The Sound of Music

For more than 50 years, “The Sound of Music” has been a mainstay in the holiday TV programming at Christmas, Easter and even for Mother’s Day. Crowned with five Oscars, it was the only Hollywood production that was allowed to play behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War period. In China, South Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia and South Africa, the movie is a standard in any respectable home video library.

The global hit film actually got its start on the stage. The musical, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, premiered on Broadway in 1959. This was followed by around 2,000 performances in New York and more than 2,400 in London. The entire English-speaking world was caught up in Sound of Music fever for many years. In the German-speaking world, the story was also quite successful. Based on the memoirs of Maria Augusta von Trapp, “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” is inseparably linked with Salzburg. The city is the stage on which the story truly took place.

The film version from 1965 was a triumph for 20th Century Fox. Directed by Robert Wise with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the starring roles, the movie was a hit all over the world. Just like the musical, the film also became one of the most successful and most-seen productions of all time. Especially outside of Austria, the story has attained cult status and many fans dream all their lives of following in Maria von Trapp’s footsteps – a dream that Salzburg is committed to helping fulfil.

Tourists from all over the world use a visit to Salzburg to breathe in some Sound of Music feeling. Even the Marionette Theatre has taken up the piece in its standard repertoire. It’s quite an experience to see ten puppet players let over a hundred puppets dance to the original musical score!

Many of the original locations from the Trapp family story can be seen on the Sound of Music Tour. The tour takes visitors to Mirabell Gardens, Leopoldskron Palace, Hellbrunn Palace and Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg as well as further afield to St. Gilgen at Wolfgangsee Lake and to Mondsee Lake. Tip: Trudy Rollo, a charming Salzburg native and “singing tour guide”, takes visitors to the most famous film locations in Salzburg’s old town. With her exciting stories and songs, a good time is guaranteed.