Deborah Humble is one of Australia’s most successful and versatile dramatic mezzo-sopranos having performed over 60 operatic roles worldwide.
In 2016, after 25 years living in Europe, Deborah returned to live in Sydney, Australia.
After the cancellation of all local and international engagements in 2020 due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, Deborah is now back on stage in Australia.
She is currently appearing in a variety of venues as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s one-act opera Bon Appetit!
Other 2021 engagements include Elgar’s Sea Pictures for the Newcastle Music Festival, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Sydney Philharmonia and Waltraute in Opera Australia’s new Ring Cycle to be performed in Brisbane.
Recent performances include Erda in Siegfried for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden. Naxos Classical recorded the performances for commercial CD release. After a solo recital in Adelaide, South Australia for the Wagner Society, Deborah was granted lifetime membership of the society and in 2021 was named Patron.
Deborah sang Mary in Der Fliegender Holländer for Opera Lille, France, joined the Sea Cloud 2 in Lisbon for onboard performances for Opera Australia, sang Waltraute in Die Götterdämmerung for Saffron Opera in the UK, Klytamnestra in Elektra for Edinburgh Opera Players, sang recitals in Sydney, London and for the Newcastle Festival, Messiah for the New Zealand Symphony and Perth Collegium Choir and gave masterclasses for the Melba Opera Trust programme in Melbourne, Pacific Opera in Sydney and for the Tait Memorial Trust in London.
Other engagements include Erda in Das Rheingold in concert performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic under the musical direction of Jaap van Sweden (also released on CD by Naxos), her Boston Symphony Hall debut as Erda in Siegfried, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde with conductor Jan Latham-König in Mexico City, Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle in Melbourne, Catherine in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher and 1st Maid in Elektra at the Hamburg Staatsoper with Simone Young and Kent Nagano, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Mozart Requiem with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane under the direction of Johannes Fritzsch, Elgar’s Sea Pictures in Bamberg, Flowermaiden Parsifal in Birmingham with Andris Nelsons, the Verdi Requiem at Southwark Cathedral in London and at the Sage Concert Hall, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Singapore, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Hong Kong also conducted by Jaap van Sweden and Elgar’s The Kingdom for the Melbourne Bach Choir.
The mezzo-soprano performed the roles of Erda and Waltraute in all four parts of the Ring des Nibelungen (Pietari Inkinen, conductor) with Opera Australia in Melbourne to enormous critical and popular acclaim. She sang Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Sydney Opera House under the musical direction of Paul McCreesh, Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder for Orchestra Wellington, Gloria Bruni’s Symphony No. 1 “Ring Parable” with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra and with the Minsk Radio Orchestra and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Stuttgart Philharmonic.
Deborah Humble performed Amneris in Aida under the musical direction of Renato Palumbo and Brigitte in Die Tote Stadt for Opera Australia, Erda in Das Rheingold in Brisbane under the musical direction of Simone Young, Duruflé’s Requiem in Melbourne, Pauline in Pique Dame with Vladimir Ashkenazy in Sydney, Erda in Siegfried in Ludwigshafen and Halle, 1st Norn in Bari at the Teatro Petruccelli, Alisa in Lucia di Lamermoor at the Teatro Mario del Monaco in Treviso with Jessica Pratt in the title role and was a solo recitalist at the Linari Festival in Chianti accompanied by Jayson Gillham.
It was with with her performances of Erda in Das Rheingold in Claus Guth’s 2008 inaugural production of the new Ring Cycle at the Hamburg Staatsoper under the musical direction of Simone Young that Deborah Humble first came to international attention. In the same cycle the mezzo-soprano also performed the roles of Waltraute and 1st Norn in Götterdämmerung and Erda in Siegfried all of which were recorded on the Oehms record label.
Deborah Humble was a member of the ensemble of the Hamburg Staatsoper from 2005 through 2011, singing such roles as Zenobia (Radamisto), Bradamante (Alcina), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Olga (Eugene Onegin), and Malik in the German premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s L’Upupa.
Prior to her engagement with the Hamburg Staatsoper, the mezzo-soprano was a member of the ensemble of Opera Australia, performing from 2002 such roles as Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Sonyetka (Lady Macbeth von Mtensk), Clarissa (The Love for Three Oranges, recorded for Chandos records with Richard Hickox), Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana), Mercedes (Carmen), Rosette (Manon) and the title role in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe.
Born in Bangor, Wales, Deborah Humble grew up in Adelaide, Australia. She received her musical and vocal training first at the Elder Conservatory of the University of Adelaide and later at the University of Melbourne. Humble was a member of the Young Artist Program of the Victoria State Opera and was the winner at the beginning of her career of the prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship. In 2008 she was a finalist of the International Wagner Competition of the Seattle Opera.