News & Events
Opera Australia announces the 2021 Ring Cycle cast. Deborah Humble to sing Waltraute in Brisbane
Deborah Humble to appear as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s one-act opera Bon Appetit! in 2021. Performances accompanied by Sharolyn Kimmorley AM for The Newcastle Food Festival and for Bennelong Presents…
Newcastle Music Festival returns in 2021. Deborah Humble to sing Elgar’s Sea Pictures in August 2021
Marvellous Mezzo-Sopranos and Contraltos CD. Naxos Classical Records has released its first “Best Loved Opera Arias” compilation in April 2021. Highlighting some of the best-loved arias ever written, the series aims to provide a convenient introduction to an extensive variety of operatic sounds and styles, and to demonstrate why opera is still relevant and entertaining in out times. Deborah features on this first of the releases.
Deborah Humble invited to perform at the Pacific Opera Chairman’s Dinner in Sydney on June 25th, 2021
Deborah Humble is proud to announce she has been appointed Patron of The Wagner Society of South Australia from January 2021
Deborah Humble sings Erda in the Naxos recording of Wagner’s Siegfried released in October 2017. The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Jaap van Zweden and features Simon O’Neill, Heidi Melton, David Cangelosi, Matthias Goerne, Falk Struckmann and Werner Van Mechelen
City of Sydney Eisteddfod have appointed Deborah Humble as an Ambassador for 2017/2018
Deborah Humble leaves Europe after 25 years and moves to Newcastle, Australia
After a sold out recital in Adelaide Deborah has been awarded lifetime honorary membership of the Wagner Society of South Australia.
After huge critical success singing Erda in Das Rheingold for the Hong Kong Philharmonic (released for Naxos), Deborah returns to Hong Kong in January 2017 to sing in Siegfried. Conducted by Jaap van Sweden, details below:
Deborah Humble sings Wagner and Brahms under the auspices of the Wagner Society of South Australia at St John’s Church Halifax Street, Adelaide at 2.30pm on February 11th 2017. Ticket bookings here:
Deborah Humble to sing Mary in Der Fliegender Hollaender for Opera Lille in March and April, 2017
Deborah Humble joins Opera Australia and Renaissance Tours on Mediterranean Opera Cruise on board Sea Cloud 2. Departing Lisbon April 23rd, 2017. Details here:
Deborah Humble has been appointed to the Music Board of the Tait Memorial Trust in London in 2017
Deborah Humble sings Messiah in Wellington, New Zealand for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Concert at Australia House in London hosted by Alexander Downer
On April 14th 2016 Deborah will sing a recital in Downer Room at Australia House in London on the Strand. Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer will host a champagne reception before the event and a dinner at One Aldwych after the concert. Associate artists are Australians Jayson Gilham, pianist, and Lisa Bucknell, violist. Works include songs by Brahms and de Falla and piano solos by Bach and Debussy. All proceeds go to Worldwide Cancer Research. Classic Melbourne published this short article.
Deborah Humble will be an adjudicator for the Sydney Eisteddfod Aria Scholarship this May, June and July (previously the Sun Aria).
Deborah Humble in Hong Kong and London
Following rave reviews after the release of the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Das Rheingold on the Naxos label, Deborah returns to perform with the orchestra on December 4th and 5th at the Cultural Centre in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony; concerts which will also include Beethoven Symphony No.1 conducted by Jaap van Zweden.
On December 15th she will sing in a Christmas Carol concert at All Saints Church, Margaret St in London. The concert will also feature the famous All Saints Choir. This event is in aid of Worldwide Cancer Research. Deborah was announced as an Ambassador for this charity last month.
Deborah Humble in Singapore and Melbourne
Following her success in Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand at The Esplanade Theatre, Singapore Deborah Humble returns to Australia for a concert performance of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the Robert Blackwood Hall, Melbourne on 9 August, 2015.
A pivotal work of the twentieth century, Bluebeard’s Castle is a one-act opera featuring only two characters, Judith (Humble) and Duke Bluebeard (Australian baritone Warwick Fyfe). They will be accompanied by the Monash Academy Orchestra conducted by Warwick Stengards in a double bill with the world premiere of Thomas Reiner’s Lacan: Ein Lehrstück.
