The Australian-born bass-baritone Derek Welton is already firmly established as a Wagnerian name to note. After performances as Donner in Das Rheingold with Opera North under Richard Farnes in and as Klingsor in Parsifal at the Beijing Music Festival, he appeared at the Semperoper Dresden as the Herald in Lohengrin under Christian Thielemann. These successes led to critically acclaimed performances in his role début as Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and in his débuts as Klingsor at the Bayreuth Festival.

The 2019/20 season opens with concert performances of Bluebeard’s Castle at the George Enescu Festival and further includes his role début as Orest in Elektra at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia under Marc Albrecht, a return to the Salzburg Festival in Summer 2020 in the same role under Franz Welser-Möst, his house début at the Opéra National de Paris as Herzog von Albany in Aribert Reimann’s Lear, as well as Wotan in the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s new production of Das Rheingold directed by Stefan Herheim and conducted by Donald Runnicles. Concert highlights include Don Pizarro in Act II of Fidelio with the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra under Robert Treviño.

His engagements for the 2020/21 season will include Wotan in Das Rheingold with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski and his début as Wotan in a new production of Die Walküre at Theater Dortmund, directed by Peter Konwitschny and conducted by Gabriel Feltz.

Welton has been a soloist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2015, where he has amassed a wide repertory of roles including Klingsor, Der Pförtner (Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane), Altair (Die ägyptische Helena), Peter Besenbinder (Hänsel und Gretel), Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Prus (The Makropulos Case), Mr Flint (Billy Budd), Saint-Bris (Les Huguenots) and Zacharie (Le prophète). Derek Welton made his debut at the 2017 Salzburg Festival as Herzog von Albany in Lear conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, a role he reprised last season at Maggio Musicale under Fabio Luisi alongside two important house debuts: at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Pandolfe (Cendrillon) under Sir Andrew Davis, and at the Bavarian State Opera as Klingsor under Kirill Petrenko. Further guest engagements have included Voland in York Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita under Marcus Bosch 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. 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, Bruckner’s Mass in F minor at the BBC Proms, the Mass in B minor with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the St John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music, and Messiah with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra.

Derek Welton’s discography includes performances in the title role of Martinů’sThe Epic of Gilgamesh (Supraphon Records), as Der Pförtner in Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane (Naxos), the Herald in Lohengrin (Deutsche Grammophon), Creonte in Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo (Pinchgut Live), soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 (Brattle Media) and a solo CD of Vaughan Williams songs with Iain Burnside for Albion Records.

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