The Sound of Music: Wikis


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The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music OBC Album Cover.jpg
Original cast recording
Music Richard Rodgers
Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II
Book Howard Lindsay
Russel Crouse
Basis Maria von Trapp's autobiography
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
Productions 1959 Broadway
1961 West End
1961 Melbourne
1965 Film
1981 West End revival
1993 Stockholm
1995 Tel Aviv
1998 Broadway revival
2006 West End revival
2007 Dallas Theater Center
International productions
2009 Brazil
Awards Tony Award for Best Musical

The Sound of Music is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Many songs from the musical have become standards, including the title song "The Sound of Music", "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "Do-Re-Mi".

The original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened in November 1959, and the show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then. It has also been made into an Academy Award-winning 1965 film musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The Sound of Music was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.



After viewing The Trapp Family, a 1956 Austrian film about the von Trapp family, and its 1958 sequel, The Trapp Family in America (Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika), stage director Vincent J. Donehue thought that the project would be perfect for his friend Mary Martin; Broadway producers Leland Hayward and Richard Halliday (Martin's husband) agreed. The producers originally envisioned a nonmusical play that would be written by Lindsay and Crouse and that would feature songs from the repertoire of the Trapp Family Singers. Then they decided to add an original song or two, perhaps by Rodgers and Hammerstein. But it was soon agreed that the project should feature all new songs and be a musical rather than a play.[1]

Details of the history of the von Trapp family were altered for the musical. Georg Ludwig von Trapp lived with his family in a villa in Aigen, a suburb of Salzburg. The real Maria von Trapp was sent to be a tutor to one of the children, not a governess to all of them. The Captain's oldest child was a boy, not a girl, and the names of the children were changed (at least partly to avoid confusion: the Captain's second eldest daughter, the third of the seven, was also called Maria). The von Trapps spent some years in Austria after Maria and the Captain married – they did not have to flee right away – and they fled to Italy, not Switzerland. Maria von Trapp is said to have been unhappy with the movie's portrayal of her husband as having been cold and stern prior to her arrival, which she and their children strongly dispute.[2]

During the Cold War, the BBC planned to broadcast The Sound of Music on radio in the event of a nuclear strike on the United Kingdom. The broadcast would be part of an emergency timetable of programs designed to "reassure" the public in the aftermath of the attack.[3]


Act I

In Salzburg, Austria, just before World War II, nuns from Nonnberg Abbey are singing the Dixit Dominus. One of the postulants, Maria Rainer, is missing. On the mountainside near the abbey, Maria expresses her regret to leave the beautiful hills ("The Sound of Music"). She returns to the abbey after the gates are locked; the next day, the Mother Abbess and some of the other nuns consider what to do about her ("Maria"). Maria explains that she was raised on that mountain and apologizes for singing in the abbey garden without permission. The Mother Abbess joins her in song ("My Favorite Things"), but later tells Maria that she should spend some time outside the abbey to help her decide whether she is ready for the monastic life. The seven children of widower Captain Georg von Trapp need a governess, and Maria will act as their governess until September.

At his villa, von Trapp, a decorated World War I Captain of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, informs Franz, the butler, and Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper, that a new governess is coming and that she will not be able to walk out as did her predecessor. He also instructs them to prepare for his return from Vienna with two guests. Maria arrives, and the Captain explains her duties. He then summons the children with a bosun's whistle, and they march in, clad in Navy-like uniforms. He introduces the children (Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl) and teaches her their individual signals; but she openly disapproves of this militaristic approach. When alone with them, she breaks through their wariness, and after learning that they do not know how to sing, she teaches them the basics of music ("Do-Re-Mi").

That evening, Rolf, a young messenger, delivers a birthday telegram to Franz and then meets with Liesl outside the villa. Rolf lets slip that a colonel from Berlin is staying with the Gauleiter and asks Liesl not to tell her father. He claims he knows what is right for her because he is a year older than she is ("Sixteen Going on Seventeen"). They kiss and Rolf runs off, shocked by his boldness. As Maria prepares for bed, Frau Schmidt gives her material to make new clothes, as she had given all her worldly possessions to the abbey for the poor. Maria asks for more material to make play clothes for the children, but Frau Schmidt refuses on grounds that they "march, not play". As Maria says her evening prayers, Liesl slips through the window, soaking wet from the thunderstorm. Maria agrees to keep her secret. The other children run in, frightened by the storm. To comfort and cheer them, Maria sings "The Lonely Goatherd".

Captain von Trapp arrives a month later with Baroness Elsa Schräder and Max Detweiler, and they wonder why the children are not there to greet them. When the Captain goes to look for the children, Elsa tells Max that something is preventing the Captain from marrying her. Max opines that only poor people have the time for great romances ("How Can Love Survive"). Rolf enters, looking for Liesl. Surprised by the Captain, he greets them with "Heil". The Captain orders him off the property, maintaining that he is Austrian, not German. Maria and the children leapfrog in, wearing play-clothes made from the old drapes in Maria's room. Infuriated, the Captain sends them off to clean up and change. Maria firmly tells him that the children need him to love them, and he angrily orders her back to the abbey. As she apologizes, they hear the children singing "The Sound of Music", which Maria had taught them, to Baroness Schräder. The Captain joins in, and at the end he embraces the children. Alone with Maria, he asks her to stay, thanking her for bringing music back into his house. Elsa is suspicious of Maria until Maria explains that she will be returning to the abbey in September.

