Together again, Musica Angelica produces a concert and a learning tool

Normally, an upcoming, Dec. 19 concert by early music orchestra Musica Angelica, would be notable for bringing together, virtually, musicians in America with their colleagues in Europe.

But, given that virtual distance has pretty much become the norm, what makes Saturday’s concert notable is not only the music, featuring baroque mainstays such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, but that it will be performed by artists actually creating in the same space at the same time.

Yes, as you can in this preview, Musica Angelica’s musicians, actually were able to perform with each other. Shot at Long Beach studio space, Media 360, they participated in a two-day concert shoot, the first day being a rehearsal, the second the actual performance. That performance will be edited and stitched together with performances from Vienna, including one by musical director Martin Haselbock who has been in Europe throughout the pandemic.

The concert, under the direction of Musica Angelica artistic director, and oboe soloist, Gonzalo Ruiz, was the first time the orchestra had actually been together since April at the Long Beach Museum of Art.

Musicians were temperature checked as they came and went and wore masks while performing unless they needed their mouths to play. If it sounds like a lot, it wasn’t, not to artists who crave to create together.

“The musicians were absolutely thrilled to be performing again,” said Musica Angelica’s Maria Taber.  “Even though we had to adapt to the idea they would not see the live audience, they just love to play music and most of them have been friends for 15-plus years.”

The performance will not only be viewed on Dec. 19, but the orchestra shot enough content of its performance to fill a multi-part video segment to be made available to local school kids through a collaboration between Musica Angelica and Jim Petri of the Long Beach Unified School District.

“Our main goal is to share our music with our community as well as our surrounding areas and of course to educate children with our music,” Taber said. “The first video will be delivered to teachers this month and we are so happy to have accomplished that during these times.”

Musica Angelica performs Dec. 19. Click here to RSVP. An email with a link to the concert will be sent to you several days before the performance.

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Steve Lowery began his journalism career at the Los Angeles Times, where he planned to spend his entire career. God, as usual, laughed at his plans and he has since written for the short-lived sports publication The National, the L.A. Daily News, the Press-Telegram, New Times LA, the District and the OC Weekly. He is the Arts & Culture Editor for the Post, overseeing the Hi-lo.
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