1) Directors reënvisioning canonical works do not do so because they think the work isn't good enough to hold our interest. I'm particularly weary of the "what, Figaro isn't good enough for you?" cavil. It's either disingenuous or intellectually lazy.
2) Art that we don't fully understand is not meant to belittle us. I have never been able to make much sense of what's going on in that one bit of Act II of Nixon in China but I'm pretty sure Peter Sellars and Alice Goodman are not sitting in a bar somewhere laughing about me. Actually Alice Goodman is now a priest or something so maybe she is not allowed to drink in the first place. I don't really know the rules.
3) It is possible to have good ideas for directing opera without having a musicologist's understanding of the score or decades of experience in opera. Purely subjective example here, but Mark Morris is musically literate enough that he has conducted an orchestra, and if you ask me, his Orfeo shows no evidence of an aesthetic connection with the work outside of the dance sections and no evident feel for coherent stage pictures on the level of place as opposed to person. Whereas I don't believe Anthony Minghella was even a musician, and I'm fairly certain Butterfly was his first opera, and it remains the finest production perhaps of the decade, certainly of the Gelb era so far.
4) It is not a slippery slope from doing a radical restaging to rewriting your beloved opera. That is really not likely to happen. I'm sure someone did it somewhere, sometime...like gerbilling! That does not mean you need to hide at home lest someone sneak up on you with a rodent/a version of Andrea Chenier where the text has been replaced by Dadaist found poetry from the C section of the Pittsburgh phone book.
and of course
5) That old production you are so fond of is not the embodiment of the composer's wishes. Nothing is, and nothing should be. I have already bitched about this but I'll say a few words more: performed art is dynamic and involves interpretation. That old production of La Gioconda you love loses none of its creaky charm and will be fondly remembered even if someone decides maybe there are other ways Gioconda might look.
I get that this probably sounds preachy. If you feel preached at and are thus turned off and the more entrenched in your traditionalism, then this was a stupid thing to write. Fortunately, the seven people who read this tend to agree with me on this kind of thing, so I think no harm is done.