The Captain gives a party to introduce Elsa to his friends, and some of the guests argue over the Anschluss. Kurt asks Maria to teach him to dance the Laendler. She demurs, but he insists, and she attempts it. When he is unable to negotiate a complicated figure, the Captain steps in to demonstrate. Maria and the Captain dance until they come face-to-face, and Maria breaks away, embarrassed and confused. When Max arrives at the party, the Captain realizes that he needs another woman to balance the dinner table and asks Maria to fill this role. Max tells him that he cannot expect his guests to dine with a nursemaid, but the Captain ignores the objection. Maria and Brigitta discuss the expected marriage between Elsa and the Captain, and Brigitta tells Maria that she and the Captain are in love with each other. Elsa asks the Captain to let the children say goodnight to the guests with a song. The Captain resists; but Elsa nevertheless starts them off singing "So Long, Farewell". Max is amazed at their talent and decides that he needs them for the Kaltzberg Festival, which he is organizing. After the guests leave for the dining room, Maria unhappily slips out the front door with her luggage.

At the abbey, Maria tells the Mother Abbess that she is ready to take her monastic vows; but the Mother Abbess realizes that Maria is running away from her feelings. She tells Maria that she must return to face the Captain and discover if they love each other, and that, by actively searching for it, Maria must find the life she was meant to live ("Climb Ev'ry Mountain").

Act II

At the von Trapps' home, Max teaches the children how to sing on stage, but does not tell the Captain that he has done so. When the Captain enters and tries to get them to sing with him, they complain that he is not doing it as did Maria, and Elsa and Max leave the family alone. The von Trapps try to figure out why Maria left, and the Captain reveals that he has asked Elsa to marry him. The children try to cheer themselves up by singing "My Favorite Things", but are unsuccessful until they hear Maria singing on her way to rejoin them. When Brigitta reveals the wedding plans, Maria decides to stay only until the Captain can arrange for another governess. Max and Elsa argue with the Captain about the imminent Anschluss, trying to convince him that he must compromise, because it is inevitable ("No Way to Stop It"). Elsa tries to persuade him; but when he refuses, Elsa decides to break off the engagement. Alone, the Captain and Maria finally admit to their love, desiring only to be "An Ordinary Couple". As they walk down the aisle, the nuns reprise "Maria" against the wedding processional.

During the honeymoon, Max prepares the children to perform at the Saltzberg Festival. Herr Zeller, the Gauleiter, arrives and demands to know why they are not flying the flag of the Third Reich now that the Anschluss has occurred. When the Captain and Maria return early from their honeymoon, Brigitta tells them that they are in time to hear them sing at the Festival. The Captain refuses to allow the children to sing, and when Max tries to convince him that the children would sing for Austria, the Captain points out that Austria no longer exists. Maria and Liesl discuss romantic love, and Maria assures Liesl that in a few years, she will probably be married like Maria ("Sixteen Going on Seventeen (Reprise)"). Rolf enters with a telegram for the Captain. He is cold to Liesl and refuses to give Maria the telegram, but hands it to Franz. The telegram offers the Captain a commission in the German Navy. He asks Maria if he should accept in order to keep his family safe. She tells him that his decision will be hers, and he decides that they must secretly flee Austria. German Admiral von Schreiber soon arrives to find out why the Captain has not answered the telegram. On learning that the Captain has just returned from his honeymoon, he congratulates him and explains that the German Navy holds him in high regard, offers him the commission and tells him to report immediately to Bremerhaven to assume command. Maria says that he cannot leave immediately, as they are all singing in the Festival concert, and the Admiral agrees to wait until after the concert.

At the concert Maria, the Captain, and the children sing an elaborate version of "Do-Re-Mi". After they finish, Max brings out the Captain's guitar, and he sings "Edelweiss", in which Austria's national flower becomes a declaration of loyalty to Austria itself. Max prevents them from leaving the stage, asking for an encore and announcing to the audience that this is the von Trapp family's last chance to sing together for a long time, thanks to the honor guard waiting to escort the Captain directly to his new command. While the judges decide on the prizes, the von Trapps sing "So Long, Farewell", leaving the stage in small groups. Max then announces the winners, stalling as much as possible. When he announces that the first prize goes to the von Trapps and they do not appear, the Nazis start a search. The family hides at the Abbey, and the Nazis do not find them until Rolf comes upon them. He calls his lieutenant, but on seeing Liesl, he reports that he has found no one. He leaves, and one of the nuns tells them that the borders have been closed. The von Trapps decide to flee over the mountains, and they leave as the nuns reprise "Climb Ev'ry Mountain".

