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, 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, Vertigo in Gluck’s La rencontre imprévue, Creonte in Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo, Voland in York Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita, Harašta 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 the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, the USA, Australia and New Zealand in over fifty 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, Ilyich Rivas, Stefan Soltesz, Christian Thielemann and Christopher Warren-Green.

Roles for the 2014/2015 season include Escamillo in Carmen under Axel Kober at the Hamburg State Opera, Graf Dominik in Arabella under Christian Thielemann at the Semperoper Dresden and Regolo in the world première of Beat Furrer’s La bianca notte under Simone Young at the Hamburg State Opera. In August 2015, Derek Welton will join the Ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where his roles will include Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, 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.

Concerts this season have included performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor and St John Passion, Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Tippett’s A Child of our Time and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. In the following season will include the bass arias in Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, as well as performances of Mozart’s Requiem and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass.

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