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A Feast Fit for Kings and Queens

August 18, 1992|KATHRYN BOLD

Five hundred of the Pacific Symphony closest friends showed up Saturday to eat, drink and make merry at a Medieval Feast and Concert.

The orchestra staged the Middle Ages-style gala at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in honor of those who supported it during the 1991-92 season. The $35-per-person event included the orchestra's performance of Carl Orff's 1937 cantata "Carmina Burana," based on medieval poems dealing with love, fortune, the beauty of nature and drinking.

Music and Merriment

To carry out the medieval theme, the Irvine Meadows' Circle on the Green was festooned with colorful streamers, bales of hay and pull carts loaded with food and drink. The Southern California Early Music Consort entertained with period songs.

Medieval peasants addressed guests as milord and milady as they served up smoked turkey legs and filled goblets with ale.

In the spirit of the times, no silverware was issued. Instead, guests gamely ate with their hands from large wooden bowls, wiping their mouths with green burlap napkins.

"This was the way King Henry did it," one woman said as she filled her bowl with hunks of meat from the food carts.

Symphony violinist Alex Horvath, wielding a large drumstick, joked, "I'm going to use this as a bow."

Royal Repast

Guests drank vichyssoise from "bowls" of hollowed-out bread loafs. They helped themselves to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, slices of beef that had been cooked on a revolving spit and fresh fruit. Dessert was no delicate matter--bread pudding with lemon sauce, which one indelicately scooped in one's hands. No wonder each table was equipped with a pile of moist towelettes.

"Make sure your hands are clean," quipped Janice Johnson, president of the Pacific Symphony Assn.

Kurt Odenwald, general manager for Service America, the concessionaire for Irvine Meadows, chose a somewhat modified medieval menu, prepared by Gourmet Catering, because "we didn't think many people were interested in oat gruel and tough pig."

Paying Tribute

"Tonight is to thank all of our family members," said Louis Spisto, Pacific Symphony executive director. "They've helped us get through the best season we've ever had."

Among those cited were donors and their families, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra League, the Harp Guild of Anaheim, Celeste Guild, Hospitality Guild, Notables Guild and Timpani Guild.

Spisto also thanked orchestra members for having rehearsed in 92-degree heat for the evening's performance.

Among the guests were John Alexander, artistic director of the Pacific Chorale; Mack, Claire and Richard Burt; Col. James Clark; Jim and Velma Emmi; Moe and Suzy Krabbe; orchestra member Mimi Meyer; Anne Nutt; Shirley Roeder; George and Anne Schopick; Walter and Gerry Schroeder; Charles and Hazel Schwab; David Scott; Edward and Helen Shanbrom; Bob and Barbara Sharp, and Dr. Gayle Widyolar.

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