It was Malcolm Martineau who I think spoke about this at an AOTOS conference and it has always struck me as a useful image and as I prepare my lovely singers at the University for their final performances I am reminded of the idea.
it is so important to get an audience on your side particularly in an exam where you want it to be a performance not just a boring assessment. And so you must engage with your audience however small it may be. I was reminded of this when I was adjudicating recently, a song does not have to be perfect but it does have to be communicated. The wrong words don’t matter if the sentiment is there and the energy to perform and tell the story takes place.
So the triangle is you the singer, your pianist and your audience and as long as the three points are linked with a mutual communication the performance will work. How often have I had to ask the accompanist to read the lyrics so that they understand what it is I am singing about it! But a good pianist will do that and will be engaged with the telling of stories. A primal gift since camp fire days but it transfers to the Wigmore Hall with ease!