At its worst, the effect was reminiscent of Hollywood Squares, and brought on the giggles. (And believe me, no-one should giggle during Wagner.) At its best it was annoying and distracting. When the boxes starting appearing, moving around and changing zoom during the performance, there were widespread groans in the audience. The box effect distracted from the music and from the visuals. It was hard to watch. I actually had to shut my eyes during several sections (and miss the sub-titles). It was a disaster.
During the interview, Sweete said that at one point she used zooming to show the audience that the boat was traveling a mile across the ocean. I had absolutely no idea that that was why the camera was zooming in on the boat. To me, it just looked stupid. The effect was completely ineffective. It was also unnecessary as the entire first act takes place on the boat, and the boat is supposedly moving most of the time.
A woman I was talking to during the intermission said the worst part of it for her was that she wanted a theater-like experience, and the framing effects made the opera feel more like a movie. I think she has a good point. But for me, the biggest problem was the distraction. You can try frillly high-tech special effects on a car race or a music video, but for god's sake, not Wagner.