There are many things I seek from a truly stellar performance – as a singer, as a conductor, as a listener.
I seek phrasing, line. I seek understanding of text. I seek stamina through the duration of the performance. I seek note accuracy and flexibility in the moment.
Above these and many other concerns are my three sine qua non.
Beauty. Utter beauty of interpretation, of tone, of balance and intonation.
Commitment. Universal commitment to the task at hand, to the strength of the ensemble and the music-making.
Connection. True connection to the meaning of the text and the music, true connection to the audience sharing a singular musical moment.
Without these, there is nothing.