Feature

The hills come alive

The week's news at a glance.

Vienna

The Sound of Music was performed onstage in Austria this week for the first time ever. The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical has long inspired tourists to visit Austria. But Austrians themselves have never embraced the story of the singing Von Trapp family, which fled Austria to escape from the Nazis. The famous film version, starring Julie Andrews, was never released in Austria and didn’t even play on television until a few years ago. Rudolf Berger, director of the Volksoper, the Vienna opera house that is staging a German translation of the work, said Austrians had been cool to The Sound of Music because they didn’t like to be reminded of their country’s collaboration with the Nazis. Many Austrians also feel that the story stereotypes them as yodeling goatherds in lederhosen. But Berger said the new production showed that the musical could be staged “without the Alpine kitsch trimmings.”

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