When the Frankfurt Opera recently staged a new production of Wagner s Der Ring des Nibelungen, the giants Fasolt and Fafner appeared as huge terra cotta statues Standing in front of them were expressionless singers who resembled union representatives in business suits The noble hero Siegfried looked like a chubby schoolboy, while Brunnhilde rode around on Wotan s back Gutrune played with a rubber doll, and the Norns wove a theater curtain At the end, the audience heartily booed the director, sets, and costumes, and enthusiastically cheered the cast and conductor