"Perfect would be a boring thing to be"
In 2020 Marieke was named first place winner of the Charleston International Music Competition and placed second at the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition. She was named the George and Phyllis Muccianti Vocal Scholarship winner at Casa Italia in Chicago and was a prize winner at the Voices of South Africa International Opera Competition.
In the 2019/2020 season Marieke made her debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Eunomia in Cavalli's L'Egisto with DePaul Opera Theater. She performed as Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor with the Austrian American Mozart Academy and also starred as Madame Silberklang in DePaul Opera Club's production which she directed and produced. She joined Russian Opera Workshop to study the roles of Tatyana from Eugene Onegin and Tamara from Rubinstein's The Demon. She shared the stage with Nicole Cabell at the Grand Opening Gala of the Jarvis Opera Hall and sang as a soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with Windy City Performing Arts. She performed as guest artist at the Musical Bouquet Concert with the Lorraine Havemann Studio for Vocal Excellence in Pretoria, South Africa. She also performed in several concerts and opera scenes in Salzburg, Austria and the Marche region of Italy.
Marieke is currently pursuing her Master's degree at Mannes College of Music in New York, under the tutelage of Diana Soviero. Marieke received her Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance Summa Cum Laude from DePaul University in Chicago. She was a recipient of the Anne Marie Gerts Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
Originally from Pretoria, South Africa, Marieke received a scholarship to study in the US at age 16 where she pursued filmmaking at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Marieke is a multi-talented interdisciplinary artist who also works as a composer, librettist and filmmaker. As the grandchild of stage and radio actors Ben and Corrie de Koker, her love for performance runs in her veins. She was three years old when she stepped on stage for the first time as a ballerina.
In the 2021 season Marieke de Koker made her debuts as Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with LAH-SOW Opera, as Dido in Dido and Aeneas with DePaul Choirs, and as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with SittOpera. She made her South African national radio debut on RSG radio, singing in the Salon Music Christmas Concert with the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra and Brooklyn Theater TV. She also appeared on the ETV Morning Show in an interview about her performance in the Aluta Continua series as an Emerging Artist of the Windybrow Arts Center.
2021 saw the premiere of Marieke's first song cycle Never Again, based on works by the Kenyan poet Valentine Kizito. She also performed with Johannesburg Opera at their Christmas and Sacred Music concerts.
COVID-19 led to cancellations of her performances with SittOpera, Sempre Opera and Jerusalem Lyric Opera Academy.