Karen Messina

Originally from Laurel, Maryland, Karen Messina has surely lived in North Carolina long enough now to be considered a native. A collector of degrees that reflect her diverse interests in music, she holds a BA in Vocal Performance from Elon University, an MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MM in Music Theory from our very own UNCG, and an MA in Musicology from Duke University. Karen is currently completing her Ph.D. at Duke University, where she is a recipient of the James B. Duke and Bass Instructional Fellowships. Her dissertation, titled “Dramatic Impulse: Diegetic Music in the Operas of Giacomo Puccini,” examines the presence of Classical forms within Puccini’s late Romantic idiom as a marker of fictionally composed music. In addition to opera, Karen’s research interests include film music, pedagogy, and just about everything pertaining to music theory…but especially form. Fascinated by the space between the two disciplines, Karen has presented at regional conferences for both the Society for Music Theory and the American Musicological Society. As a performer, Karen has had the distinct pleasure of appearing as Countess Almaviva (Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro), Lady Billows (Britten, Albert Herring), the Mother (Menotti, Amahl and the Night Visitors), and Donna Anna (Mozart, Don Giovanni), as well as with various church choirs and choral ensembles.