From all the mouthwatering reports we've read (and we do mean all, all from the hometown, or at least home-state, press and blogs), the San Francisco Opera's brand new production of Die Walküre is an all-around brilliant success musically with conductor Donald Runnicles (the SFO's former M.D.) on the podium, and with Nina Stemme as the Brünnhilde, Mark Delevan as Wotan, Dutch soprano Eva-Marie Westbroek as Sieglinde, Christopher Ventris as Siegmund, Raymond Aceto as Hunding, and Janina Baechle as Fricka. The Konzept production — the so-called "American Ring" shared with the Washington National Opera which ran out of money last year and couldn't complete its cycle — is by American director Francesca Zambello, and, judging from the written descriptions and the available not-at-all-mouthwatering production photos (and, unlike Achim Freyer's Regietheater staging for the Los Angeles Opera's Walküre, that's all that's required to make a judgment in this case), it's (surprise!) your standard, risible Eurotrash Regietheater rubbish (the staging, for the most part, given a thumbs-up by all the usual suspects) having little or nothing to do with Wagner's Die Walküre except by some application of intellectual effort to make the abstract, if hardly worth the trouble, tenuous connection, complete with the Eurotrash requisite sophomoric symbolic social and environmental commentary cum de rigueur modern-day settings, leather trench coats, business suits and ties, and épater le bourgeois grotesqueries (Act III parachuting Valkyries this time, for imbecile instance). Damn bloody shame, really. If this production is as splendid musically as it was universally reported to be (and we have no doubt it is as Runnicles is a more than competent Wagner conductor), it deserves better — way better — in its staging. Here's a typical review.