I am coming towards the end of my stay in Salzburg and couldn’t leave without writing about The Sound of Music. The film was set in Salzburg, but most Austrians have never seen it. There are tour buses that take tourists around to visit the various sites in the film, and yet many locals don’t know the story.
I have grown up with this famous British film. All of my friends have seen it, most of them numerous times, and most people I know would be able to sing along with the songs. It is based on the true story of the Von Trapp family, a very musically talented Austrian family who made a stand against the Nazis. The star character is Maria, a nun who comes to stay with the family to help look after the children. I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you, but there’s romance, adventure and lots of singing!
When my friend came to visit from England, her top request was that we go on a Sound of Music tour. I decided that a bicycle tour would be better than a bus tour, because it would mean we would be able to explore more of the city and get some exercise too! We set off in the morning with a group of about ten other Sound of Music enthusiasts. Our guide was lovely and told us lots of facts about the film that we hadn’t known before. When we arrived at sites where songs are sung in the film, our guide got us to re-enact the scenes, which was a lot of fun (despite the bemused looks we got from passers-by!)
More recently I was lucky enough to go to the theatre in Salzburg to see the Sound of Music theatre production. The show is very popular in London and I was delighted to be able to see the German-language version in the very city where the story is based. The performance was full of energy, the orchestra was fantastic and I enjoyed every minute of it! At the end the cast sung a few of the most famous songs again in English, no doubt for the benefit of the British fans in the audience.
I can’t wait to return home to watch the film again - I will be able to point out scenes and say ‘I walked past that every day!’
Have you heard of The Sound of Music? Have you ever visited a place that you had previously seen in a film? Which films are special to you?