Nomi’s lament


In Henry Purcell’s immortal 17th century opera Dido & Aeneas, Dido, Queen of Carthage, sings her own funerary elegy. Entitled “When I am laid in Earth”, it is more popularly known as “Dido’s Lament” or, on German-born singer Klaus Nomi‘s 1982 album Simple Man, “Death”. It, in turn, became Nomi’s own pre-posthumous lament: 30 years ago today, the Mudd Club Orpheus died in New York of an AIDS-related illness.

More on Nomi here, and “Death” below:


  1. Back in those pre-internet days, it took a while for news to travel, so it was not until September of that year that I found out that my hero–whose Jägermeister ad had been on my bedroom wall since I was 14–was no more. I was in Rasputin’s Records in Berkeley, reading the latest issue of The Face, and when I read those devastating words, my legs literally collapsed under me & I suddenly found myself on the floor. Perhaps I had a presentiment that this was a cruel harbinger of things to come, that Klaus was only the first of the countless brilliant men I adored that would soon be devoured by the plague.

    Thanks so much for remembering this day. I love that I have young friends now who have discovered Herr Nomi and he speaks to them the same way that he always spoke to me. It makes the pain of his loss that much easier to bear, knowing that that he is loved, lauded and remembered thirty years later.

    (Though are you sure it’s Klaus in this video? He has too much hair & his face isn’t quite right somehow…?)

  2. thombeau

    Love Klaus as you know I do, I have to agree with the previous comment. That is definitely his voice but I do not think that is him shown in the video.

  3. Pingback: Edinburgh Festival 2013 classical review: Dido and Aeneas/Bluebeard’s Castle: Lament for broken-hearted heroines – Reviews – Classical – The Independent | mostly music

  4. Pingback: Mixtapes - Thirteen Ugly Children Roll Gutterballs - Kittysneezes

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