Transport back in time with the BHSU Madrigal Dinner and Opera, a holiday tradition

SPEARFISH, S.D. – The popular Madrigal Dinner and Opera musical event, a beloved tradition, returns to Black Hills State University Nov. 29 – Dec. 2.

Serving as a fundraiser for BHSU Music Department student scholarships, the Madrigal Dinner audience will be taken back to Renaissance times and invited to a Christmas feast in the castle’s great hall.

The scholarship fundraiser, which often sells out, provides theatrical entertainment, a Renaissance-themed meal, and a medieval night for all who attend. A small ensemble of 18 BHSU student singers will take on their roles as 16th century King, Queen, Jester, and Court, performing a program of several traditional carols and Renaissance music.

A Christmas feast will be served: brie and cheddar apple beer soup will be the first course, along with maple cranberry glazed turkey breast with sausage and herb stuffing and green beans and salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

Rylann Olson, BHSU music education major from Dickinson, N.D., shares her excitement for the Madrigal Dinner. “This is my second year being part of the Madrigal Dinner, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve been preparing!”

After the impressive meal catered by A’viands, the court will perform a short one-act opera in English called “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Gian-Carlo Menotti. In this miraculous story, the Three Kings stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor disabled shepherd boy, and his widowed mother while following the star to Bethlehem.

“The Madrigal dinner is so unique because the audience is involved in the performance,” Olson says. “We are constantly interacting with them to make them feel like they’re at a genuine Renaissance dinner.”

Performances will take place Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, Nov. 29 – Dec. 2. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are $45. If you wish to attend only the Opera, it will begin at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15.

Reservations are available at or by calling Raena Martinez at 605-642-6420.

Please notify us of any dietary needs such as vegetarian meals or nut allergies when making reservations.

The Madrigal Dinner typically sells out quickly, so make your reservations soon!

Students participating in the Madrigal Dinner include:

Alicia Absher, chemistry major from Belle Fourche

Cheyenne Black, political science major from Rapid City

Hayes Chohon, music education major from Ainsworth, Nebraska

Carissa Deming, music education major from Newcastle, Wyoming

Dustin Fox, history major from Sturgis

Amy Hahn, music education major from Gillette, Wyoming

Hailey Hanzlik, English major from Spearfish

Chelsea Hiser, music education major from Glenrock, Wyoming

Mallary Hoffmann, psychology major from Brookings

Gwendolyn Hoops, music education major from Sturgis

Rylann Olson, music education major from Dickinson, North Dakota

Claire Palmreuter, applied health sciences major from Rapid City

Micah Pennel, music education major from Hill City

Eric Quaschnick, music education major from Spearfish

Hannah Rehmeier, music education major from St. Onge

Gregory Roling, music education major from Piedmont

Dillon Smith, outdoor education major from Watford City, North Dakota

Judd Stewart, political science major from Spearfish

Christina Walton, English major from Spearfish

Grace Wetrich, outdoor education major from Sioux Falls

Information provided by Black Hills State University
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