I've taken to saying that there's a fairly narrow range for how a show can go. There's a limit to how badly it can go, determined by your preparation, and also a limit as to the best possible you can do, given who you are and where you're at. Psychologically, you may feel sad, or happy, depending on where in that range you end up, but in terms of the impact on the audience, on the listener, the difference between best and worst is not that large. To be honest, I have no idea if this statement is true, but if it helps me process the pressure of performance, I might as well believe it.
I almost took it back at the dress rehearsal last night. Mozart went first, so I pulled on the shoulder strap and went. Somehow I ended in a slightly uncomfortable posture, with too much weight not just on my left hand, but forward onto my fingers which were trying to play the notes. They ended up slipping and not sealing, nor feeling right. I ended up muffing entire *bars* of sixteenth notes, not exactly an auspicious beginning. And it's hard to phrase and sing beautifully when you're presiding over a train wreck in progress. So yeah, while there is a range for how badly it can go, that range might not be "narrow".
Still, I listened to the tape later. It sounded rough, like the bunch of amateurs we are, but not as bad as it sounded in my head. And while things improved as I got myself sorted out, but there's no time for that at the show. It occurs to me that when I practice at home in my room, I get set up standing, warm up with scales, then work hard passages up slowly, so I have lots of opportunity to get balance issues and everything else ironed out. At the show, I'll have to get up, put on the shoulder strap, walk to the front, and do it. I'd better start practicing doing that.
Here's a recording of the final runthrough.
Mozart dress 2011-05-18 by TFox17