For the uninitiated, a madrigal feast is a sort of dinner theatre event, mixing a full meal, choral music and either a series of vignettes (either comedic or dramatic) or a full play. The Chorale’s production will include a traditional holiday dinner of turkey and dressing catered by Tradition’s restaurant, with theatrical portions directed by Felicity Enas of the Actor’s Preparatory Exchange.
“This isn’t really comparable to anything we’ve done before,” said Donald Duncan, artistic director for the production and director of Tyler Civic Chorale. “It’s basically a journey back in time to Renaissance England, with costumes and music and theatre and sets and food.”
It’s a lot of hands, a lot of talent involved. We have everything from jesters and troubadours to instrumentalists playing,
horn, trumpet, flute, harpsichord, and then of course Tyler Civic Chorale singers in large groups as well as small ensembles and quartets,” Duncan said. “It’s a really rich, beautiful, multi-faceted kind of production.”
Duncan said he drew from his deep love of English culture and history in putting together this venture and said he aimed to create the sort of fun experience one might have when attending a Renaissance faire or a Medieval Times dinner theatre event.
“I have a real love of Renaissance faires and I love going to Medieval Times. I love that whole experience,” he said. “It’s like walking onto a movie set, when going to a madrigal feast, and that’s what we want to recreate for people, that sense of being at a high-level theatrical production or onto a set.”
The English Holiday Madrigal Feast will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 and Sat., Dec. 1. Tickets are $25 per person and must be purchased in advance. For tickets or additional information, visit www.tylercivicchorale.com.