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The von Trapp family brings the 'Sound of Music' to China

(Global Times)

08:28, July 26, 2012

Premiering in 1965, the musical film Sound of Music left a deep impression around the world, creating favorites with songs like "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things" and "Do-Re-Mi," still popular today.

Now the von Trapp family will perform from July 26 to Aug 12, singing music from the Sound of Music around China. They plan to visit Beijing, Dalian, Xiamen, Shanghai, Suzhou and Guangzhou.

The film version, starring Julie Andrew and Christopher Plummer, is based on a true story of the Austrian von Trapp family.

Maria von Trapp was a nun in training at Nonnberg Abbey. She was sent to tutor a child of Georg Ritter von Trapp, a naval commander who lives in Aigen, a suburb of Salzburg.

The two fell in love and later get married. Facing economic strife amid the depression in the 1930s, the family performed at concerts, receiving an award at the Salzburg Festival in 1936.

To flee the war, the family moved to the US in 1939, where they continued performing around the world for the next two decades.

Continuing traditions

About 70 years later, the grandchildren of Werner, the youngest boy named Kurt in the film, continue this tradition: Sofia, 24, Melanie, 22, Amanda, 21, and Justin, 17, have formed a new troupe.

"It's an honor for us to carry the family tradition of singing," said Sofia von Trapp at a press conference Tuesday. "It's a tradition in the family to learn songs and the languages where we perform or performed."

After a few years touring around the world, the four von Trapps can sing songs in seven languages. Each member has a specific role in the group, Sofia von Trapp told the Global Times.

Though they were taught how to sing by their grandfather at a young age, they started their career a decade ago.

"Ten years ago, (grandfather) had a stroke and got very sick. To make him feel better we recorded some of the songs that he once taught or sang for us. Somebody else heard our CD as well and asked us to put together a show," Sofia von Trapp said.

Irene Giner-Reichl, ambassador of Austria to China, told the Global Times that though it was the first time she met the four, she heard a lot about them.

"Today I would like to thank Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and Justin. Thank you for being such excellent ambassadors. Thank you for continuing to project such positive images of Austria to a worldwide audience," she said Tuesday at the Austrian Embassy.

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