Her successful debut at the Paris Grand Opera happened in 1897 in Faust and she was signed on for six years as a result. In 1904 Ackté signed on to the New York Metropolitan Opera where she remained until 1906. In 1907 she created the title role of Richard Strauss' Salome in Leipzig and in 1910 in London. The Covent Garden premiere was an enormous success and Strauss himself proclaimed Ackté the "one and only Salome". Ackté considered the London performances her real breakthrough. Jean Sibelius dedicated his tone poem Luonnotar to Ackté and she premiered the work on 10 September 1913 at the Gloucester Festival in England.
Ackté ended her international travels that same year and returned to Finland, where she gave her farewell performance in 1920. Her final public performances took place at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1930. In 1911, Ackté, Oskar Merikanto, and Edvard Fazer founded the Kotimainen Ooppera, a predecessor to the Finnish National Opera (renamed in 1914 Finnish Opera and then in 1956 the Finnish National Opera). She was to act as its director in 1938-39. After parting ways with the National Opera, Ackté organized an international Savonlinna Opera Festival beginning on 3 July 1912; it was held 1912-14, 1916 and 1930. Ackté's coterie included among others Albert Edelfelt, who painted a famous full portrait of her in 1901. She died of pancreatic cancer in Nummela, Vihti in August 1944. Read more on Last.fm.
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