You can't do opera when already from the 10th row you can only see little dolls on the stage. In such an enormous space you can't put much faith in the personal presence of the individual singer, which is reflected in facial expressions, among other things.
Unfortunately, it happens all too seldom that you really disappear behind a work, that you are no longer audible as an interpreter.
Admittedly, it is really our duty, as artists, to hold up a mirror to our own era; but, on the other hand, these works have lives of their own, and they're still alive today.
Which is why, in my lieder concerts, I always strove, when possible, to sing only the works of a single composer, so that the audience could be gradually drawn into a particular creative genius' way of thinking, and could follow him.
All music has to speak in some form or other.
But the thing that will always occupy me the most is music.
Within each individual young person you meet, you have the same fields to plow. The trick is just to wake thmem up, to sharpen their ears for what's already there in the music.
If you only do little clusters - three or four songs by one, and another, and then yet another - you lose the opportunity to think your way into the composer's mind, since, after all, most of these pieces are quite brief.