Hope Koehler, whose voice has been heralded as having “the richness of Marilyn Horne at the bottom and the clarion clarity of Leontyne Price at the top” has appeared with opera companies and orchestras all around the country. She has appeared in the title roles of Carmen, Tosca, Fidelio, and Madama Butterfly, as well in Il Trovatore (Azucena), Lucia di Lammermoor (Alisa), Rigoletto (Contessa di Ceprano), The Old Maid and the Thief (Miss Todd), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Mother), Gianni Schicchi (Zita), La Bohème (Musetta), Der Freischütz (Agathe), The Tales of Hoffmann (Giulietta), to name a few. Koehler’s other stage credits include operetta and musical theatre. She has appeared in The Mikado (Pitti-sing, Peep-bo, Katisha) The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess,) Fiddler on the Roof (Golde,) and West Side Story (Maria) among others.
Koehler has performed as a soloist in oratorio and other choral orchestral works including Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes di confessore, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and many others. In addition to this, she maintains an active recital schedule.
Koehler is a regular performer and featured soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that performs all over the world, and whose mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive and vibrant. She also served on the faculty of the prestigious Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts from 2001 to 2014, and currently serves on the faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, one of the oldest and largest Governor’s Schools for the Arts in the country. In addition, she is a member of the voice faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.
She can be heard on the CDs The Lily of the Valley, The Spirit of the Holidays, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, and the DVD The Spirituals, recorded with the American Spiritual Ensemble. In 2008 Albany Records released Koehler’s recording of John Jacob Niles songs titled The Lass from the Low Countree performed with James Douglass at the piano. Her second CD of Niles songs, Lost Melodies, was released in 2013.
Koehler received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Music and Music Education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance at the University of Alabama. Her Doctor of Musical Arts degree was completed at the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she studied with tenor Everett McCorvey and soprano Gail Robinson. She is currently Professor and Coordinator of Voice Studies at West Virginia University