JOHNNY & JONES
Oper in one act and Five Scenes for
Baritone (double roule),
Tenor (double roule),
Man in Black Dress (silent),
Flute + Afl + Picc, Cl + Basscl, Asax, Trp, Reb, Tb, Pno, Perc, StrTrio, Cb
Music and idea by THEO LOEVENDIE
Libretto by CAREL ALPHENAAR
Premiere June 8, 2001, Stadsschouwburg
|Director THEU BOERMANS
Set designer BERNARD HAMMER
Costume designer JORGE JARA
Lighting designer GERHARD FISCHER
Choreographer BAMBI UDEN
Alexander/ Max Kannewasser (Johnny) : MARCEL BOONE
André/ Nol van Wezel (Jones) : ARNOLD BEZUYEN
Caroline van Zoelen MONIQUE : SCHOLTE
Orchestra NIEUW ENSEMBLE
Co-production HOLLAND FESTIVAL
|The two Dutch-Jewish entertainers Johnny & Jones ended up
in the Westerbork transit camp in 1943; after stays in various concentration
camps they were transported to Bergen-Belsen at the beginning of 1945.
Loevendie relates the story alternating the present day with flashbacks in
which the duo themselves are portrayed on stage.
Two friends, Alexander and André, intend to write a book about the duo and about Caroline van Zoelen, who had succeeded in bringing the duo to her studio in Amsterdam in 1944 for a recording session/ Between the sessions Van Zoelen, who was in love with Nol van Wezel (Jones), tried to convince both of them to go into hiding. Van Wezel; hesitated, but finally goes along with Max Kannewasser's (Johnny) decision: many members of both their families are in the camp and he does not want to put them in any danger. Since the duo is highly popular and is allowed to perform often, Johnny thinks that they are safer in the camp than outside.
During the interview with the now elderly Caroline, the question of guilt is raised: Caroline was prepared to sacrifice Max Kannewasser to save Nol's life. Whether she herself had collaborated remains unclear. Alexander is furious over Caroline's attitude and leaves his friend André alone with her. André realises as he reads the booklet accompanying the newly released CD that Johnny & Jones died in Bergen-Belsen shortly before the Liberation.
Johnny & Jones,
Two Boys and an Opera
Music documentary 55’