Australian-born bass-baritone Derek Welton is active on the world’s opera and concert stages performing a repertoire ranging from the baroque to the present day. Recognised as one of the leading voices of his generation, Welton’s versatility allows him to be equally at home in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Berliner Philharmoniker with Kirill Petrenko as he is in Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Pablo Heras-Casado, as Orest in Strauss’ Elektra at the Salzburg Festival with Franz Welser-Möst or as Wotan in Wagner’s Das Rheingold at Deutsche Oper Berlin under the direction of Donald Runnicles.
Derek Welton has appeared at some of the world’s foremost opera companies and Festivals including Semperoper Dresden (Lohengrin with Christian Thielemann), Opéra de Paris (Reimann’s Lear with Fabio Luisi), Bayerische Staatsoper (Parsifal with Kirill Petrenko), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Cendrillon with Andrew Davis), Wiener Staatsoper (Parsifal with Welser-Möst), Glyndebourne Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro with Ilyich Rivas), Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Lohengrin with Jakob Hrůša), at Dutch National Opera (Der Zwerg with Lorenzo Viotti), the Bayreuth Festival (Parsifal with Semyon Bychkov), Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (Elektra with Marc Albrecht) and at Staatsoper Hamburg (Der Meister und Margarita with Marcus Bosch). As a former member of Deutsche Oper Berlin, Welton portrayed a broad range of further roles including Father (Hänsel und Gretel), Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Prus (The Makropulos Case), Saint-Bris (Les Huguenots) and Der Pförtner (Das Wunder der Heliane).
The 2022/23 season includes débuts at Opéra National du Rhin as Der König in Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber with Marko Letonja, and at Opéra de Lyon as Pangloss in Bernstein’s Candide with Wayne Marshall alongside returns to Deutsche Oper Berlin in Das Wunder der Heliane with Marc Albrecht, the Vienna State Opera as Klingsor with Philippe Jordan, the Victorian Opera as Orest with Richard Mills and to the Bayreuth Festival for his first staged performances as Amfortas/Parsifal with Pablo Heras-Casado. In concert performance, Derek Welton adds several new roles to his repertoire: König Marke/Tristan und Isolde with Düsseldorfer Symphoniker/Adam Fischer, Der Wanderer/Siegfried with Sinfonieorchester Basel/Mark Elder and Wotan in excerpts of Die Walküre with l’Orchestre National de Lille/Hartmut Haenchen.
An accomplished concert artist, Welton has performed with many leading orchestras including with Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Manfred Honeck) in Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh, Hallé Orchestra (Christian Curnyn) in Handel’s Messiah, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Stefan Asbury) in Tippett’s A Child of our Time, BBC Philharmonic at the BBC Proms (Juanjo Mena) in Bruckner’s Mass in F, Malmö Symphony Orchestra (Robert Treviño) in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, and with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Stephen Layton) in Bach’s St John Passion. In opera in concert performances, he has sung the title role of Bluebeard’s Castle at the George Enescu Festival (Christian Mandeal), Don Pizarro/Fidelio with Hallé Orchestra (Elder) and Wotan in historically informed performances of Das Rheingold with Concerto Köln and Kent Nagano at Kölner Philharmonie and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Derek Welton’s discography includes performances as Wotan/Das Rheingold (Naxos), Orest/Elektra (Unitel Edition), Der Pförtner/Das Wunder der Heliane (Naxos), Heerrufer/Lohengrin (Deutsche Grammophon), Creonte/Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo (Pinchgut Live), in the title role of Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh (Supraphon Records), two recordings as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 (Ondine and Brattle Media) and a solo CD of Vaughan Williams songs with Iain Burnside for Albion Records.