Humble considers the role of Judith “both an acting and a vocal challenge. Singing wise one must get used to the different harmonic system, the chromaticism, the falling intervals and especially the use of the minor 2nd. The role requires a wide palette of vocal colours and nuances to convey the myriad emotions and to get the audience to empathise with all the fear, curiosity, and love that the character feels.”
Parsifal and the Verdi Requiem in Birmingham London, and Gateshead
On the heels of her recent Wagnerian triumphs at Boston’s Symphony Hall in Siegfried (“Deborah Humble, unusually svelte as earth mother Erda, sang with great refinement and tone that managed to be intelligent, gorgeous and powerful—all at the same time. ” Lee Eiseman, The Boston Musical Intelligencer) and as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde in Mexico City, Deborah Humble will return to the United Kingdom for another of Wagner’s masterpieces, Parsifal, and the immortal Requiem of Wagner’s inimitable contemporary, Giuseppe Verdi.
The concert performance of Parsifal with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will take place at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on 17 May under the musical direction of Andris Nelsons. Having garnered acclaim for her interpretations of such redoubtable Verdi roles as Amneris in Aida and Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera, Deborah will be the alto soloist in the Verdi Requiem at Southwark Cathedral, London, on 13 June (musical direction by Christopher Oakley) and at Sage Concert Hall, Gateshead, on 14 June (musical direction by David Murray).
Siegfried in Boston, debut as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde
April and May 2015 will see Deborah Humble featured in several important engagements. On the 18th of April the mezzo-soprano will interpret Edward Elgar’s song cycle Sea Pictures at Britannia in Bamberg in Germany, accompanied by Florian Csizmadia. http://www.britannia-in-bamberg.com/april.html
On 26 April she will revive her “deeply affecting Erda” (Herald Sun) in act three of Siegfried at Symphony Hall in Boston, under the musical direction of Benjamin Zander. The stellar cast features Alwyn Mellor as Brünnhilde, Stefan Vinke as Siegfried, and Mark Delavan as Wotan. http://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/68153/
Joseph Newsome (Voix des Arts) has written a beautiful profile of Deborah in connection with her performance in Boston: http://www.voix-des-arts.com/2015/04/artist-profile-dynamic-diva-from-down.html
On 3 and 4 May 2015 the artist will sing her first Brangäne in the second act of Tristan und Isolde with the Orquestra Filarmonia de la UNAM in Mexico City conducted by Jan Latham Koenig with Mikhail Gubsky (Tristan), Alwyn Mellor (Isolde), Vitaly Efanov (König Marke), Orlando Pineda (Melot), and Jorge Eleazar Álvarez (Kurwenal). http://www.ofunam.unam.mx/interiores/programacion/programa9.html#p3
The Boston Wagner Society had a chat with Deborah prior to her appearance as Erda: http://bostonwa.nextmp.net/articles/deborah-humble-an-interview/
Interview with Sounds Like Sydney, April 2015: http://soundslikesydney.com.au/news/deborah-humble-in-conversation/18437.html
Start of the new Hong Kong Ring Cycle
On the 22nd and 24th of January 2015 Deborah will sing Erda in Das Rheingold with the Hong Kong Philharmonic conducted by Jaap van Sweden. The orchestra will present the Ring in concert over the next four years and all four operas will be commercially recorded on CD by the Naxos label.
In February 2015 Deborah returns to Hamburg to sing four performances of 1st Maid in Elektra at the State Opera conducted by Simone Young. She is also studying the role of Klytamnestra which will be sung by Agnes Baltsa.
Prior to her appearances as Erda, the mezzo-soprano has been featured in the British and Hong Kong media with interviews in the January issue of Opera Now (you will find a PDF file below), on Dennis Wu’s classical music blog (http://bit.ly/15siZKr) as well as on Radio RTHK 4, where she talked with Jonathan Douglas in his “Morning Call” programme (http://bit.ly/1CwJXLu).
