Paul Whelan begins the 2019-20 season at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in the role of Commendatore Don Giovanni, a role he sang in the summer at Garsington Opera. The artist travels to Teatro Municipal de Santiago to sing the role of High Priest of Bel Nabucco. Then he rejoins NBR Opera New Zealand for Semele (Cadmus/Somnus) and a recital followed by King Mark in Tristan and Isolde with Opera Queensland.
Paul began last season at Opera New Orleans in the role of Timur Turandot. At Scottish opera he performed the world premiere of Stuart MacRae’s opera Anthropocene in the role of Captain Ross as well as Dikoj Katya Kabanova. While singing Commendatore at Garsington Opera he also sang the role of Mícha The Bartered Bride. In his native New Zealand, Paul joined Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for performances of Mozart Requiem.
Recently, Paul Whelan made his house debut at Lyric Opera of Kansas City in the role of Gremin Eugene Onegin winning outstanding reviews. In Norway he performed Haydn’s The Creation with the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra before returning to US to sing the role of Hagen in selections from Götterdämmerung with the Jacksonville Symphony.
In recent seasons, the artist excelled in the roles of Nettuno, Tempo and Antinoo Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria at The Grange Festival for which he received enthusiastic reviews. He added the role of Sarastro Die Zauberflöte to his repertoire which he sang at Hawaii Opera Theatre; in Geneva he joined the Grand Theatre for their new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Quince, and he appeared at Gothenburg Opera for the role of Claudio Hamlet in a new production by Stephen Langridge for which he won sterling accolades.
Other highlights include the role of Daland Der fliegende Holländer at Hawaii Opera Theatre and New Zealand Opera, Giorgio I Puritani at Boston Lyric Opera and Victorian Opera, and his role debuts as Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress for Opera New Zealand, Banco Macbeth at Opera North in the UK, and Titurel Parsifal with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons.
Other past successes include the artist’s return to Opera Australia as Ramfis Aida, and an appearance at Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago for Beethoven’s Mass in C. He sang Jesus in fully staged performances of St. Matthew Passion in Brisbane and appeared as Seneca in a new production of L’Incoronazione di Poppea in Lille and Dijon. Other notable appearances include Theseus in the new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dreamfor English National Opera and as Collatinus The Rape of Lucretia for Opera Norway. Additionally, he appeared at Glyndebourne in two other roles: Claggart in their new production of Billy Budd, and Alidoro La Cenerentola. He sang his first Wotan in Das Rheingold with the Auckland Philharmonic to critical acclaim.
Significant appearances include the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle with NBR Opera New Zealand; Four Villains Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Southern Opera; Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo in Munich; Apollon in Gluck’s Alceste at the Dresden Festival; a staged production of Bach’s St. John Passion (directed by Deborah Warner), Schaunard in a new production of Leoncavallo’s La bohéme, Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor all at English National Opera; Escamillo Carmen at Welsh National Opera; and Harry Joy Bliss at Hamburg State Opera and world premieres of The Assassin Tree by Stuart MacRae in a joint production with the Royal Opera House and the Edinburgh Festival, and Bird of Night by Dominique Legendre, also for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Concert appearances include Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet with Ulster Orchestra, Mountararat in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe with San Francisco Symphony, The Dream of Gerontius (Priest and Angel of Agony) which he sang at Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, in Berlin, Salisbury and in New Zealand; St. Matthew Passion with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London Bach Choir, Judas The Apostles at Leeds Festival, Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the Ulster Orchestra recorded for BBC Radio 3; Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid (broadcast live), a series of concerts with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Delius’s Sea Drift in Osaka, Valens in Handel’s Theodora with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, also presented in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Paul is a winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World Lieder Prize. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Richard Hickox, Yehudi Menuhin, Valery Gergiev, Gary Bertini, and Vassily Sinaisky. Recordings include A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis (Philips), Kurt Weill’s Silber See under Markus Stenz (BMG); recordings with the BBC Philharmonic for Chandos and with the BBC Scottish Symphony for Hyperion.