Martti Talvela Biography (Wikipedia)
Martti Olavi Talvela (4 February 1935 – 22 July 1989) was a Finnish operatic bass.
Born in Hiitola, Finland (now in the Republic of Karelia), the eighth of ten children he studied in Lahti and Stockholm, and made his operatic debut in Helsinki in 1960 as Sparafucile. He trained as a boxer in his youth and developed the stamina necessary for the biggest roles.
Originally Talvela was educated as a primary school teacher in Savonlinna, Eastern Finland (1952–1956), and he worked in that occupation at three schools (1957–1960). He sang at the Stockholm Royal Opera in Sweden from 1961 to 1962, before becoming a regularly employed singer at the Deutsche Oper of Berlin in 1962, the same year as his debut at Bayreuth.
In 1970, the Senate (government) of West Berlin formally granted him the rank of Kammersänger. He was especially acclaimed as the title character in Boris Godunov, a role he performed 39 times at the Metropolitan Opera between 1974–1987, and as Pimen from the same work, as Paavo Ruotsalainen in The Last Temptations, as a Wagner singer who frequently performed at Bayreuth (King Marke, Hunding, Fasolt, Fafner, Hagen (one critic described his Hagen as an "elemental force") and Titurel), as the Commendatore, Sarastro, Dosefei, and Prince Gremin, as King Phillip II, the Grand Inquisitor and, in the later part of his career, the title character in Glinka's Ivan Susanin.
Martti Talvela Tracks