What is a Madrigal Dinner?

Madrigal Dinners are...

Like so many beautiful, human inventions, Madrigals were a spontaneous occurrence. Some time in the sixteenth century, the landed gentry of Europe, while gathered for social events at castles and country houses, began to entertain themselves by concocting intricate and lovely songs. They would create several distinct, independently interesting, vocal parts, then skillfully weave them together, giving rise to an entirely new form of music, which came to be known as the Madrigal song. Of course, during the twelve days of the Christmas Season, there was no end of merriment, and Madrigal singing became an integral part of the feasting and celebration. The modern Madrigal Dinner is a re-enactment of these ancient, renaissance banquets. Performers assume the roles of King, Queen, Jester and Royal Court. The audience is welcomed into the past and enjoys a traditional feast, complete with silly skits, raucous humor, poignant poetry, and sublime Madrigal music. The players remain in character throughout the evening, creating the illusion of antiquity, transporting their guests to Merry Old England, at a time when a stony castle was the place to be, jesters were the kings of comedy, and Madrigal singing was all the rage.

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