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Madrigal dinner rings in holiday cheer

File photo

As the temperature outside continues to fall, the Drake University fine arts department will warm you up with its annual Drake Madrigal Dinners on Dec. 1 (7 p.m.) and Dec. 2 (5 p.m.).

When you think of the meaning of “Madrigal” go back to “Winter Wonderland” seen through the eyes of Tiny Tim and Mr. Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  Think of elaborate gowns, top hats and chestnuts roasting on a cozy open fire to truly envision such an occasion.

“The dinners are special because you feel like you are transported to a different world,” said senior Madeline Judge.

In her first year, Judge performed in the Madrigal Dinners, but this year she is looking forward to being on the receiving end of the spectacle.

First-year ensemble member Nick Baker anticipates his first time being a part of this event because he’s never experienced anything like it.  He’s ready to indulge in this opportunity this holiday season.

“I’m really looking forward to this new and exciting experience,” Baker said.

Madrigal is a lovely Old English term used to describe a lyrical poem set to music, and in this case, your dinner will be set to harmonious tunes provided by none other than the Drake Chamber Choir.

“Nothing brings people together like beautiful music,” Judge said.

With that, Baker agrees, adding, “It’s such a unique experience.”

If the music isn’t enough to get you there, the food alone will make you want to deck the halls with endless boughs of holly.

“It feels like a special occasion and the food is delicious,” Judge said.

And that it is. Boar’s head, wassail bowl, fig pudding, Cornish game hens, garlic mashed potatoes, baked apples, scones and so much more await at this banquet of holiday cheer.

“People should attend the Madrigal Dinners because it is a unique, fun experience that everyone should experience at least once in their lives,” Baker said.  “Plus, it’s just a fun time.”

Luckily, so no one has any excuse to miss such a jolly opportunity. Tickets cost $50.

“I think the Madrigal Dinners are something that people look forward to every year,” Baker said.  “People consistently make plans to attend each year because the performances are so exceptional.”

Instead of letting the snow make you sing along to “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in your residence hall this year, choose to enjoy a great dinner with your fellow Bulldogs and celebrate the holidays Madrigal-style.


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