The Sound of Music in Manila
by: Manila For Kids

The London West End production of The Sound of Music comes to Manila this September. It is one of this year's biggest theatrical shows, and I'll be sure to watch it with my family. The songs carry happy childhood memories to me, and I force my kids to love it as much as I do by setting the original movie soundtrack on repeat. There's just no escape from Spotify in our house. Their brain absorbs those tunes and before you know it, they're singing along with you. Just try, it really works! Sound of Music Manila

The Real Story of The Sound of Music

We parents all know the movie of The Sound of Music, don't we? Or wasn't it that popular in the Philippines? If not, the method above also works on yourself. I must have watched it a gazillion times as a kid and never could get enough of it. My children also have episodes of Do-Re-Mi addiction and when I see anything that has the slightest resemblance of green rolling hills,  I cannot resist blurting out "...the hills are alive!". It's deeply rooted in my system. Here is the story in short for the unlikely ones who have never seen it, or heard a song: The fun-loving governess Maria changes the lives of the widowed Captain Von Trapp and his seven children by reintroducing them to music. They eventually fall in love and then, as tensions rise prior to the outbreak of World War II, they have to escape across the Austrian mountains to neutral Switzerland.   I remember being super impressed when I learnt that it is a TRUE story. And the more when I realised that the family - including the little ones- had to walk for days crossing those high mountains. At that time I lived in a country so flat, climbing up a hill was already a big deal. I thought those Von Trapp kids must have been so strong and brave. I wanted to be part of that family!


Only much later I found out that in the real, real story, the family just took a train, and traveled to Italy. Did you know that?! This will be the first time we'll see the whole show live on stage, and am slightly concerned as it has to compete with THAT movie. But I can't wait to see this production, and sing along if they let me. I know I can't stop myself once I hear the tunes :) My family will just have to deal with that, or sing along!

The Kids' Auditions

Over 400 children from all over the Philippines came to audition for the coveted roles of six of the seven von Trapp brood - the small and cute Gretl, the brothers Friedrich and Kurt, as well as their sisters Marta, Brigitta, and Louisa. Three children have been chosen to alternate each character throughout the Manila season so only eighteen local kids are to star as the Von Trapp Children in the international tour of this legendary West End musical. Jonny Bowles, Children's Director, flew in from London to oversee all three days of the auditions, during which the kids were put through a series of acting, singing and dancing tests. Mr Bowles said, "I was delighted with the number of children that auditioned, and we have found some really fantastic young performers. The children are paramount to the production and I can’t wait to start teaching them all the show. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for these talented youngsters to star in a West End production of this calibre, and Filipino audiences will be astounded at the quality of their performances." After three grueling rounds of auditions, the producers of The Sound of Music are proud to announce that 18 of the Philippines’ most talented young actors and actresses have been chosen to play the roles of the young von Trapp children in the forthcoming international production of The Sound of Music.
Sound of Music Manila The talented wacky kids of The Sound of Music Manila! Two kids are missing on this picture.

The Full Children's Casting List

These children are the best of the best of the Philippines, 6 to 13 years old and bursting with talent. Click here for the headshots of the kids who made it!
Friedrich: Orenci Ken Soleta (Binangonan, Rizal), Kyle Robert Rafanan (Talisay City, Negros Occ.) and Joseph Alexander Leggatt (Binan, Laguna) Louisa: Gwyneth Jearei Dorado (Pasig City), Quinn O’hara (Binan, Laguna) and Angelica Mabuting (Malolos, Bulacan) Kurt: Tory Gil Emilio Cortez (Pasig City), Dean Adhiel Angelia (Noveleta, Cavile) and James Christian Hess (Makati City)
Brigitta: Krystal Brimner (Laguna), Rayne Yssibel Cortez (Pasig City) and Sophia Isabella Reyes (Marikina City) Marta: Samantha Lagman (Sta. Ana, Manila), Leani Columna (Las Pinas) and Princess Aliyah Rabara (Marilao, Bulacan) Gretl: Jia Ruth Lauren Condino (Taguig City), Alysha Mari Africa (Paranaque City) and Faline Dorado (Pasig City)

A South African Maria

Carmen Pretorius plays Maria and despite only being in her twenties, Carmen is one of South Africa’s most established young performers, having crafted a successful career in both the English and Afrikaans stage and screen industries. Her passion for performing started when she was a little girl and by her 16th birthday she had already toured Japan and Singapore as a vocalist for the non-profit organization, Faith Harmony. Carmen Pretorius as Maria
Carmen toured before with The Sound of Music, where she spent a year playing Liezl Von Trapp in SA, Singapore, New Zealand and China. This garnered her a nomination for “Best Actress in a Musical" at the Fleur de Cap Theatre Awards. She then moved over into the role of Maria Von Trapp, which she played in Hong Kong, China and Jakarta.

Age Recommendation

The Sound of Music is suitable for a general audience and contains no profanities. As a guide to parents and guardians, it is recommended for ages 7+. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Children under 3 years of age will not be admitted.

Show dates and venue

The Sound of Music runs from September 27 to October 15 on the following days:
Tuesday - 8:00PM Wednesday - 8:00PM Thursday - 8:00PM Friday - 8:00PM Saturday - 3:00PM and 8:00PM Sunday - 3:00PM and 8:00PM
Shows are held at the Theatre at Solaire, Parañaque.


Regular tickets are available at Ticketworld for P1,500 to P7,000 per ticket. Buy your tickets here online. This production of The Sound of Music is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company and David Ian Productions, and presented in Manila by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, Concertus Manila, David Atkins Enterprises and Globe Live. The show runs from September 27 to October 15 at the Theatre at Solaire, Parañaque.