|Year of Birth:||1952|
Ewa Podleś (Polish: ; 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.
Podleś was born in Warsaw, Poland, and after studying at the Warsaw Academy of Music under Alina Bolechowska, 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. Her return to the Met took place on September 24, 2008, when she sang the role of La Cieca in Ponchielli's La Gioconda.
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. Her voice has a wide range, spanning more than three octaves and has been called a "force of nature".