Letter from Chip Northrup: Glimmerglass Triumph

Letter from Chip Northrup

Glimmerglass Triumph

The Glimmerglass production of The Sound of Music is a triumph. Without giving the stagecraft away, the song “Edelweiss” is put in its proper historical context: it’s a protest song against fascism. The Nazi regime was famously protested by officers, such as the real Baron von Trapp, a WWI war hero, by protest groups, including those let by the minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and student groups, the most famous of which were the Edelweiss Pirates. So when you go see the musical, remember that before the von Trapps fled the Nazi regime, they protested it. The song “Edelweiss” is a reminder of that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Edelweiss_Pirates

Chip Northrup

2 thoughts on “Letter from Chip Northrup: Glimmerglass Triumph

  1. byngh1

    Back in the early sixties, not really that long after WW II war, I was the manager in charge of my company’s US and German environmental control businesses. I developed close personal relationships with former German military who had repurposed themselves as engineers and mamagers, including a surviving U Boat Captain. One time I asked An ex Panzer officer whether he knew what the flower, Edelweiss was about. I even sung the song for him. Surprisingly, he didn’t know, or faked it, as it was anti-facist, and a lot of the Westphalian troops, his origins, like Bavarians, had been loyal to The Wehrmacht up to the end.
    So, I found Edelweiss not so widely known to certain of the former Wehrmacht officer class, but as Chip points-out, known to many with Alpine roots, where the flower grows. Byng Huntington

  2. Chip Northrup

    Thanks Byng. The leaders of the protest groups, including the White Rose and the Edelweiss Pirates, were hunted down by the Gestapo, and some, like the Lutheran minister Bonhoeffer, were killed. The point being that the song “Edelweiss” is freighted with meaning for anyone that knows that the NAZISs were protested – in Germany, by Germans – who died for their beliefs.

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