Jolanda from Alphen moves theater audiences with a tribute to Adele

Jolanda Knecht from Alphen has been playing British singer Adele for 8 years now. With her voice and the underlying stories, she knows how to bring Adele to life in an engaging way. It is not for nothing that she has been named the best ‘Adele sound & lookalike’ in Europe. Last spring she even appeared on the stage at the Circustheater with The ADELE Project. “A dream come true.”

It all started in Querelle. With a beer in hand at the bar, the idea arose to start a tribute band for none other than Adele. Since then, Jolanda has been performing in theaters together with 6 talented band members under the name The ADELE Project. “From the sound and lighting to song choice and styling, we think about every little detail,” she says. But of course it wasn’t perfect right from the start. “We used the first performances to fine-tune our concept. For example, I first made jokes in English, which did not catch on at all. It was looking for a good balance.”

A touch of Yolanda

It is now 8 years later and that balance has been found. “The people in the theater now get the same experience as if they went to Adele. The music, the styling, the atmosphere – we go for the complete picture. And there is always a touch of Jolanda in it. My voice may resemble Adele’s, but it is certainly not identical. That does not alter the fact that it appeals to the public, especially in combination with the stories surrounding it. Of course you don’t hear those stories at an Adele concert. We also get that back from the audience when we talk to them in the foyer afterwards. The music in combination with the stories behind it moves people. And that applies to young and old. That shows that Adele’s music touches everyone.”

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A tribute naturally includes a lookalike of the artist. “Over the years, Adele has of course changed quite a bit. In the beginning I wore a wig and a big dress to look like her, but that has become unnecessary in the last few years.” Jolanda refers to the transformation of the British singer. “In the performances that followed I joked that I now also had to work; only lettuce leaves for me”, laughs Jolanda. “But it’s okay, you know. The act still stands!”

Jolanda has also scrutinized Adele’s behavior. “As a person, she is a special figure. She has become a bit more American in recent years, but she still retains something human and vulnerable. She dares to be herself and open herself up. At the same time, I also recognize things of myself in her. For example, Adele is always nervous before a show, I am too. You can always hear the nerves in my voice at the beginning of a performance. Similarities like that make it easier for me to put myself in her shoes.”

A sold out Circustheater

Since 2014, The ADELE Project has been traveling through the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The highlight? Surely that was the performance in the Circus Theater last Easter. “The first musical I saw there as a little girl was The Phantom of the Opera, together with my grandmother. I wrote in my diary then how great I thought that was. I took that diary onto the stage last Easter. I read a piece from it in a sold-out Circustheater. That was very special. A moment I will not soon forget!”

This article was previously published in the eleventh edition (December 2022) of the Magazine. Didn’t receive the magazine? You can pick up a copy at our office at Raadhuisstraat 211.

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