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A Long-Running Tradition Returns This Holiday Season

By Dani Nicholson

The longest-running tradition at BSU is returning this December for its 48th year. Madrigal Dinners, hosted by the Bemidji Choir and Chamber Choir, is a four-course meal with exciting and interactive entertainment. It is set in the year 1616 of the Renaissance period, complete with costumes fit for a King, Queen, and their Royal Court.

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Madrigal Dinners performers toast the audience during one of the 47th Annual Madrigal Dinners performances. Photo by BSU Photo.

Chelsea Knutson, the Madrigal Dinner Manager and a member of the Royal Court, has been planning and overseeing this event for months. This December will mark her fifth year in the show and her second year as manager.

Each Madrigal Dinner contains a Masque, a play performed throughout the evening by actors from the Bemidji Choir and across campus. This year, the Masque has a comedic and appropriate plotline.

“It’s titled Fool Hardies: Unemployed, and it’s about two down-and-out political figures based off of Romeo and Juliet. One is a Democrat, one is a Republican, and they fall in love as the story unfolds,” Knutson said.

Derek Bebeau, the King of the Royal Court, will be participating in his fourth year in Madrigal Dinners. “My favorite part is interacting with the people who come and watch us perform and enjoy the show with us,” he said.

The entertainment an audience member can look forward to includes the energetic beggars and the cellar keepers, who sell roses and bottles of sparkling cider to guests as well as sing to various tables. The Royal Court will also grace the ballroom with a concert at the end of the night.

NikkiLee Nolden, the Queen, also said, “Every year, you know it’s Christmas time when Madrigals comes around.” Both Bebeau and Nolden are excited to reign over their court, ring in the holiday season, and continue an exciting tradition at Bemidji State.

Madrigal Dinners are performed in the Beaux Arts Ballroom in the Upper Hobson Memorial Union. Tickets are on sale beginning October 12th for $38. BSU students receive discounted tickets for $28. Performances are December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at 7 pm and December 4th at 5 pm. For more ticket information, call the ticket office at (218) 755-3406.