Marjol Flore - Entertainer
My Story
  
Born in Amsterdam (February 25, 1948) I grew up in a theatrical environment. The first five years of my life were turbulent. My biological father remains unknown to me until today. I heard he was of French/Italian origin, born in Casablanca. My mother the singer/ actress Françoise Flore,  who’s roots were French/Dutch, met him during a singing-engagement in North Africa. He played the violin in the orchestra The Vienna Boys who accompanied her for the duration of the tour in Oran, Algiers and Tunis. Back in Holland, she married famous Dutch actor Guus Hermus
At the age of one I followed my mother Françoise Flore to Great Britain where she starred as Leading Lady in the French Folies Bergère Show ‘C'est de la Folie’  at the London Hippodrome Theatre. Five years old, I was uprooted again when my mother remarried and we moved to Aachen (Germany). 
At the age of seventeen in 1965, I decided to pursue a career on stage. I came back to Holland where Albert Mol and Wim Ibo introduced me to the Cabaret Academy (Akademie voor Kleinkunst) in Amsterdam.
After only one year at the Academy, I was whisked away by well-known, actor/singer/entertainer Ramses Shaffy who offered me a part in his ‘Shaffy Chantate’ (1968) in a vocal group with three other promising newcomers. Among them Thijs van Leer and Sylvia Alberts, who I knew from my year at the Academy.
In July 1969 I participated in the Dutch entry for the Coupe d’Europe du Tour de Chant, at the Knokke Festival (Belgium). Freelance director/producer Rob Touber took responsibility as team leader for René Frank, Rosita Bloom, Dave and Annet Hesterman and me.
After having spent some time in Ireland, singing, I was asked by Natascha Emanuels, to be part of a show called ‘Vrouwen Vrouwen Vrouwen’ (women, women, women) an innovative form of cabaret, that was new to the Dutch Cabaret scene. Next I joined the cast of the RotterdamPiccolo Group (then part of the NRT  (New Rotterdam Theatre) in the musical: ‘De laatste dagen van Ischa’ (The last days of Ischa)  along with actors Gees Linnebank  and Josine van Dalsum.
In 1972, I was part of BeppieNooy’s Theatre group at the Amsterdams Volkstoneel in a production called
‘Liefdeis….Had je me maar’ (Love is…if you only had me) 
At the age of 25 (February 1973) I went solo and opened at the ‘Shaffy Theatre’ with the: Marjol Flore Show accompanied by the Trio of pianist/arranger Nico van der Linden jr. It was my first big breakthrough I became the talk of the town and beyond. I only sang in French and English. At the famous ‘Melkweg’, I was seen by Jim Haynes who was closely connected to the ‘Traverse Theatre’( Edinburgh) at the time. He made it possible for us to bring the show to Scotland. In one of the reviews I was called a rare unpolished diamond’. As I did not have an agent who was interested in promoting a possible International career, it did not have a follow-up for the time being. 
In April 1973,  I met my future husband Basil Salfetnik, whom I married  December that same year. My first LP album Marjol Flore livewas released that same year. A few songs were written by myself. I got an opportunity  to sing at the Casino in Cannes (France) and Southend-On-Sea (England) but again this was largely torpedoed by my Dutch agent at the time, who wanted me, at all cost, to remain available for his stage productions in the Netherlands.In 1973,  I sang at the opening of the Van Gogh Museum for Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix and her husband Prince Claus. I also played the part of ‘Tineke’ in the movie ‘Turks Fruit’ (Turkish Delight) directed by Paul Verhoeven.
On the 18th of June 1975,  I had an opportunity to represent Holland in the Casino in Knokke/Heist in a special by KRO-TV with director Fred Rombouts.  I featured as the Star of the Dutch entry for the prestigious ‘Gouden Zeezwaluw-Festival’ (Golden Sea swallow). 
Eight European countries participated but although speculations ran high in the press, the show did not win. I had to learn to master the fate of show business: disappointment and rejection! 
In 1977 I teamed up with fellow colleague Sylvia Alberts in the theatre production ‘Door Dik en Dun’ (Through thick and thin) inspired by the hilarious CBS TV Show ‘Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall’ (1962) Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett. Renowned choreograph and director PaddyStone came to Holland to direct us. We opened to great reviews, from press and audiences wherever we performed.  I was a regular guest on numerous live radio shows. I was fortunate to sing with well-known bandleaders and their Big Bands as well in Holland as in Germany.
During the next few years, I was asked to sing as a regular guest performer on German TV in the Star studded TV production ‘Hit Journal’(SR) I went to Stockholm to record for Swedish TV ‘Marjol Och Cornelius Pa Circus’ (Marjol and Cornelius at the circus Theatre)with Dutch rebel singer/songwriter Cornelius Vreeswijk who had emigrated to Sweden. 
