Hynninen, Jorma, distinguished Finnish baritone and opera administrator; b. Leppävirta, April 3, 1941. He studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (1966–70); also took courses in Rome with Luigi Ricci and in Salzburg with Kurt Overhoff. He won 1st prize at the singing competition in Lappeenranta in 1969, and in the Finnish division of the Scandinavian singing competition in Helsinki in 1971. In 1970 he made his concert debut in Helsinki, as well as his operatic debut as Silvio in Pagliacci with the Finnish National Opera there, and subsequently sang leading roles with the company. He also made first appearances at La Scala in Milan (1977), the Vienna State Opera (1977), the Hamburg State Opera (1977), the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (1979), and the Paris Opéra (1980); gave recitals throughout Europe and the U.S. He made his N.Y. debut in a recital in 1980; his operatic debut followed in 1983, when he sang with the Finnish National Opera during its visit to America; made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Rodrigo in Don Carlo on March 30, 1984. He was artistic director of the Finnish National Opera from 1984 to 1990, and then of the Savonlinna Festival from 1992. In addition to such traditional operatic roles as Pelléas, Wolfram, Orpheus, Valentin in Faust, and Macbeth, he has sung parts in contemporary Finnish operas; he created the King in Sallinen’s The King Goes Forth to France (Savonlinna, July 7, 1984), Thomas in Rautavaara’s opera (Joensuu, June 21, 1985), Kullervo in Sallinen’s opera (Los Angeles, Feb. 25, 1992), and Aleksis Kivi in Rautavaara’s opera (Savonlinna, July 10, 1997).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire