Derek Welton
Bass-baritone

“Derek Welton’s physically imposing, vocally booming Uncle Bonze… clearly has major star potential.” (Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Christopher Lawson +44 (0)20 3725 9108

Biography

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 under Gustav Kuhn, and made his debut as den Heerrufer (Lohengrin) in an all-star cast at Semperoper Dresden conducted by Christian Thielemann. Welton debuted at the 2017 Bayreuther Festspiele as Klingsor under Hartmut Haenchen, shortly after his acclaimed first performances as Wotan (Das Rheingold) at Deutsche Oper Berlin conducted by Donald Runnicles. 

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 under Gustav Kuhn, and made his debut as den Heerrufer (Lohengrin) in an all-star cast at Semperoper Dresden conducted by Christian Thielemann. Welton debuted at the 2017 Bayreuther Festspiele as Klingsor under Hartmut Haenchen, shortly after his acclaimed first performances as Wotan (Das Rheingold) at Deutsche Oper Berlin conducted by Donald Runnicles. 

Welton is currently a member of the Ensemble of Deutsche Opera Berlin where he has recently 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). Other recent appearances include Harašta (The Cunning Little Vixen) at Opéra de Lille, Voland in Der Meister und Margarita, and Escamillo (Carmen) 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. He returned to both Osterfestspiele Salzburg and Semperoper Dresden as Graf Dominik (Arabella) and made his debut at the 2017 Salzburger Festspiele under Franz Welser-Möst as Herzog von Albany in Aribert Reimann’s Lear

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 underStefan 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 Orquesta Nacional de España under Xian Zhang, and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui. 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.

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Christopher Lawson +44 (0)20 3725 9108

Reviews

“The young Wotan was sung by the ensemble member Derek Welton, who scored a personal triumph, crowned by a most lyrical ‘Abendlich strahlt’.” (Opera Magazine, July 2017)

“The new Klingsor of the powerful-voiced Derek Welton stands out from the cast.”(Bayerischer Rundfunk Klassik, July 2017)  

“The part of Klingsor is often more characterised than sung; Derek Welton sings it fully and on top of that is convincing in characterisation.”(Neue Musikzeitung, July 2017)  

“Derek Welton made a terrific demonic entrance as Klingsor. With shaved head, black beard and a similarly coloured voice” (Mittelbayerische Zeitung, July 2017) 

“The young Wotan was sung by the ensemble member Derek Welton, who scored a personal triumph, crowned by a most lyrical ‘Abendlich strahlt’.” (Opera Magazine, July 2017)

“The new Klingsor of the powerful-voiced Derek Welton stands out from the cast.”(Bayerischer Rundfunk Klassik, July 2017)  

“The part of Klingsor is often more characterised than sung; Derek Welton sings it fully and on top of that is convincing in characterisation.”(Neue Musikzeitung, July 2017)  

“Derek Welton made a terrific demonic entrance as Klingsor. With shaved head, black beard and a similarly coloured voice” (Mittelbayerische Zeitung, July 2017) 

“In contrast, Derek Welton sounds full-bodied and youthfully fresh.” (Die Presse, July 2017)

“With striking timbre and strong stage presence, Derek Welton is a splendidly disingenuous Klingsor.” (Münchner Merkur, July 2017) 

“Derek Welton gave the murderous St Bris appropriately lugubrious tones.” (Opera Magazine, February 2017)

“Similarly impressive, the Australian baritone Derek Welton in the role of Saint-Bris, absorbed in the ecstasy of his barbarism” (Opernwelt, January 2016)

“Derek Welton provides contrast with his broad bass-baritone as a dark Comte de Saint-Bris.” (Die Presse, November 2016)

“Derek Welton sang a beautiful-sounding Heerrufer…[and] was on par with the rest of the star cast.” (Der Neue Merker, May 2016)

“Derek Welton’s Heerrufer demonstrated impressive stage and vocal presence across the three acts, with intelligently declaimed text and a certain ease across his vocal range.” (Altamusica, May 2016)

“Derek Welton was a convincing Heerrufer with an attractive Heldenbaritone timbre and striking declamations.” (Opernnetz, May 2016)

“Derek Welton was an impressive complement to the cast as Heerrufer and impressed with a deep understanding of the text and a beautiful timbre.” (Online Musik Magazin, May 2016)

“Deutsche Oper Berlin came up with a very good ensemble performance: Derek Welton as passionately potent, big-voiced Jaroslav Prus and also vocally a genuine opponent of Marty.” (Opernglas, April 2016)

“Derek Welton shone as the devil (in the form of the mysterious Voland) with supreme ease, demonic acting and a rich baritone.” (Der Spiegel, September 2013)

“Derek Welton as Voland was outstanding: A magical Mephistophelian schemer with a dark, grounded bass.” (Weser Kurier, September 2013)

“As Figaro, Derek Welton showed he is the possessor of a major voice—a bass-baritone of easy power and robust, pleasing timbre.” (Hugo Shirley, Opera, January 2013)

“Derek Welton, whose manly, oaken baritone is sensitively offset by Iain Burnside’s superbly supportive accompaniments. The twelve apostles and The truth sent from above are particular highlights of this disc, but every track has something to offer. Highly recommended” ***** (BBC Music Magazine, December 2011)

“Welton is an excellent singer, his vibrant baritone perfect for the swaggering nature of some of the songs, while he can scale down tenderly for others” (International Record Review, December 2011)

“When Welton thundered ‘I will shake the heavens and the earth’, he did pretty much that: every aria he sang had an easy, unforced majesty.”  (The Independent, December 2010)

“As Eurydice’s father Creon, smoky toned bass-baritone Derek Welton sang with alluring warmth and resounding power.” (The Australian, December 2010)

Discography

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