May 1978, saw me going to Stuttgart where I presented my first German Theatre show. I shared the bill with a German colleague Sylvia Anders in the famous  Renitenztheater. I was invited in Zürich by Swiss TV Talkshow host Hans Gmür. I realized that without a personal manager to protect and guide me towards the right career choices I soon would be in trouble to hold my own in Show business-land. Being blessed with talent was not enough. I needed someone at hand who represented me and solely took my interests at heart. I continued playing the small Theatres in Holland with ‘Op handen en voeten’ (On hands and feet) with mostly rave reviews. However, I remained a cuckoo in a strange nest. To the Dutch, unlike the Germans, I was different to what they were used too.
Next I teamed up with RobertKreis in a production called ‘Marjol en Robert samen’. Robert, thanks to his personal manager/partner, left the show  and moved to Germany, where he still is very popular to this day. 
In 1979, I joined the Salonorkest Pluche’, 7 musicians from Groningen, who were part of the Noordelijk Filharmonisch Orkest.   
I also took to the ‘Small theatrical stage circuit’ in a Café Chantant programme ‘Zo ben ik’ (That’s the way I am) together with pianist Henk de Jonge and later ThomJansen.
In the summer of 1980 the LP ‘Pluche + Marjol’ was realeased. Performances in and outside Holland were guaranteed. It seemed the repertoire of the Twenties and Thirties suited me like a glove. When I sang Sophie Tucker, I entered into the spirit of Sophie Tucker,Zarah Leander or The Comedian Harmonists
February 18,1983 opening night of yet another theatre solo programme ’Marjol Humor & Hartstocht’ (Humour & Passion) with great reviews. Simultaneously,  I also performed with ‘Pluche’ in  theatres and  recorded several TV shows for the NDR (Nord Deutscher Rundfunk). I started to work with pianist/arranger Cor Bakker and his Trio. I am forever grateful for the wonderful performances we did together. I was a handful sometimes and it needed great musicians to ‘follow my act’. 
In the summer 1984, I recorded my first Studio LP Doch ich leb' (But alive) which earned me an EDISON (The official Dutch Music Award since 1960 )nomination.
Once again,  I went to Hamburg with ‘Pluche’ to participate in a TV tribute to two former German Film composers Georg Häntzschel and Mischa Spoliansky. It was an honor to sing for Mr. Spoliansky, who had fled Nazi Germany before the war to live in England. He sat in the front row among the audience the night of the recording. In 1985, I sang at the popular NDR TV show, live from the Kieler Ostseehalle, in the international quiz ‘Einer wird gewinnen’, presented by German mega star Hans Joachim Kuhlenkampf. I translated ‘Humor &Passion’ into German ‘Humor & Leidenschaft’  and did a few Try Outs in Gütersloh (NRW) Stuttgart and Munich and later went on tour to other German cities as Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Bonn.Thanks to my childhood and schooling in Germany, I spoke the language fluently and therefore was able to write all the lyrics myself.
In august 1984, I shared with close harmony singers from Holland the Deep River Quartet a TV special in Hamburg (NDR) with Horst Jankowski & Band called ‘Tulpen aus Holland’ and performed at the prestigious NDR TalkShow.
In 1986, I met Martijn Breebaart, who took over as my pianist for the next eight years. I have been so blessed to have worked with absolute wonderful musicians, and Martijn was no exception. The first theatre program we did together was ‘Marjol…Anders’ (Marjol…different) and ‘Marjol…Ten voeten uit’ (Marjol…full-length) 
I was asked to present the new logo of AKZO in 1986 in Palace Hotel Huis ter Duin Noordwijk.  A few weeks later, I received an invitation to perform for AKZO in New York, at the Hyatt RegencyHotel.
During my career I was invited many times to sing on special occasions for Multinational companies like Philips Eindhoven, Shell and Unilever, in Strassbourg, Geneva and Lausanne, Brussels and Antwerp, Bangkok, Djakarta, Hong Kong and New York.
In 1986, I took to the stage in the Dutch Musical ‘POL’  by Herman van Veen en Erik van der Wurff. It wasthe opening production for the newly built New Rotterdam Theatre. 
The summer of 1989 saw me again at the Casino in Knokke/Heyst . I represented the Dutch entry of the Knokke Star Festival. I arrived with the talented close harmony group Montezuma’s Revenche and Lenette van Dongen. It was televised in Belgium but not in Holland, though Holland won that year. Several times I returned to Bad Trissl (Clinique for cancer patients) in Oberaudorf (Bavaria) and Talkshow host Dr. Georg Schreiber. On one of those visits I shared the evening among others with famous Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer (Mefisto, Out of Africa)
Late1989, I opened in the Leidse Schouwburg (Leiden) with my theatre show ‘Marjol gaat Vreemd’ (Marjol goes astray), meaning that I went outside of my usual comfort zone in repertoire choice and staging. The show was directed by Frans Boelen. The night of the opening two members of the popular British comedy group Fascinating Aïda, Dilly Keane and Adèle Anderson were present. I sang several of their songs, which were brilliantly translated by songwriter JaapBakker and some by me.
