The Jakarta Broadway Singers’ history can be traced back to 2001, when Bel Canto Production, an established major event organizer for series of classical and contemporary music at The Dharmawangsa recruited Johannes Tong as its Operational Manager. Dorothy Poon Louvet who was the founder and producer of the Bel Canto Production dedicated regular performances by talented local and expatriate actors / singers. Dorothy assigned Johannes to recruit some talents to perform at The Dharmawangsa. So Johannes Tong with the help of Helen Nanlohy, who then became the founders of The Jakarta Broadway Singers started recruiting JBS members with The Phantom of the Opera Highlight as their Concert Debut. And from then on Johannes has been acting as the Musical and Technical Director
The JBS’ first performance, A Broadway Musicals’ Evening featuring Phantom of The Opera Highlights, took place at The Dharmawangsa in October 25 th, 2001. Under the direction of Johannes Tong then, The Jakarta Broadway Singers comprise of 35 Chorus and Soloists produced some performances such as highlights from Broadway shows such as The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, dinner theatre cabaret and popular jazz operettas.
In 2003, Bel Canto was not in operation and consequently JBS left Bel Canto Production. From then on JBS has been under a new production company called The Musical Shoppe, a company owned and managed by JBS’ members, and led by Helen Nanlohy as the Musical Director and Johannes Tong still remains active as a Senior Advisor.
Through our journey….
Producing a Broadway show has proven to be a fun but difficult task. Not only that the members need to be able to sing, dance and act in English, but also creates a high standard show, interpret concept by integrating lighting, sound and stage management with limited resources. That translates into one word “ COMMITMENT”. Long and many rehearsals are required to deliver a show, since the most important thing that must be accomplished is “TIMING” which can only be achieved through night after night rehearsals only. That is the first challenge. The JBS members rehearse regularly to improve their performing skills with the help of senior members and outside consultants such as Rahmadi Fiedorowitz as drama coach, Herry Christ as choreographer, etc. Workshop is done from time to time to improve members’ capability for example, speaking English for theatre, personal development, theatre production, individual singing lesson, and many more.
Perhaps The greatest challenge is how JBS should strive to work hard to make sure that Broadway Musical will gain more and more popularity it deserves. Only then the Jakartans can enjoy Broadway performances here in Jakarta by its own people.
Sharing dreams through performances, let the audiences enjoy glamorous costumes, beautiful setting, superb singings, moving dialogues… that’s our primary goals. To share laughter, sadness, angers, agitated feelings, hatred, touched are an exploration of human feeling through music and acting, although it can be a fun and challenging task. If you ask us the reason why we do this, the answer is to realize our dream, even though good dreams do not happen every night and it is certainly not a cheap one. As our journey continues …