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 Simone Young.

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. Other roles for the 2015/16 season will include Graf Dominik in Arabella and the Heerrufer in Lohengrin, both under Christian Thielemann at the Semperoper Dresden.

Forthcoming concerts include his Proms début in Bruckner’s Mass no 3 in F minor with the BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and 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