The Sound of Music

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The Sound of Music is a stage musical by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.

The original text

Based on the book The Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp, it tells the story of the Von Trapp Singers and their escape from Nazi Germany.

First produced in New York in 1959 to record-breaking advance ticket sales, where it won eight Tony Awards - including “Best Musical”. The show opened in London in 1961 and became the longest-running American musical of its generation.

Translations and adaptations

The 1965 Hollywood film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, won five Oscars, including “Best Picture”, and quickly became the highest-grossing film in history. Even today, The Sound of Music remains the most successful movie musical in history.

An immensely popular burlesque version , the South African mini rock musical called Almost the Sound of Music, was created by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder for Artscape in 1994. Directed by Mark Graham with Anthea Thompson, Christine Weir and Heinrich Reisenhofer.

South African productions

1963: First produced in South Africa by Brian Brooke with Heather Lloyd-Jones at the Brooke Theatre, also starring Michael Newell as "Rolf".

1964: Produced at the Lyric Theatre by Des Morley with David Horner and Marcelle Mitchell.

June 15, 1972: Staged by the Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival at the Port Elizabeth Opera House by Helen Mann. Starring: Monica Hunter (Maria Rainer, Postulent at Nonnberg Abbey), Joan Sneesby (Sister Bertha), Ann Fincham (Sister Margaretta), Barbara Nuttall (The Mother Abbess), Helen Dickson (Sister Sophia), Wilhelm van der Nest (Capatin George von Trapp), Alfred Porter (Franz, the Butler), Edith Porter (Frau Schmidt, the Housekeeper), Roslyn Hastwell (Liesl), Clifford Wybrow (Friedrich), Mandy Rothenburg (Louisa), Terrence Scarr (Kurt), Coral Lindsay-Rae (Brigitta), Fawn Lindsay-Rae (Marta), Rochelle Dix-Peek (Gretl), Leslie Speyers (rolf Gruber), Elaine Bateson (Elsa Schraeder), Roy Williams (Max Detweiler), Anthony Sylvester (Herr Zeller), Stanley Kirk (Baron Elberfeld), Elinor Jones (A Postulant), Derek Scarr (Admiral von Schreiber). Pat Futter, Claudine Johnson, Sylvia Sylvester, Elizabeth Tisi, Elinor Jones, Bronwen Jenkins, Glenda Todkill, Doreen van Reenen, Peta Lange, Maureen Olivier, Judy Wybrow, Pam Lavender.

June 26, 1972: Owing to the apartheid legislation at the time, the Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival moved the entire show to the Gelvandale Community Centre in Port Elizabeth for two productions to allow other racial groups to see it. The proceeds were given to the Port Elizabeth Coloured Cultural Society to help with the financing of theatrical productions.

1974: Presented by the Arts Theatre Club at the Guild Theatre, directed by Hazel Tennant.

1976: Brickhill-Burke and PACT revival of The Sound of Music at His Majesty's Theatre in June 1976. Direction and choreography were taken care of by Joan Brickhill and Louis Burke, the latter of which also starred in this production together with Judy Page, Jarmila Tellinger, Terry Lester and Diane Todd.

1984: Staged by the Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society

1985: Performed by CAPAB Opera and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in the Nico Malan Opera House, opening on 18 November. Directed by David Matheson.

1992: Performed by CAPAB Opera and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in the Nico Malan Opera House, opening on 5 March. Directed by David Matheson.

1993 Performed by PACT Opera, directed by George Kok.

1995: Staatsteater, Pretoria with Anne Power (Maria), Mimi Coertse and Jarmilla Tellinger alternated the role (Mother Superior), Mike Huff (Captain von Trap), Judy Page (Elsa), conductor Weiss Doubell and directed by George Kok.

1996: Staged by the Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society at the Port Elizabeth Opera House May 30 - June 22. Directed by David Matheson with the Musical Director Shawn Lyon. Set Director Keith Anderson, Lighting Design by David Whitehouse and Sound Design by Andrew Greef. Leslie Speyers (George von Trapp), Michelle Poulton (Maria), Tinarie van Wyk (Maria), Brennan Holder (Rolf Gruber), Liat Kerbel (Liesl), Pete Kruger (Max), Dianne Kingsley (Elsa Schraeder), Norraine Swanby (Mother Abbess), Melissa Sanderson (Sister Berthe), Lesley Gill (Sister Margarett), Yolande Oosthuizen (Sister Sophia), Wayne Tucker (Franz, the Butler). Also Tinarie van Wyk-Loots, Travis Greef, Holly McTiffen, Gareth Williams, Jaci Cheiman, Olivia Coetzee, Smaro Hatzimichael, Christopher Nel, Justine Symons, Garth Tavares, Amy Shaw, Marilyn Whale, Kristal van Niekerk, Brigitte Epler-Bradenburg, Clifford Kleb, Philip Lovemore, Adri Britz, Leanne Davies, Malcolm Gates, Karin Shaw.

