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 roles including Pangloss/Martin in Candide, Escamillo in Carmen, Voland in York Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita, Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, 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, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Monterone in Rigoletto, 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, Thomas Hengelbrock, Axel Kober, Gustav Kuhn, Stephen Layton, Kent Nagano, Donald Runnicles, Stefan Soltesz, Leonard Slatkin, Christian Thielemann and Simone Young.

From the 2015/2016 season, Derek is a member of the Ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where his roles will include Prus in The Makropulos Case and Forester in The cunning little vixen under Donald Runnicles, Altair in Die ägyptische Helena under Andrew Litton, and Escamillo in Carmen under Nicholas Carter. Other performances for the 2015/16 season include Escamillo at the Hamburg State Opera under Vladimir Conta, and Graf Dominik in Arabella and the Heerrufer in Lohengrin, both under Christian Thielemann at the Semperoper Dresden.

Concerts for this season include his Proms début in Bruckner’s Mass no 3 in F minor with the BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena, Berlioz’s La révolution grecque at the Festival Berlioz with the Orchestre National de Lyon under Leonard Slatkin, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Pablo Heras-Casado, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Orquestra y Coro Nacionales de España under Xian Zhang, 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