Everything was fantastic tonight at the Madrigal Dinner. The food was good, the setting was lovely, and the singing excellent. It took place at GC Cuisine here in Edwardsville in their ‘crystal garden. Although I’m normally skeptical of any name beginning with ‘crystal’ it was pretty nice, in spite of the b*tch. A woman who worked there decided that we shouldn’t have been using an empty adjacent hall to keep our clothes/props, and turned off the lights while we were getting ready for the dinner. The dear thing probably just wanted to simulate Medieval light levels.
My folks came to support me once again, and reminded me that the last Madrigal Dinner they’d been to was in 2002, five whole years ago. After all this time, I think they still enjoy it as much as I do. I was completely aware of this, but like so many things it escapes the daily routine of my mind. I was glad to finally be part of the 12 days of Christmas schtick; a cute little girl was my Sherlock Holmes/11 pipers piping, and with a little encouragement she managed to speak slightly louder than a distant rustling of paper. Some of the songs we sang tonight were the same, the costumes were generally of the same quality; paradoxically, this was probably one of the best performances of my life, yet had the least amount of time invested into it. I attribute this miracle to the heart, rather than the mind. In general, it’s very easy to be taken with madrigal music as a singer. Small ensembles, tight harmony, and playful songs are a welcome respite from Bach cantatas (as in I can’t stand them). This particular group was superb because there were no egos/axes to grind/divas, and gifted voices to boot. I’ll certainly miss singing with them.
It’s one of those nights where I get taken up by excessive sentimentality. Of course I’ll remember and cherish the dinner, but not in the way I’d like. The truth of it will be that I remember the way it made me feel far longer than the particulars of the event. This concept applies to most things, but music has the eternal quality of return performances. If in the future I sing one of the songs I sang tonight, no matter how many years pass, it will trigger the memory in a way that no other medium I’ve encountered can. Maybe that’s why I get so sentimental about it.