The madrigal dinners will be presented by the Singing Camerata, a 20-piece auditioned choir made up of USF students. The singers come from all different class years and majors, but they all come together to put on this annual show, just as they have done for years.
The madrigal dinners are one of the strongest traditions on this campus. In the fall of 2013, they will be celebrating their 50th year. “The dinner itself was never intended as a fundraiser, but rather it was used to improve public relations for the university and to provide an educational opportunity into this important section of musical history. I have tried to continue that tradition,” Director Dave Dehoogh-Kliewer added.
Over the years, there have been several changes to the
madrigal shows. They have incorporated hand bells, which allow the musicians to
play and sing at the same time. A storyline has also been added to help tie the
show together. However, the madrigals have always kept the theme of celebrating
Christ’s birth at their core. Dehoogh-Kliewer joked, “Whenever I meet an alumni
of the madrigals, I tell them I want them to come back and participate in the
show in 2013.”
This year’s dinner consists of a show made up of numerous songs and a masque in the middle. The masque, a type of skit, concentrates on the jester, played by Anne Wentworth, searching for a replacement. Along the way, he encounters the Truth Fairy, Lancelot and Lanceloo, and others. The other music incorporates renaissance motets, Christmas carols and a traditional madrigal. The Singing Camerata is also preparing for their upcoming tour of Paris and Amsterdam, so there are several pieces in Dutch, French and even Flemish.
“I love dressing up in the costumes and just experiencing the variety of it. I think the best part is seeing everything come together and make for a great show. I think it’s awesome that we do a masque. It’s just something you would not normally put with our literature. [The audience’s] reaction to our skits is always fun to watch,” added Sherri Jergenson, a senior in the Madrigal Singers.