Full disclosure and whatnot
A.C. Douglas, in a comment on this blog, suggested that I read this. It is a break with my autocratic tendencies relative to discussion, but the link will be here so that my readers (such as I can determine that there are any) can see his point.
I will quote this section, at length, and append a brief comment:
As even given today's formidable stage technology a convincing, non-distracting, and dramatically non-enervating naturalistic realization of the Ring's central and overarching physical context is a clear impossibility within the bounded space of a theatrical stage, and, further, that the result of any attempt at doing so will ultimately compete with the main transmitter and carrier of the drama, the music, one is, as consequence, ineluctably driven to adopt the solution of realizing that central physical context abstractly. That, in turn, dictates that the realization of every detail of the physical context of the entire work — its entire non-human mise en scène, right down to the costumes and stage decorations — be similarly handled, the degree and style of abstraction a task for the director in collaborative effort with the producer, stage designer, and music director to ensure that not only is the result visually convincing and dramatically expressive, but that it recognizes, accepts, and subordinately supports, rather than fights against or competes with, the dramatic centrality of the music, and is at all points consonant with the dramatic spirit and sense of Wagner's original idealized theatrical vision, and that of the music and the sung and mimed armature of the text.
Comment: This seems to leave the door open for any of the major stagings, particularly those of Harry Kupfer and Patrice Chéreau, as the primary criterion is "[consonance] with the dramatic spirit." I am sure Herr Kupfer and M. Chéreau would assert that their productions further the dramatic spirit of Der Ring.
However, I am just smart enough to know that I do not want to get into this fight.