Thanks to the Met and PBS we've now seen all four parts of Robert Lepage's staging of Wagner's Ring and so it seems at least a brief summing-up is in order concerning it. Yes, we're well aware we didn't do even a bullet-point review of Götterdämmerung. There was simply nothing there to impel or compel us to undertake the tiresome and unrewarding task. Suffice it to say that it was pretty much more of the same-old-same-old with Mr. Lepage's employment of Le Machine ranging from his trademark stupefying Busby Berkeley symmetricality thing to the occasionally evocative to the at least visually attractive to the unobtrusive and un-tricky, to the totally flat and boring as at the close of Götterdämmerung. And more of the same-old-same-old as well with Mr. Lepage's seeming habit of leaving his singer-actors to their own devices dramatically for the most part sans any "directorial shaping of the musico-dramatic realization of Wagner's cosmic vision" as we put it previously. The singer-actors all gave their professional best which is considerable as did the Met Male Chorus but we would single out only Jay Hunter Morris for his convincing Siegfried, and Iain Paterson and Wendy Bryn Harmer for making come fully alive Gunther and Gutrune, respectively; two too often innocuous characters as they're typically sung and played. As for conductor Fabio Luisi, his reading of the score gave full due to Wagner rhetorically and stylistically notwithstanding that Maestro Luisi tends to run rather too fleet through some of the dramatic high points and climaxes not the least of which is the climax of the three intertwining leitmotifs that form Götterdämmerung's — and the tetralogy's — close. There. Don't ever say we didn't review Götterdämmerung. Regarding the staging of the entire tetralogy, if one were inclined to be kind about it one might say Mr. Lepage is, by slow degrees, learning how to best employ the Frankenstein contraption that's at the very heart of his staging of the Ring. The problem with that, however, is the very way in which Mr. Lepage seems to approach everything concerning the employment of the contraption. His focus seems to be on what he can get the contraption to do that will result in some visually arresting effect at any particular moment rather than on how the capabilities of the contraption can best be exploited to express, frame, or support the dramatic content to hand. It's a tail wagging the dog approach that's all but guaranteed to come up with the wrong way to go pretty much every time. Of course, saying that Mr. Lepage is by slow degrees learning how to best employ Le Machine is not saying very much and is of little comfort given Le Machine's appalling initial and ongoing cost. The Met (and its audiences) deserve far more and far better considering the huge investment involved. On the other hand, occasionally evocative or visually attractive or unobtrusive and un-tricky employment of Le Machine is preferable to their opposites and since it's an almost sure bet that Le Machine and Mr. Lepage or his Lepage-trained surrogate will be with the Met for the next decade or so of Ring performances, we suppose the Met (and its audiences) ought to be thankful for small favors as there's but one other way out for the Met from under Mr. Gelb's colossal economic and artistic blunder: cease throwing good money after bad, have done with it entirely, and live to try again another day the wiser for the experience. But we all know that's not going to happen, don't we. Of course we do. And so it goes.