"Podles, now 55, remains a force of nature. As Azucena, she exuded dramatic concentration, even in an evening gown. She exulted in the old gypsy’s wide-ranging obsessions, stalked the stage knowingly, bathed the line in voluptuous tone. She pointed the text with precise prowess, explored the lower vocal depths with chesty bravado and rose to the highest climaxes with lust sometimes marked by a hint of desperation. She managed to make the linear elaborations expressive, and, unlike her colleagues, actually sang softly for extended periods."

July 16, 2007

by Martin Bernheimer