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Salzburg embraces the 50-year anniversary of The Sound of Music

March 26, 2015 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Salzburg and “The Sound of Music”
For decades “The Sound of Music” has been one of the main tourist magnets for Salzburg City. The better part of a billion people have seen the movie, with 300,000 “Sound of Music” fans making the pilgrimage to Salzburg every year in order to visit its shooting locations and important milestones in the life of the von Trapp family. In 2015, the most successful movie musical in history celebrates its 50thanniversary.

The city of Salzburg and its unique landmarks associated with the von Trapp family became world famous as a result of “The Sound of Music”: Back in the early 1970s, the first movie buffs were already coming to the city in order to see with their own eyes the real-life locations for the Hollywood blockbuster starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Several times a day, “The Sound of Music” bus tours carry their international guests from Salzburg’s downtown historical district out to Lake Mondsee and back again – with guests cheerfully singing along during the ride to their most beloved songs from the musical, such as “Edelweiss” and “My Favorite Things”.unnamed (31)

“The Sound of Music is an important ambassador for Salzburg City, especially in the Anglo-American and Asiatic world”, points out Bert Brugger, Managing Director of Salzburg City Tourist Board. “Tourists have two major motivations for coming to Salzburg: the beauty of the city itself, and then its culture. Mozart and the Salzburg Festival satisfy the interest in classical music, while events such as “Salzburg Advent Singing” reflect the region’s deeply rooted folk culture. For its part, “The Sound of Music” clearly addresses our guests’ love for popular music. All of them together shape the image of Salzburg, each one complementing and enhancing the other.”

“The Sound of Music” – still an evergreen today
One in three Japanese has seen the movie “The Sound of Music”; for three-quarters of tourists from the USA it is their main motivation for visiting Salzburg; its melodies have long since become classics of the international song-writing world. Between 70 and 80 percent of Salzburg visitors cite an “interest in culture and music” as the main focus of their stay. For 40 percent of them, “The Sound of Music” alone represents a major reason for their visit to Salzburg. After its overwhelming success as a Broadway musical with a run of some 1500 performances, Hollywood filmed “The Sound of Music” in Salzburg and the surrounding countryside in 1964. The fascination continues to this day.

Media marketing of “The Sound of Music” to promote the Salzburg image
“In November 2010, 20th Century Fox released the film in the United States in what was then the brand-new Blu-ray format. The case itself contained postcards and booklets about Salzburg”, explains Bert Brugger. “That represented enormous advertising for the city! Performances of the musical at the Salzburger Landestheater and the Marionette Theatre, along with many other related offers, make an important contribution to keeping Salzburg current.”

The musical “The Sound of Music” on theatre stages in Salzburg
The Salzburger Landestheater first brought the musical “The Sound of Music” to the stage in October 2011. The German-language production, dual-directed by Andreas Gergen and Christian Struppeck, and starring Uwe Kröger, has become such a big hit with local audiences that it has been added yet again to the performance schedule for January 2015, marking its fourth year in succession. In his fresh, contemporary production, director Andreas Gergen focuses on setting the story against its actual historical and political backdrop. The costuming is historically based, combining classic lines with modern colors. Trachten Moser, which is one of Salzburg’s most esteemed folk-fashion designers, was even inspired to create their own “The Sound of Music” dirndl dress, which is now available in shops. Court Watson, a young Broadway designer who literally grew up with the musical, is responsible for set design: Around 500 photos from Villa Trapp were integrated into the set.

The city of Salzburg is also represented abstractly on stage by means of scissor-cuttings. The singing and acting is in German (with English super-titles), with a completely new translation of the entire script. At the end of the performance, the actors lead the audience in a sing-along of the original English songs. www.salzburger-landestheater.at

The Salzburg Marionette Theatre, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2013, has had “The Sound of Music” in its repertoire since 2007. In a performance that lasts about 90 minutes, the ten puppeteers allow over 100 marionettes to dance to the original music. The musical is performed in English with super-titles in German, English, French, Spanish and Japanese. During the anniversary year, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre will present a special exhibition in its foyer that recounts the history behind the production, shows original exhibits from the von Trapp family, and documents their success story from their beginnings as a family choir to the point when they achieved worldwide fame. 3D holography brings the marionettes, who are the true, albeit small stars of the show, to life. The exhibition will be open to the public from May, daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. www.marionetten.at