1996-7 Performed by CAPAB Opera and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in the Nico Malan Opera House, opening on 11 December, closing 4 January. Directed by David Matheson, assisted by Kim Gunning, with Angela Kilian (Maria), Mike Huff (Captain von Trapp), Christina Farr (Mother Abbess), Diane Wilson, Alexander Duncan, Lindy Abromowitz, Aletta Loopuyt, Jinny Sagorin, Angela Gilbert, Philip de Vos, Mary Dreyer, David Matheson, Nedil Johnson, Lex Alport, Bernd Rückemesser, De Wet van Rooyen Jnr, Joanna Hawkins, Keghan Dawson, Nerine Lombaard, Vanessa Mann and Andrea Pretorius. The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by musical director Graham Scott, with set design by Peter Cazalet, costume design by Dicky Longhurst, lighting design by John T. Baker, sound design by Robin Shuttleworth and Vetta Wise as chorus master.

2002: Staged by the Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society

2003: Staged by the Cape Town Gilbert and Sullivan Society in 2003.

2005: Directed by Ralph Lawson at The Playhouse Opera, Durban, starring Angela Kilian, Peter Butler, Dale Wesson, Frances Currie, Claire Mortimer, Garth Anderson, David Chevers, Tamar Meskin and others.

2014 Andrew Lloyd Webber's 2013 production was brought to South Africa by Pieter Toerien, David Ian and The Really Useful Group, with André Schwartz as Captain von Trapp and Bethany Dickson as Maria. The season: Cape Town - Artscape Opera, 19 February 2014 – 29 March 2014; Johannesburg - The Teatro at Montecasino, 5 April 2014 – 8 June 2014. Directed by with André Schwartz as Captain von Trapp and Bethany Dickson as Maria, as well as Janelle Visagie as Mother Abbess, Tarryn Sudding as the Baroness Schraeder, James Borthwick as Max Detwieler, Carmen Pretorius as Liesel von Trapp, Rhys Williams as Rolf Gruber, Malcolm Terrey as Franz, Rika Sennett as Frau Schmidt, Genna Galloway as Sister Berthe, Monique Weich as Sister as Margaretta and LJ Neilson as Sister Sophia. Pauline du Plessis, Ami Rose Barber, Sebe Leotlela, Pisto Msongelna, Claire Simonis, Mike Huff, Richard White, Adam Pelkowitz, Mark Sykes, Duane Alexander, Ryan Flynn, Torah Rapoho and Claire Taylor are the ensemble cast.

2023/2024: Produced by Pieter Toerien, directed by Steven Stead, musical direction by Kevin Kraak, with a cast that included Brittany Smith, Craig Urbani, Nadia Beukes, Janelle Visagie, William Berger and Alida Scheepers. Performed at ArtsCape from 17 December 2023 to 14 January, 2024.

2024: The Pieter Toerien production performed at the Montecasino theatre, Johannesburg, from 27 January to 25 February.


Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival production programme: The Sound of Music, June 1972.

"Waiting in the Wings," Eastern Province Herald June 16, 1972.

"Authentic costumes for musical," Evening Post June 15, 1972.

"Sound of Music," Evening Post June 26, 1972.

Beeld, 12 August 1995.

Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society production programme: The Sound of Music, May-June 1996.

Press release by Pieter Toerien Productions (10/15/2013)[1]

GP/WCtmusical - The Sound of Music for Artscape - 19/02/2014 - News

Percy Tucker, 1997: pp. 182, 328.

Gerald Buttigieg: Post on the website Facts About Durban(January 1, 2014)[2].

Daily News, 9 December 2005.

Programme of the 1996-7 production by CAPAB Opera.

Laetitia Pople. 2023, "Nuwe resep van blyspel boei steeds", Die Burger, 19 December, 2023: p. 12.

Arts Theatre Club archive held by George Mountjoy.

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