Diamanda Galás

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Diamanda Galás in London (2008)

Diamanda Galás (* 29. August 1955 in San Diego , California ) is an American avant-garde - performance artist , singer and composer .


Galás comes from a Greek Orthodox family . Her father was also a musician. So she learned early on that her musical talent was being promoted and performed together with her father. Today she lives in New York .

During her career, Galás worked with the avant-garde composers Iannis Xenakis and Vinko Globokar , among others . Globokar gave her the lead role in his opera Un jour comme un autre, which depicts the death of a Turkish woman through torture. This work was sponsored by Amnesty International .

From the mid-1980s the AIDS epidemic moved into her creative center , which affected many of her friends and from which her brother died in 1986. Between 1986 and 1988 she created The Divine Punishment, Saint of the Pit and You Must Be Certain of the Devil, her trilogy called Masque of the Red Death , which deals with the suffering and dying of AIDS sufferers. In those years she joined the Act Up alliance and took part in its actions. She was involved in Rosa von Praunheim's film Schweigen = Tod (1989) about artists' confrontation with AIDS.

Her "demonic" voice , almost four octaves in length, was often used in movies in the 1990s. She can be heard in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula . Also in Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions and in Oliver Stone's film Natural Born Killers .

In 2003 she took up the Turkish genocide against Anatolian Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians with her work Defixiones: Will and Testament . She is a vehement opponent of the death penalty . In 2005, Diamanda Galás received the Italian Demetrio Stratos International Award for Musical Experimentation in the "Career" category. In 2010 she worked on the album Aealo of the Greek metal band Rotting Christ , on which she contributed the vocals to the Diamanda Galás cover Orders from the Dead .

In 2011 Galás released her experimental film Schrei 27, which she made together with the Italian filmmaker Davide Pepe. The film is based on her work Schrei X and deals with the suffering of the individual when he is tortured by state power. Also in 2011 she worked with the Russian artist Vladislav Shabalin, who lives in Italy, for the sound installation Aquarium . This was presented between June 12 and 19, 2011 in the Leonhardskirche in Basel . The project was inspired by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill .


  • 1982: The Litanies of Satan (studio album)
  • 1984: Diamanda Galas (studio album)
  • 1986: The Divine Punishment (studio album)
  • 1986: Saint of the Pit (studio album)
  • 1988: You Must Be Certain of the Devil (studio album)
  • 1988: Masque of the Red Death ( anthology of the three previous albums as double CD)
  • 1991: Plague Mass (live album)
  • 1992: The Singer (studio album)
  • 1993: Vena Cava (live album)
  • 1994: The Sporting Life (studio album with John Paul Jones )
  • 1996: Scream X (live album)
  • 1998: Malediction and Prayer (live album)
  • 2003: La serpenta canta (live album)
  • 2003: Defixiones: Will and Testament (studio album)
  • 2008: Guilty Guilty Guilty (live album)
  • 2017: At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem (live album)
  • 2017: All the Way (studio album)

Web links

Commons : Diamanda Galás  - Collection of Images

supporting documents

  1. Cynthia Carr: On Edge. Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century. Revision. Wesleyan University Press, Middletown 2008, p. 188.
  2. Martina Fritschy: My subject is the dying alive. In: Die Wochenzeitung, September 19, 2013, accessed on April 5, 2017.
  3. Review of August 6, 2012 on The Upcoming, accessed April 5, 2017.
  4. Fossils of the Avant-Garde - Aquarium. (PDF; 51 kB). Press release, accessed November 4, 2017.