The Australian-born bass-baritone Derek Welton is already considered one of the most promising Wagnerian singers of the younger generation. Following engagements with Opera North as Donner in Das Rheingold under Richard Farnes and the Salzburg Easter Festival as Gralsritter in Parsifal under Christian Thielemann, he made his role début as Klingsor in Parsifal at the Beijing Music Festival and, in 2016, appeared at the Semperoper Dresden as the Herald in Lohengrin, again under Christian Thielemann. These successes led to critically acclaimed performances in his role début as Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Deutsche Oper Berlin under Donald Runnicles and in his début at the Bayreuth Festival as Klingsor under Hartmut Haenchen.

As a soloist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2015, Derek Welton has sung roles including Prus in The Makropulos Case, Saint-Bris in The Huguenots, The King of Clubs in The love for three oranges, Der Pförtner in Das Wunder der Heliane, Peter Besenbinder in Hänsel und Gretel, Mr Flint in Billy Budd and the Forester in The cunning little vixen. Guest engagements have included the Duke of Albany in Lear at the Salzburg Festival under Franz Welser-Möst, Voland in York Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita under Marcus Bosch, Escamillo in Carmen under Axel Kober and Regolo in the world première of Beat Furrer’s La bianca notte under Simone Young, all at the Hamburg State Opera, Pangloss in Candide at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and Mozart’s Figaro at Glyndebourne.

An accomplished and diverse concert artist, Welton has performed across Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia in over sixty choral and orchestral works as well as a diverse range of song repertoire. Recent highlights have included Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, A Child of our Time with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the St Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Bruckner’s Mass in F minor at the BBC Proms.

Plans for the 2018/19 season include his third summer return to the Bayreuth Festival as Klingsor under Semyon Bychkov, performances as Klingsor, The Forester and as bass soloist in a staged Verdi Messa da Requiem at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as his début at the Bavarian State Opera as Klingsor under Kirill Petrenko, a return to his home town, Melbourne, as Klingsor with Victorian Opera under Richard Mills, his début in the title role of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, and his US operatic début as Pandolfe in Cendrillon at the Lyric Opera of Chicago under Sir Andrew Davis.

In the 2019/20 season, Derek remains a soloist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where highlights will include singing Wotan in the new production of Das Rheingold directed by Stefan Herheim and conducted by Donald Runnicles as well as reprising his performances as Klingsor, Peter Besenbinder in Hänsel und Gretel, Saint-Bris in Les Huguenots and Zacharie in Le Prophète.

Derek Welton’s discography includes performances in the title role of Martinů’sThe Epic of Gilgamesh (Supraphon Records), as the Herald in Lohengrin (Deutsche Grammophon), Creonte in Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo (Pinchgut Live), soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 (Brattle Media) and a solo CD of Vaughan Williams songs with Iain Burnside for Albion Records. Forthcoming releases include Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane (Naxos).

Welton holds degrees in Linguistics and German from the University of Melbourne and Music from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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Harrison Parrott - biography Derek Welton