In the 2014-15 season Lyric Bass Paul Whelan performs the role of Daland Der Fliegende Höllander for Hawaii Opera Theatre, a role he debuted at New Zealand Opera last season, and revives the role of Giorgio I Puritani in concert for Victorian Opera, a role with which he previously had great success in a recent new production at Boston Lyric Opera. Last season’s highlights include his debut as Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress in concert for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and his debut as Banco Macbeth at Opera North in the UK.
Recent successes include his 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, Dijon and at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Other notable appearances include Theseus in the new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for English National Opera, Collatinus The Rape of Lucretia for Opera Norway as well as Bach's St. Matthew Passion for the Leeds International Concert Season. 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 Philharmonia to critical acclaim. Other significant engagements include the title role in Bluebeard's Castle with NBR New Zealand Opera; 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 bohème, 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; the bass soloist in Mozart's Coronation Mass with Eugene Symphony Orchestra; a return to the London Bach choir for St Matthew's Passion at the Festival Hall; the world premiere of Terra Incognita, a symphonic cantata for bass soloist and choir written for the artist by Gareth Farr and performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Other orchestral engagements include 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.
Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Richard Hickox, Yehudi Menuhin, Valery Gergiev, Gary Bertini, and Vassily Sinaisky; he has given recitals at Wigmore Hall, The Purcell Room, Cardiff's St David's Hall, Cheltenham Festival, BBC Pebble Mill, Perth Festival and at the Chátelet Theatre in Paris. 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.