Contrasts: An Evening of Art Song

by Jason Mulligan & Alissa Roca

Contrasts is a program I conceived and first presented with Alissa Roca in the summer of 2019. Below you can find the majority of the program, only three songs are not here.

The concept for this program is rather than do a cliche program like “love and loss” or “heaven and hell” we would focus on the broader idea of contrasts in general. For each song that was selected I then found a song to pair with it that had a thematic or narrative contrast. For example the first song on the program (which is not currently represented here) is Will There Really Be a Morning by Ricky Ian Gordon and that pairs with the final song, Goodnight Moon by Eric Whitacre.

As you might be able to tell, in addition to the pairings there is also a structural concept at play here. The program works from the inside out. For example the first and last songs are a pair, and Die Lorelei and Gretchen am Spinnrade are a pair. This structure creates an overall narrative of a journey from morning to evening with a range of misadventures in between.