The stage and screen versions of The Sound of Music were based on the real-life story of Maria von Trapp….but the timeline of events was severely condensed for dramatic purposes. Take a look below at the comparison; the musical compresses almost twelve years into a little more than three months on stage.
|Maria and Georg von Trapp, whose story famously became The Sound of Music (image from FindAGrave.com)|
|Troy Cook and Katherine Manley in Central City Opera’s production, running in Denver August 2-10, 2014 (photo by Kira Horvath)|
|Georg von Trapp is born in 1880, Maria Augusta Kutschera born 1905
Around 1924 or 25 – Maria enters convent, after graduating college [age 19? – she was there for 2 years]
Around October 1926 – Maria is sent to von Trapps until June – he is 46, she 21, just four years older than eldest son
March 1927 – Princess Yvonne arrives (a distant relative of Georg’s first wife), Yvonne tells Maria that Georg’s in love with Maria but will still marry Yvonne
May 1927 – von Trapp is determined to be engaged to Princess Yvonne but gets pert note from Maria, calls off proposal to Yvonne; thirteen days before Maria is to leave he uses children to ultimately propose (a bit of a modern game of “Telephone”)
November 26, 1927 – Wedding
Easter 1935 – Father Wasner comes to villa, becomes choral manager
August 1936 – Soprano Lotte Lehman hears singing, insists they do concerts, enter the Salzburg Festival for group singing, which they win; then invited to radio broadcast, heard by Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg who invites them to sing in Vienna; soon the von Trapps are touring the whole map of Europe
1937 – First European tour
March 12, 1938 – Anschluss, the Nazi occupation of Austria
May 1938 – Nazis notice they’re not hanging flags
June 1938 – Decline Germans three times in one week, Escape in broad daylight on train to Italy
|Dec. 12, 1937*; “until September” – Maria Rainer is sent to von Trapps
Six Weeks Later [Jan. 23, 1938] – Elsa arrives
One Week Later [Jan. 30, 1938] – Party; Brigitta tells Maria that Captain is in love with her, Maria runs away
Three days later [Feb. 2, 1938]- Maria returns, she and Georg are engaged
Two weeks later [Feb. 16, 1938] – Wedding
Three days later [March 19, 1938] – Kaltzberg Festival and Escape [Depicted in the film as being the same night they return from their honeymoon]
* NOTE: Musical “dates” above are based off the historical date of the Anschluss in Act Two, adjusting other dates by the days and weeks mentioned between scenes.
This timeline was created for Central City Opera’s 2014 Opera Insider by Erin Joy Swank, Production Manager/Stage Manager for Education & Community Engagement. Learn more about the creation of The Sound of Music (and the rest of the 2014 Festival) and read interviews with several of the cast members by checking out additional articles.