“Michelson’s music is hard to describe; otherworldly, perhaps?Steven Suskin, Playbill

“[Marisa’s] music is gorgeous, single tones building atop each other in unexpected intervals and chords that sound slightly non-harmonic before finding their way to resolution…Tamar sometimes sounds like it hails from a world where pop music followed a very different evolutionary path. Its Asian-influenced sounds are the opposite of Hamilton’s contemporary tones — but it’s just as adventurous.” – VOX Magazine

“Ms. Michelson’s music is frequently exquisite and always melodic.” – Anita Gates, The New York Times

“In TAMAR OF THE RIVER, it is the vocals that give the recording its majesty and opulence. Chants, improvisations, dissonance, rich chords, and so much more permeate the air, soul, and mind as the recording plays. The vocal compositions are complex and earthly, especially when performed by the ensemble that represents the river. Notes cascade, ebb, and flow in tumultuous succession, making TAMAR OF THE RIVER unlike most other projects. Listeners who have experienced the work of Dave Malloy will instantly draw comparisons to him. They will also draw comparisons to Steve Reich’s works, where repetition, layering, and convoluted musicality all add depth and surreal richness to his compositions.

Whether in solo or in groups, TAMAR OF THE RIVER offers a dizzying array of vocal brilliance.” – Steven Suskin (Author of “The Sound of Broadway Music”)


“Tamar of the River [is] one of the most extraordinary new scores in years.”Jesse Green, New York Magazine
“Michelson’s challenging and tonally complex music is some of the most unique and beautiful I’ve heard in musical theater. The high-flying trills, warm harmonies, and legato articulation of singular words (‘God’ sung in about 20 descending notes, like a wail) really help establish the emotional landscape of this alien world struggling with the same issues we face in our own. When she writes music for the river…, one imagines that this is what the prophets heard when receiving the word of God.” – Zack Sullivan, Theatermania

“With a rich tapestry of complicated choral and musical stylings, Marisa Michelson’s inventive and experimental score has been recorded…Not since Dave Malloy’s NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 (Original Cast Recording) have I had the pleasure to experience a score so meaty, unique, and vastly interesting in the genre of musical theatre.” – David Clarke, Broadway World

“Tamar of the River fulfill[s] the artistic requirements of an opera. It is the seriousness of Marisa Michelson’s music that informs our opinion; it is original but accessible and never derivative; it is clearly written by someone who understands writing for the voice both in the solos and in the choral work.  – Meche Kroop,

“ …Lyrical, melodic, yet dissonent music…Tamar succeeds on all levels…  In a world where morality seems to have vanished and peace a concept hardly practiced, this piece lights the way to discussion.  Marisa Michelson’s music and book is haunting and ethereal… Rarely do you see a piece that is so new and enchanting.”– Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles

“Tamar of the River is a powerfully beautiful and deeply affecting allegory about love and the potency of belief.  It is an ancient, and timeless, and timely tale.” – Marti Sichel, Woman Around Town

“Tamar of the River is a phenomenal effort of beauty.” – Tzippora Kaplan, Theater is Easy

“It’s hard to imagine a more ambitious piece of musical drama coming out of indie theatre than Prospect Theater Company’s production of Tamar of the River…The narrative takes on immense power through Michelson’s rich and distinctive score.” – Ron Cohen,