Photo: Devon CassPhoto: Devon CassDeborah Karpel is a... jazz, old-time country, pop, and Klezmer-singing, classically-trained opera diva who came up through the ranks of comic improvisation and sings in nine languages. Deborah’s early influences (thank you Columbia House Record Club!) include Benny Goodman, Liltin’ Martha Tilton, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Sandy Denny, Patsy Cline, Dinah Shore, and Debbie Harry. While performing the work of a composer friend, he encouraged her to study classical singing, which led to a whole new world of music and a steady stream of opera performance and recital work. After a solo recital/performance piece at Dixon Place’s Opera Vindaloo, Deborah was recruited to sing with Metropolitan Klezmer by the group’s leader. She has since enjoyed a robust career in that genre with both Metropolitan and the all-female Isle of Klezbos, which has allowed her to showcase both her comic and dramatic sides. Deborah’s stage credits include originating and singing the role of Sunny in Jeff Weiss’s long-running, Obie award-winning live serial Hot Keys, and working with Circus Amok, Naked Angels, Shock of the Funny, and several New York opera companies. She is a frequent recitalist at Donnell Library and recently sang the role of Contessa Almavia in Le Nozze di Figaro at both Weill and Merkin Halls. Through her work with several Klezmer bands, Deborah became acquainted with Yiddish language and music. She combined this growing interest with her passion for opera to create a concert, entitled Songs My Mother Never Taught Me, for the National Yiddish Center in Amherst, MA. The resultant CD (and forthcoming extended solo show) features lesser-known Yiddish songs culled from her paternal grandfather’s sheet music collection. Deborah’s solo recordings include Songs My Mother Never Taught Me and the forthcoming “chamber folk” album, La Promessa. She is also a featured vocalist on Metropolitan Klezmer’s recordings, Yiddish For Travelers, Mosaic Persuasion, Surprising Finds, Travelling Show, Isle of Klezbos’s Welcome to the Isle of Klezbos, and Ben Yarmolinsky’s Blindwitness News.