“When the standing ovation is thought permissible for any and every performance which wins the heart of the audience—even a lot of first graders doing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”—the performers are likely to be disappointed and even insulted in the future when a more reasonable audience offers more modest praise. But great praise ought to be reserved for great performances of great art, which is a difficult lesson for the audience to learn, as well. If the standing ovation is reserved for Hamlet and Beethoven, the theatergoer who only enjoys new works must admit to himself that he doesn’t have taste which is good enough to stand for anything. And yet, his desire to stand for something may drive him to develop better taste and thus help keep classics alive.”
-from my latest for CiRCE, When Is A Standing Ovation Warranted?