In Germany, the online magazine Opera Lounge published an extensive interview with Deborah talking on her time as an ensemble member of the Hamburg State Opera, singing Wagner, future projects and more: http://operalounge.de/category/features/portraits-interviews
Click here to read the complete Opera Now “Life with my voice” feature, January 2015 issue:
Concerts in Treviso, Hamburg and Brisbane
It was a busy autumn for Deborah. In September 2014 alongside Jessica Pratt and Claudio Sgura she scored a big success in a gala concert of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Teatro Comunale di Treviso, Italy conducted by Giampaolo Bisanti (“a first-class voice for its beauty of timbre and volume.)” L’ape musicale
In October she returned to Hamburg for two concerts of Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher with the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Simone Young, with French actress Fanny Ardant in the title role (“Deborah Humble as Catherine sang with deep and sonorous tone”). Das Opernglas
In November she debuted as alto soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 at the Brisbane Performing Arts Centre. Johannes Fritzsch conducted his final concert as Chief Conductor for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Deborah’s singing was described as ” A marvellous performance, so beautifully penetrating and radiant in tone.” The Australian
Also in Australia in November she sat on the adjudication panel for the Melba Trust Scholarships and performed Brahms’s Zigeunerlieder at St John’s Southbank for the launch of Classic Melbourne (www.classicmelbourne.com.au).
In December she sang Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and choir at the Melbourne Town Hall. “It might have been enough to hear Humble’s magnificent voice, but there was something irreplaceable about being able to see the words embodied in her anguished poise, and to join the audience’s sharp intake of breath as she sang of shame and spitting. Humble possesses the skill, unornamented flair and vocal presence to simply stand and deliver. Her singing makes you forget where you are.” Australian Book Review
Deborah Humble – In Pursuit Of Her Dreams
In May 2014 Deborah Humble talked with Mairi Nicolson on the ABC Music Makers program – the podcast is available on ABC Classic FM’s website: http://www.abc.net.au/classic/content/2014/06/28/4032094.htm
“Leaving her Adelaide home at 19, Mezzo-Soprano Deborah Humble began a journey that has taken her around the world in her pursuit of being an opera singer. A dramatic voice with a wide-ranging repertoire and diverse interests outside music, Deborah has just come to the end of her latest visit home.”
Deborah discusses with Mairi those elements she considers particularly important for young singers. “By all means listen and learn from other singers and their recordings and their interpretations, but what makes an individual singer a good singer is that you must find your own voice and your own way of expressing things.”
“It is important to Deborah that she not be totally consumed by music – she’s a member of the Hamburg Tennis Club, she’s an active sailor, enjoys hiking, cooking, travel and now interviewing and writing, which includes her travel blog Diva Diary.“
Concerts in Australia and New Zealand May 2014
Following the success of the benefit concert OPERAtion: Covent Garden in Melbourne Deborah sang her first Wesendonck-Lieder with Orchestra Wellington under the baton of Marc Taddei.
“Australian Mezzo-Soprano Deborah Humble has made a reputation as a Wagner singer and it was no wonder that these songs fit her beautifully. Her voice filled out the songs and produced beautiful tones…simply glorious sounds.” Radio New Zealand
“…it was obvious at once that Deborah’s Wagner credentials were for real: a fine Wagner voice, large enough to cope with the orchestra surrounding her…beautiful and fully expressive of the sense of the words…these were the characteristics of Humble’s performance; beautifully phrased, warm and rounded in the lower register, lustrous and spiritual as her lines went high into the soprano range. She invested the songs with a dramatic quality that could be heard as the product of a totally theatrical performer.” Classical Music Review
In Australia she returned to the Sydney Opera House for concerts of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul McCreesh.
“Deborah Humble was well equipped for the wicked Jezebel, spitting fire at the prophet, yet warmly sympathetic in the balmy ‘O Rest in the Lord.’ Her full bodied tone was used with great sensitivity.” Limelight Magazine
Other appearnaces included Händel’s Messiah with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, and a recital in Sydney as part of a series entitled Great Australian Wagnerians in Concert, accompanied by Stephen Mould. She repeated this all German programme in Melbourne in June at Flockart Hall, hosted by the Wagner Society of Victoria.
