Deborah Humble is among the most highly requested dramatic mezzo-sopranos of our time, performing regularly on the world’s most prominent stages, above all in Wagnerian and Verdian repertoire.
Beginning 2015 with one of her most important roles, that of Erda in Das Rheingold, in concertant performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under the musical direction of Jaap van Zweden, Deborah Humble made her Boston’s Symphony Hall in April with the role of Erda in Siegfried. In May she debuted the role of Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde with conductor Jan Latham-König in Mexico City. In August 2015 she was featured as Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle in Melbourne, while further engagements of the 2014/2015 season include Catherine in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher and Elektra at the Hamburg Staatsoper with Simone Young, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane under the direction of Johannes Fritzsch, Elgar’s Sea Pictures in Bamberg, Parsifal in Birmingham with Andris Nelsons, the Verdi Requiem in London, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Singapore and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Hong Kong conducted by Jaap van Zweden.
In the 2013/2014 season 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. Deborah Humble likewise was featured in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Sydney Opera House under the musical direction of Paul McCreesh, in Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder in Wellington, in recitals in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as in Gloria Bruni’s Symphony No. 1 “Ring Parable” with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.
In 2013 Deborah Humble made her debut as Amneris in Aida in Melbourne under the musical direction of Renato Palumbo. Earlier in the 2012/2013 season she could be heard as Erda in Das Rheingold in Brisbane under the musical direction of Simone Young, in Duruflé’s Requiem in Melbourne, as Pauline in Pique Dame with Vladimir Ashkenazy in Sydney, and as Erda in Siegfried in Ludwigshafen and Halle.
It was 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 in Götterdämmerung and Erda in Siegfried.
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 roles including Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Sonyetka (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk), Clarissa (The Love for Three Oranges), Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana), 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.
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