Bio-prefessional 2

MARISA MICHELSON is a multi-award winning writer of interdisciplinary music-theatre, choral work, and musicals, and is the founder of Marisa Michelson’s Constellation-Chor,* a vocal ensemble. She is also a sought-after voice teacher who works with singers of all genres including Broadway stars, opera singers, actors, andsinger-songwriters – with a special emphasis on helping musical-theatre singers achieve spontaneity, soul, freedom and musical depth.

Tamar of the River, her experimental musical (written with Joshua H. Cohen) was produced by Prospect Theater in 2013, nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, and released as a cast album on Yellow Sound Label in 2014. About Tamar of the River, Vox magazine wrote “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” and NY Magazine called Tamar “one of the most extraordinary scores in years.” Tamar of the River was also produced as a theatrical oratorio for Vince Peterson’s Choral Chameleon.

Marisa’s interdisciplinary music-theatre piece, Song of Song of Songs (Part One of her Desire/Divinity project), recently won a 2017 Creative Engagement Award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.  It was last performed with acclaimed opera company Heartbeat Opera. and will have another performance this year.  Part Two of the Desire/Divinity Project is Sappho Fragments, a music-theatre, body and voice-based exploration of Sappho’s exquisite poetry.  Sappho and SOSOS will be performed together in early 2018.

Musicals in development include One Thousand Nights and One Day – an adaptation of Jason Grote’s acclaimed play,1001, which will be produced by Prospect Theatre off-Broadway at the new ARTNY Theatres in April, 2018.  One Thousand Nights and One Day was workshopped with York Theatre in May 2013 after previous residencies at Theaterworks, Palo Alto, New Dramatists, and Montclair University’s New Works Institute.

Naamah’s Ark (libretto by Royce Vavrek), a community-engaging “earthy and melodic” oratorio for five choirs (200+ singers) and chamber orchestra, was commissioned by Ted Sperling for MasterVoices as part of their inaugural community outreach initiative providing an opportunity for a community to make music regardless of their abilities or backgrounds.  Naamah’s Ark premiered in 2016 at Ansche Chesed synagogue in NYC and have an encore performance as part of River to River’s Festival in 2018.

In 2014, Marisa collaborated with librettist Mark Campbell The Other Room (Barrow Group Theatre, Inner Voices) which starred Phoebe Strole as Lena, a woman reflecting on her profound love for her friend Steve during the AIDS crisis in NYC in the 1990s.

Marisa is currently developing a new musical with director Chase Brock and working with Caridad Svich and Chase Brock on a choral/opera/dance piece.

With Constellation Chor, Marisa researches the intersection of mind/body/spirit practices with virtuosic singing and performance practices.  Bio available upon request.

Awards: 2017 Creative Engagement Award (LMCC); Jonathan Larson; American Musical Voices: The Next Generation; St. Botolph Award for Composition; Grant to study Indian Hindustani singing in India. Residencies: MacDowell; Ucross; Blue Mountain Center; Theatreworks Palo Alto; New Dramatists; Montclair University; Millkin University. Recordings: Tamar of the River (Yellow Sound Label); Broadway Lullaby Project (“All New “ singer: Nikki M. James). Marisa sang with Meredith Monk in Songs of Ascension at BAM. Marisa currently lives in Washington Heights, NYC.

*Constellation Chor’s biography available upon request.