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The hills are alive: 'Sound of Music' is gaining on native son Mozart in Salzburg

By Ellen Creager

Detroit Free Press

Published: Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 3:00 p.m. MST

"This was the whole dilemma," says Breyer. "It was too close to the war. It was still too emotional, a topic not to be touched. Also, it was kitsch. To be shown their own kitsch by a foreigner, they didn't like it."

Now, the musical sells out, and most of the patrons are Austrians.

So I finish the Original Sound of Music Tour, and by the time I get off the bus, it's dark. I walk through the dim Mirabel Gardens, pass the fountains and amble toward my hotel. Clanging church bells ring the time, 6 p.m.

The shops haven't closed yet. Bright against the cold night, they still sell their Mozart candy, "Sound of Music" calendars, bright fabrics, loden coats. I chance upon a market where vendors sell five kinds of wurst and six or seven kinds of gigantic pretzels. Above, the lighted Hohensalszburg Fortress looms over the old town.

That evening, I go to the fortress to hear the Salzburger Mozart Ensemble. It's satisfying. It's good.

I feel pretty much alive with the sound of ... well, you know.

If you go …

Lodging

I recommend the Best Western Hotel Elefant, centrally located in the old town, about $130 a night and up (www.elefant.at).

Attractions

"The Original Sound of Music Tour" by Panorama is offered twice a day. The four-hour tour is about $45. Also available are packages that include hotel (www.panoramatours.com). For a detailed listing of all filming locations in Salzburg, see emp.byui.edu/haderlieb/SoundofMusicSites.htm

Panorama Museum's new exhibit, "The Trapp Family: Reality and 'The Sound of Music,'" runs through September 2013. It features 180 interactive photos and 100 original objects, including a fantastic audio exhibit with "My Favorite Things" in a dozen languages. About $4.50 (www.salzburgmuseum.at).

The new "The Sound of Music" musical, in German with English subtitles, is at the Landestheater in Salzburg. Tickets start at about $20. www.salzburger-landestheater.at/index.php?option=com — content&view=article&id=366&Itemid=218&lang=de.

Mozart's Geburtshaus: Don't leave Salzburg without paying homage to its most famous citizen at the house where Mozart was born. About $10 (www.mozarteum.at).

Souvenirs

Mozart wins out because "The Sound of Music" is still copyrighted. The only actual movie-themed gifts are calendars, postcards and ornaments from Mondsee. But you can dress like Maria by buying a dirndl or lederhosen, which are back in style. Dozens of shops sell them for $300-$400.

Dist. by MCT Information Services

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