A magnificent new production of one of the greatest musicals of all time, The Sound of Music, is on currently at HM Theatre in Aberdeen. Before the curtain goes up today on this timeless classic, Keeley Bolger rounds up everything you need to know
THE STAGE SHOW
Presented by Bill Kenwright, this magnificent new production aims to enchant and enthral the young and the young at heart. It is based on Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, and this new staging of the show tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of World War II. The Sound of Music features some of the world’s most memorable songs, including Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, So Long, Farewell and, of course, the title song, The Sound of Music. Lucy O’Byrne, takes the iconic role of Maria.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE FILM
The film is based on the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of the same name, which is based on the real Maria Von Trapp’s memoirs. During the opening credits, where Andrews spins around on the hill with her arms aloft, she was knocked over by the force of downdraught from the helicopter filming her. The real Maria Von Trapp appears in the I Have Confidence scene with her daughter. Look out for the lady in the arches in the background. Julie Andrews learned to play the guitar for the role.
Julie Andrews nearly turned down the role as Maria, worrying it might be too similar to her character in Mary Poppins. Doris Day was also considered for the part of Maria, but didn’t think she’d be a good fit. Sean Connery and Richard Burton were both considered for the role of Captain Von Trapp, but were pipped at the post by Christopher Plummer. Charmian Carr, who played eldest Von Trapp sibling Liesl, injured her ankle while rehearsing the dance to Sixteen Going On Seventeen in the gazebo. If you look closely at early versions of the film, you can see the bandage (it was taken out when later re-mastered).
Edelweiss isn’t a traditional Austrian folk song. It was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for their Broadway production. The late Maria Von Trapp said she wasn’t as “gentle” as Hollywood’s version of her. In real life, Maria wasn’t brought in as a governess; she was asked to teach the captain’s second-eldest child. The Sound of Music wasn’t the first film based on Maria’s memoirs. There was also The Trapp Family and its sequel, The Trapp Family In America, which were both successes in West Germany. The real Maria didn’t teach the children to sing; that honour was taken by a young priest.
Gwen Stefani’s song Wind It Up features riffs from The Lonely Goatherd. Seth MacFarlane spoofed the film in his animated comedy series, Family Guy. The trailer for this year’s Great British Bake Off featured a mock-up of the film’s opening sequence. Lady Gaga sang a medley of songs from the musical at the 2015 Oscars. Michael Jackson was such a big fan of the film that he hired Charmian Carr, who later turned her talents to interior design, to do up one of his homes.
The Sound of Music is at HM Theatre, Aberdeen, until this Saturday, January 16. Performances take place nightly at 7.30pm with matinees at 2pm today, Thursday, January 14, and 2.30pm on Saturday, January 16. Contact 01224 641122.