Guided tours in the former home of the von Trapp family
Villa Trapp has a special position among the landmarks in this famous family’s life; once their family home, today open to the public as a hotel offering bed and breakfast. Fans of “The Sound of Music” can visit the Villa Trapp within daily guided tours (with prior reservation): The guided tours start at noon every day. www.villa-trapp.com

The Sound of Music Choir Festival
International choir groups will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the cultural phenomenon “The Sound of Music” with a choral extravaganza on June 26, 2015 in the magnificently gorgeous Mozarteum Salzburg. The program will feature a parade of legendary hits from “The Sound of Music”, including Edelweiss and Do-Re-Mi, as well as classics from other Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterworks, such as “South Pacific”, “The King and I”, “Carousel”, and more. Artistic direction will be led by Emmy- and Grammy- nominated conductor and vocal educator, Judith Clurman.

For individual singers or groups, there is even the chance to take part in a Choir festival Tour from June 22 to 27. Along with the performances of “The Sound of Music” songs on Original locations of the movie, you will enjoy a breathtaking program leading you to the famous “The Sound of Music” sites in Salzburg and the surrounding countryside and listening to an Organ Recital at St. Michael’s Church in Mondsee. www.som50fest.org

“The Sound of Music” Tours
Around 300,000 fans annually visit Salzburg because of “The Sound of Music” and many of them book guided tours on coaches and minibuses to the film’s shooting locations. Interestingly, the first “The Sound of Music” tour was offered in 1967 by the very same rental car company that had provided transportation while the Hollywood movie was being filmed in 1964. Today, international visitors can enjoy the tour offered twice daily by three different coach operators in a wide range of languages. The tour sets out from Mirabellplatz Square, with highlights including Leopoldskron and Hellbrunn Palaces as well as Lake Mondsee. www.panoramatours.comwww.bobstours.com,www.salzburg-sightseeingtours.at

Singing & Cycling: Guided walking and biking tours
“Sound of Music” fans have the opportunity to discover the film’s most popular shooting locations in Salzburg City by bicycle. Every morning at 9:30 from end of March through October, groups of cyclists set out on a tour that lasts about 3 ½ hours: through Mirabell Gardens to the Horse Pond, via St. Peter’s Cemetery to Nonnberg Abbey, Schloss Leopoldskron, the Frohnburg and along Hellbrunner Allee to Schloss Hellbrunn, before returning to downtown.
www.mariasbicycletours.com

So-called “Singing Tour Guides”, certified city guides including Trudy Rollo and Junko Flatscher, lead their guests out to shooting locations from “The Sound of Music”. During this tour of about 2 hours, the group makes its way through Salzburg’s downtown historical district – occasionally singing along the way.
www.salzburgguides.at

“The Sound of Salzburg” returns to traditional stage at Sternbräu
With the movie “The Sound of Music” turning 50, the popular “Sound of Salzburg” show – which has run for the last 22 years – will be performed in the freshly renovated Sternbräu again, which has been the traditional home for this candlelight dinner show. In beautiful new rooms, the “Sound of Music Singers” will celebrate the film’s birthday daily except Mondays from May, beginning at 7:30 p.m (dates until May see website www.soundofsalzburg.info. Before the stage show gets underway, a typical 3-course Austrian dinner will be offered.

Gala to mark the 50-year anniversary of “The Sound of Music”
“The Sound of Music” is one of the most important tourism themes in Salzburg City. Which is why the Salzburg City Tourist Board will be hosting a grand “The Sound of Music” gala event at the Felsenreitschule on 17 October 2015 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this Hollywood classic. The gala will be produced by the Salzburger Landestheater. In addition to selections from the musical itself, it will also feature surprise appearances by guests whose lives have been shaped in some way by “The Sound of Music”. Guiding the audience through the evening will be star of the musical stage, Uwe Kröger, who portrays Baron von Trapp in the current production at the Salzburger Landestheater, while Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg will provide befitting musical accompaniment. The event will be open to the general public, with tickets going on sale at ticket offices in 2015. www.salzburg.info

Interesting facts and background info to “The Sound of Music”
“The Sound of Music” is Hollywood’s most successful musical adaptation of all time. Winner of five Oscars, it was actually the only Hollywood movie cleared to be shown in countries behind the “Iron Curtain” during the Cold War. For almost 50 years, the film has been regularly broadcast on television at Christmas, Easter and on Mother’s Day, and is a must-have for private movie collections in the United States, England, China, Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

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