Department of Music Wraps 49th Season of Madrigal Dinners

When the curtain lifted on Bemidji State University’s 49th annual Madrigal Dinners on Nov. 30, the efforts of nearly 60 students and alumni on this year’s cast brought this northern Minnesota Yuletide tradition to the Bemidji community.

At BSU’s Madrigal Dinners, singers recreated the atmosphere of a renaissance feast once held in English castles, bringing to life the regal pageantry and ceremonial pomp of Merrie Olde England.

This year’s masque uses a script penned by Madrigal Dinners founder Dr. Paul Brandvik, professor emeritus of music at BSU, entitled “The Truth Fairy.” With the help of the audience, the titular Truth Fairy helped feature performers Lancealot and Lancealittle determine the difference between truth and falsehood.

Bemidji State’s 2017 performance schedule included five shows — four evening dates beginning at 7 p.m held Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, with a 1 p.m. matinee on Dec. 3. All five shows sold out in advance.

The Madrigal Dinners were founded at BSU in 1968 under the tenure of Dr. Paul Brandvik, professor emeritus of vocal music. The dinners combine musical, visual, dramatic and culinary arts into an evening that transcends time. Since their debut at Bemidji State, the dinners have been performed in Washington, Wisconsin and in the Twin Cities.