Seeing John Malkovich

Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra presents an original multi-media event, “SEDUCTION AND DESPAIR,” directed by and starring Academy Award nominee John Malkovich on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, at Barnum Hall Theatre, 601 Pico Blvd, in Santa Monica.

From a libretto by Michael Sturminger, Malkovich enacts the true story of poet, author, journalist, and convicted serial killer Jack Unterweger. The costumed melodrama is underscored by Gluck’s “Don Juan” and works by Boccherini, Vivaldi, Handel, Weber, Haydn, and Mozart, performed on original period instruments under the baton of the orchestra’s music director and conductor, Martin Haselböck. Andreas Hutter’s atmospheric video serves as the stage set and a visual representation of events in Unterweger’s life.

Haselböck tells FineArtsLA that he looks forward to “the coming together of one of the great actors with the very best baroque musicians of Southern California in a new form of art.”

The 90-minute performance opens as Unterweger reads from his new novel before drifting into memories. Sopranos Celine Ricci and Robin Johannsen represent a variety of characters with whom Unterweger interacts. A promotional press release says, “Each scene and aria represents an emotional expression — Joy, Hatred, Love, Grief, Desire, and Admiration — illustrating Unterweger’s connections to women.”

Tickets, info, and season brochures are available at, or by calling (310) 458-4504.

Penny Orloff

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