Deborah was born in Belfast. After reading music at Cardiff University, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, where she won the Blyth-Buesst Opera Prize. She has studied with Linda Esther Gray, Yvonne Minton and Beatrice Unsworth.
Deborah spent several seasons in the chorus of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and now works with English National Opera, where she has sung the roles of Third Lady (Magic Flute), Inez (Gondoliers), Nurse (Boris Gudonov) Novice (Suor Angelica) and Bridesmaid (Der Freischütz) and has understudied many roles including Suzuki (Madam Butterfly), Olga (Eugene Onegin), Amastris (Xerxes), Maurya (Riders to the Sea), Anna (Trojans), Antonia's Mother (Tales of Hoffmann), Secretary to Mao (Nixon in China), Rossweisse (Valkyrie) and Diana Dream/Dolores Dolores (On the Town). Roles elsewhere include the title roles in Bizet's Carmen, Offenbach’s La Perichole and Stephen Dodgson’s Cadilly, Maurya (Riders to the Sea) and Baba (The Medium) for St Albans Chamber Opera, Dulcinée (Massenet’s Don Quichotte) for Kentish Opera and Nancy (Albert Herring) for Opéra de Baugé.
Deborah has also wide experience as a concert soloist, having sung in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Holland and Bermuda, and with many British choral societies: concert venues include St Martin in the Fields, Birmingham Cathedral, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room, St David's Hall, Cardiff and Ulster Hall, Belfast. As well as the standard oratorio repertoire, she has considerable experience in twentieth-century music, having sung in Walton's Gloria, Hindemith's Requiem, Copland’s In the Beginning, Paul Clark’s Silver Swan, Janacek’s Diary of One who Disappeared, and the Welsh Premiére of Britten's Spring Symphony. She has performed Elgar's Sea Pictures and Brahms' Alto Rhapsody with the Studio Symphony Orchestra in Belfast and has given many song recitals, several of which have been recorded for BBC Radio Ulster.