Chris Rowbury comes out against perfection:
Which is why I don’t like singers or choirs or music which is just so, so perfect. The blend is perfect, the rendition is perfect, the enunciation is perfect, the costumes are perfect. I may as well stay at home and read the score and imagine the music in my head.
If you ever go to one of those kinds of concerts you will tend to find the audiences on tenterhooks, unable to relax. As soon as the singers walk on stage you know what you’re in for and you start to worry for them. Perfection is impossible, of course, but you will them to succeed. You’re on the edge of your seat hoping against hope that there won’t be a bum note or a missed cue. Then you applaud wildly (and over-enthusiastically) at the end, because it’s all over and you can relax.
Then there are those concerts where the musical director puts you at ease with a bit of light-hearted chit chat, where the singers are obviously relaxed and enjoying themselves, when a wrong starting note is given and the world doesn’t end. At the first laugh or mistake you can feel the audience relax and sigh and settle in for an evening of entertainment without having to worry. We’re all human, and we’re all in this together. They’re on our side!
Sounds right to me. I always tell my choir: the audience will forgive you if you sing a wrong note (they might not even notice), but they'll never forgive a dull performance.