I saw this second opera of The Ring last night, all four hours of it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm definitely into this now; I hope nothing prevents me from seeing Siegfried Wednesday and Götterdämmerung on Saturday. I believe I like Walküre better than Rheingold musically. Although for the most part I've been finding Wagner more interesting than moving, the final scene of this one, where Wotan repudiates his beloved daughter Brunnhilde, really touched me.
One of the stars of this production is a crazy device which apparently came to be called simply The Machine. It's hard to describe: a couple of dozen long beams (I guess 30 feet/10 meters long) which pivot around a long shaft, the whole thing running across the stage and largely filling it. Each beam moves separately. They're flat on one side and have a low peak on the other--i.e., the silhouette would be a long low triangle. And amazing things are done with them, using positioning, lighting, and sometimes devices to suspend people in front of them, when they're positioned vertically or at a very steep angle. It can serve as anything from trees to horses to houses to mountains to waterfalls. I think if you go to this link a video of clips will start playing, and you can see The Machine in action. I think it's very effective, all in all, but at times distracting. That was especially so in the opening scene of Das Rheingold, because I couldn't figure out what I was seeing.
I continue to think there's something unhealthy at the heart of Wagner's music, or at least of the Ring. The knowingly incestuous relationship of Siegmund and Sieglinde might possibly have something to do with that. The only one who really objects much is poor Fricka, Wotan's wife, and she comes across as a scold and spoilsport.