Annual Madrigal Dinner: A royal event

A night of majestic fine dining and wonderful entertainment was provided for the guests of the Madrigal Dinner Event. The dinner took place in the UC Grand Room at Western Carolina University, Friday, Nov. 30.

At 6:30 p.m., hungry people trailed into another time period as they were taken to their seats. The UC Grand Room was transformed into a royal dining hall with eight round tables and rich colorful curtains hanging from the ceiling. Everyone became entranced with the warm atmosphere as the Renaissance musicians, in feathered hats, played woodwind instruments. Christmas music echoed in the room, adding to the holiday theme of the night with festive wreaths and twinkling Christmas trees.

All of the guests were beautifully dressed in gowns and sharp suits. Different age groups came to enjoy the magical evening. A display fireplace added to the illusion of being in a warm and cozy grand palace. At the front of the room on the wall, a detailed mural helped set the stage for the king and queen’s throne room.

While waiting for the show to begin, the staff served drinks for the excited guests. The tables held sparkling plates and wineglasses to be able to enjoy fine dining with family and friends. The servers were extremely attentive throughout the night making sure each guest was provided for.

The room was buzzing with anticipation on what was to come. Lots of smiling faces everywhere as three trumpet players, dressed in oversized sleeved Renaissance attire, made their way to the stage. The trumpets blared with short bursts of excellence which announced the entrance of the king and queen. They sang a song called “Gloria” followed by the first appearance of the king and his queen. The king had on royal blue and gray, and the queen wore a festive dress of warm colors.

To welcome the guests, the royal couple announced the lighting of a candle to symbolize peace. They lit the candles and let the audience partake in lighting their own candles already at the tables.

A surprise turned up as the jester was called forth from the kitchen backstage. He appeared with a chef’s hat on his head. The king let the jester make a toast, which was full of good jokes. While guests drank in toast, the ensemble onstage was asked by the king to gather and sing songs.

Food was announced and served after the toast.

Elizabeth St. John, one of the guests at the dinner, said, “It’s delicious, and everything is very beautiful. The singers are very talented as well.”

The singing ensemble interacted with guests by coming offstage and spreading out to each table. They let the audience members touch the Renaissance clothing and ask questions.

After everyone ate, the jester came out with his shoe off. He proclaimed that he had the “boot” and was not welcomed in the kitchen. Later, the jester was honored with knighthood. Then desert was announced, and the choir sang more Christmas carols. The servers then brought our scrumptious Figgie Pudding for a final treat.

Another guest, Charlotte Kaeyt, said, “The Madrigal Dinner has been great. It is an annual event for us.”

The event did have that lasting impression. Its combination of music, authentic clothing, acting and food was magical. The warm atmosphere was shared by family and friends at this memorable event.