The child Frederick and his mother both have secrets. She sings alone in their desultory kitchen; he sneaks out of the house to sing for spare change in front of city bars and nightclubs, his vast repertoire learned from his mother's lyrical midnight music. His six older brothers run wild, and the sensitive and musically gifted Frederick and his struggling mother are very sure he is not like them at all.
In mid-life, Frederick is deliverer of Canada Post mail; teacher of Voice; keeper of even bigger secrets; caretaker of his demented mother; lousy with dates. Still, it appears that everything is more or less satisfactory and under control...until it becomes obvious that he can't get away from his past after all. The Madrigal explores the experience of solitude, the deep longing for elusive connection, the meaning of extraordinary talent, and the role of memories--either involuntarily forgotten or intentionally suppressed--throughout our lives. As each week Frederick steadfastly visits his mother in her nursing home, he brings a unique twist to a timeless journey of self-forgiveness.