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The Sound of Music – Music from the NBC Television Event 2013

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Synopsis

THE STORY OF THE SOUND OF MUSIC By DAVID CHASE

Act One: Salzburg, Austria, 1938, on the eve of the Anschluss. In the cloistered sanctuary of Nonnberg Abbey, the nuns are invoking Psalm 110 and singing songs of praise (“Preludium”). However, one of the postulants is nowhere to be found: Maria is instead out in the hills, where she goes “when her heart is lonely” and sings at the top of her voice (“The Sound of Music”). Sister Berthe, Sister Sophia and Sister Margaretta debate with the Mother Abbess as to whether Maria is truly ready for a life of obedience and humility (“Maria”). The Mother Abbess calls for Maria, and they discover a shared love of one particular childhood song (“My Favorite Things”). As a way of testing Maria’s commitment to the religious life, the Mother Abbess sends her out from the Abbey to become a temporary governess to the seven children of a former naval officer, Captain Georg von Trapp.

Upon arriving at the von Trapp home, Maria realizes that the Captain has, since the death of his wife, emotionally closed himself off. The children march; they do not play. Furthermore, they have grown up without music in their lives. Maria understands that the way to gain their trust and acceptance is by teaching them the basics of singing (“Do-Re-Mi”).

That evening, the oldest child, Liesl, steals away to meet Rolf, a local boy who’s caught up in the political fervor of the streets. He warns her of the dangers of her innocence and offers himself as a suitable protector. She, in her way, accepts (“Sixteen Going On Seventeen”). Meanwhile, a loud thunderstorm causes the frightened children to seek out Maria in her bedroom, where she diverts their fears with a rousing folksong (“The Lonely Goatherd”).

The Captain returns a month later with Elsa Schraeder, a sophisticated Viennese widow. They are accompanied by Max Detweiler, Third Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture, who is on the hunt for the perfect local singing group to perform at the annual Kaltzberg Festival. Elsa finds it charming here in the provinces, but is frustrated that the Captain has yet to propose to her. Max explains what’s standing in the way: both she and the Captain are rich! (“How Can Love Survive?”).

Maria arrives with the children, all wearing clothing that Maria has made from the old curtains in her bedroom. The Captain is embarrassed and enraged. Maria confronts him and tells him how little he understands his children, and he orders her back to Nonnberg. But when he hears the children singing for Elsa (“Reprise: The Sound of Music”), his heart opens up as he realizes what Maria has done in bringing music back into his home. He asks Maria to stay.

The Captain throws a lavish party so that the local gentry can meet Elsa (“The Grand Waltz”). However, the political divide is widening between those that support the proposed German takeover and those, like von Trapp, who believe in Austrian sovereignty. As the orchestra plays an Austrian folk dance (“Ländler”), young Kurt tries to teach it to Maria. The Captain steps in, and as their arms intertwine, the Captain and Maria realize an unspoken attraction between them. Maria breaks away. Meanwhile, Elsa has asked the children to sing for the guests (“So Long, Farewell”). Max is thrilled: a singing group of seven children in one family? Perfect for the Festival! The children make their way to bed; the guests make their way to dinner; and Maria, confused by her encounter with the Captain, leaves without saying goodbye and flees back to Nonnberg Abbey.

There she tells the Mother Abbess that she is ready to take the orders of poverty, obedience and chastity. But the Mother Abbess sees that Maria has fallen in love and encourages her to see her way forward and face her problems: to find the life she was born to live (“Climb Ev’ry Mountain”).

Act Two Max, in anticipation of the upcoming Kaltzberg Festival, rehearses with the children. But without Maria, they’ve lost the joy of music-making. Suddenly, Maria returns and they’re delighted! But they have news for her: Father is going to be married. To Frau Schraeder. Maria’s heart is broken, but she resolves to see her duties through until arrangements can be made for a new governess.

The political situation is worsening, and Max and Elsa are imploring the Captain to weather the coming storm by being noncommittal (“No Way To Stop It”). But the Captain is unwavering in his disgust for the Nazis, and he and Elsa realize that they cannot share a future. Elsa returns to Vienna for good. Seeing Maria again, the Captain now understands what he and Maria have both known deep inside for many weeks (“Something Good”).

The Nuns of Nonnberg Abbey celebrate the wedding of Maria Rainer and Georg von Trapp (“Processional & Maria: The Wedding”). But while Maria and the Captain are away on their honeymoon, the Anschluss occurs, and Germany and Austria are now united. The von Trapp house is the only one in the province not flying the flag of the Third Reich (“You mean the flag with the black spider on it?” asks Brigitta). Georg and Maria hurry back to find that much has changed: many have joined ranks with the Nazis, including Rolf, and even Franz the butler. Max, against the Captain’s wishes, has been readying the children for their performance at the Festival. The Captain is steadfast in his refusal to allow his family to perform on behalf of an Austria that no longer exists, and Maria stands by him. Liesl now sees how much Maria truly loves the Captain, and Maria shares her new understanding of how to spend one’s love (“Reprise: Sixteen Going On Seventeen”).

