Not an ordinary dinner theater, the Methodist University Chorale takes patrons on a trip back in time to the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England, as members of the choir, bedecked in their fifteenth-century finery, celebrate the joy of the season as members of the Queen’s court. The show features a variety of traditional and period carols, sung by the University Choir, as well as special holiday pieces presented by MU’s elite Chamber Singers. The show culminates in a moving rendition of “Silent Night” sung by candlelight, as guests are invited to reflect upon the deeper meaning of the season. The show is full of warmth and heart, as it offers not only lighthearted entertainment for guests, but invites everyone, performers and patrons alike, to experience the comfort and joy of the Christmas spirit.
As the name suggests, Yuletide Feaste offers its patrons top-notch entertainment, but it also provides guests with a sumptuous spread inspired by the holiday feasts held by the royal courts of 15th-century Europe. The four-course meal includes dishes such as butternut squash soup, stuffed chicken with smoked Gouda, wild rice pilaf and much more. There are also vegetarian options available for those who prefer to forego meat. Finally, the meal concludes with a spectacular dessert — figgy pudding, doused in brandy and then set aflame, as the dish has traditionally been served for hundreds of years.
The Yuletide Feaste was the brainchild of Dr. Michael Martin, the director of University Choirs at MU. Inspired by similar holiday shows put on at Kent State University, where he was a student, Martin brought the idea to the MU Chorale and organized Fayetteville’s first Feaste in 2011. As MU Chorale members will tell you, Feaste is as much a delight for the students to put on as it is for patrons to watch. This year, the president of the MU Chorale, Mrs. Jordan Dues, will portray Queen Elizabeth I. Dues, a senior, shared her sentiments: “Feaste has not only become a tradition for the Chorale, but also for the community. It’s a night filled with good food, good company and good entertainment. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Chorale for these past four years and cannot imagine how I will feel next year when I can no longer be a part of this great family.”
Dues said that she will, however, continue to participate in the event after she graduates, albeit from the other side of the curtain. “I will come back as often as I can to watch the Queen’s court and the companionship that is exhibited.”
Yuletide Feaste will be held at Haymount United Methodist Church on Fort Bragg Road Dec. 6 and 7. Tickets are $45 each and benefit the MU Chorale, helping them travel to perform in various locations throughout the country and around the world. Tickets must be reserved by Nov. 25 and can be purchased online at https://www.methodist.edu/music/yuletide-feaste/ or by mailing a physical copy of the registration form with a check or credit card number to Linda Volman Lane at the MU music department.