Musical numbers

Act I
Act II
  • "My Favorite Things" (reprise 2) – Maria and the children
  • "No Way to Stop It" – Max, the Captain, and Elsa
  • "An Ordinary Couple" – Maria and the Captain †
  • "Gadeamus Domino" – Nuns
  • "Maria" (reprise) – Nuns
  • "Confitemini Domino" – Nuns
  • "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" (reprise) – Maria and Liesl
  • "Do-Re-Mi" (reprise) – Maria, the Captain, and the children ‡
  • "Edelweiss" – The Captain, Maria, and the children
  • "So Long, Farewell" (reprise) – Maria, the Captain, and the children
  • "Finale Ultimo" – Nuns
  • The musical numbers listed appeared in the original production unless otherwise noted.
  • † Sometimes replaced by "Something Good", which was written for the film.
  • ‡ Replaced by "The Lonely Goatherd" in the 1998 revival.
  • In some productions, "My Favorite Things" follows "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" in the thunderstorm scene, while "The Lonely Goatherd" is shifted to another scene.
  • Many stage revivals have also included "I Have Confidence" and "Something Good", which were written (music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers) for the film version.
  • Although many people believe that "Edelweiss" is a traditional Austrian song, in fact the song was written for the musical and did not become known in Austria until after the film's success.[4]
  • The Ländler dance performed by Maria and the Captain during the party is only loosely based on the traditional Austrian dance of the same name.[5]

Stage productions

1959 Broadway production

The Sound of Music opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959, moved to the Mark Hellinger Theatre on November 6, 1962 and closed on June 15, 1963) after 1,443 performances. The director was Vincent J. Donehue and the choreographer Joe Layton. The original cast included Mary Martin (at 46) as Maria, Theodore Bikel as Captain Georg von Trapp, Patricia Neway as Mother Abbess, Kurt Kasznar as Max Detweiler, Marion Marlowe as Elsa Schraeder, Brian Davies as Rolf, and Lauri Peters as Liesl.

The production shared the Tony Award for Best Musical with Fiorello!. It also won for Best Actress in a Musical (Mary Martin), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Patricia Neway), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Oliver Smith), and Best Musical Direction (Frederick Dvonch) and was nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (both Theodore Bikel and Kurt Kasznar) and Best Director of a Musical (Vincent J. Donehue). The entire children's cast was nominated for Best Featured Actress category as a single nominee, even though two children were boys.

Martha Wright replaced Mary Martin in the role of Maria on Broadway in October 1961, followed by Jeannie Carson in July 1962 and Nancy Dussault in September 1962. Jon Voight, who eventually married co-star Lauri Peters, was a replacement for Rolf's part. The national tour starred Florence Henderson, and opened at the Riviera Theatre, Detroit on February 27, 1961 and closed November 23, 1963 at the O'Keefe Center, Toronto. Henderson was succeeded by Barbara Meister in June 1962.

The original Broadway cast album sold three million copies.

1961 London production

The London production opened at the Palace Theatre on May 18, 1961, and ran for 2,385 performances. It was directed by Jerome Whyte and used the original New York choreography supervised by Joe Layton and the original sets designed by Oliver Smith. The cast included Jean Bayliss as Maria, followed by Sonia Rees, Roger Dann as Captain von Trapp, Constance Shacklock as Mother Abbess, Eunice Gayson as Elsa Schraeder, Harold Kasket as Max Detweiler, Barbara Brown as Liesl, Nicholas Bennett as Rolf and Olive Gilbert as Sister Margaretta.[6]

1961 Australian production

The Australian production opened at Melbourne's Princess Theatre in 1961 and ran for 3 years. The production was directed by Charles Hickman, with musical numbers staged by Ernest Parham. The cast included June Bronhill as Maria, Peter Graves as Captain von Trapp, Rosina Raisbeck as Mother Abbess, Lola Brooks as Elsa Schraeder, Eric Reiman as Max Detweiler, Julie Day as Liesl, and Tony Jenkins as Rolf. A touring company then played for years, with Vanessa Lee (Graves' wife) in the role of Maria.

A recording was made in 1961. It was the first time a major overseas production featuring Australian artists was transferred to disc.

1981 London revival

In 1981, at producer Ross Taylor's urging, Petula Clark agreed to star in a revival of the show at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London's West End. Michael Jayston played Captain von Trapp, Honor Blackman was the Baroness and June Bronhill the Mother Abess. Despite Clark's misgivings that, at age 49, she was too old to play the role convincingly, Clark opened to unanimous rave reviews (and the largest advance sale in the history of British theatre at that time). Maria von Trapp herself, present at the opening night performance, described Clark as "the best" Maria ever. Clark extended her initial six-month contract to thirteen months. Playing to 101 percent of seating capacity, the show set the highest attendance figure for a single week (October 26–31, 1981) of any British musical production in history (as recorded in The Guinness Book of Theatre).[7] This was the first stage production to incorporate the two additional songs ("Something Good" and "I Have Confidence") that Richard Rodgers composed for the film version.[8] The cast recording of this production was the first to be recorded digitally, but, as of 2008, the recording has not been released on compact disc.

