Geneseo High School Madrigal Dinners Dec. 2-4
Beginning in 1980, students from the music department at Geneseo High School have taken guests a step back in time to “Merrie Ole England” at the annual Madrigal Dinners.
This year’s dinners, which mark the 41st year of performances, are at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, Friday, Dec. 3; and Saturday, Dec. 4, in the Geneseo High School Concert Hall Commons, 318 North Center St., Geneseo. Seating begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are available and reservations, which are required, may be made by visiting www.geneseoarts.com/madrigal/. Tickets are $26 per person.
Guests will dine on a medieval feast, including bread, salad, pork loin, twice baked potato, green beans and Figgie pudding with a cup of wassail, and be entertained by the Madrigal Singers, as well as the Madrigal Brass, Recorder Choirs, jugglers and entertainers.
The singers and brass also will be featured at the Geneseo Christmas Walk on Saturday, Dec. 11, and will perform at 6 p.m. at Central Theater.
Beginning in 1980, the annual Madrigal celebrations were held at the former St. Malachy’s Church before the performances were moved to Grace Church in 1986.
The Madrigal cast is under the direction of GHS choral director Stephen LaCroix, who said the Madrigal Dinners were started by former music and drama department directors James Rimington, Harvey Green and Victor Bianchetta.
LaCroix said the dinners involve approximately 100 high school students each year including singers, brass players, recorder ensemble, harpsichordist, beggars, fair maidens, a poet, a cook, serving wenches, mimes, jugglers, wait staff and those who help with hair and makeup in addition to character roles that very each year with changes in the script.
“Parent involvement is key to the success of the dinners as they oversee the many tasks to make it a detailed and personalized performance for the audience,” he said.
Madrigal singers audition in May each year for the upcoming season and singers begin rehearsing weekly beginning in August.
The Madrigal Dinners celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2004-2005 with a Madrigal Alumni performance.
“Time after time students remark that their Madrigal Dinner involvement was the best and most memorable experience of their four years of high school,” LaCroix said.