“From the opening of the recital Humble immediately established herself as a most accomplished exponent of Lieder. Her rich, full tone is evenly produced throughout the range and her warm vocal production is achieved without intrusive vibrato. At the height of emotionally charged phrases her voice filled the hall effortlessly. She quickly established a close rapport with her audience and seemed to draw her listeners into the emotional world of whatever song she was currently singing. Like all accomplished Lieder singers Humble pays close attention to the text and clearly communicates its changing moods to the audience. In Wagner’s ‘Wesendonck Lieder’ Humble excelled with her effortlessly full tone and her long, soaring sostenuto phrases. Her close communication with the audience created an intensely poignant atmosphere, particularly in the last song ‘Traume.’ In general, Humble’s infectious personality completely won over the audience with her engagingly seductive performance.” Sounds Like Sydney
“Apart from possessing a beautiful voice, with riveting dark hued notes and an absolutely secure technique throughout her impressive vocal range, Humble’s gifts as a storyteller are remarkable. This could perhaps be attributed to her extensive experience on the operatic stage, but seems rather to stem from an innate ability to inhabit the spirit of a song and bring its characters and characteristics into sharp focus…there is a genuine warmth and sweetness that charmed the audience into entering the microcosms of Brahm’s and Wagner’s creations. ‘Immer Leise wird mein Schlummer’ was a study in the power of word painting and the soft, gentle singing of ‘Wie Melodien sieht es mir’ was simply ravishing. In the ‘Wesendonck Lieder’ Humble displayed rhythmic elasticity, dramatic urgency, colour, line and top notes that bloomed effortlessly, resulting in a very special musical experience. Going by the enthusiastic reception that greeted her alluring performance, it would be fair to say that every member of the audience was thoroughly seduced. Classic Melbourne
A recording of OPERAtion: Covent Garden was broadcast on ABC Classic FM and is available online on ABC’s website: http://www.abc.net.au/classic/content/2014/04/19/3987043.htm
International reviews on the Melbourne Ring-Cycle:
Excellent reviews for Deborah Humble’s Erda and Waltraute at Opera Australia:
Article on Deborah Humble in the Melbourne “Ring”-Cycle (Mosman Daily):
Deborah Humble on singing Erda and Waltraute in all four parts of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” at Opera Australia
The Herald Sun, 10 November 2013:
Article in the November issue of Das Opernglas (Germany)
You will find an article on Deborah Humble in the November 2013 issue of German opera magazine “Das Opernglas” – “Deborah Humble – Zwischen den Welten”. Read it online in their text archives:
Article on Deborah Humble in the October 2013 issue of the Fine Music Magazine
As part of their “Aussies Abroad” series, the Fine Music Magazine have published an article on Deborah Humble: “Have voice, will travel”:
Deborah Humble on singing Wagner around the world (Opera Australia Blog 31 July 2013)
Deborah Humble is becoming quite famous for a role that is just four and a half minutes long. “Erda in Das Rheingold comes out of the ground, she sings, and she disappears back where she came from. How on earth can you make a reputation on four and a half minutes?”
But that’s just what the talented mezzo-soprano has been doing, making a name for herself as a “Wagneress” around the world. This November, Humble will sing two roles in Opera Australia’s first production of the Ring Cycle: Erda the earth goddess and Waltraute. read more
The Master Singers – Opera Australia is bringing home some leading talent for its Ring cycle in Melbourne (The Australian 18 May 2013)
Click here to view full article
Wagner star in Melbourne Verdi debut (Opera Australia Blog 9 April 2013)
Watching mezzo-soprano Deborah Humble rehearse with the Aida cast for Opera Australia’s Melbourne revival of Graeme Murphy’s production, one is struck by her quiet professionalism. Yet meeting the Australian mezzo who has performed Ring Cycles with some of the biggest names in the Wagner universe, and who has built an enviable international reputation and career in this repertoire, it is hard not to feel that one is chatting to the friendly girl next door…….
August 1st 2012: Article on Deborah published on artsHub “Humble ambition: to stick with the journey…”
September 30th, 2012, Hamburg
Deborah will appear in the Crown Content publication “Who’s Who of Australian Women” for the fifth consecutive year in 2013 (www.whoswhowomen.com.au)