St. Francis High to host 32nd annual madrigal dinner

St. Francis High School’s choral department is staging its 32nd annual madrigal dinner.

St. Francis High School madrigal students marched in Anoka’s Halloween Parade Oct. 27 to bring focus to the school’s upcoming 32nd annual madrigal dinner. Photo submitted

St. Francis High School madrigal students marched in Anoka’s Halloween Parade Oct. 27 to bring focus to the school’s upcoming 32nd annual madrigal dinner. Photo submitted

But if you want to see this original production penned by SFHS students and hear some great madrigal music, be forewarned. Tickets are going fast. They’re nearly sold out.

Step back into the Renaissance period circa 1500 and immerse yourself in the skit titled “Once Upon a Time… The End!”

The plot is about a queen who calls her court together to investigate if and when the world will end as rumored to happen in December 2012 of the Mayan calendar.

The St. Francis group, however, in writing the plot decides to end the world a month in advance.

“It’s actually very, very clever and it’s very, very fun,” said Lukas Warren, director of the madrigal dinner and choral director at SFHS.

About 120 students take part in the production: 30 students at the head table (the madrigal singers), 60-some servers and 20 supplementary players – court jesters, town criers, guards and minstrel singers.

The madrigal group, a class that meets the first trimester of school, will sing a dozen polyphonic tunes (think different melody lines sung at the same time). Two of the songs will be performed in original Gaelic language.

The group began writing the skit for the show last summer as soon as school let out. They finished in September, just in time for the start of the new school year.

“It’s heavily rooted in student participation,” Warren said. “They wrote it, serve meals, they set up and tear down and I think that’s unique.”

Expect to be entertained in this production. Lots of laughs. A variety of music. Interaction among characters and audience members. A brass ensemble trumpets fanfares.

And did we mention a hearty four-course meal? Pork tenderloin is on the menu, culinary fare “fit for a king,” Warren says.

The madrigal dinner is a unique experience with talented students delivering the entertainment.

“They perform it so well, it really is a treat,” Warren said.

Katelyn Larson is the show’s assistant choral director, while Chad Armbruster, SFHS band director, prepared the brass ensemble.

St. Francis High School choral department presents “Once Upon a Time… The End!”

Madrigal dinner performances, Nov. 8, 9, at 7 p.m., Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. Dinner and show, adults $20, students $15. SFHS is located at 3325 Bridge St. N.W., St. Francis, Ticket order forms at www.fightingsaints.org or at www.stfrancis.k12.mn.us. Order forms also available at the high school or call 763-213-1800, extension 1489.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com


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