About Deborah

Devorah the artist

Toronto born and raised, Deborah Staiman started her journey as a singer at the age of twelve, when she studied voice with Helen Simmie at the Royal Conservatory of Music and sang in the Children's Chorus of the Canadian Opera Company (COC). It was during her years at the COC that she caught the singing bug. Woman cantors did not exist during Staiman's childhood or university years. She received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto and then pursued operatic studies, first in London, England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then moved to Florence and Rome, where she studied with the renown operatic baritone, Tito Gobbi. Staiman has sung in London, Israel, Canada and throughout the United States.

In 1987 Staiman made the decision to return to school in order to combine her love for singing and Judaism and entered the Cantorial program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC–JIR) in New York City. Upon receiving a Master of Sacred Music and Ordination as a Cantor from HUC–JIR in 1991, Staiman served congregations in New Jersey and Florida, breaking ground as a woman in the cantorial profession. In May 2016 Cantor Staiman received a Doctor of Music, honoris causis, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Relgion.

Staiman is equally at home with the sacred music, Yiddish, Israeli and Broadway repertoire. Deborah's particular interest in Yiddish led her to studies at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and at Columbia University in the Uriel Weinrich program. Her HUC–JIR Master's thesis and recital was on the Yiddish poet, Yitzik Manger. She has studied and worked with Zalman Mlotek and the late Adrienne Cooper.

In 2002, after 27 years of international exposure to great teachers and performances, Staiman returned to her familial roots in Toronto, where she has served a number of Reform congregations on a part-time basis. In addition, Deborah has developed a Singing Studio and since 2006 has been officiating Weddings throughout Ontario and beyond. She is a member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) and the Toronto Council of Hazzanim.

Deborah brings a wealth of background and experience to her musical interpretations. In November 2010 Staiman released her CD Mosaic which is a reflection of her musical journey.