We all heard about the von Trapp family, immortalized in the movie The Sound of Music, one of the most popular musical films ever made. However, the story of the real von Trapp family is quite different from the silver screen version. Georg von Trapp became a widow after his wife died, leaving him seven young children. The wealthy Austrian aristocrat and retired sea captain later married the family's governess, Maria Augusta Kutschera, who fiercely and single-handedly launched the family into a career in entertainment, whose role in the movie was played by Julie Andrews.
Julie Andrews como Maria/Julie Andrews as Maria
Maria was born in 1905, and her mother died just two years later. She experienced a lonely and very strict upbringing, in which she was raised as a socialist and atheist. It wasn't until college, where she had a chance meeting with a visiting Jesuit priest, that Maria made the decision to devote herself to the convent.
Pero su salud se resintió por la falta de ejercicio y del aire puro al que estaba acostumbrada. Cuando Georg von Trapp se dirigió a la Madre Superiora de la Abadía buscando a una profesora para su hija enferma, Maria fue la escogida, en parte debido a sus calidades como profesora pero también debido a su salud. Estaba previsto que permaneciese 10 meses con los von Trapp, para después ingresar definitivamente en el convento. Al final paso a ser una mas en la familia y se casó con al capitán en 1927.
However, her health suffered from not getting the exercise and fresh air to which she was accustomed. When Georg von Trapp approached the Reverend Mother of the Abbey seeking a teacher for his sick daughter, Maria was chosen, partly because of her training and skill as a teacher, but also because of concern for her health. She was supposed to remain with the von Trapp for 10 months, at the end of which she would formally enter the convent. Instead, she became part of the family and married the Captain on 1927.
Georg y Maria/Georg and maria
When the von Trapps lost their fortune through the worldwide depression in the early 1930s, Maria took the family hobby, singing, and turned it into the family profession. Before long, the von Trapps were performing all over Europe. When the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938, the von Trapps decided it was time to leave. Maria arranged an American concert tour, and the family was able to escape Hitler. Unlike the musical, the family did not secretly escape over the Alps to freedom in Switzerland. They just told people that they were going to America to sing, and they did not climb over mountains with all their heavy suitcases and instruments, they just left by train, to Italy, and then went to America.
In the early 1940s the family settled in Stowe, Vermont, where they bought a farm. In the meantime, the von Trapps struggled to establish themselves as a choral singing group. They sang mostly in German, had a repertoire of difficult classical music, and dressed like refugees. But Maria would not let them fail. She hired a top manager and a publicist, and before long the family singing group became quite a phenomenon. But even at the height of their popularity, Maria would not let them rest. The children toured up to eight months a year and during the summer, they worked their Vermont farm and ran a music camp.
Los niños von Trapp/The von Trapp children
Georg died in 1947. While fame and success continued for the Trapp Family Singers, they decided to stop touring in 1955, when the group consisted mostly of non-family members.
Los cantantes von Trapp/The von Trapp singers
The von Trapps never saw much of the huge profits The Sound of Music made. Maria sold the film rights to German producers and inadvertently signed away her rights in the process. The resulting films, Die Trapp-Familie (1956), and a sequel, Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika (1958), were quite successful. The American rights were bought from the German producers. The family had very little input in either the play or the movie The Sound of Music. As a courtesy, the producers of the play listened to some of Maria's suggestions, but no substantive contributions were accepted.
La familia von Trapp en la pelicula/The von Trapp family in the movie
The von Trapp family first started welcoming guests to their lodge in Stowe, one of the most famous and historical ski resorts in Vermont, in the summer of 1950. Today, the Austrian-style Main Lodge, is one of the classical skiing hotels in Eastern America, and continues to be owned and operated by the von Trapp family.
El Hotel de la Familia Trapp/The Trapp Family Lodge
Johannes von Trapp, the youngest of the von Trapp children, took over the family business, and openned America's first cross-country ski center at the Trapp Family Lodge in the winter of 1968-69. It was the first time cross-country ski trails, instruction and equipment sales and rentals were offered at one location. Maria died in 1987.