film would win 5 Oscars and become one of the most popular Hollywood movies of all times. Partly, it was shot in scene in the Austrian Alps and in Salzburg: the Mirabell gardens, Residence square or 'Felsenreitschule' are just some locations, which you can all still visit!

While being highly successful from the States to Japan and exporting an image of Austria all over the world, the Sound of Music is largely unknown in Austria and Germany.
Only now, in 2005, the Viennese Volksoper aims to change that and premiers the German translation of the Broadway musical 'The Sound of Music'. Sandra Pires, a popular Austrian singer, will take Julie Andrews place as Maria.