Later productions

The 1988 Takarazuka (Japan) version
In 1988, the Snow Troupe of Takarazuka Revue performed the musical at the Bow Hall (Takarazuka, Hyōgo). Harukaze Hitomi and Gou Mayuka starred.
1990 New York City Opera production
A 1990 New York City Opera production was directed by Oscar Hammerstein II's son, James. It featured Debby Boone as Maria, Laurence Guittard as Captain von Trapp, and Werner Klemperer as Max Detweiler.
1993 Stockholm premiere
In the original Stockholm production, Carola Häggkvist played Maria, Tommy Körberg played Captain Georg von Trapp, Erik Skutnick played Max, and Emilia Brown played Gretl.
1998 Broadway revival
In 1998, director Susan H. Schulman staged the first Broadway revival of The Sound of Music, with Rebecca Luker as Maria and Michael Siberry as Captain von Trapp. It also featured Patti Cohenour as Mother Abbess, Jan Maxwell as Elsa Schraeder, Fred Applegate as Max Detweiler, Dashiell Eaves as Rolf, and Laura Benanti, in her Broadway debut, as Luker's understudy. Later, Luker and Siberry were replaced by Richard Chamberlain as the Captain and Benanti as Maria. Lou Taylor Pucci made his Broadway debut as the understudy for Kurt von Trapp. This revival opened on March 12, 1998, at the Martin Beck Theatre, where it ran for 15 months. It then went on tour in North America. This production was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
1999 Australian revival
An Australian revival played in the Lyric Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales from November 1999 to January 2000. Lisa McCune played Maria; TV personality Bert Newton was Max; John Waters was Captain von Trapp and Eilene Hannan as Mother Abbess. The children's cast included Tim Draxl as Rolf and Pia Morley as Liesl. This production was based on the 1998 Broadway revival staging directed by Susan Schulman and choreographed by Michael Lichtefield. The show was produced by the Gordon Frost Organisation and Sports and Entertainment Limited.[9] The production also toured until February 2001, in Melbourne (Princess Theatre, March 21, 2000 through July 5, 2000), Brisbane (9 weeks), ), and Perth (August 3, 2000, 6 weeks) Adelaide. Rachael Beck took over as Maria for the Perth and Adelaide seasons and Rob Guest took over as Captain von Trapp in Perth.[10][11][12][13]
2005 Vienna Production
The first full-scale Austrian production opened on February 26, 2005 at the Volksoper Wien. It was directed and choreographed by Renaud Doucet, with sets and costume design by André Barbe. The 2005 cast included Sandra Pires as Maria, (Martina Dorak and Johanna Arrouas as Maria in other productions), Kurt Schreibmayer and Michael Kraus as Kapitän von Trapp and Heidi Brunner, Gabriele Sima and Ulrike Steinsky as Mutter Oberin (Mother Abbess). The production is still in the repertoire of the Volksoper with 12-20 performances per season.[14][15][16]
2006 London revival
An Andrew Lloyd Webber production opened on November 15, 2006, at the London Palladium and ran until February 2009, produced by Live Nation's David Ian and Jeremy Sams. Following failed negotiations with Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson[17], the role of Maria was cast through a UK talent search reality TV show called How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? The talent show was produced by (and starred) Andrew Lloyd Webber and featured presenter/comedian Graham Norton and a judging panel of David Ian, John Barrowman and Zoe Tyler.
Connie Fisher was selected by public voting as the winner of the show. In early 2007, Fisher suffered from a heavy cold that prevented her from performing for two weeks. To prevent further disruptions, an alternate Maria, Aoife Mulholland, a fellow contestant on How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, played Maria on Monday evenings and Wednesday matinee performances. Simon Shepherd was originally cast as Captain von Trapp, but after two preview performances he was withdrawn from the production, and Alexander Hanson moved into the role in time for the official opening date along with Lesley Garrett as the Mother Abbess. After Garrett left, Margaret Preece took the role. The cast also featured Lauren Ward as the Baroness, Ian Gelber as Max, Sophie Bould as Liesl, and Neil McDermott as Rolf. Other notable replacements have included Simon Burke and Simon MacCorkindale as the Captain and newcomer Amy Lennox as Liesl. Summer Strallen replaced Fisher in February 2008, with Gemma Baird portraying Maria on Monday evenings and Wednesday matinees.
