NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — At Saint Louis Cathedral, they’re rehearsing for a concert.
Musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
And opera singers from around the world.
WGNO Good Morning New Orleans features reporter Bill Wood sees a guy running around like a ringmaster.
The guy is waving his hands like an air traffic controller.
He’s the conductor.
He’s a world-class, world-traveled maestro.
Born in Argentina, he’s Pedro Memelsdorff.
Bill Wood says, “Watching you, looks like you’re having a good time.”
Pedro Memelsdorff says, “I love it, I really love it.”
Bill Wood wonders, “What does the music mean?”
Pedro Memelsdorff answers, “Joy and memory, joy and memory.”
What you’re listening to is the soundtrack for what you see down the street.
It’s at the Historic New Orleans Collection.
It’s a moment to recognize and reflect.
It’s an exhibition and it’s called Spanish New Orleans and the Caribbean.
This all takes you back to the beginning.
From the founding of the city in 1718 to the kind of French Opera you hear at the Cathedral.
It’s a road traveled with tension, social injustice, and pain.
And it’s all right here.
In the moment.
And in the music.
Maestro Pedro Memelsdorff says, “I want them to sing the melodies and memorize them forever, but also be shocked with how much beauty can live together with so much pain.”