In 1990 I recorded the CD‘Kwetsbaar (Fragile)with Martijn Breebaart and Steven Koudijs (Synthesizer) at the Studio of MaxBolleman.  For this CD I received the prestigious EDISON Populair Award in 1991 for best recording in its genre.  I started to perform regularly inTheatre Restaurant Angelina (Apollo First Hotel) in Amsterdam and went on tour with ‘Humor & Passion’ this time to Bonn at the Haus der Springmaus. 
Filmdirector George Sluizer  asked me to take on a cameo role in the movie ‘Utz’ that starred Armin Mueller-Stahl, Paul Scofield, Brenda Fricker and Peter Riegert. My scenes were filmed at the Grand Hotel Pupp (1781) in Karlovy-Vary, not far from Czech capital Prague. It was followed by a few performances at the Kultursommer Weinheim.
In February 1991, at the outbreak of the Gulf War, I travelled with Martijn and a close friend to the East, to perform for several Dutch Expats clubs in Bangkok, Djakarta and Hong Kong. The tour lasted 2 weeks.December 1991, was marked by two big events: the breakdown of my marriage after 18 years and the evening at the Amsterdam RoyalConcertgebouw Kleine Zaal. It was one of these magic evenings, where everything fell into place. It was sold out, to a great audience. The recital was recorded on CD that night. Martijn and two musicians of the Gemini Ensemble accompanied me. 
In’Lieder & Chansons’, I came home to the Marjol Flore I love best: Pure singing from the heart without any theatre involved to distract me or the audience.
In 1992, I went to Halle, former East Germany to take part in a TV show. Later that same year left for the Ukraine on a two-week engagement Tour to Kiev. With ‘Lieder & Chansons’, I performed several times at the Kiev Academy of Music. It was organized by the Holland Kiev Cultural Festival.
It was a wonderful event to sing in Paris on the popular TV show ‘La Chance aux Chansons’ (FranceII) presented by Pascal Sevran. I went back three more times after 1992. The CD ‘Lieder & chansons’ had been noticed in France and it felt great to have achieved this milestone in my career. 
I embarked in the fall of 1992 to sing on a cruise ship the M/S Vistafjord Cunard from Hamburg during a fortnight on a Northern Europe City Tour to Polen, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Denmark and Norway.
In the Dutch version of Walt Disney’s first animation film ‘Snow White and the seven dwarfs’ I got the green light from the Disney Character Voices, Inc. (International)to do the voice over for the Witch. Great fun!          
In 1996, I went with pianist/arranger Gé Bijveld to Germany during the Kultursommer Nordhessen in Kassel, Fulda and other venues with‘Lieder & Chansons’. We finished the Tour with several performances at the Literary Theatre Branoul in The Hague. In 1996 I auditioned for ‘Hoera we zijn Normaal’ (Hooray, we are sane) a tribute to writer Annie M.G. Schmidt.
In 1997 I auditioned for the role of first cast ‘Madame Thénardier’ in the hit Musical ‘Les Misérables’ in Duisburg/Germany. I moved to Duisburg in April 1998. I returned to Holland on the first of July 1999.   Back in the Netherlands I played a wicked witch at the Theatermakerij Almere in a family musical ‘Robin Hood’.The impact of the events of 9/11 2001 resulted in the Theatre show ‘Geloof (Wan) Hoop & Liefde’(Faith, Hope, Despair & Love). Thanks to directing advices from colleague actrice José Ruiter and friends who made it possible for me to take the programme to the stage. A CD was recorded at a studio in Amsterdam, with the under title: Poësie-Pop-en Proza (Poetry-Pop and Prose) It was a low budget production, but it sure came from the heart.
In 2003,  I delivered a monologue as the ‘Virgin Mary’ in the film ‘Lebenspornografie’ (Life Pornography) by Dutch cult director Edwin Brienen who is often called in German press ‘The Dutch Fassbinder’, lives in Berlin. The film received accolades in New York as well at the film festival in Toronto.
At present I am working on my autobiography ‘Wie zegt dat ze gelukkigmoet zijn’ (Who says she should be happy) and exploring the possibilities of the new media as a stage to keep in touch with fans and friends (Website, Youtube and Facebook andE-books)
 Awards  
 • 1975: Silver Harp  
 • 1991: Edison Popular for the CD “Kwetsbaar” 
 External Links  • (s) Marjol Flore [1] at the Internet Movie Database References  [1] http:// www. imdb. com / name / nm0282638 /  
 Marjol Flore Source: http://nl.wikipedia.org.   
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I'm gonna live till I die
Marjol Flore Live LP 1973
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