The revival received enthusiastic reviews, especially for Fisher, Preece, Bould and Garrett. A soundtrack recording of the London Palladium cast was released.[18] Later assessments continued to be favorable: "Summer Strallen has the look, the style and the depth of character to convince her audience that she is Julie Andrews and delivers her opening songs with the right emphasis and quality.... I was very impressed with Amy Lennox.... Preece... stepped up to the mark."[19] The production closed on February 21, 2009 after a run of over two years.[20]
2007 Stockholm revival
A Stockholm revival began in September 2007 with Pernilla Wahlgren as Maria, Tommy Nilsson as Kapten von Trapp, Ulrika Liljeroth and Emmi Christensson as Liesel, Gert Fylking as Franz, Fillie Lyckow as Frau Schmidt, Malena Laszlo as Baroness von Schröder, Johan Wahlström as Max Detweiler, Jörgen Olsson as Rolf, and Margareta Dalhamn as Mother Abbess. Some of the characters names were translated into Swedish for a better flow, such as three of the children's names: Fredrik, Märta and Greta. The production was directed by Staffan Götestam and the choreography was done by Denise Holland Bethke.[citation needed]
2007-2008 Salzburg Marionette Theatre production
The Salzburg Marionette Theatre has been touring their version of the show, featuring the recorded voices of Broadway singers such as Christiane Noll as Maria.[21] The U.S. tour began in Dallas, Texas in November 2007.[22] It opens on May 9 in Salzburg, with performances scheduled through December 2008.[23] The director is Richard Hamburger.[24]
2008 International productions
An Oslo, Norway revival is scheduled to premiere in September 2008, with Maria Arredondo as Maria, Bjørn Skagestad as the Captain and direction by Trond Lie, who directed the 1993 Stockholm production.[citation needed] In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a production ran with Kiara Sasso as Maria and Herson Capri as the Captain.[25] A Dutch version of the musical premiered in September 2008 with Wieneke Remmers as Maria, directed by John Yost.[26]
2008 Canadian Production
Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish present The Sound of Music at Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. The role of Maria was chosen by the public through a television show, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, which was produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian and aired in July and August. Elicia MacKenzie was declared the winner over fellow "Maria" Janna Polzin.[27] Polzin was cast as an "alternate Maria" for Toronto stage production. She played Maria twice a week (Wednesday evenings and Saturday matinees), while MacKenzie performed the role six times weekly.[28] The show closed on January 10, 2010 after a run of 69 weeks and over 500 performances. It is the longest running revival to play Toronto.[29]
2009 Brazilian Production 
With Kiara Sasso as Maria and Herson Capri as the Captain, it ran in Rio de Janeiro for almost a year and opened in March 2009 in São Paulo. Still running.
2009 Mexican Production
This is the show's third professional production in Mexico (the first in 1976 starring Lupita Dalessio, the second in 1980 starring Miriam Cossio and Héctor Gómez), starring Bianca Marroquin as Maria, who has starred in the Broadway production of Chicago as Roxie Hart.
2009 UK Tour
A UK tour was launched on 26 July 2009 at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. The tour has also visited Bradford, Southampton, Milton Keynes, Sunderland, Manchester and Edinburgh and will visit Belfast, Aberdeen, Llandudno, Birmingham and Bristol. The original cast included Connie Fisher as Maria, Michael Praed as Captain Von Trapp, Margaret Preece as the Mother Abbess, Martin Callaghan as Uncle Max, Jacinta Mulcahy as Baroness Schraeder, Jeremy Taylor as Rolf and Claire Fishenden as Liesl. Kirsty Malpass stars as the Alternate Maria.[30] Margaret Preece left the role of Mother Abbess on 20 February 2010 in Edinburgh and was replaced by Marilyn Hill Smith. Connie Fisher will end her run as Maria on 29 May 2010 in Llandudno and Michael Praed will leave the touring production on 26 June 2010 during the show's run in Birmingham. The production is scheduled to close on 10 November 2010 at the Bristol Hippodrome.
2009 Graz/ Austria
The Sound of Music is performed in the Graz Opera House from September 2009 until June 2010.[31]

