Salzburg’s Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music (Finally!)
After shunning the play for its portrayal of Austria's great support of the Third Reich during WWII, Salzburg is finally shelving its past. On October 23, the Salzburger Landestheater will debut The Sound of Music, the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical-turned-blockbuster film, for the first time in the city's history. Dutch actress Wietske van Tongeren leads in the role of Maria while German music star Uwe Kröger woos as Captain von Trapp.
The storybook hometown of the true von Trapp family, who became folk singers to combat financial problems during the Depression and fled for America during the war, was also the location for many iconic scenes in the universally loved musical film. And while Salzburg may shine as one of Europe's most becoming cities with its striking baroque spires, imposing medieval castle, breathtaking mountainous landscape, and proud history book moment as the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, all of that comes secondary for an estimated 300,000 of the city's visitors each year (roughly 40% of its entire tourism force) who cite The Sound of Music as its most alluring attraction.
From movie location sightseeing tours (to places like Mirabell Gardens where Julie Andrews introduced the children, and the world, to "Do-Re-Mi") to sing-along puppet productions at the Marionettentheater and even a hotel fashioned right out of the real von Trapp mansion in the Aigen suburb, Salzburg has capitalized wherever it could on the story's success...save for the stage. Now, the missing puzzle piece is about to fall into place.
Count the play's ballads among a few of your favorite things? Plan a trip to alpine Austria this winter and catch the performance before it ends in June.
Lindsey Olander is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.