Advisory: The Sound of Music and Its Historical Context

By: Lyric Opera Staff

Published on:

The Sound of Music is a beloved musical based on a true story that explores themes of love, family, and resistance in the face of adversity. Set in Austria during the years leading up to World War II, the musical accurately portrays the rise of Nazism in the region. While the show focuses primarily on the von Trapp family's story, it does include elements related to Nazism. These elements are vital to understanding the historical context of the period.

Language and Symbols: The Sound of Music includes references to Nazism. Specific terms included in the dialogue include the “Third Reich,” “Anschluss,” “Heil,” and “Gauleiter.” Symbols of the Third Reich will be visible on a flag displayed at the end of the musical and on the armbands of soldiers. The armbands will be removed for the curtain call.

Historical Significance: The inclusion of these elements is not meant to promote or endorse Nazism, but rather to provide an accurate portrayal of the historical context in which the story unfolds.

Parental Guidance: Parents and guardians are encouraged to use this production as an opportunity for age-appropriate discussions about the historical events depicted in the musical, the importance of tolerance, and the lessons we can learn from history.

Viewer Discretion: Viewers sensitive to these themes are advised to approach the production with awareness of its historical context and to be prepared for the inclusion of symbols and references as described above.

The Sound of Music is a timeless classic that provides an insightful portrayal of life during a critical period in history. The underlying historical context is integral to the storyline and should be understood as an educational tool for fostering awareness and dialogue about the past.