Kuningas King Lear is Aulis Sallinen's sixth opera. It had its world premiere at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki in September 2000. Once again, the response of international critics was mixed: some praised, others found fault. Sallinen is a composer who leaves no one cold. He himself considers King Lear more melodious than his earlier operas. The eponymous role was written specifically for Matti Salminen, one of the greatest basses of our time.