Dalida: “Life is unbearable for me, forgive me”

by time news

2023-08-02 15:26:30

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“Life is unbearable for me, forgive me”

Status: 2:25 p.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes

Iolanda Cristina „Dalida“ Gigliotti (1933–1987)

Quelle: picture-alliance / dpa

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“On the day when the rain came” was her biggest hit in Germany. In France, Dalida is still venerated as a national shrine 36 years after her untimely death. For her songs and her life that ended in tragedy.

“You will never die,” Orlando once prophesied to his sister Dalida. The most recent “James Bond” film proved that he was right – in relation to the work of the Italian-French singer. listen. The piece, which translates to “In the sleeping city”, was only moderately successful after publication – but with its dark, melancholic mood it is representative of Dalida’s oeuvre.

Above all, her deep voice has burned itself into the collective memory of the music world, but also her unmistakably diva-like stage presence. Her life was marked by many dramas, the search for true love – for others and for herself – and her will to rise again. All the sadder that her own life also ended tragically.

The triple diva: Dalida

Quelle: Getty Images

When Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti was born in Cairo in 1933 as the second of three children, nobody could have guessed that she would celebrate her breakthrough in Paris in the mid-1950s under the artist name Dalida. The daughter of a concertmaster and a seamstress – both of Italian descent – spent her childhood and youth in Egypt. After the first beauty contests, she won the 1954 “Miss Egypt” election. In parallel, she played small supporting roles in films. Desiring to become an actress, Dalida moved to Paris shortly thereafter. Since the way into the film business proved to be difficult, she took singing lessons and performed in cabaret.

After appearing on stage in the show “Les Numéros 1 de demain” (“Tomorrow’s number one hits”) in 1956, she made the play “Bambino” an internationally celebrated star in the same year. At that time still with dark hair, elegantly dressed, she presented herself with a penetrating gaze and a gentle smile. Unmistakably Dalidaesque: her rolling R, which made her deep French sound so Italian. Her brother Orlando, whose real name is Bruno Gigliotti and who made a decisive contribution to Dalida’s success as a producer and manager, remembers in an interview with ARTE magazine: “When I heard ‘Bambino’ for the first time, I knew: she made it.”

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The chanson stayed at number one in the French charts for more than 30 weeks. Many more hits would follow, including Gondolier (1957), „Words, Words“ (1973) – which she sang with Alain Delon – and “Gigi l’amoroso” (1974). In this country, Dalida was a wide audience with the song “The Day the Rain Came” (1959) known. In total, she recorded around 1000 songs in twelve languages, she sold over 140 million records and received countless awards. Her style changed again and again – from French chansons to German hits to world music and disco.

Between the search for meaning and depression

Offstage, however, drama unfolded from which the singer never recovered. After her marriage to radio program director Lucien Morisse, she dated singer Luigi Tenco. When they both performed the same song at a music competition in the Italian spa town of Sanremo in 1967 but didn’t make it to the finals, Tenco took his own life in his hotel room. Dalida then suffered from depression and attempted suicide herself.

The topic should accompany her: In 1970 her ex-husband Morisse died by suicide. Another longtime partner also committed suicide. Orlando tells ARTE magazine: After the first Dalida, “full of sunshine in my heart”, a second Dalida appeared in these years: “My sister was more thoughtful. She buried herself in books and brought her tragic experiences to the stage as art.” For example, with the song “Je suis malade” (1973). In search of herself, she studied philosophy, studied yoga, traveled to India. Musically, Dalida reinvented herself at the end of the 1970s – with danceable songs like “Laissez-moi danser” (1979). The third Dalida was born – “the disco Dalida,” as Orlando puts it, “with big American-style shows.”

“For me, freedom means being liberated from your inner struggle”: Dalida’s tomb in the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris

Source: picture alliance/Peter Schickert

As changeable as she presented herself in her work, she came across as sensitive in interviews. In 1980 she said: “For me, freedom means being liberated from your inner struggle.” The struggle, she waged it, tried again and again. On May 3, 1987, Dalida committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. She left her last words on a note: “Life is unbearable for me, forgive me.”

“Dalida, my sister” on August 4, 2023 at 9:55 p.m. at Arte and until November 1, 2023 in the Arte media library

The text comes from the August issue of ARTE magazine.

ARTE magazine, issue 8/2023

Source: ARTE Magazine

Do you have suicidal thoughts or have you noticed them in a relative/acquaintance? The telephone counseling service offers help: anonymous advice is available around the clock on the free numbers 0800 / 111 0 111 and 0800 / 111 0 222. Counseling via the Internet is also possible. A list of nationwide help centers can be found on the website of the German Society for suicide prevention.

#Dalida #Life #unbearable #forgive

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