The von Trapps Visit the Emerald City
While on Tour in the 1940s
Recently, Marlys McDonald, the Wardrobe Master here at The 5th, discovered a rare and auspicious gem amongst her family archives: original programs from the 1940s when the real-life Trapp Family Singers visited Seattle. And she found them just in time for our revival of The Sound of Music!
These programs from several performances at the Moore Theatre share the vocal breakdown and musical numbers for the von Trapps while touring. Imagine having a family that is large enough to properly separate into proper vocal ranges! Performing classics by Handel and Schubert, the von Trapps also presented carols, folksongs, and yodels from the Austrian Alps, some of which they “announced from the Stage.” In a preview for “The Inspiring, Artistic Trapp Family Singers,” seen in the image above, they are advertised as performing “madrigals, instrumental serenades, yodels—mountain calls, rollicking folksongs,” all in “native costumes.” Single tickets ranged from 87 cents a seat to $2.88.
Prior to settling in Stowe, Vermont after emigrating from Austria, the von Trapp family toured the United States as the Trapp Family Singers. After purchasing a sprawling family farm in Vermont, the von Trapps continued to tour throughout the 1940s, as well as maintaining a family music camp at their lodge, an advertisement for which was also found in the program.
(For any history nerds out there, these programs also allow a glimpse into life in Seattle in the 1940s, including advertisements featuring telephone numbers as they used to be styled, in a two letter-four number format: ELiot 7575, for example, or MAin 3439.)
To see the classic and inspiring musical adaptation of the Trapp Family’s history, come see The Sound of Music, live on stage now until January 3, 2016.
Special thanks to Marlys McDonald and Family for access to these treasures!