The Sound of Music celebrates 52 years of timeless symphonies
If Maria von Trapp is alive today, she would have been 106 years old. For sure, she would be telling us firsthand stories of the Trapp kids and how they fled Austria in 1942 to sing in America. Even if Maria died in March 1987, the music of the von Trapps continues as her great grand children are on a world tour to celebrate 52 years of The Sound of Music.
Touching our hearts once again with The Sound of Music’s signature hits are the great grand children of Maria von Trapp and Captain Georg von Trapp. Justin, Amanda, Melanie and Sofia von Trapp, collectively known as JAMS, recorded six albums with the latest, titled A Capella, released early this year to mark The Sound of Music’s 52nd anniversary as a stage play.
The great grandchildren of Maria and Captain Georg von Trapp; Amanda, Melanie, Justin and Sofia von Trapp
(collectively, JAMS) in a photo for their sixth album "A Capella".
Maria Augusta von Trapp as photographed for her Declaration of Intention dated January 21, 1944. Maria and the von
Trapp children arrived in Niagara Falls, New York on December 30, 1942.
The story of the Trapp singers first came into the public’s attention through the release of a book written by Maria herself titled “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”. The book was published in 1949 when Maria’s friend pleaded her to record her life story. The book was later on adapted to a movie in 1956. The West German film “Die Trap-Famillie” (The Trapp Family) is considered one of the most successful German films in the 1950’s.
Three years later, renowned American stage director Vincent J. Donehue envisioned a play basing on the book and the movie. The plan later on translated to a musical with the music and lyrics written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Hollywood actress Mary Martin and Oscar nominee Theodore Bikel performed as Maria and Georg von Trapp as the musical opened in November 16, 1959 in Lunt-Fontanne Theater in midtown Manhattan. This is when the original songs “The Sound of Music”, “Edelweiss”, “My Favorite Things”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, and “Do-Re-Mi” crawled into the hearts of music and theater lovers all over the world.
The Lunt-Fontanne Theater in New York, pictured here in 2010, played host to the first staging of "The Sound of
Music" on November 16, 1959.
Playing Maria in the movie adaptation of The Sound of Music in 1965 is Julie Andrews. Leftmost photo shows Andrews
holding her Best Actress Oscar in 1964 for Mary Poppins with Rex Harrison (Best Actor, My Fair Lady) only to see
her nominated again the next year for Best Actress for The Sound of Music (middle picture). Rightmost photo
shows Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi in 2001 blockbuster, The Princess Diaries
After numerous productions and revivals since it’s opening, “The Sound of Music” was brought to Hollywood’s silver screen in 1965 with the version we all loved- Julie Andrews as Maria and Christopher Plummer as Captain Georg von Trapp. The movie went on to win 5 Oscars at the 38th Academy Awards including Best Director for Robert Wise and Best Picture.
Fifty-two years after the curtains opened for “The Sound of Music” in Manhattan, the country’s grandest stage, the Newport Performing Arts Theater, will give tribute to this musical masterpiece. Watch Joanna Ampil, Cris Villonco, Audie Gemora, Ed Feist, Jon Joven, Pinky Marquez, Pinky Amador, Sheila Fransisco and several theater stars in a modernized retake of this timeless tale of family love.
Be part of this 52-year old tradition and be one of the very first people to be inspired.
“The Sound of Music” opens on October 15.
Photo credits: National Archives (www.archives.gov), The Von Trapp Children's official Facebook account, and TheTravelinMan via Flickr.