Matti Salminen



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

He is a very large man with an enormous voice 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."

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.

Salminen has a contract at the Zurich Opera, and he also frequently performs in his native Finland. Most of all he has been admired in such Wagner roles as Gurnemanz and Titurel (Parsifal), King Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Fasolt and Fafner (Das Rheingold / Siegfried), Hunding (Die Walküre), and Hagen (Götterdämmerung). Other important roles are King Philip II (Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi), the Grand Inquisitor in the same work, Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and title roles of Boris (Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky), The Horseman by Aulis Sallinen, and Rasputin by Einojuhani Rautavaara.

In his youth he earned money for voice lessons by singing Finnish tangos in night clubs.

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