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Meet the real Maria von Trapp

The Story


Yes, Maria von Trapp really was a devoted nun-in-training who left the order to marry a widower and help raise his children. Yes, the family really did leave Austria when the Nazis invaded, although it wasn't nearly as dramatic as The Sound of Music would have you believe. In this CBC Radio clip, the real Maria von Trapp visits Expo 67 and describes how her true story differs from that seen in the blockbuster movie starring Julie Andrews.

Medium: Radio
Program: Expodition
Broadcast Date: May 31, 1967
Guest(s): Maria von Trapp
Interviewer: Lynn Jackson
Duration: 3:13
Von Trapp family photograph: Hulton/Getty Images

Did You know?


• Maria von Trapp was born Maria Augusta Kutschera in Austria in 1905. She was a novice preparing to enter the convent when she was sent to work as a tutor for young Maria, one of the von Trapp children, in 1926. She married the children's father, Georg von Trapp, in 1927.

• In 1938 the family left Austria and settled in the United States, where they made a living as the Trapp Family Singers.

• In the 1950s the family sold the rights to their story to a German company, which would make two films about them. The German producers then sold the rights to a team of producers who worked with songwriters Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein to create the Broadway musical The Sound of Music. The Hollywood film studio Twentieth Century Fox then made the musical into a 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

• The real von Trapps had no input into nor made any money from the enormously successful musical and movie. Baroness Maria von Trapp died in 1987. 


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