The Australian-born bass-baritone, Derek Welton, obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in German and Linguistics from the University of Melbourne, Australia; and his Master of Music (Vocal Studies) and Master of Music Performance (Opera Studies) degrees with Distinction. from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He was a member of the prestigious Salzburger Festspiele Young Singers Project. His competition wins include the Emmerich Smola Förderpreis, the Handel Singing Competition and the Australian Youth Aria.
Derek Welton has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Salzburg Easter Festival, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Hamburg State Opera, Teatro dellíOpera di Roma, Glyndebourne, Opera North, Beijing Music Festival, Opéra de Lille and many other houses in over forty roles including Pangloss/Martin in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, Escamillo in Georges Bizet's Carmen, Voland in York Höllerís Der Meister und Margarita, Peter Besenbinder in Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, Prus in The Makropulos Case, De Brétigny in Manon, Saint-Bris in Les Huguenots, W.A. Mozartís Figaro, Count Almaviva, Don Giovanni, Masetto, Guglielmo, Papageno and Speaker, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Mill in La cambiale di matrimonio, Salieriís Falstaff, King in Sallinenís The King goes forth to France, Altair in Die ägyptische Helena, Nick Shadow in Igor Stravinsky's The Rakeís Progress, Monterone in Rigoletto. Considered by many as a major Wagnerian voice of the future, Welton made his first foray into this repertoire as Donner in Das Rheingold under Richard Farnes for Opera North followed by a debut at Osterfestspiele Salzburg as Gralsritter in Parsifal under Christian Thielemann (released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon). He has subsequently appeared as Klingsor in Parsifal at the Beijing Music Festival under Gustav Kuhn, as Heerrufer in Lohengrin at Semperoper Dresden, again with Christian Thielemann.
An accomplished and diverse concert artist, Derek Welton has performed at venues across Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia in over sixty 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, Pablo Heras-Casado, Thomas Hengelbrock, Axel Kober, Stephen Layton, Kent Nagano, Donald Runnicles, Stefan Soltesz, Leonard Slatkin, Christian Thielemann and Simone Young. Recent cxoncert highlights have included J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado, J.S. Bach's St John Passion (BWV 245) with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Theater an der Wien under Stephen Layton and with the Academy of Ancient Music under Richard Egarr, Glagolitic Mass with the National Orchestra of Spain under Xian Zhang, Gabriel Fauré's Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra under Nigel Short, Nelson Mass with Britten Sinfonia under Stephen Layton and L.v. Beethovenís Symphony No. 9 with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui. Welton has performed George Frideric Handel's Messiah with the Hallé Orchestra under Christian Curnyn, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Paul Agnew and with the Minnesota Orchestra under Christopher Warren-Green.
Derek Welton has been a member of the Ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin since the 2015-2016 season. His roles there for the 2016-2017 season will include Wotan in Das Rheingold under Donald Runnicles, Saint-Bris in Les Huguenots under Michele Mariotti, Peter Besenbinder in Hänsel und Gretel under Nicholas Carter, Klingsor in Parsifal under Donald Runnicles, Heerrufer in Lohengrin under Axel Kober and Mr Flint in Billy Budd under Moritz Gnann. He will also appear at the 2017 Salzburg Festival as the Duke of Albany in Reimannís Lear under Franz Welser-Möst. Concerts for the 2016-2017 season include A Child of Our Time with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Stefan Asbury, Martinůís The Epic of Gilgamesh with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Jiří Bělohlávek, the W.A. Mozart's Requiem with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra under Asher Fisch and Haydnís Creation with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under Otto Tausk.
Derek features on four recordings: a solo CD of Ralph Vaughan Williams with Iain Burnside for Albion Records, as Creonte on Pinchgut Liveís CD of Haydnís Líanima del filosofo, and as Gralsritter on Deutsche Grammophonís DVD of Parsifal and Graf Dominik on Unitel Classicaís DVD of Arabella, both with Christian Thielemann.