Author Lee Grober, Mark Goodman
In this beautifully filmed documentary, narrated by Jane Seymour, you'll be fascinated by the story of Handel's collaboration with an adoring librettist, Charles Jennens, and how the pair struggled to create a masterpiece that has stood the test of centuries. You'll be intrigued with the account of popular actress and singer Susannah Cibber, who, after being involved in a scandalous trial in London that threatened both her career and social standing, fled to Dublin, where Handel asked her to perform in the debut performance of Messiah. She went on to become the most significant actress of the eighteenth century. A tale of triumph and failure, compassion and generosity, this film speaks to how, from the first Dublin performance, which generated enough funds to free 152 men and women from debtors' prison to the many more performances that raised a small fortune for charity, Handel's Messiah was never about Handel—it was about redemption. Even today, small groups and massive congregations alike perform Handel's greatest work countless times annually. In this fascinating program, see why Messiah has resonated with hundreds of millions of people over hundreds of years.