Ewa PODLEŚ – contralto



(Biography updated January 2012)

Ewa Podleś is widely recognized as the most authentic contralto of her generation by Opera International, Orpheus, Gramophone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Examiner, Opera News and The Financial Times due to the specific color, huge range and agility of her voice. 



Her vocal abilities make it possible for the artist to successfully perform repertoire spanning from baroque to contemporary, on the most prestigious opera stages and concert venues in the world: La Scala, MET, Covent Garden, le Châtelet, Deutsche Oper, Teatro Liceo, Teatro Real, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Theatre des Champs Elysees, Filharmonia Narodowa (Warsaw National Philharmonic), to name just a few.

The highlights of 2009-2011 seasons include among others performances in Teatr Wielki-Opera Narodowa in Warsaw (Klytemnestra in Strauss’s Elektra), the MET (La Cieca in Ponchielli’s la Gioconda), San Francisco Opera (Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica), Boston Lyric Opera (the title role in Rossini’s Tancredi), Opera in Bilbao (Mrs. Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff), Teatro Liceo in Barcelona ( The Countess in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame), RAI in Torino (Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges), Teatr Wielki in Poznań (Azucena in Verdi’s Trovatore), Opera in Nice (Klytemnestra in Strauss’s Elektra), Opéra Comique in Paris and Covent Garden ( Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon), London’s Wigmore Hall (recital with Garrick Ohlsson), festivals in Pesaro, San Sebastian and Schleswig-Holstein.

Those seasons are also marked by the release of numerous new CD recordings on such labels as DUX and Deutsche Grammophon, countless articles, interviews and reviews in the world press and most prominent classical music periodicals. Last but not least, there is also an exposition in Musée d’Art Moderne at Contemporain in Geneva of an oil painting by Nina Childes depicting Podleś in the title role of Handel’s Rinaldo from the 1984 MET production.

Ewa Podleś has been awarded many prestigious awards and honorary mentions: Dora Mavor Moore Award for the performance of the title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Toronto, Andrzej Hiolski Award for the performance of the title role in Rossini’s Tancredi in Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Złote Berło (the Golden Staff) Award for lifetime achievement (2003), Golden Award Gloria Artis, The Kosciuszko Foundation Medal of Recognition for Distinguished service to Polish and American Culture (2005) and The Medal of Merit for fostering of the Russian culture awarded by President V.Putin. In 2004 the artist has been awarded The Order of Polonia Restituta.

Ewa Podleś has recorded numerous CD’s and DVD’s many of which received prestigious acclaims and awards:

The American Music Critics’ Award “The Performance Today Awards 1997” for important contribution to classical music in America

Disc of the Year 1996 Award by STUDIO Radio and Record Magazine - Rossini Arias for contralto, Ewa Podleś (NAXOS)

Palmarés des Palmarés”, Nouvelle Academie du Disque, 1994 - Melodies Russes, Ewa Podles (FORLANE)

Grand Prix du Disque, “Orpfee d’Or 1989 - Ewa Podles, Air Celebres (FORLANE)

Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik 1996 – Ewa Podles “Tancredi” (NAXOS)

Diapason d’Or 1998 – Ewa Podles, Gluck’s Armide, Handel’s Ariodante (DGG Archiv)

Grand Prix de l’Academie Francaise du Disque 2000 – Ewa Podles, Chopin Piesni (FORLANE)

Fryderyk 1999” – Ewa Podleś, Rossini Gala (DUX), “Fryderyk 2003” – Ewa Podleś and Garrick Ohlsson (DUX), “Fryderyk 2009” Ewa Podleś and Łukasz Borowicz (DUX)

Ewa Podleś has been included in the list of ten best mezzo soprano voices of the first decade of 21st century by Classic FM Magazine – a group of renowned international music critics. She has also joined the exclusive group of 100 opera legends of the last half of the century (as named by Operaarts.com).

The International Society of Breeders of Irises named a new breed of iris, especially created for her, “Ewa Podleś” in 2002.

Ewa Podleś is a native of Warsaw, Poland. She studied vocal performance with professor Alina Bolechowska at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. She is a winner of many international competitions, including The Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Undoubtedly a citizen of the world, she performs regularly in Teatr Wielki-Opera Narodowa in Warsaw and other important music venues in her native Poland. She resides in Warsaw.

The official website for Ewa Podleś is: www.podles.pl.

Worldwide general management for Mme. Podleś (except France, Italy, Spain and Poland): www.matthewsprizzo.com