Now firmly established as a Wagnerian name to note, Derek Welton made his first foray into this repertoire as Donner (Das Rheingold) under Richard Farnes at Opera North in 2011. He subsequently appeared as Klingsor (Parsifal) at the Beijing Music Festival before joining an all-star cast at Semperoper Dresden for his first Heerrufer (Lohengrin), conducted by Christian Thielemann and subsequently released on DVD. Welton debuted at the 2017 Bayreuth Festival as Klingsor under Hartmut Haenchen and was highly acclaimed for his first Wotan (Das Rheingold) at Deutsche Oper Berlin in the final presentation of the historic Götz Friedrich production.
The 19/20 season opens with concert performances of Bluebeard’s Castle at the Enescu Festival under the baton of Christian Mandeal, and further includes his role debut as Orest (Elektra) at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia under Marc Albrecht and Wotan in Deutsche Oper Berlin’s new production of Das Rheingold directed by Stefan Herheim, and conducted by Donald Runnicles. Concert highlights include Act II of Fidelio with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Malmö Symphony Orchestra under Robert Treviño, Missa Solemnis with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Runnicles, and The Dream of Gerontius with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra under James Judd.
A native of Australia, Welton is a member of the ensemble of Deutsche Oper Berlin where he has amassed a wide repertory of roles including Altair (Die ägyptische Helena), Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Saint-Bris (Les Huguenots), Mr Flint (Billy Budd) and Peter (Hänsel und Gretel) and starred in new productions of Věc Makropulos under Donald Runnicles, Meyerbeer’s Le prophète under Enrique Mazzola and Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane under Marc Albrecht, recently released on DVD by Naxos. Derek Welton made his debut at the 2017 Salzburg Festival as Herzog von Albany in Aribert Reimann’s Lear conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, a role he reprised last season at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Fabio Luisi alongside two important house debuts: at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Pandolfe (Cendrillon) under Sir Andrew Davis, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Klingsor under Kirill Petrenko.
An accomplished concert performer, Derek has recently appeared in The Epic of Gilgamesh with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Manfred Honeck, A Child of Our Time with the Gewandhausorchester under Stefan Asbury, St Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado, St John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Theater an der Wien under Stephen Layton, Glagolitic Mass with the National Orchestra of Spain under Xian Zhang, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui and The Dream of Gerontius with the Boston Philharmonic and Benjamin Zander. Welton has performed Messiah with the Hallé under Christian Curnyn, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Paul Agnew as well as with the Minnesota Orchestra under Christopher Warren-Green and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Stephen Layton.
Derek Welton is a graduate of both the University of Melbourne and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a former member of the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project.