Debra Fernandes was born in New York and received her vocal training from S.U.N.Y. Purchase and the Amsterdam School of the Arts in Holland.
Her first US engagements were at the Metropolitan Opera for the Met Guild’s Family Series, Sarasota Opera, Amato Opera, Danbury Opera, Ashlawn-Highland Festival, Walton Arts Center and the Massachusetts Festival of the Arts.
In 2001 Debra’s international career was born when she won second prize at the Belvedere Vocal competition in Vienna for Operetta.
Soon after she was invited to sing at Baden bei Wien, the Belvedere Palace, the Silesian State Opera, Musik und Theater Saar, Schloss Blutenburg and with The Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In 2004 Debra made an impressive debut as Cora in Gormenghast by Irmin Schmidt at the Grand Theater Luxembourg and as the Maid in Powder Her Face by Thomas Ades at the Innsbruck State Theater. Her success there led to an invitation from Artistic Director, Brigitte Fassbaender to join the ensemble for the 2004-5 season.
The 2005-6 season started off with the brunette Debra performing the role of Blonde in Entführung aus dem Serail at the Lacoste and Antibes Summer Festivals in France. In Innsbruck she continued singing major roles in her Fach such as: Anne in the Diary of Anne Frank, L’Ensoleillad in Cherubin by Massenet, Anne Egerman in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and The Soprano in The Fairy Queen.
Her Innsbruck highlights continuing through 2009 include: Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Manja in Gräfin Mariza, Ännchen in Der Freischütz, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice, Tuptim in The King and I with Alfons Haider, Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute for Children, and Olympia in the Tales of Hoffmann.
As an accomplished concert singer, Ms. Fernandes was heard at the Swarovski Musik Hall in Wattens, at the Bayerische Landtag in Munich, as Soprano Soloist in Carmina Burana at the Congress Saal in Innsbruck with the Wiltener Sängerknaben, with the Tiroler Symphony singing a Gala of love duets, an Opera Gala with the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony, Vespetta in Telemann’s Pimpinone with the Kammerphilharmonie Tyrol, Exultate Jubilate with the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra of Leipzig, and Queen of the Night in the Mozart Gala in Innsbruck with moderation by Brigitte Fassbaender.
Debra had the honor of covering Diana Damrau in the role of Zerbinetta at the Munich State Theater for the new Robert Carsen production of Ariadne auf Naxos.
She has sung under the direction of such renowned conductors as Dietfried Bernet, Emmanuel Joel , Sigfried Kohler, Hilary Griffiths, Joachim Arnold, Joachim Rieder, Koen Schoots, Sascha Goetzel and Cornelius Meister. She has participated in Master Classes with such prominent artists as Marilyn Horne, Julia Hamari, Richard Cassily, Barbara Daniels, Rita Loving, Lucille Evans and Steven Blier.