Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee...
She is a flibbertigibbet, a will-o'-the-wisp, a clown – a slip of a girl, a tower of strength, a confused young woman, a breath of fresh air and a lady in love.
She is all these things and more but who was the real Maria
von Trapp whose real life story has become one of the most loved films
and musicals of all time and how did the world come to know of her?
Did you know...?
- Maria Augusta was an 'internee' in the most basic level of
monastic admission when she was asked to nurse one of the seven children
of widowed naval commander Georg Ritter von Trapp.
- She fell in love
and married Georg in 1927 having relinquished her vows. Having lost
their fortune to the Great Depression, the family turned their shared
love of music into a career, and became a popular touring act.
after Austria was incorporated into Nazi Germany in 1938, the Trapp
family pretended to go on a hiking trip and then took a train to Italy
although in the movie their escape was to Switzerland.
was quickly restored, and the Trapp Family Singers were once again
touring the world with their singing ensemble, which now consisted of ten
- Maria never intended to write an autobiography, but a friend
pleaded with her not to allow her story to be forgotten by others,
so she reluctantly scribbled down a few pages about her life.
displayed such natural writing talent that she agreed to finish what she
had started, and her memoirs, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, was
- These memoirs were adapted into The Sound of Music, a
phenomenally successful Broadway musical, by American songwriting
duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, which opened on Broadway in 1959.
and Hammerstein created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the Forties
and Fifties including Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and
I and The Sound of Music.
- The 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music,
with music by Richard Rogers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, opened
at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on 16 November 1959, and
starred Mary Martin as Maria and Theodore Bikel as Captain Georg von
Trapp. The original Broadway production ran for
- In 1965 the US motion picture The Sound of Music
faithfully adapted this Broadway hit, and is generally considered
to be the second-most successful movie of all time behind Gone with
It made a record-breaking total gross of more than US$163 million
and won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
real Maria, along with one of her daughters and granddaughters, appeared
in the film in the background as Julie Andrews sings I Have Confidence.
The Trapps had arrived on set that day and the director offered
them a walk-on role.
- Julie Andrews tripped during the filming of one
scene and the editors decided to leave this in because it seemed
to fit Maria's tomboy character.
- In 1961 the London production opened
at the Palace Theatre in 1961 and ran for 2,385 performances.
Jean Bayless played Maria, Roger Dann played Captain Von Trapp and Constance
Shacklock was the Mother Abbess.
- In 1981, Petula Clark signed
to star in a revival of the show at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in
Despite her misgivings that at the age of 51 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
Maria von Trapp herself, present at the opening night performance,
described her as "the best" Maria
ever. Due to an unprecedented demand
for tickets, Clark extended her initial six-month contract
to 13 months.
This was the first stage production
to incorporate the two additional
songs that Rodgers had composed for the film version. The cast recording
of this production was the first
to be recorded digitally, but the recording has never been
released on compact disc.
- Interestingly, the musical
itself is virtually unknown in Austria. Many people
believe that Edelweiss is an Austrian folk
song, or even the national anthem, but it was written by
Oscar Hammerstein and is hardly known
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