SUNY Fredonia School of Music announces second annual Madrigal Feaste

On Dec. 6, the School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance will present the second annual Madrigal Feaste dinner theater performance, held in the Williams Center. This traditional 15th-century royal feaste and musical program is truly a feaste for the senses, with authentic food, costumed performers, rousing music and merriment on a grand scale.

The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with an open bar, and the seated dinner and music program will begin promptly at 6 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person and are available at the Ticket Office: 673-3501 or online at www.fredonia.edu/tickets. Tickets must be purchased by Nov. 25.

“We are excited about offering the Feaste again this year,” said Dr. Karl Boelter, School of Music Director. “Last year’s Feaste was a wonderful start to a new tradition. People seemed to enjoy the festive environment and the music of the Chamber Choir. The theatrical features provided by Jim Ivey were perfect for the situation. This year, we’ll be making the music of the choir a more significant component as they stroll and perform for everyone’s enjoyment. Even the acting will seem more integrated with the crowd.”

This collaborative event features talented faculty and students from the School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. The Fredonia Chamber Choir is the featured choral ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Gerald T. Gray, who had the vision for bringing this historical dinner theater tradition to Fredonia.

“As a high school student,” commented Dr. Gray, “I had the joy and privilege of performing in a Madrigal Feaste in my hometown, and it was a true highlight of the year. There was something magical about the festive music, beautiful costumes, grand banquet dinner all coming together to create something unforgettable. It is exciting to bring that to our community. It is a magnificent way to begin the holiday season, and we hope the community will come out and join us for this unique and memorable event.”

Theatre and Dance professor, Dr. James Ivey will lead a troupe of actors for the event, and will also be featured in the all-important role of Master of Revels.

A particularly special highlight of the evening will be Richard and Cynthia Wickwire Lundquist featured in the roles of King and Queen.

“Rick and Cynthia will be terrific as our King and Queen,” Boelter said. “They are big supporters of the School of Music by giving to the Lundquist International Fellowship and serving on our advisory board. Rick, an emeritus professor from the business school, is also a trumpet player, so his involvement with us is also in the New Horizons Band. It will be great to have Rick and Cynthia part of the show.”

The King and Queen will don period attire and join the rest of the performers at the royal banquet table on a central stage, while audience members dine and enjoy strolling singers and various chamber ensembles throughout the evening. Each course of the feast will be heralded with a traditional song, and audience participation is encouraged.

At the heart of this festive event is a traditional 15th-century feast. The School of Music is pleased to announce the royal banquet menu, which includes an open bar featuring wine, beer and festive non-alcoholic drinks at the beginning of the evening, followed by a seated dinner and musical program. The meal begins with winter sausage, aged cheese and crusty bread, followed by a fanfare heralding the traditional holiday Wassail beverage. A peasant-style creamy butternut squash bisque will be followed by an entree of choice. Choose from Steak Filet Au Poivre, Herb Roasted Chicken, or the vegetarian Eggplant Parmesan. The meal is accompanied by wine and beer service, traditional root vegetables and a potato dish. A festive array of desserts will be served family style with hot coffee and tea service during the final concert of choral music, bringing the evening to a rousing close.

Anyone interested in purchasing a full table of eight guests should contact Jennifer Darrell-Sterbak, 673-3686 or via email sterbajd@fredonia.edu.

Details about the event are online at www.fredonia.edu/music/madrigal or by calling the School of Music at 673-3151.