WHS to host first madrigal dinnerMedieval songs and drama for a modern audience
WORTHINGTON — Bring on the boar’s head; tune up the lute. Lords and ladies of Worthington will turn out in force Saturday night for the first-ever madrigal dinner hosted by, and benefiting, the Worthington High School (WHS) choral department.
By: Jane Turpin Moore, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Bring on the boar’s head; tune up the lute.
Lords and ladies of Worthington will turn out in force Saturday night for the first-ever madrigal dinner hosted by, and benefiting, the Worthington High School (WHS) choral department.
“It’s going to be an evening jam-packed with fun, good food and entertainment,” asserted Joseph Osowski, WHS choral director. “Elements of Christmas, drama, music and comedy are wrapped into this, and the students have been having a great time preparing music and skits for the occasion.”
While in college at North Dakota State University (NDSU), Osowski participated in that school’s Madrigal Singers’ program, after which this event is modeled.
“Last year, a group of 56 students went to Fargo with me to attend NDSU’s madrigal dinner and hear their super vocal ensembles,” explained Osowski.
“They really liked it and thought it would be fun to do something similar; that’s how this came about,” Osowski added.
The 60 WHS students who comprise the school’s three select ensembles — Trojan Express, Vox and Bel Canto — are involved with the madrigal dinner. Each student will wear a medieval costume, representing different social classes of the period.
“It’s been interesting trying to piece together 60 appropriate costumes,” admitted Osowski. “The degree of ornamentation on clothing in that time period was a direct reflection of a person’s wealth, or lack thereof. Some of the girls will be dressed in flowing, beaded gowns with elaborate headdresses while others will look like beggars with dirty faces, messy hair and burlap shirts.”
Osowski described an outfit for a rich male: “A very poofy, poofy shirt, a hat with feathers, a vest or cloak, and bloomers, leggings or tights.”
Singing will, of course, be a major part of the evening, with each of the different groups serenading the assemblage separately and also en masse. A “Romeo and Juliet” skit will be performed, with one catch — the main characters will be selected from the audience.
“There are a lot of interactive things that will be happening,” assured Osowski, offering as another example a “Twelve Days of Christmas” contest involving each of the tables.
“Anyone who has ever been to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival will have a good idea of the kind of atmosphere we’re trying to introduce here,” said Osowski. Burgundy cloths will line the tables, while an iconic roasted pig’s head, complete with an apple stuffed in its mouth, will be a featured item on a head table.
Students will process into the “hall” (otherwise known as the WHS cafeteria) singing “Deck the Halls,” and a jester, portrayed by sophomore Brandon Berger, will be in action throughout the evening. Liz Berger will provide piano accompaniment for the vocalists.
The evening meal includes a choice of roast beef, chicken with stuffing or vegetable lasagna and various accompaniments, with the food catered by Keith’s Grocery of Adrian and served by the participating choral students.
“There’s nothing quite like this being done in the immediate area, and I thought it would be a good fundraiser for our department,” opined Osowski. “It’s fun stuff, and I hope the audience will enjoy it as much as the students so it may become a tradition for us.”
The inaugural WHS madrigal dinner is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the WHS cafeteria. A limited number of tickets remain; they may be reserved by calling the WHS choral music department at 376-6121 or by e-mailing Osowski at email@example.com.