Makin' It In Opera
Makin' It In Opera
Oct 25, 2021
Makin' It With Daniel Hellmann
Play • 1 hr 17 min

Is it activism? Is it entertainment? Is it art? Who cares?

Daniel Hellmann is a singer, performer, dance and theater maker from Zurich. He studied philosophy, classical singing and theater / performance and has been developing his own artistic and multi-award-winning works since 2012. Hellmann sees his artistic practice as a form of intersectional activism. His projects examine the body, physical relationships and desire, and question social norms and power relations in the fields of sexuality, human and animal rights.

As part of his interactive performance "Full Service" (2014), Hellmann performed hundreds of services around the world in return for appropriate payment. His solo performance "Traumboy" (2015) about male sex work was selected for the Sélection Suisse en Avignon and for the Swiss Selection Edinburgh. In 2019, the female counterpart "Traumgirl" was created together with Anne Welenc - the third production on the subject of sex work, which premiered in August 2019 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Since 2017, Hellmann has been focusing more and more on animal-human relationships in his work. For the music theater performance "Requiem for a piece of meat" (2017) he was awarded the June Johnson Dance Prize and invited to the Swiss Dance Days 2019. With his alter ego "Soya the Cow" - a sex-positive, feminist, vegan drag cow, he created the one-cow show "Dear Human Animals" (2020). As Soya he also appears at art festivals, panel discussions and night clubs and is currently recording his first music album "Purple Grass".

In addition to these own works, Hellmann has created other pieces in changing artistic collaborations - "Nach Lampedusa - Wandererfantasien" (with Ursina Greuel & Samuel Fried / 2014) about the situation of refugees in Switzerland, and the performance "All In" (with Layton Lachman & Anne Welenc / 2019) on triadic love relationships.

Finally, since 2018 Hellmann has curated the performing arts for the interdisciplinary gender and sexuality festival LA FÊTE DU SLIP in Lausanne.

Website: and

Twitter: @soyathecow

Instagram: @soyathecow


Full Service Project:

Starving Vulture Video:

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Music credit: Our Block Party by Reaktor Productions

A Podcast Launch Bestie production

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