A magical evening even if you haven’t climbed the mountain of learning Danish!

‘The Sound of Music’ loses none of its charm outside its original language

I have known for some time that Det NY theater was going to show ‘The Sound of Music’ in Danish and ever since secretly hoped (and been prepared to fight) that I would get to see it.

I am not fluent and I must admit my Danish is still pretty basic, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to appreciate Danish theatre as it is such a familiar story.

I’m glad to say that the night was a success!

From the VHS generation
Time flies: it’s a cold October night and I am cycling to see it. I recall the very first time I saw the movie when I was around maybe six years old. I was sitting at my godmother’s house with my cousins and popcorn buckets on a winter afternoon.

We were told we were going to watch a classic: a movie from their childhood. And it was on VHS – in fact so long, it was on two VHS tapes. Ancient, right? As kids we were a little bit hesitant about what we were about to experience.

But ever since, it has become one of ‘my favourite things’. I have probably watched it a million of times. So it is with some certainty that I know every detail, every line of dialogue and every song.

Having said this, I must now say: WOW! Seeing it live in the theatre, even in a language that is foreign to me, was an unforgettable experience.

What a cast!
Maria’s role is played by the Danish actress Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg, a performer who’s well known for having the most amazing voice – it’s perfect. Every gesture, every expression and every movement channels Julie Andrews to perfection – overall, it’s an outstanding interpretation.

It was incredible to watch her. Both I  and my partner were amazed and so were  the audience, who applauded her incessantly.

But she wasn’t the only one to makes us shiver with her songs. The children were also great. We sang along in our heads to ‘16 going on 17’ with Liesl, ‘My favourite things’ through the stormy night and ‘So Long, Farewell’ with the wonderful choreography performed by the children. Even the little one, Gretl, was incredibly like the one in the movie – so cute you wanted to squeeze her cheeks!

And I shouldn’t overlook a mention of some of the secondary, but important characters like the Baroness (Anne Suppli), Uncle Max (Steen Springborg), the nuns and the abbess, who is played by the world-famous Danish opera singer Lisbeth Balslev. The songs sung in the abbey near the beginning (‘How do you solve a problem like Maria’ and ‘Climb every mountain’) are beyond compare, and true to her reputation.

Best moments
Nothing is left out: the wedding, the puppet show, the bicycle riding, the nasty, slightly naive Nazis, all with choreography and scenery that bring the story to life vividly and magically.

We felt the love and got nervous when Maria and Captain Von Trapp dance the Ländler and have their moment and kiss for the very first time – an incredible scene that ends with ‘Something Good’.

And we finally got the ‘Edelweiss’ pay-off at the music festival – it was a little disappointing that Captain Von Trapp (Jens Jacob Tychsen) didn’t play it on the guitar first to his children. But you can’t have it all, can you? And boy, it’s difficult trying to better Christopher Plummer.

A love classic
The play is directed by Daniel Bohr, who has staged other major classics at Det NY Teater including ‘Annie’ and ‘Evita’. This time it was the turn of ‘The Sound of Music’, a love story of sacrifices and risks in the middle of a world that is fast approaching war.

Set in Austria, Captain Von Trapp is a widower whose wife has passed away leaving him with seven children and a lot of sadness in his heart. He has lost happiness. Maria, a young novice in the convent, who doesn’t look she has what it takes to be a nun, is sent by the abbess to take care of the Von Trapp children. The children are really naughty and several frauleins have passed through without success, but Maria wins their hearts and brings music back to the house. And yes, they fall in love.

If you have never seen it, I order  you to run to the store and buy the DVD. Watch it, love it, learn the songs and then go to the theatre to relive it again. It’s a night for the whole family!

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.