Admiral von Schreiber of the Navy of the Third Reich, accompanied by Herr Zeller, the local Nazi leader, arrives to inform von Trapp that he must accept a commission in the German Navy and report immediately to Bremerhaven. Thinking quickly, Maria displays the program for the Festival showing that the Trapp Family Singers – which includes the Captain, of course, as head of the family – are scheduled to perform, so he couldn’t possibly leave now. Admiral von Schreiber comprehends the situation and grants permission for the Captain to report to duty several days later.

The Festival begins (“Reprise: Do-Re-Mi”) and von Trapp himself sings a quietly defiant hymn to Austria (“Edelweiss”). But when Max announces that a guard of honor is waiting to escort the Captain away as soon as the concert is over, Maria leads the von Trapp family in more song as they escape, one by one, into the night (“Reprise: So Long, Farewell”). Max gives out the concert prizes slowly, buying time. The Trapp Family Singers are announced as winners of the Festival, but they are nowhere to be found.

The family takes refuge in the garden of Nonnberg Abbey as Nazi soldiers swarm the hallowed ground. It is Rolf who discovers the von Trapps, but seeing Liesl, he chooses not to reveal their hiding place. Still, there seems to be no way out for the von Trapps: the Nazis have closed the border and are guarding every road. The family has no choice but to make their way to freedom by way of the mountain. It is a daunting journey, but Maria, who grew up on that mountain, knows the way. And the Mother Abbess reminds them that they will have help: “For ye shall go out with joy and the very hills shall break forth before you into singing” (“Finale Ultimo: Climb Ev’ry Mountain").

Credits

Cast: Mother Abbess: Audra McDonald Maria Rainer: Carrie Underwood Sister Berthe: Jessica Molaskey Sister Sophia: Elena Shaddow Sister Margaretta: Christine Noll Captain Georg von Trapp: Stephen Moyer Liesl: Ariane Rinehart Friedrich: Michael Nigro Louisa: Ella Watts-Gorman Kurt: Joe West Brigitta: Sophia Caruso Marta: Grace Rundhaug Gretl: Peyton Ella Rolf Gruber: Michael Campayno Elsa Schraeder: Laura Benanti Max Detweiler: Christian Borle Franz: Sean Cullen Frau Schmidt: Kristine Nielsen Herr Zeiler: CJ Wilson Baron Elberfeld: Michael Park Baroness Elberfeld: Paula Leggett Chase Admiral von Schreiber: John Bolger The Nuns of Nonnberg Abbey: Georgia Stitt, Cameron Adams, Wendi Bergamini, Ashley Brown, Stowe Brown, Catherine Brunell, Paula Leggett Chase, Nikki Renee Daniels, Adrienne Danrich, Margot de la Barre, Rayanne Gonzales, Gina Ferrall, Joy Hermalyn, Leah Horowitz, Autumn Hurlbert, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Sydney Morton, Linda Mugleston, Laura Shoop, Rema Webb Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse Suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp Produced By Frank Wolf, David Chase, and Doug Besterman Recorded By Frank Wolf at Avatar Studios, New York City Mixed By Frank Wolf at Studio F Mastered By Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA Music Supervisor: David Chase Recording Production Manager: Janet Weber Music Coordinator: Howard Joines Assistant Engineers: Tyler Hartman and Nate Odden Scoring Editor: David Channing Orchestrations: Doug Besterman Music Preparation: Anixter Rice Music Service Associate Music Supervisor: Fred Lassen Children’s Vocal Conductor: Steven Malone Nun Captain: Georgia Stitt Music Assistant: Ian Weinberger Published by Williamson Music Co. (ASCAP) Original Broadway orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett Original choral and incidental musical arrangements by Trude Rittmann Original film orchestrations by Irwin Kostal Orchestra: David Chase, conductor Emily Bruskin Yarbrough, concert master John Romeri, flute Keith Bonner, flute, piccolo Lynne Cohen, oboe, English horn Jonathan Levine, Steve Kenyon, clarinet Daniel Sullivan, bassoon Adam Krauthamer, David Byrd-Marrow, Aaron Korn, horn Dominic Derasse, Gareth Flowers, Jason Covey, trumpet John Allred, Nate Mayland, trombone Marcus Rojas, tuba Matt Perri, keyboards Scott Kuney, guitar Bill Hayes, Rich Rosenzweig, percussion Susan Jolles, harp Lisa Matricardi, Maxim Moston, Mineko Yajima, Erin Benim, Shinwon Kim, Matt Lehmann, Liz Lim-Dutton, Jonathan Dinklage, Sean Carney, violin JJ Johnson, Carla Fabiani, David Creswell, viola Sarah Seiver, Laura Bontrager, Summer Boggess, cello Michael Kuennen, bass Randy Cohen, keyboard programmer