Sorry for being away for a while. Been busy helping... Tis the season...
Well, David, if I'm misunderstanding the point, I apologize, but I just can't see any situation in which I'd feel it inappropriate for audience members to voice opinions and suggestions, and that seems to me to be what you're advocating.
I actually think I understand David's point. Are you talking about creative ownership? While I agree with Salzberg that any work on stage should be open to criticism, it's the people who create the works who have to take ultimate responsibility and sweat the work. After all, it's not the audience whose names are listed in the program notes and it's not the readers' names that are on the cover of a book. Therefore the public shouldn't have an expectation that they can influence the artistic process since they are not the ones taking responsibility for it.
It also depends on the circumstances. A writer who writes a book is responsible to her publisher, as the publisher is the one putting up all the costs. The filmmaker is responsible to the studio that funds the movie. But a music director of a major symphony orchestra who commissions a work by a composer is responsible to the public even if the piece is funded by a private donor, as the orchestra is funded at least partially by public funds. I remember the, um, commotion when SF Opera produced a series of controversial works that looked good on paper but failed to spark interest (I remember Streetcar very well along with the behind the scenes decisions...).
In other words, for a non-profit organization, everyone in the community is your boss, especially if they have vested volunteer time and effort into the company as well. In this case, it's not just the musical director or the composer or the librettist who has creative ownership -- it belongs to every tax payer, right?