Bass-baritone Derek Welton is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, Australia, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in German and Linguistics, and of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, holding Master of Music (Vocal Studies) and Master of Music Performance (Opera Studies) degrees with Distinction.

Derek has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Salzburg Easter Festival, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Hamburg State Opera, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Glyndebourne, Opera North, Beijing Music Festival, Opéra de Lille and many other houses in over forty roles including Pangloss/Martin in Candide, Escamillo in Carmen, Voland in York Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita, Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, Prus in The Makropulos Case, De Brétigny in Manon, Mozart’s Figaro, Count Almaviva, Don Giovanni, Masetto, Guglielmo, Papageno and Speaker, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Mill in La cambiale di matrimonio, Salieri’s Falstaff, King in Sallinen’s The King goes forth to France, Altair in Die ägyptische Helena, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Monterone in Rigoletto, Heerrufer in Lohengrin, Donner in Das Rheingold and Klingsor in Parsifal. Derek’s competition wins include the Emmerich Smola Förderpreis, the Handel Singing Competition and the Australian Youth Aria.

A sought-after concert artist, Derek has performed at venues across Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia in over sixty choral and orchestral works as well as a diverse range of song repertoire. Conductors with whom Derek has worked include Ivor Bolton, Richard Bonynge, James Conlon, Christian Curnyn, Richard Egarr, Richard Farnes, Pablo Heras-Casado, Thomas Hengelbrock, Axel Kober, Stephen Layton, Kent Nagano, Donald Runnicles, Stefan Soltesz, Leonard Slatkin, Christian Thielemann and Simone Young.

Derek has been a member of the Ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin since the 2015/16 season. His roles there for the 2016/17 season will include Wotan in Das Rheingold under Donald Runnicles, Saint-Bris in Les Huguenots under Michele Mariotti, Peter Besenbinder in Hänsel und Gretel under Nicholas Carter, Klingsor in Parsifal under Donald Runnicles, Heerrufer in Lohengrin under Axel Kober and Mr Flint in Billy Budd under Moritz Gnann.

Concerts for the 2016/17 season include A Child of Our Time with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Stefan Asbury, Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh with the Czech Philharmonic under Jiří Bělohlávek, the Mozart Requiem with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra under Asher Fisch and Haydn’s Creation with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under Otto Tausk.

Derek features on four recordings: a solo CD of Vaughan Williams with Iain Burnside for Albion Records, as Creonte on Pinchgut Live’s CD of Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo, and as Gralsritter on Deutsche Grammophon’s DVD of Parsifal and Graf Dominik on Unitel Classica’s DVD of Arabella, both with Christian Thielemann.

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Harrison Parrott - biography Derek Welton