Opera once was an important social instrument -- especially in Italy.
With Rossini and Verdi people were listening to opera together and having the same catharsis with the same story, the same moral dilemmas. They were holding hands in the darkness. That has gone. Now perhaps they are holding hands watching television.
Even Stravinsky does not evoke the same public affection as Verdi.
It has to be able to play at the maximum expression and communication in every style, and the only way you can do that is - like Verdi said - working with a file, every day, little by little, until the orchestra's collective qualities emerge.