The Real Story - That’s what really happened ...

The movie entitled “The Sound of Music” is based on a true story. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Ernest Lehman revised some passages of the story for his film script of Maria von Trapp’s biography.

In 1905 Maria von Trapp was born in Vienna and grew up, after the death of her mother, in simple conditions with her grandmother. She was probationary novice at the Benedictine abbey in Nonnberg, when the Mother Superior appointed her in 1925 to work as nanny for seven children in the household of widowed Baron Georg Ludwig von Trapp.

Whereas the movie completely shifts the action into the year 1938, Maria had already married the baron in November, 1927. In 1929 and 1931 the daughters Rosemarie and Eleonore were born, respectively.

Financial problems inspired music loving Maria at the beginning of the 1930s to create a family choir. Together with the baron’s five daughters and two sons, Maria von Trapp held numerous appearances. In 1937 the “Trapp family” was honored with the first prize in a folk singing competition at the Salzburg Festival.

The “Trapp family” actually inhabited the Villa Trapp in Salzburg until 1938. The escape from the Nazi regime, however, did not succeed over the Swiss border which itself, due to its proximity to Hitler’s domicile at Obersalzberg, would probably have proven as unwise. Instead, the officer faithful to the German emperor and his family fled in a train to Italy. Here the film ends, yet not the life of the Trapp family.

In 1939 the son Johannes was born. Two years later the family bought a farm in Stowe, Vermont. As the “Trapp Family Singers”, numerous concert tours across the USA follow.

In 1947 Georg Trapp died and the choir threatened to break apart. In 1950 Maria returned to Salzburg and the “Trapp Family” impressed audiences once again at the Festival.

After more than 2,000 concerts, in 1956 the choir dissolved for good. Maria Augusta Trapp died in 1987, at the age of 82 years, in Morrisville, USA. The surviving children inhabit the “Trapp Family Lodge” in Vermont to this very day.


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