Dr. Palombo attended the premiere of Korsakov, the latest opera written by the great Russian composer, Ivan Hvoroblatsky. Dr. Palombo had looked forward to the performance for months. He didn’t know the plot, but had read reviews of Hvoroblatsky’s earlier work. These reviews described music of soaring lyricism and masterful technique. Dr. Palombo relaxed in his seat in the audience with great anticipation. He was pleased by the overture and felt that the rest of the evening would bring great enjoyment. About ten minutes into the first act, police entered the auditorium at the Met. They had the conductor stop the music. They walked on stage, asked a few questions of the cast, and placed one of the singers under arrest. Dr. Palombo was greatly irritated and annoyed. He felt his evening had been ruined. He was unaware that it was all part of the show. That was what the composer wrote. “Police enter. The orchestra stops. The police ask a few questions of the cast. They place the singer under arrest.”
When I was seeing Dr. Palombo he would get irritated when I started talking about my difficulties in the workplace. He wanted a seamless psychoanalytic narrative. He wanted to enjoy the music. He didn’t appreciate that my difficulties at work were an expression of psychological issues of psychoanalytic interest. It was all part of the show. Wilfred Bion showed that the individual places his intrapsychic contents into the interpersonal field.
Check out the following excerpt from Wagner’s opera Siegfried. The very bad clarinet playing at 3:00 is what Wagner wrote. It’s part of he score. It’s what the composer intended.