About Ewa Podles, gallons of ink have been spilled. I will spill just a little more. It is widely conceded that she’s the greatest contralto in the world. True, but this isn’t saying much: How many of these are there these days? Four? Ms. Podles is a great singer by any measure. It’s hard to say which is the most impressive: her voice, unique among voices; her technique, which is superhuman; or her musicianship, which is formidable.

January 14, 2003

by Jay Nordlinger