Madrigal Dinner cast
"Roaring Twenties Holiday Madrigal Dinner" cast

UTSA hosts 'Roaring Twenties Holiday Madrigal Dinner' Dec. 1-3

By Kareem El Dahab
Student Writer, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

(Nov. 22, 2005)--The UTSA Department of Music presents the "Roaring Twenties Holiday Madrigal Dinner" at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2-3 at the University Center Laurel Room (2.01.28) on the UTSA 1604 Campus. The event is sponsored by KCI, Mission Pharmacal Company and Cox Smith Matthews, Inc.

The President's Madrigal Dinner Dec. 1 benefits music scholarships. Honorary chair Mayor Phil Hardberger will co-host the event with President Ricardo Romo and Dr. Harriett Romo, and UTSA supporters Beverly and Neill Walsdorf.

Tickets for the President's Madrigal Dinner are $125; for reservations, call Helene Benitez at (210) 458-4404. Tickets for the Dec. 2 and 3 performances benefiting the Department of Music are $35 and $45; for reservations, call Naomy Ybarra at (210) 458-4357.

In their 29th year at UTSA, the madrigal dinners include a performance set to music accompanied by a holiday dinner. This year's production steps back in time to the 1920s. Replacing the madrigals of Elizabethan composers will be hits of the period such as "You Gotta See Mama Every Night," "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Blue Skies" and "Singin' in the Rain."

Instead of dancing the pavane and galliard of the Renaissance, the cast will kick up their heels to the Charleston. This is the era of Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth and stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. Entertainment would never be the same after the first sound motion pictures were ushered in and the unmistakable sound of jazz was in the air. Flappers were "Puttin' on the Ritz" and gangsters were smuggling illegal hooch. It was a time when the gin was cold and the jazz was hot.

A madrigal is a medieval poem set to music. The traditional madrigal dinner is a re-creation of the Renaissance feasts held in the great baronial halls of England during the 12 days of Christmas. Those lucky enough to be guests at a feast were dazzled with pageantry, humor and large amounts of food accompanied by a mixture of sacred and secular music.

The traditional madrigal dinner uses a Renaissance "masque," or play, as the focus of the entertainment. Everything is in character during the feast with the performers in Renaissance costumes singing music from the period. The masque ties together the theme of the event beginning with a welcome by the jester, continuing through short performances during the meal, and ending with a masque and a farewell.

For more information, contact Cindy Solis at (210) 458-5685.

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