James Jorden, aka La Cieca, is in Bayreuth, grappling with Frank Castorf's Ring production on its last go-round. His reaction is so far not unlike mine — impressed by some aspects of the staging, maddened by others, bewildered by the inconsistency of it all. He notes the "random blocking" in certain scenes; indeed, I often had the impression that the singers had been left to fend for themselves, with the result that they lasped into stock gestures that no intelligent director should tolerate. In a blog post on Siegfried, James reports that the infamous crocodiles in the final scene no longer engage in a mating ritual — no great loss there. The crocodile business should be dropped altogether; the principal conceit of the scene, to stage this apocalyptic love sequence in the tones of a wistful art-house movie, with Siegfried and Brünnhilde seated at a café table in an empty Alexanderplatz, is strangely haunting. As so often, though, Castorf becomes bored with his own good idea.