Salminen, Matti , notable Finnish bass; b. Turku, July 7, 1945. He studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and with Luigi Rossi in Rome. In 1966 he joined the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, where he sang his first major role, Verdi’s Philip II, in 1969. From 1972 to 1979 he was principal bass of the Cologne Opera. In 1973 he sang Fafner at Milan’s La Scala and Glinka’s Ivan Susanin in Wexford. He made his first appearance at London’s Covent Garden as Fasolt in 1974. From 1975 he sang at the Savonlinna Festival. In 1976 he made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Hunding. On Jan. 9, 1981, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as King Marke. He appeared as Boris Godunov in Zürich in 1985. In 1990 he sang Hunding at the Metropolitan Opera, a role he repeated in 1997 to great acclaim. During the 1992–93 season, he was engaged as King Philip at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. After singing Fasolt at the Lyric Opera in Chicago in 1996, he portrayed Fafner at the Metropolitan Opera in 1997. In 1999 he appeared as King Marke at the Salzburg Easter Festival and as Hagen at the Finnish National Opera. His performances in operas by Mozart, Wagner, and Verdi have been much admired.
P. Tuomi-Nikula, Kuningasbasso: M. S. (Porvoo, 1994).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire