“The Sound of Music” Concert at the Stottrap Bed and Breakfast, Vermont

Editor’s Note: Due to the threat of thunderstorms, the show originally scheduled for Thursday, June 20, has been moved indoors at the Flynn in Burlington.

This week’s first concert performance of “The Sound of Music” at the Trapp Family Lodge, the Stowe company run by members of the musical’s family, quickly sold out three shows. A fourth was added, also sold out.

The woman, who had imagined this concert years ago, was not surprised.

“I’ve said from the beginning that this product is going to sell really fast and people are going to love it. It has such a wonderful local connection,” said Erin Evarts, executive director of the Lyric Theater, which will open June 20 to Concert with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra on the 22nd.

“Vermonters love this story and they love outdoor concerts,” Evarts said. “We are extremely pleased that the family has given their blessing to this project and is willing to host us in their home.”

This blessing took decades. Sam von Trapp, grandson of Maria von Trapp and Baron Georg von Trapp, who now runs the hotel, said the von Trapp family had a deep appreciation for the hotel. The art of beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Still, he said, the von Trapps didn’t always accept the blurred lines between the musical and the real-life story of the singing family’s escape during the Nazis’ annexation of Austria.

“It’s really special because it took our family decades to really become familiar with this musical,” said von Trapp, director and executive vice president of the company, which includes A hotel, restaurant and a brewery/beer hall. “As you can imagine, our family’s relationship with ‘The Sound of Music’ is more complicated than many others. Each generation gets easier to develop its own relationship with it.

Von Trapp said the family had long considered performing “The Sound of Music” on its property “too commercial.”

“Now we realize,” he said, “that this is recognition of the amazing legacy of our family’s story.”

“The Story of the Trapp Family Singer”

There are several reasons why Evarts now wants to perform “The Sound of Music” at the Trapp Family Inn. It’s the end of the Lyric’s 50th season, the beginning of the VSO’s 90th season, and the 75th anniversary of the publication of Maria von Trapp’s book “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” that inspired the musical , as well as the 65th anniversary of the Broadway show’s debut which includes famous songs such as “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things” and “Edelweiss.”

“This has been a passion project for me for a long time,” she said.

A few years ago, Evarts listened to music with VSO Executive Director Elise Brunelle at Leunig’s Bistro during the Burlington Discovery Jazz Festival. Evarts mentioned her desire to perform “The Sound of Music” at the Trapp Family Inn, and they decided to stage a joint concert, much like the organizations’ New Year’s Eve “Burlington Broadway” show in Flynn.

The Flynn Theater is one of the production partners, and the Burlington Performing Arts Center is managing ticket sales and will serve as a rain venue in the event the Trapp Family Inn Concert Lawn is unavailable. (The Meadows seats 1,850 people, while the Flynn seats 1,411 patrons; Evarts said some patrons purchased “Shine Only” tickets because they knew they were invalid and would be refunded in the event of bad weather.)

Evarts said the performances will be concerts, not productions of musicals – the first time the company has licensed “The Sound of Music.” She said the changing rules meant performances would have no props or costumes and a “fairly empty stage” with only singers and 41 orchestra members.

VSO Music Director Andrew Crust grew up listening to “The Sound of Music.” “Like so many of us, it’s etched in my mind,” the conductor said. “It’s just unbelievably good music.”

Rather than abandoning Beethoven and Mozart, the VSO is embracing more such outdoor celebrations, Krast said.

“These types of projects are really what (VSO) should be doing,” Crust said. “We have to meet people where they are.”

Portrait of Baron von Trapp

Sam von Trapp said he finally became a fan of the musical in his early 50s, largely watching his sons appreciate it through their eyes.

“The soundtrack is so powerful and music, especially music of this quality, truly unites humanity,” he said. “For me, the great thing about ‘The Sound of Music’ is that the message of the musical and its score is generally very positive.”

The mood of his father Johannes von Trapp (the only survivor of Maria and Georg von Trapp’s children) and other family members was not always so positive. This has a lot to do with the portrayal of Maria’s husband, Sam von Trapp’s grandfather.

“Georg is far from the cold, cold-blooded parent who disapproves of music as portrayed in the first half of The Sound of Music. He is actually a gentle, enthusiastic parent who enjoys musical activities with his family, National Archives The article on the website, “Movies and Reality: The True Story of the Von Trapp Family,” reads: “While this change in his character might have made for a better story, it emphasized Maria’s feelings for the von Trapp family. It was healing, but it was very distressing for his family.”

Sam von Trapp operates with his sister Kristina von Trapp Frame and her husband Walter Frame “I think that was really the difference that bothered my family the most about the hotel,” he said. “It had such a positive message, and that’s what really attracted me to it.”

The VSO’s Crust said the news makes “The Sound of Music” very timely. He said the musical not only has “tunes that can’t get out of your head for weeks on end,” it also contains themes such as gender roles, fascism, how to raise children, how to express emotions and how to cope with loss.

“For me, ‘The Sound of Music’ has always brought joy,” said Lyric Theatre’s Evarts. “To do that for 7,500 people, it’s special.”

Sam von Trapp also saw how special this week’s concert was.

“Having them play the soundtrack to our family stories, which I now not only accept but appreciate, is kind of coming full circle for me,” he said. “It’s like being reunited with an estranged friend that you really care about.”

if you go

What: Lyric Theater and Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s “The Sound of Music” concert

when: Thursday, June 20, 7:30 pm to Saturday, June 22, Saturday 22:00 pm

Where: Trapp Family Lodge Concert Meadow, Stowe (Raindrop: Flynn, Burlington)

information: sold out. www.flynnvt.org, www.vso.org or www.lyrictheatrevt.org

Contact Brent Hallenbeck bhallenbeck@freepressmedia.com.

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