Rosmarie Trapp, a member of the singing family made famous by the musical and film “The Sound of Music” and the last remaining daughter of Baron Georg Johannes von Trapp, the family patriarch, died on May 13 in a nursing home in Morrisville, Vt. She was 93.
The Trapp Family Lodge, the family business in Stowe, Vt., announced her passing Tuesday.
Mrs. Trapp (who dropped the “von” from her name years ago) was the daughter of Georg and Maria Augusta (Kutschera) von Trapp, the future nun who became governess to the family and eventually married the baron.
Rosmarie is not depicted in “The Sound of Music”, which focuses on the seven children Georg von Trapp had with his first wife, although she was in fact nearly 10 when the family fled Austria in 1938 after that country came under Nazi rule. came. One of the many liberties that “The Sound of Music” brought with the family’s story was the timeline – Georg and Maria married in 1927, less than a decade later.
In any case, Rosmarie spent many years traveling and performing with the Trapp Family Singers and was present at the lodge in Stowe, where she would perform sing-alongs for the guests. She acknowledged, however, that it took her some time to embrace the fame the musical brought her after it debuted on Broadway in 1959, running a three-year run, and then adapted into a 1965 film, which won Best Picture. Oscar.
“I used to think I was a museum,” she told The Chicago Tribune in 1997, when she evangelized on behalf of the Community of the Crucified One, a Pennsylvania church, “but I can’t escape it.”
“Now I use it as a tool,” she added. “I am no longer a victim of it.”
Rosmarie Barbara von Trapp was born on February 8, 1929 in Aigen, a village outside of Salzburg, Austria. The family began singing in public in Europe in the 1930s, but the Baron had no interest in working with Hitler once the Nazis took power, so the family left Austria and took a train to Italy. (The “Sound of Music” depiction of the departure was fictitious.)
The family gave its first concert in New York City, in December 1938, and soon settled in the United States, first in Pennsylvania, then in Vermont.
“We chose America because it was the furthest from Hitler,” Ms. Trapp told The Palm Beach Post of Florida in 2007, speaking with students on the musical theater program and Holocaust studies classes at William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens.
The family singing group continued to perform into the 1950s. At the end of the decade, Mrs. Trapp and other family members went to New Guinea to do missionary work for several years. The father of Mrs. Trapp died in 1947 and her mother died in 1987.
Mrs. Trapp’s brother, Johannes von Trapp, is the last living member of the original family singers and her only immediate survivor.
Trapp Family Singers’ repertoire, of course, didn’t include any of the songs later composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for “The Sound of Music,” but when Mrs. Trapp gave lectures like the one she did in Florida high school, she’d like to take request for a number or two of the musical. What did she think of the movie?
“It was a fun movie,” she told The Post in 2007. “But it wasn’t like my life.”