Critical reaction

According to the book Opening Night on Broadway by Stephen Suskin, the breakdown of the opening night critics' reviews of the original production of The Sound of Music is as follows: 3 raves, 3 favorables, 0 mixed, 1 unfavorable and 0 pans. The one negative notice came from Walter Kerr in the New York Herald Tribune who wrote, "Before The Sound of Music is halfway through its promising chores it becomes not only too sweet for words but almost too sweet for music. The people on stage have melted long before our hearts do."[32]

Cast recordings

Columbia Masterworks recorded the original Broadway cast album a week after the show's 1959 opening. The album was the label's first deluxe package in a gatefold jacket, priced $1 higher than previous cast albums. It was #1 on Billboard's best-selling albums chart for 16 weeks in 1960.[33] It is currently available on CD from Sony in the Columbia Broadway Masterworks series.[34]

The 1960 London production was recorded by EMI and has been issued on CD on the Broadway Angel Label.[35]

The 1965 film soundtrack was released by RCA Victor and is one of the most successful soundtrack albums in history, having sold over 10 million copies worldwide.[36] Recent CD editions incorporate musical material from the film that would not fit on the original LP. The label has also issued the soundtrack in German, Italian, Spanish and French editions.

RCA Victor also released a cast album of the 1998 Broadway revival produced by Hallmark.[37]

The Telarc label made a studio cast recording of The Sound of Music, with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel (1987). The lead roles went to opera stars: Frederica von Stade as Maria, Håkan Hagegård as Captain von Trapp, and Eileen Farrell as the Mother Abbess.[8] The recording "includes both the two new songs written for the film version and the three Broadway songs they replace, as well as a previously unrecorded verse of "An Ordinary Couple.""[38]

The 2006 London revival was recorded and has been released on the Decca Broadway label.[39]

There have been numerous studio cast albums and foreign cast albums issued, though many have only received regional distribution. According to the cast album database, there are 62 recordings of the score that have been issued over the years.[40]

Historical accuracy

The musical presents a history of the von Trapp family, albeit one that is not completely accurate: Georg Ludwig von Trapp, who was in fact anti-Nazi, lived with his family in a villa in a district of Salzburg, called Aigen. Maria and Georg had been married 10 years before the Anschluss and had two of their three children before that time. Georg had actually considered a position in the Kriegsmarine, but ultimately decided to emigrate.[41] The children's names are different, at least part of the reason being that a daughter from von Trapp's first marriage was also called Maria. Also, the real-life Maria's maiden name was Kutschera, not Rainer.

While the von Trapp family hikes over the Alps to Switzerland, in reality they walked to the local train station and boarded the next train to Italy, from which they fled to London and ultimately the United States.[41] Salzburg is only a few miles away from the Austrian-German border, and is much too far from either the Swiss or Italian borders for a family to escape by walking. Had the von Trapps hiked over the mountains, they would have in all likelihood ended up in Germany, near the Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler's mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden.

Cultural references

Songs from the musical have been covered in popular music (for example, "My Favorite Things" on Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, parts of "The Lonely Gothard" in Gwen Stefani's "Wind it Up", a double album by the hip hop group OutKast and pastiched in advertising (for example, in TV ads for "New Skoda Fabia" (2007) and for the MasterCard credit card (2007). My Favorite Things is also a 1960 album by jazz musician John Coltrane, containing his interpretation of the eponymous song.

Many television shows have featured characters singing songs or pastiches of songs from the musical. The shows include Seinfeld, Friends, Will & Grace, The OC (episode 313, "The Pot Stirrer"), The Simpsons, Animaniacs (episode 13), and Family Guy. In other television shows, the musical is merely mentioned (e.g., in the Charmed episode, "The Power of Three Blondes").[citation needed] In Great Britain's 1970s hit television comedy The Good Life (known in the United States as Good Neighbors), the character Margo muscles her way into the role of Maria in The Sound of Music with her neighborhood ladies' musical society (for one night only), succumbs to stage fright, and tanks miserably, even confusing the lyrics of "My Favorite Things" with the lyrics of "Mack the Knife".

The musical features in the plot of films. For example, in the 2000 indie film Dancer in the Dark the main character, Selma, played by Björk, auditions for the role of Maria in a local community theater production of the musical. Similarly, in the 2005 Disney movie The Pacifier, Seth Plummer and Vice Principal Murney are cast as Rolf and the Reverend Mother, respectively, in a high school production of The Sound of Music.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals Show Detail:The Sound of Music". The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  (Show History section)
  2. ^ Gearin, Joan (Winter 2005). "Movie vs. Reality: The Real Story of the von Trapp Family". Prologue (The National Archives) 37 (4). Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  3. ^ Article noting that BBC had The Sound of Music materials ready for broadcast in case of nuclear attack
  4. ^ Information from the BBC website
  5. ^ Information from
  6. ^ Green, Stanley. Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre (1980). Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306801132, p. 396
  7. ^ Maslon, Lawrence and Webber, Andrew Lloyd. The Sound of Music Companion (2007). Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1416549544, p. 150
  8. ^ a b Hischak, p. 259
  9. ^ Rose, Colin. "Head for the hills;Stage", The Sun Herald (Sydney, Australia), November 14, 1999, Time Out; p. 15
  10. ^ CRITICS' CHOICE, The Australian, April 14, 2000, FEATURES; Pg. 11
  11. ^ Barclay, Alison. "Von Trapps' house is full", Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), July 7, 2000, p. 89
  12. ^ Aldred, Debra. "Lisa can sing for her supper of marshmallows", Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia), August 4, 2000, p. 7
  13. ^ Archdall, Susan. "Rachael's happy to go her own way", The Advertiser, January 1, 2001 p. 77
  14. ^ Website of the Volksoper Wien
  15. ^ Official Season Programme of the Volksoper Wien 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08
  16. ^ Lash, Larry L. "The Sound of Music", Variety, March 7, 2005 - March 13, 2005, Legit Reviews; Abroad; Pg. 57
  17. ^ Scarlett Johansson - Johansson Snubs Sound Of, July 27, 2006
  18. ^ Information from
  19. ^ McFarlane, Douglas. "UK Theatre Reviews" (UK, 7 May, 2008
  20. ^ "So Long, Farewell": London's Sound of Music Closes Feb. 21
  21. ^ New York Times review of December 7, 2007
  22. ^ Review of Dallas opening, November 3, 2007
  23. ^ 2008 schedule of performances
  24. ^ Official website of the Salzburg Marionette Theatre's production
  25. ^ Official website of the Brazilian Production
  26. ^ Official website of the 2008 Dutch production
  27. ^ theatermania article, September 25, 2007
  28. ^
  29. ^ So long to Toronto's Sound of Music
  30. ^ The Sound of Music UK, accessed May 18, 2009
  31. ^ Graz Opera House listing, Sound of Music,, retrieved December 28, 2009
  32. ^ Suskin, pp. 635–39
  33. ^ Bronson, Fred."Chart Beat"Billboard', September 14, 1996
  34. ^ "The Sound Of Music – Original Broadway Cast",
  35. ^ "The Sound Of Music – Original London Cast",
  36. ^ Hischak, p. 44
  37. ^ "The Sound Of Music – Broadway Cast",
  38. ^ Dyer, Richard, "Record Review;Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Rodgers And Hammersrein: The Sound of Music Telarc (CD)", The Boston Globe, September 15, 1988, Calendar; p. 12
  39. ^ "The Sound Of Music – London Cast",
  40. ^ "The Sound of Music", database
  41. ^ a b Gearin, Joan (Winter 2005). "Movie vs. Reality:The Real Story of the von Trapp Family". Prologue (National Archives and Records Administration) 37 (4). Retrieved 2008-04-02. 


