Karen E. Smith, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Texas. She received her BM in vocal performance from Louisiana State University and her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music. She was also an artist in the Artist Diploma in Opera program at CCM. She performed numerous title roles at CCM as well as numerous chamber, oratorio and concert appearances. She has sung with the Cincinnati and Baton Rouge Opera Companies as well as Opera Theatre di Lucca in Lucca, Italy under the direction of Lorenzo Malfatti.
Mrs. Smith, Master Lecturer, has been an instructor of voice at ETSU since 2002 and Director of the ETSU Opera Theatre since 2007. She also currently serves as the Director of Vocal Activities. Under her direction, the ETSU Opera Theatre has produced many full-length operas, children’s operas, as well as scenes and original works. Just some of the many operas she has directed while at ETSU are The Tender Land, Hansel and Gretel, Dido and Aeneas, Gianni Schicchi, The Bartered Bride, The Elixir of Love, The Magic Flute and most recently, City Workers in Love. The ETSU Opera Theatre has combined forces with the Johnson City symphony to present scenes and arias as part of their regular season.
Just as comfortable on stage, Mrs. Smith has also enjoyed performing with ETSU ensembles as a soloist, as well as the Johnson City Symphony. She has been active with the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, serving on the Tennessee Executive Board, organizing events and participating in student auditions and has had numerous student winners at both the State and Regional Levels. She is Level III certified in Somatic Voicework from the Contemporary Commercial Music Institute and is also a member of the National Opera Association and the Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society for Music. In 2017 she was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Award for non-tenure track faculty.