Karen Coker-Merritt

Karen Coker-Merritt

Assistant Professor of Music, Voice

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.

  • D.M., Florida State University, 2013
  • M.M., University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2000
  • B.M., University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1998

Contact

Course Sampling

  • Applied Voice
  • French Diction
  • Italian Diction

Areas of Expertise

  • Song Literature
  • Linguistics

Biography

A native of North Carolina, soprano Karen Coker Merritt received her Master of Music degree from UNC-Greensboro, and her Doctor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Florida State University. She began her professional operatic career with Pittsburgh Opera, studying as an apprentice with opera legends such as Renata Scotto, Re'gine Crespin, and Rene'e 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 (West End). She has performed in numerous concert engagements throughout New York City, including performances at St. Mary the Virgin, Trinity Lutheran, and Grace Church of New York, as well as Off-Broadway performances with Opera New York. In 2012, Dr. Merritt prepared and performed the role of Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree under the direction of the composer himself.

Prior teaching positions have included Head of Voice Faculty for the professional Boys and Girls Choir at the historic Grace Church in New York (East Village), as well as positions at Florida State University and the University of North Florida. Karen currently serves as Asst. Professor of Voice at Stetson University, where she joined the faculty in 2016.

Dr. Merritt's CD Joseph Canteloube: L'arada/Chants de France was released under the Centaur label in 2021.

Research

  • Vocal Pedagogy
  • Occitan dialects

Publications

  • Beyond the Auvergne: A comprehensive guide to L'Arada, an original song cycle by Joseph Canteloube (FSU Publications, 2013)
  • (CD and Digital Audio Release) Joseph Canteloube: L'arada / Chants de France (Centaur, 2021)