Matti Salminen bass from Suomi

Matti Salminen bass from Suomi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Matti Salminen (born 7 July 1945, in Turku) is a Finnish operatic bass singer, who has sung at the most important opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan and Bayreuth Festival.

Salminen is distinguished by an imposing figure and height (6′ 5″);  a cavernous, heavy, dark voice with a huge upper register; and an expressive face. According to one reviewer, in his prime Salminen was “… simply the largest bass voice in captivity. It is not just its roar in powering over Wagner’s maximum orchestra, but the way he carves the sonority and forms the color.”[3]

Salminen has a special gift for playing menacing, threatening characters. He performed as Fafner and Hagen in the PBS video broadcast Ring Cycle from the Metropolitan Opera, for the largest viewing-audience of the Ring in history.

He sang in the premiere of Sallinen’s Kuningas Lear in 2000 (King Lear, title role),  and Jukka Linkola’s Robin Hood in 2011 (Sheriff).

Salminen has a contract at the Zurich Opera, and he also frequently performs in his native Finland.

At the Bayreuth Festival he first appeared in 1976 (Titurel (Parsifal), and Hunding (Die Walküre) and Fasolt (Das Rheingold) in the Jahrhundertring (Centenary Ring) in 1976, celebrating the centenary of both the festival and the first performance of the complete cycle, conducted by Pierre Boulez and staged by Patrice Chéreau, recorded and filmed in 1979 and 1980. He continued until 1989 adding Fafner (Rheingold, Siegfried), Daland (Der fliegende Holländer), King Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Heinrich (Lohengrin), Pogner (Meistersinger), Landgraf (Tannhäuser) and Hagen (Götterdämmerung) to his roles there.

Other important roles are King Philip II (Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi), the Grand Inquisitor in the same work, Seneca in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, the title role in Boris Godunov and Ivan Khovansky in Khovanshchina. He also performs in sacred music and concert recitals.

Salminen is a widely video-taped singing actor with three different performances as Hagen available on DVD; also two performances as the Commendatore, several as Sarastro, two as Hunding and two as Daland. Videotaped performances and films are also available as the Grand Inquisitor, Seneca, Gurnemanz, Pogner, and Boris Godunov.

In his youth he earned money for voice lessons by singing Finnish tangos in night clubs.  He has published an anthology of Finnish tangos.  He first caught public eye as a lucky understudy in the role of King Phillip II, when he was just 24 years old. He continues performing this role and a DVD was recently released.

In Swedish

Han är utbildad på Sibeliusakademien och i Italien och Tyskland. 1972-1980 var han medlem i ensemblen vid operan i i Zürich. Dessutom gör Salminen återkommande gästspel vid operorna i München, Wien, och har även sjungit i Paris, Metropolitan, Los Angeles och La Scala.

Han har sjungit varje sommar sedan 1967 i Savonlinna och gjort 151 föreställningar i Bayreuth. Repertoaren inkluderar alla de stora basrollerna av Wagner, Mozart och Verdi, och de ryska operorna. Salminen är flerfaldig Kammersänger och har fått flera Grammy-priser och andra utmärkelser.

 Upplevda föreställningar

SiegfriedFafnerMetropolitan Opera Metplayer31.5.2009
Tristan och IsoldeKung MarkeMetropolitan Opera Metplayer
Tristan och IsoldeKung MarkeBerwaldhallen24.8.2012



Bach Cantatas

Listening samples

En bassångare i världsklass

Compiled/ Sammanställt av Mogens H Andersson

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