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RadioWest Films presents unique stories with a focus on Utah. Each week, we’ll present a short documentary drawing from a variety of styles: story driven, conceptual, profiles and more. It’s a place for film lovers to watch innovative storytelling and to meet Utah’s most talented filmmakers.And there are some films that we just want to keep talking about. Here's a collection of radio conversations paired with our short films. Think of it this way ... stories you hear, stories you see.

Handel's Messiah

Kelsie Moore/KUER

We’ve just posted a film about an exquisite aria from Handel’s Messiah. So Friday, we’re talking about the oratorio. It’s a story with scandal, godliness, and of course, beautiful music.

RadioWest divider.

Handel's Messiah is associated with the Christmas season now, but when it was first performed in 1742, it was during Lent. Friday, playwright Tim Slover explains how it is the depressed composer wrote one of the world's most enduring pieces of music in just 24 days. It’s an amazing story with fascinating characters and of course, beautiful music. We’ve also created a short film about the aria He Was Despised and the scandal-plagued actress Susannah Cibber who premiered Handel’s masterpiece.

Tim Slover's book is called Messiah: The Little-Known Story of Handel's Beloved Oratorio. [Indie bookstores|Amazon]. It includes a CD featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing.

Watch our film that tells the story of THAT ONE MOMENT in HANDEL'S MESSIAH, when Susannah Cibber premiered the aria He Was Despised on a Dublin stage in 1742. films.radiowest.org

See the full performance with Kirstin Chavez, Loren Carle, Eleanor Cox, Paula Cho, Jakob Hofer, Jamie Jackson, Audrey Lund, and Connor Madsen, recorded at the University of Utah School of Music's Thompson Chamber Music Hall.

Live community performances of Handel's Messiah in Utah:


Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.