“Manna from heaven may be the best way to describe the arrival of Cantor Deborah Marlowe.” Those were the accolades following Cantor Marlowe’s arrival at Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor in 1998.
Cantor Marlowe, a coloratura soprano, made her international operatic debut in 1971. She served as principal coloratura at the Bremen Opera House in Germany and the Bavarian Opera House in Munich, and had a prolific international opera career during the 1970s and 1980s.
Upon her return to the US, Cantor Marlowe changed her focus from performing to teaching, while also studying privately under the late cantor, Max Wohlberg, a professor of liturgy at the Cantors’ School of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She was then hired as acting Cantor in several synagogues in Pennsylvania.
After moving to Liberty, Maine in the late 1990s, she began singing concerts throughout the state and began making connections with synagogues. Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor was the first to connect. Their leadership said “One meeting was all it took for us to realize that we had in our midst a person deeply entrenched in Judaism and a brilliant teacher.” In addition to finding a role in Bangor, Cantor Deborah Marlowe also served as teacher and cantor at synagogues in Portland, Waterville and Rockland.