AUTHOR: Deborah Humble

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Mezzo-Soprano Deborah Humble is one of Australia’s best-known and most successful opera singers, and your guide to the 2016 Wagner Ring Cycle in Melbourne.

After gaining a Bachelor of Music from the University of Adelaide and a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne Deborah was a member of the Victoria State Opera Young Artist Programme. Having been a Principal Artist for both Opera Australia and The State Opera of Hamburg she has embarked upon a freelance career which takes her all over the world.

Recognised internationally for her performances of Verdi and Wagner, Deborah’s recent engagements include Erda in Das Rheingold with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Brangaene in Tristan and Isolde with the Mexico City Symphony, Amneris in Aida for Opera Australia, Alisa in Lucia di Lamermoor for the Theatro Mario del Monaco in Treviso, Erda in Siegfried for the Boston Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem at the Sage Concert Hall in the UK, Mahler’s Symphony No 8 at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore, Elgar’s The Kingdom for the Melbourne Bach Choir and Ring Cycles in Hamburg, Halle, Bari, Ludwigshafen and Melbourne.

Future engagements include Mary in The Flying Dutchman with Opera Lille, Erda in Siegfried with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, recorded for Naxos, Venus in Tannhauser in Edinburgh and concert engagements in Auckland and Perth.

Her recordings include Clarissa in The Love for Three Oranges with Opera Australia for Chandos, a complete Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Hamburg State Opera released on the Oehms label, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene with the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for Deutsche Gramophone and Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione for EMI.

Deborah was a recipient of Australia’s prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship, a finalist in the 2008 International Wagner Competition in Seattle, and was recently included in the Who’s Who of Australian Women. This year Deborah returned to Australia to act as a mentor in The Dame Nellie Melba Trust Programme for young opera singers and to adjudicate The City of Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Aria Scholarship.

Interview: Matthew Hassall

23rd October, 2016

Interviewer Deborah Humble finds herself in the pits, as Associate Principal Violinist for the Ring Cycle, Matthew Hassall, talks about seeing Wagner from “the best seat in the house…” Out of all the people involved in the Ring, you will probably be one of the hardest working. What is it like to play so many…Read More

Interview: James Johnson

17th October, 2016

Wer ist Wotan? Deborah Humble introduces American bass-baritone James Johnson… A collective metaphorical groan rang out amongst Melbourne Ring Cycle ticket holders the day Opera Australia recently announced that, due to ill health, Greer Grimsley would not be coming to sing the role of Wotan in the 2016 Melbourne Ring Cycle. Actually, it was not…Read More

Interview: Brad Daley

10th October, 2016

Deborah Humble in conversation with tenor Brad Daley as he prepares the role of Siegmund for the Melbourne Ring Cycle. “The pinnacle of Heldentenor roles is arguably Siegfried, which you covered in the 2013 Ring in Melbourne. How does Siegmund compare as a role vocally and dramatically?” If you are just talking about length alone…Read More

Interview: Greg Eldridge

10th October, 2016

Deborah Humble in conversation with Australian director Greg Eldridge, a recent member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House who has returned to Australia to be assistant director for the Ring. “Can you give readers a brief update on your time at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden? What has…Read More

Interview: Stefan Vinke

27th September, 2016

Deborah Humble in conversation with Stefan Vinke who reprises his role as “Siegfried” in the Melbourne Ring. I was recently privileged to hear you sing an extraordinary Siegfried at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. Can you tell us what it is like to sing this role at the house where Wagner designed it to be…Read More

Interview: Lise Lindstrom

27th September, 2016

Deborah Humble in conversation with Lise Lindstrom on her return to Australia and her biggest debut to date.   How do you prepare for a role like Brunnhilde when you are singing it for the first time? I started working on Brünnhilde almost 5 years ago for a production with Graham Vick in Palermo in…Read More

Jayson Gillham on tour

7th September, 2016

Australian concert pianist Jayson Gillham is the perfect example of a quiet achiever. Described by one English critic as possessing “a calm, unshowy keyboard style” these adjectives could equally be applied to the young pianist’s personality. His friendly, easy-going manner and the humility with which Gillham goes about his music making does not, however, exclude…Read More

Melbourne Bach Choir: The Kingdom

19th August, 2016

For its 10th anniversary, the Melbourne Bach Choir has chosen a great work, which is celebrating its own 110th anniversary. For the inside story, Classic Melbourne turns to our regular writer, opera singer Deborah Humble, who literally will play a part in this performance. Designed to be the second part of one of the grandest…Read More

Nicholas Tolputt: Winner

3rd August, 2016

When the City of Sydney Eisteddfod asked the entrants in this year’s Opera Scholarship to explain why they so loved this particular genre of music, countertenor Nicholas Tolputt stated that opera offers “truthfulness” and requires “commitment,” both words clearly reflecting his personal passion for the art form. Last Sunday evening at the Concourse Theatre in…Read More

Preview: Maria Stuarda

19th August, 2015

In recent times Victoria has certainly led the way in presenting some rarely seen operatic works. Fully staged productions of Weber’s Der Freischutz (Melbourne Opera) and Wagner’s Der Fliegender Hollaender (Victorian Opera) have recently been followed by sold out concert performances of Bluebeard’s Castle by Bela Bartok (Monash Academy Orchestra) and Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece…Read More