  • Hal, Leonard. The Sound of Music (1999) Fitzhenry & Whiteside ISBN 0793598761
  • Hischak, Thomas. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia (2007). Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0313341400
  • Hirsch, Julia Antopol. The Sound Of Music—The Making Of America's Favorite Movie (1993) McGraw-Hill Publishing
  • Maslon, Laurence, with a foreword by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Sound of Music Companion (2007) Fireside ISBN 1416549544
  • Suskin, Steven. Opening Night on Broadway: A Critical Quotebook of the Golden Era of the Musical Theatre, Schirmer Books (1990) ISBN 0028726251
  • Wilk, Max. The Making of The Sound of Music (2007) Routledge ISBN 041597934X

Further reading

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Sound of Music is a 1965 film about a woman who leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to a Naval officer widower and his seven children.

Directed by Robert Wise. Written by Ernest Lehman, based on the novel by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (which was based on an autobiography by Maria von Trapp, entitled The von Trapp Family Singers.
Radiance that floods the screen...and warms the heart!taglines
Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.



  • The first three notes just happen to be, Do-Re-Mi. Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol [pronounced So]-La-Ti. Oh, let's see if I can make it easier.
    [singing] Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun
    Me, a name I call myself. Far, a long, long way to run.
    Sew, a needle pulling thread. La, a note to follow Sol
    Tea, a drink with jam and bread. That will bring us back to Do...
  • I have confidence in confidence alone.
  • The hills are alive with the sound of music.
  • When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

Captain von Trapp

  • You are the twelfth in a long line of governesses who have come here to look after my children since their mother died. I trust you will be an improvement on the last one. She stayed only two hours. Oh, there's nothing wrong with the children. Only the governesses.
  • Fräulein, is it to be at every meal, or merely at dinnertime, that you intend leading us all through this rare and wonderful new world of... indigestion?

Reverend Mother

  • [singing] How do you solve a problem like Maria?
    How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
    Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her, many a thing she ought to understand
    ...How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?
  • [singing] Climb ev'ry mountain, search high and low.
    Follow ev'ry byway, every path you know.
    Climb ev'ry mountain, ford every stream.
    Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream.
    A dream that will need all the love you can give
    Every day of your life for as long as you live...


Maria: I just couldn't help myself. The gates were open and the hills were beckoning and everything was so green and fresh, and the Untersberg kept leading me higher and higher, as if it wanted me to go right through the clouds with it
Reverend Mother: Child, suppose darkness had come and you were lost?
Maria: Oh, mother, I could never get lost up there, that’s my mountain, I was brought up on it,...It was the mountain that led me to you. Sometimes, I would come down the mountain, and climb a tree, and look over your wall into your garden and hear the Sisters singing on their way to Vespers; which brings me to another transgression, Reverend Mother, I was singing out there today, without permission...I can't seem to stop singing wherever I am. And what's worse, I can't seem to stop saying things - anything and everything I think and feel.
Reverend Mother: Some people would call that honesty.
Maria: Oh, but it's terrible, Reverend Mother.

Captain: Now, when I want you, this is what you will hear. [blows whistle]
Maria: Oh, no, sir, I'm sorry, sir. I could never answer to a whistle. Whistles are for dogs and cats and other animals, but not for children, and definitely not for me. It would be too... humiliating.
Captain: Fräulein, were you this much trouble at the Abbey?
Maria: Oh, much more, sir!
Captain: Hmm. [starts to leave the room when Maria blows the whistle. He looks back at her.]
Maria: Excuse me, sir, I don't know your signal.
Captain: You may call me "Captain."

