Move over Los Angeles, when it comes to all-singing, all-dancing destinations, Europe is waaaay ahead of you. Get those toes tapping, these Oscar-worthy cities are just a short flight away.
It may be over fifty years since Julie Andrews waltzed her way through the breathtaking alpine scenery of Salzburg, but The Sound of Music’s legacy is still going strong. Fancy seeing the real-life locations where Maria and co. belted out ‘Do- Re-Mi’ or the famous gazebo where ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen’ was filmed?
Salzburg is a music lover’s dream in many ways. The birthplace of Mozart has a thriving live music scene – catch international acts at venues such as Rockhouse Salzburg and Jazz It Musik Club or make a date with the annual Salzburg Easter Festival, when classical concerts take over the city’s music halls during Easter week.
As the city that gave birth to the multi-award winning musicals The Commitments and Once, Dublin is a destination that deserves a standing ovation. From the soulful buskers of Grafton Street and Temple Bar to the bodhrán pounding music sessions in pubs such as The Cobblestone and O’ Donoghues, the Irish capital lives and breathes music. See the next big thing live at Whelan’s or The Workmans Club, watch an international musical at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre or The Gaiety Theatre or jet in for a summer music festival such as Forbidden Fruit, Longitude or Live at the Iveagh Gardens.
In 2001, director Baz Luhrman re-imagined Paris’ Moulin Rouge in its high-kicking heyday with his musical extravaganza of absinthe, glamour and glitz. The film captured the essence of one of the French capital’s most iconic landmarks which still draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Opened in 1899, the windmill-themed theatre stands as a symbol of the city’s Belle Époque period, a turn of the century era of creativity, freedom and excess. Looking to catch one of the iconic shows at the Moulin Rouge? Advance booking is essential to avoid disappointment.
From My Fair Lady to Oliver!, Mary Poppins and A Christmas Carol, London has provided the back-drop for some of cinema’s best-loved musicals. The city itself is an absolute wonderland for theatre-goers, with the West End boasting the largest theatre district in the world. Tip: The TKTS booth on Leicester Square offers half-price and discounted theatre tickets on the day of the show, and sometimes up to 7 days in advance.
Musical theatre peaked in Berlin during the Roaring Twenties, when risqué cabaret shows lit up the stage and the Charleston was all the rage on the dance-floor. These days, Berlin is up there as one of the music capitals of Europe. Having seduced artists such as David Bowie, Depeche Mode and Iggy Pop, the city continues to draw the biggest names in the industry. From jazz to techno, Berlin is teeming with variety – pack your dancing shoes.
- Fiona Hilliard