The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears
My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
from a church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over
stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray
My heart skipped as Maria (played excellently by Joana Ampil) danced as she sang the song against a wide LED screen that showed lush greeneries depicting that familiar scene on top of a mountain. She danced and sang in the same cheerful mood as in its original portrayal by Julie Andrews in 1965.
Maria with Captain Georg Von Trapp played by Audie Gemora and the Von Trapp children (photo from RWM website)
As many of us already know, The Sound of Music tells the story of Maria, a young postulant who leaves the convent to become the governess of the seven Von Trapp children. The latter always seem to manage to kick off each of the governesses that their father, naval captain and widower Georg Von Trapp keeps hiring. But Maria’s kindness and fun-loving nature quickly won the hearts of the children. She and the captain eventually get married before the whole family left Austria for Switzerland in the end.
To say that the musical was ‘excellent’ is an understatement. Not only was it peppered with visual splendor (from the set to the costumes) but the crisp and beautiful music played by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra coupled with the world-class cast altogether gave this old musical a different and contemporary appeal that could rival international musical stage productions.
(photos from RWM website)
We caught the show on a Wednesday night at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at the Resorts World Manila (RWM). The sound of Music is its sophomore stage production.
We arrived a little late so we had to spend a few minutes at the holding area and wait for the lights to dim in between the change of sets in order to be seated. I couldn’t wait to be seated and mentally blamed myself for arriving late. I was excited!
When the lights went up again, the scene has shifted from the hills to the Nonnberg abbey complete with a moving fountain at the background and high columns peculiar to old European churches. It actually reminded of the Cologne Cathedral that I visited two years ago.
Perhaps the strongest factor of this musical play is the production team’s attention to detail as shown in its colorful sets. The large video wall excellently showed pertinent backgrounds of hills, flying birds, (garden scenes), water fountain and even falling leaves.
The Von Trapp residence was also splendid with its huge staircase, chandelier, matching furniture and a door that shows a peek to a beautiful veranda.
When my favorite song ‘My Favorite things’ came up, I was all eyes and ears for Maria and the Von Trapp children who made the rain and thunderstorms a seemingly perfect time to bond.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things
When the cast performed another favorite, ‘Edelweiss’, I felt a pinch in my heart knowing that the Von Trapps are set to flee their homeland and that the play is about the end.
Nevertheless, the musical evoked positive feelings that I carried with me throughout the week. The musical spoke of believing in oneself, believing in dreams, possessing a good heart, and most of all, relying on God.
The Sound of Music runs until December 30 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila.
The play also made me cherish my picture taken a couple of years ago at the Mirabell gardens in Salzburg, Austria - the very place where one of the scenes in the Sound of Music movie was shot. (^-^)