Deborah Lifton

Associate Professor of Voice


The Hartt School

MM, Manhattan School of Music

BM, University of Michigan

Endowed with a rich, warm and expressively direct lyric coloratura voice, Deborah Lifton is one of today’s most compelling performers of contemporary American opera and song.

“Her high notes were thrilling, her diction clear, and her concentration never wavered," wrote The New York Concert Review of Ms. Lifton’s debut recital at New York’s Merkin Hall. "She is a fine singing actress whose expressivity always seems to come from within…” 1st Place Winner of the prestigious Joy in Singing Competition Prize, Ms. Lifton’s work has also been honored by the National Federation of Music Clubs, the David Adams Art Song Competition, and the Hellenic Foundation.

Performances this season included Kwan Yin in Su Lian Tan’s Lotus Lives in Montreal with the Magnitude 6 Ensemble, as well as solo recitals at The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Cincinnati Song Initiative and the Rieth Chamber Series in Indiana. Ms. Lifton was recently featured in American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice Series, where she worked closely with some of today’s leading young composers of vocal repertoire. She appeared as Sally Follet in Center for Contemporary Opera’s production of William Mayer’s A Death in the Family at the Avignon Opera in France and Millicent in the world premiere of Michael Dellaira’s The Secret Agent at the Szeged National Theater in Hungary. Her performance in leading roles in a double-bill of Philip Hagemann’s works, presented at New York’s Symphony Space, was favorably reviewed by The New York Times. An active recitalist, Ms. Lifton has been heard at New York’s Trinity Church, the Kosciuszko Foundation, Lippes Concert Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Yamaha Showroom, the National Arts Club and the Galapagos Art Space. She premiered Gity Razaz’s Call Across the Valley of Not Knowing, based on the poetry of Galway Kinnell at National Sawdust. Recordings include Mayer’s A Death in the Family and Dellaira’s The Secret Agent, both with Albany Records. Other roles include Elle in Poulenc’s one-woman opera, La Voix Humaine, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Ellie in Showboat, the title role in Haydn’s Armida, and Elisa in Il Re Pastore.

As an educator, Ms.Lifton is passionately committed to equipping young singers with the technical and artistic tools for success. She has taught vocal performance at New York University, Ithaca College, and Western Connecticut State University – along with adjunct appointments at Syracuse University and Cornell University. A number of her students have gone on to notable national and international careers. In 2015, she founded the College Audition Advantage Summer Institute, an intensive and highly personalized training program for young singers.

Ms. Lifton regularly performs on soundtracks for documentries and nationally televised commercials.  She has been heard in broadcast on WQXR, NY and featured in Young Opera on She holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from University of Michigan and an M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music.