One of the most internationally well-known of Finnish composers, Aulis Sallinen (b. 1935) will celebrate his 80th birthday in 2015. In tribute, Ondine is releasing on DVD the 2002 production of his latest opera, King Lear, with the same cast that premiered the work at the Finnish National Opera in 2000. Under the direction of Okko Kamu and featuring a strong cast of singers, the work's premiere was a great success. Legendary Finnish bass Matti Salminen sings the title role of King Lear; other singers include Lilli Paasikivi, Taina Piira, Satu Vihavainen, Petri Lindroos, Kai Pitkänen, Jorma Hynninen, Sauli Tiilikainen and Jorma Silvasti. The libretto, based on the world-famous Shakespearian tragedy, tells the tragic story of the English king Lear and his struggles with members of his own family, his enemies, and his developing madness.