Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra
Musica Angelica is an internationally renowned Baroque orchestra based in Santa Monica, California and led by music director Martin Haselböck, award-winning organist, conductor, and composer. Musica Angelica is dedicated to the historically informed performance of Baroque and early Classical music on period instruments. Its programs include a mixture of known masterworks by composers such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, along with rarely heard ‘musical gems’ by lesser-known composers.
History and Musicians
Musica Angelica was founded in 1992 by lutenist Michael Eagan and gambist Mark Chatfield. Since its inception, Musica Angelica has produced an annual subscription season of orchestral and chamber concerts in venues throughout greater Los Angeles. In addition, the orchestra performs and collaborates with esteemed institutions both here and abroad, including the Long Beach Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, Los Angeles Opera, Orchëster Wiener Akademie, Tölzer Boys Choir, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Norton Simon Museum. Musica Angelica also creates memorable programs with world-acclaimed artists such as Marion Verbruggen, Suzie LeBlanc, Vittorio Ghielmi, Rachel Podger, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Giovanni Antonini and Harry Bicket.
Musica Angelica's first international tour, distinguished by sold-out performances and wide critical acclaim, took place in March 2007 in a joint venture with Haselböck's Orchester Wiener Akademie. The ensemble presented 13 performances of Bach's St. Matthew Passion in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. In September and October 2010, the orchestra completed a successful four-country tour of South America as well, with performances taking place in top concert halls throughout the continent. In May 2011 the orchestra made its Vienna debut with a sold-out performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.
A visionary Music Director, Martin Haselböck often brings a new twist to performances by combining traditional Baroque music with avant-garde multimedia. One of his creations, “The Infernal Comedy,” starring John Malkovich, was premiered by Musica Angelica in Santa Monica and enjoyed 50 repeat performances throughout Europe. In fall of 2011, Musica Angelica toured the Americas with The Infernal Comedy, performing 16 concerts in ten cities to sold-out audiences totaling over 23,000.
In 2007, Musica Angelica raised its profile with a contract for four recordings on the Germany-based New Classical Adventure (NCA) label. The first, released in 2007, is Handel's “Acis and Galatea,” the second, released in 2008, includes the concertos of Telemann featuring the principal players of the orchestra as soloists, the third in the series is composed of Bach cantatas, released in 2009, and the fourth CD in 2010 features principal oboist Gonzalo Ruiz in works for oboe, organ and soprano by Telemann and Hertel.
Repertoire and Performances
The orchestra performs both the well-known pieces and lesser known gems of the baroque and classical eras. In addition to established repertory, Musica Angelica has premiered over ten works in the new-music genre.
The group's 2004 premiere of a 1737 oratorio by Nicola Porpora, Il Gedeone, received positive reviews. Most recently, in March 2009, Musica Angelica performed the North American premiere of Antonio Vivaldi's opera, Motezuma.
- Pasles, Chris (2004-01-19). "Musica Angelica soars in a Baroque gem - Los Angeles Times". The Los Angeles Times.
- Ng, David (2009-03-22). "Vivaldi's 'Motezuma,' lost, found, restored, re-imagined - Los Angeles Times". The Los Angeles Times.
- "Los Angeles Stage - Seduction and Despair: Hearing John Malkovich - page 1".
- "NCA - NEW CLASSICAL ADVENTURE" (in German).