Elisabeth von Trapp says she likes to live “in the moment.”
Speaking earlier this month by phone from home in Waitsfield, Vt., near her native Green Mountain State’s capital, Montpelier, von Trapp said “I can’t wait to be there.” With five self-produced albums and many years of singing and strumming around the world, she spoke about the honor of the Ocean Drive church “community” inviting her to perform, and voiced hopes the audience will be “pleasantly surprised” at her variety of music styles.
Praising her late father, Werner von Trapp, and other relatives from the Trapp Family Singers, Elisabeth von Trapp said she works at home and on the road in developing new songs reflecting their influence.
“Years ago, back in 1978, in a return to Broadway of “The Sound of Music,” she said, “six surviving members of the Trapp Family Singers invited the film-cast Trapps, and with the stage children, came for a dinner party. It was just the most wonderful moment when they were all together.”
Amid this string of frigid weather north and south this winter, von Trapp said she’s “amazed at how cold it is” in the Southeast and that her husband, Ed Hall, often says, “Bring your coolest things for warm weather.”
I think there’s another layer that I’m learning about “The Sound of Music.” It has a life of its own, and it will continue to bear fruit from where it came. I suppose Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were visionaries; even though their songs are for the stage, and “My Favorite Things” sounds very whimsical, that song was meant to be a whimsical moment in the show. I watch as songs have a way of reaching people.
So here I am, back in Vermont. ... My parents moved to this Mad River valley; that’s where we grew up; that’s where we found our home. My husband and I love it, and my siblings live in this area. I get to be with family. It’s a very important part of my life for regrouping, where I write music ... and it gives me a chance to unwind. It is a beautiful area.
People ask if I always want “The Sound of Music” songs. ... It’s much more than that. That was my relatives’ message to me: Learn as much music as possible. ... Take the other journey; it’s important to relate to it and to make it our own.
The message I got from my father is of being loyal to yourself, having truth, and being strong in faith. Faith is often unseen, and it’s belief in the unseen.