Hailed as a major Wagnerian voice of the future, Australian Derek Welton made his first foray into the repertoire as Donner (Das Rheingold) under Richard Farnes at Opera North. He subsequently appeared as Klingsor (Parsifal) at the Beijing Music Festival and made his debut as der Heerrufer (Lohengrin) in an all-star cast at Semperoper Dresden conducted by Christian Thielemann. His debut at the 2017 Bayreuther Festspiele as Klingsor under Hartmut Haenchen followed his acclaimed first performances as Wotan (Das Rheingold) at Deutsche Oper Berlin conducted by Donald Runnicles.
Derek Welton is currently a member of the Ensemble of Deutsche Oper Berlin where he has debuted a number of roles including Baron Jaroslav Prus (Věc Makropulos), Altair (Die ägyptische Helena), Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Saint-Bris (Les Huguenots) and Mr Flint (Billy Budd). Last season in Berlin included new productions of Meyerbeer’s Le prophète under Enrique Mazzola and Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane under Marc Albrecht. Welton made his debut at the 2017 Salzburger Festspiele to great acclaim as Herzog von Albany in Aribert Reimann’s Lear, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, and returned to both Osterfestspiele Salzburg and Semperoper Dresden as Graf Dominik (Arabella) under Christian Thielemann. Other recent appearances include Voland in Der Meister und Margarita, and Escamillo (Carmen) both at Staatsoper Hamburg where he also created the role of Regolo in the world premiere of Beat Furrer’s La bianca notte under Simone Young.
An accomplished concert performer, recent highlights have included 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 Symphony Orchestra 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.
The current season includes two important house debuts, at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Pandolfe (Cendrillon) under Sir Andrew Davis, and at Bayerische Staatsoper as Klingsor under Kirill Petrenko. In Berlin performances include The Cunning Little Vixen, Rienzi, Otello and a staged version of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem and he also sings further performances of Parsifal for Victorian Opera, Melbourne.
Welton is a graduate of both the University of Melbourne and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a former member of the Salzburger Festspiele Young Singers Project.