Rolfe: [singing] You are sixteen, going on seventeen, baby it's time to think.
Better beware, be canny and careful, baby you're on the brink.
You are sixteen, going on seventeen, fellows will fall in line...
Eager young lads and roués and cads Will offer you food and wine.
Totally unprepared are you, to face a world of men.
Timid and shy and scared are you, of things beyond your ken.
You need someone older and wiser, telling you what to do.
I am seventeen, going on eighteen. I'll take care of you...
Liesl: [singing] I am sixteen, going on seventeen. I know that I'm naive.
Fellows I meet may tell me I'm sweet, and willingly I believe.
I am sixteen, going on seventeen, innocent as a rose...
Bachelor dandies, drinkers of brandies, what do I know of those?
Totally unprepared am I, to face a world of men.
Timid and shy and scared am I, of things beyond my ken.
I need someone older and wiser telling me what to do.
You are seventeen, going on eighteen. I'll depend on you.

Baron: Is there a more beautiful expression of what is good in this country of ours than the innocent voices of our children?
Zeller: Oh, come now, Baron, would you have us believe that Austria alone holds a monopoly on virtue?
Captain: Herr Zeller, some of us prefer Austrian voices raised in song to ugly German threats.
Zeller: The ostrich buries his head in the sand, and sometimes in the flag. [He turns toward the Austrian flag, prominently displayed] Perhaps those who would warn you that the Anschluss is coming - and it is coming, Captain - perhaps they would get further with you by setting their words to music.
Captain: If the Nazis take over Austria, I have no doubt, Herr Zeller, that you will be the entire trumpet section.
Zeller: You flatter me, Captain.
Captain: Oh, how clumsy of me. I meant to accuse you.

Maria: I left... I was frightened... I was confused. I felt, I've never felt that way before, I couldn't stay. I knew that here I'd be away from it. I'd be safe... I can't face him again... Oh, there were times when we would look at each other. Oh, Mother, I could hardly breathe... That's what's been torturing me. I was there on God's errand. To have asked for his love would have been wrong. I couldn't stay, I just couldn't. I'm ready at this moment to take my vows. Please help me.
Reverend Mother: Maria, the love of a man and a woman is holy too. You have a great capacity to love. What you must find out is how God wants you to spend your love.
Maria: But I pledged my life to God. I pledged my life to his service.
Reverend Mother: My daughter, if you love this man, it doesn't mean you love God less. No, you must find out and you must go back.
Maria: Oh, Mother, you can't ask me to do that. Please let me stay, I beg of you.
Reverend Mother: Maria, these walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live.

Sister Margaretta: Reverend Mother, I have sinned.
Sister Berthe: I, too, Reverend Mother.
Reverend Mother: What is this sin, my children?
[The nuns look at each other, then reveal from under their robes the distributor and coil they have removed from the Germans' cars.]


  • Radiance that floods the screen...and warms the heart!
  • The more you see it, the more it becomes one of your favorite things!
  • The Happiest Sound In All The World!


External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

The Sound of Music is a 1959 Broadway & West End Musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and a 1965 movie from 20th Century Fox. Both are loosely based on the lives of the von Trapp family. (In 1956 and 1958, two movies from Germany and Austria were also based on them.)


In the movie, Julie Andrews (from Mary Poppins and The Princess Diaries) plays a nun in Salzburg, Austria. She is sent from her convent to the home of Captain von Trapp, whose wife has died, to be the governess (home teacher) of his seven children. (children's names are: Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl.) Mischievous at first, von Trapp's children come to like Maria, and Maria falls in love with their father. Maria teaches the children how to sing and have fun because after their mother died, Captain von Trapp almost completely erased all forms of fun. Instead of choosing baroness (wife of a noble figure) Shroeder as his new wife, he ends up marrying Maria.

After all of this takes place, the Nazis take over Austria (in the Anschluss), and wanted Captain von Trapp to join them. But, in an attempt to escape, the Captain and his family leave the house late one evening, and while pushing their car out of the drive, they are caught by the head of the army in the area. After being caught, Maria and Captain come up with a crafty lie to save themselves. They told them that their car broke down and that the family was supposed to be performing at the Salzburg Festival. Then they get to the festival and perform. Their dear Uncle Max helps them to escape while the army is entertained.

The family escapes to the Alps and eventually walks over them into the next country (Switzerland) to live.


This movie is based on a true story, but not all of the movie is true. One make-believe scene is that the family is seen walking over the Alps into the next town. In real life, the family would not do that, because they would have been walking right into Hitler's home area.

Also, in real life, after the von Trapp family left their house, Adolf Hitler used it as a headquarters later on.

At the time that it came out, The Sound of Music made the most money of any movie. That may still be true.

There is a 40th Anniversary Edition of this movie available on DVD with special features like interviews with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and an entire cast reunion of all 7 children.

Other websites

Preceded by
My Fair Lady
Academy Award for Best Picture
Succeeded by
A Man for All Seasons

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