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, 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 2017/2018 season include performances as The King of Clubs in The Love for Three Oranges, Zacharie in Le Prophète and Der Pförtner in Das Wunder der Heliane at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Donner in Das Rheingold at the Semperoper Dresden and concert appearances in the Songs of Travel with the London Chamber Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, The Dream of Gerontius with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Jephtha in the Chortage Hannover. In the 2018/2019 season, Derek Welton will make his US operatic début as Pandolfe in Cendrillon at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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), Graf Dominik in Arabella (Unitel Classica), Gralsritter in Parsifal (Deutsche Grammophon) and a solo CD of Vaughan Williams songs with Iain Burnside for Albion Records. Forthcoming releases include Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 (Telarc).

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