Jolanda from Alphen moves theater audiences with a tribute to Adele

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

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It all started in Querelle. With a beer in hand at the bar, the idea arose tostart a tribute band for none other than Adele. Since then, Jolanda has beenperforming in theaters together with 6 talented band members under the nameThe ADELE Project. “From the sound and lighting to song choice and styling, wethink about every little detail,” she says. But of course it wasn’t perfectright from the start. “We used the first performances to fine-tune ourconcept. For example, I first made jokes in English, which did not catch on atall. 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 thetheater now get the same experience as if they went to Adele. The music, thestyling, the atmosphere – we go for the complete picture. And there is alwaysa touch of Jolanda in it. My voice may resemble Adele’s, but it is certainlynot 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’thear those stories at an Adele concert. We also get that back from theaudience when we talk to them in the foyer afterwards. The music incombination with the stories behind it moves people. And that applies to youngand 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, Adelehas of course changed quite a bit. In the beginning I wore a wig and a bigdress to look like her, but that has become unnecessary in the last fewyears.” Jolanda refers to the transformation of the British singer. “In theperformances that followed I joked that I now also had to work; only lettuceleaves for me”, laughs Jolanda. “But it’s okay, you know. The act stillstands!”

Jolanda has also scrutinized Adele’s behavior. “As a person, she is a specialfigure. She has become a bit more American in recent years, but she stillretains something human and vulnerable. She dares to be herself and openherself up. At the same time, I also recognize things of myself in her. Forexample, Adele is always nervous before a show, I am too. You can always hearthe nerves in my voice at the beginning of a performance. Similarities likethat 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 theCircus Theater last Easter. “The first musical I saw there as a little girlwas The Phantom of the Opera, together with my grandmother. I wrote in mydiary then how great I thought that was. I took that diary onto the stage lastEaster. I read a piece from it in a sold-out Circustheater. That was veryspecial. 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 acopy at our office at Raadhuisstraat 211.