Ewa Podleś

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Ewa Podleś

Ewa Podleś (Polish: [ˈɛva ˈpɔdlɛɕ]; born April 26, 1952) is a Polish coloratura contralto singer who has had an active international career both on the opera stage and in recital. She is known for the agility of her voice and a vocal range which spans more than three octaves.

Life and career[edit]

Podleś was born in Warsaw, Poland, and after studying at the Warsaw Academy of Music under Alina Bolechowska,[1] made her stage debut as Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville in 1975. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut on February 14, 1984, singing the title role in Handel's Rinaldo, but only for a few performances that year (from which only two were in the Met's house), and was notably absent from the Met for more than 24 years, since then pursuing her career elsewhere and performing regularly at many other opera houses in Europe and America. In 1996, she sang the part of the Marquise de Berkenfeld in Donizetti's La fille du régiment at La Scala, a performance which has been preserved on DVD.[2] Her return to the Met took place on September 24, 2008, when she sang the role of La Cieca in Ponchielli's La Gioconda.[3]

Though known mainly for her interpretation of Baroque works, Podleś's repertoire ranges from Handel's Giulio Cesare (Cesare) to songs by Shostakovich. However, the coloratura contralto roles (some of them trouser roles) in Rossini's operas have been central to her repertoire. Critics have noted the expressive power of her voice and her ability to cope with the florid singing demanded of Rossini's heroes and heroines.[4] Her voice has a wide range, spanning more than three octaves[5] and has been called a "force of nature".[6]

Her recent performances include roles of La Cieca in La Gioconda, Bertarido in Handel's Rodelinda, the title role in Rossini's Tancredi, the title role in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Isabella in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, Erda in Wagner's Ring Cycle (at the Seattle Opera), Klytämnestra in Richard Strauss's Elektra (with the Canadian Opera Company), Madame de la Haltière in Massenet's Cendrillon (at London's Royal Opera House), and the title role in Rossini's Ciro in Babilonia (in the work's US premiere at the Caramoor International Music Festival in July 2012 and at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy, in August 2012). Podleś was scheduled to sing Azucena in Verdi's Il trovatore at the Atlanta Opera in 2009, but withdrew.

After a seemingly final run of La fille du régiment at Barcelona's Liceu in May 2017,[7] Podleś announced that, from 1 June, she was going to interrupt temporarily her stage career due to an upcoming orthopaedic operation, while carrying on, however, with her teaching activity. Yet, according to the singer's official website no further theatrical appearances are scheduled in 2018 and 2019.[8]

Podleś and her husband, the pianist Jerzy Marchwiński [pl], live in Warsaw.[1]


Audio CD



  1. ^ a b Polskie Radio (27 February 2012). "Partnerstwo: Ewa Podleś i Jerzy Marchwiński". Retrieved 30 January 2013 (in Polish)
  2. ^ Bresnal, Barry (May 2010). "Review: Donizetti: La Fille du régiment". Fanfare. Retrieved 30 January 3013 via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  3. ^ La Gioconda, Met Performance CID 352574, MetOpera database
  4. ^ Glass, Herbert (30 July 1995). "New Opera Recordings for a Song". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  5. ^ Midgette, Anne (16 October 1998). "A Voice as Rare in Type as in Beauty", The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  6. ^ Silverman, Mike (28 October 2009). "Contralto Ewa Podles in Rossini: A force of nature". Associated Press. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  7. ^ Novak, Josephine, "La fille du régiment at the Liceu", Metropolitan Barcelona, 30 May 2017.
  8. ^ Ewa Podleś Official Website /Performances.

External links[edit]