Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Synopsis

For people who don’t know the story my Dad has written a synopsis

In pre-war Austria at Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg, Maria a young novice Nun wants to aspire to Holy Orders but is constantly distracted by the Musicality of the surrounding Hills and other fascinations. Her Mother Superior is sympathetic and decides to place her as Governess to a local family – 7 children with a widower father, Capt Georg von Trapp, who is engaged to a Baroness, Elsa Schraeder, and is a naval disciplinarian. He has a regular friend, Max, who is often found staying with him.

Georg is a staunch Austrian and has no love for the threatening Nazi influence. Georg’s eldest daughter, Liesl (16) is fondly attached to local telegraph boy Rolf Gruber who is about to be recruited into the Hitler Youth machine and, being only slightly older than Liesl, tells her she is still rather too young.

Maria arrives to find a family tension among the children, desperate for their father’s attention and love; she quickly befriends them, guides them with music, home-made clothes and outings and other favourite things and generally brings warmth to the whole house. During a family party at which Georg ruffles a few Nazi feathers and the children perform a specially prepared song, the Captain comes to realise this and that he has become attracted to Maria, a fact which the Baroness is quick to spot. She manipulates Maria’s sudden departure from the house.

Max, who is as cynical about love as he is about politics, and has no strong political conviction, is engaged in preparing a Concert for the community and wants the Children to take part as the von Trapp family singers. He is still an Austrian at heart though showing a neutral attitude to the imminent Anschluss.

The children are pining for Maria while the Captain and Elsa proceed with plans for their marriage. Maria has gone back to the Abbey convent, but Mother Abbess persuades her that convent life is not to be used as an escape from the realities of life and love. Maria returns to the family, to the children’s great joy and Elsa’s realistic chagrin. The Captain declares his love and they marry in style at the Abbey.

The Anschluss occurs while they are away on honeymoon, and the concert goes ahead on their return. To avoid a command from Berlin to take up a post in the German Navy Georg sings with the family at the Concert and escapes before the final curtain via the Convent. Rolf, despite his former affections, is instrumental in getting the chase under way, but the Nuns find ways of immobilising Nazi cars and Mother Abbess bids the entire family godspeed as they “Climb Every Mountain” to Switzerland and safety. Everyone lives happily ever after.

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