Chris Merritt was born in Oklahoma City and completed his education at the Oklahoma City University, which bestowed on him an honorary doctorate.
He has made guest appearances at the leading opera houses in the world, in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, Barcelona and Buenos Aires.
Among his most important rôles have been Idomeneo, Tito, Ferrando, Tamino and the great tenor rôles of Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and Offenbach.
He has appeared in Moses und Aron, Oberon, Busoni’s Doktor Faustus and Messiaen’s St François d’Assise at the Salzburg Festival. He sang in the world première of Henze’s Venus und Adonis in Munich, in Rusalka at the New York Metropolitan Opera and appeared as Herod in Genoa, Bologna and at The Netherlands Opera; he sang Wozzeck and in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny and Katya Kabanová at the Hamburg State Opera.
Other appearances include Henze’s Boulevard Solitude at Covent Garden and Glyndebourne, and Ariadne auf Naxos in Dresden. In Stuttgart he sang the rôle of the Fugitive in Intolleranza 1960.