Hear ye, hear ye!

All peasants are invited to join the nobility for a Renaissance feast at Del Norte High School’s 23rd-annual Ye Olde Madrigal Dinner.

Head baron and choir instructor Dan Sedgwick said the two-day affair of fine food and festive Christmas songs plays out over three shows — at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14, and at noon Dec. 14.

Tickets are $30 for the evening performances and $20 for the matinee. All performances are at Crescent City Elks Lodge No. 1689, 359 H St.

Sedgwick, now in his 12th year of overseeing the proceedings, said his 53 chorale students will dress in period costumes representing two social classes from the Renaissance.

“The middle choir, Bella Voice, will be the ‘serving wenches,’ the indentured class, which does not have enough money to own land. It will be featured in small-group performances, while serving food,” he said.

“The older students will be the Madrigals, the nobility and landowners, who will do the bulk of the performing.”

All of the students will be attired in period-correct costumes, some hand-me-downs and others handcrafted by participants, Sedgwick said.

He added that the student performers won’t be the only ones who likely to participate. “The audience members are encouraged to dress in period costumes, too” Sedgwick said. “They don’t have to, but it’s really fun when they do. It’s a good time for everyone.”

But beware, he said. You may end up participating more than you had anticipated. “The Madrigals can ensue penalties on people - for wearing the wrong color or for the crime of operating cameras during the show, because that was witchcraft back then.

“They’ll deploy their penalties and may require you to sing for the whole house to be freed.”

The meal features a pork, chicken or vegetarian option, catered by Marlo’s Greek and Italian Restaurant. Throughout the feast, the performers will sing “Christmasesque” songs from the 1600s to modern day, Sedgwick said.

“Some of the music is like storytelling: dedicated speeches to the peasants on how to behave themselves, because they’re not proper.”

The show is expected to last about 2 hours and 40 minutes, Sedgwick said. At very end, school alumni will be invited to join the lords and ladies in the final Christmas chorus.

Sedgwick said the event is usually well attended and last year was within 30 tickets of selling out. Tickets must be purchasing before Dec. 11 so the caterer can plan accordingly.

Tickets are available at Del Norte Office Supply, 240 I St.

For more information, call Sedgwick at 707-464-0272.


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