The Poor Girl’s Opera (contains father issues)

Did you know there’s a whipping scene in Wagner’s Das Rheingold

It’s very loud in the Georg Solti recording, where the recording supervisor, John Culshaw, commented that the whip they used to make the cracking sounds was “absolutely terrifying”. And he’d been to a British public school in the 1940s, so he can’t have been easily scared. 

Anyway, I should say that the whipping scene in “Das Rheingold” is interestingly grotesque, but completely and utterly not sexy. It’s between two dwarfs, and they’re brothers. 

Nice hat. Astrid Varnay as Brünnhilde.

But if you were looking for a bdsm scene in a Wagner opera, I’d recommend the Daddy-daughter confrontation between Wotan and Brünnhilde at the end of Die Walküre. It begins with Wotan furious because his daughter disobeyed him, and determined to punish her.

She begs, reminding her father why she did what she did, and inadvertently reminding him of why he loves her: she’s the best of him. So he still punishes her, but he changes it to make it something positive, intended to benefit her. And they reconcile with one of the hugest and most overwhelming orgasms in all music.

If you were a Dom on the prowl (rrrowl!), you could do worse than hang about in the lobby after a performance of Die Walküre, There’ll be some very good looking women there, as well as the ones who look like James Thurber drawings. Find a woman you fancy who’s been weeping red-eyed buckets, buy her a drink and give her a handkerchief. So far you’re being a gentleman, but tell her to clean herself up in a very slightly command voice, and there’s a 50/50 chance that you’ll take her home.

By three in the morning you should be smacking her ass and telling her she’s a good girl really. And she should be hitting the A above the treble stave.   

 

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