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Karen Coker-Merritt

Assistant Professor of Music

A native of North Carolina, Dr. Coker-Merritt received her Master of Music degree from UNC-Greensboro, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at Florida State University. She began her professional operatic career with Pittsburgh Opera, studying as an apprentice with opera legends Renata Scotto, Régine Crespin, and Renée Fleming. She made her professional operatic debut with Baltimore Opera in 2003.

International engagements have included a tour of England with Opera North of the UK’s production of Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus, starring as Venus. She reprised this role at the Ravenna Festival in Italy, as well as at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. She has performed in numerous oratorio, recital and concert engagements throughout New York City. She starred as Rosalinda in Opera New York’s Off-Broadway production of Tales from the Manhattan Woods. Her recent performances include the roles of Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, and Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree, coached by the composer himself. Her prior teaching positions have included Head of Voice Faculty for the professional Boys and Girls Choir at the historic Grace Church in New York (10th and Broadway), as well as positions at Florida State University, the University of North Florida, and Seminole State College.


  • D.M.A., vocal performance, Florida State University
  • M.M., UNC-Greensboro


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