After writing and working on a couple of operas the things that I was seeking to overcome still remained an obstacle. A production or any presentation is a single item that should be looked after as a whole by all involved no matter what their particular field of excellence. The tendency for most is to just attempt to do their "job" and if there are things amiss they pass the buck in a few ways that undermine the coherence of a work--at least those that are produced by a multiple number of people. Often, after they have done their "bit" (acting, singing, playing, directing, or lighting) they neglect other shortfalls they observe as if it wasn't their department. The mistake is, that in a larger work, the final work, as a whole, is every contributor's department. Otherwise the work remains in pieces and, the work of each contributor, is looked at as deficient regardless of skill level.
From different backgrounds and diverse training experiences or modes of apprenticeship come different ways of working. Certain artforms make action in different ways- for example the inner workings of opera singers tends to be different than actors and others from more "straight" theater. Where there would be benefit from both exchanging, learning, and translating each others methods the default is to recoil into what is easy, and then compete for dominant view in a production. If dominance isn't obtained then variations of the line, "well...I've done my job." emerge, and a production is on the way to fragmented compromise and egotistical stagnation of he various artisans.
It is like Franklin's revolutionary observation- "We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."
Most good theater has a certain air of revolution about it anyway, and this starts early in history.
(Note to hipsters and group musicians: when you perform it is a kind of theater ritual whether you like it or not. The tendency is to imagine that you have a heady and less pretentious mode of performance...but you don't! Audiences still respond as if it was a dramatic performance with another kind of content. Poor music performance often hangs on a lack of attention to this. Muddy Waters's band had a look and a stance on stage where another could have been used, and a lot could be derived and realized from that stance. So, he projected the real, or similar values even before any music was played. Archie Shepp wrote for the theater and there is probably much underlying knowledge there that reveals itself in the power of his stance and presentation when he performs. Arts separation is a bit deadly!)
Perusing Peter Brook's (wish I'd read it sooner) classic, The Empty Space,I came across this passage which even more articulately states the problem.
"Closely related to this is the conflict between theatre directors and musicians in opera productions where two totally different forms, drama and music, are treated as though they were one. A musician is dealing with a fabric that is as near as man can get to an expression of the invisible. His score notes this invisibility and his sound is made by instruments which hardly ever change. The player's personality is