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Culture Express > News Video

Salzburg still alive with the Sound of Music

CCTV.com

08-06-2014 00:35 BJT

"The Sound of Music,"  a classic musical that continues to charm and capture the imagination of generations of fans, is big business for the Austrian city of Salzburg, where the real-life von Trapp family lived, and where the 1965 Hollywood movie was filmed. 

"The Sound of Music" -- a classic musical, that continues to charm and capture the imagination of generations of fans.

"The Sound of Music" -- a classic musical, that continues to charm and capture the imagination of generations of fans.

The city is also dominated by Mozart, who was born there. But many visitors to the city say that they have come for one thing — to experience the real “Sound of Music.’

For generations, "The Sound of Music" has attracted tourists of all ages and nationalities to Salzburg, where both the true-life story of the singing von Trapp family and the Hollywood movie took place. It's become big business for the city, drawing almost as many tourists as its main attraction of Mozart and classical music. 

"Three hundred thousand visitors who come to Salzburg almost exclusively because of the ‘Sound of Music’— that's just a great story, a success story. It's the most successful location placement in film history," Salzburg Tourism Managing Director Herbert Brugger said.

Austrians always knew about the von Trapp family, whose story was made into several films  in the 1950s. But the Broadway and Hollywood versions hardly made a mark in Salzburg until recently.The musical on which the film was based only premiered in the city in 2011, but it was a huge success. 

"Sound of Music" puppet performances, exhibits and concert-and-dinner evenings have also  appeared in recent years. But the biggest draw of all for foreign visitors remains the “Sound of Music” tours. Every day, dozens of tourists jump on a bus to see the original film locations, learn more about the movie and sing along to the catchy tunes.

"I always loved the movie, it was the first musical my mum showed me and I got started from there, saw it on Broadway just something about the movie captures audiences' attention and it's magical. Just seeing the beautiful scenery, the Alps, it's very heartwarming," a tourist named Jennifer said.

"It's got good music, good scenery. It's timeless as well. My parents love it, my nan watches it, it brings everyone together," a British tourist named Sam said.

The musical has been around since 1959. But new stage and television productions pop up every year — from Canada to China and India— proving interest in "The Sound of Music" is very much alive, greatly benefiting Salzburg's tourism industry. 

"It's a family film. We've had visitors who were first here backpacking, then came with their wife, later with their children and today they come with their grandchildren," tour organizer Stefan Herzl said.

Next year, the movie turns 50. And Salzburg is already in talks with the film studio and musical's rights owners for a special tribute.

Salzburg is dominated by Mozart, who was born there.

Salzburg is dominated by Mozart, who was born there.

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