Ewa Podles performance in the Pinchielli’s "La Gioconda" reminded the Met audience just how much they’ve missed as the result of her absence in recent decades.

Grand Theft Canal

Ewa Podles had been away from the house for two dozen years- an utterly avoidable scandal when one considers what she might have given us at the Met in "Semiramide," "Khovanshchina," "Ballo," and many other scores during that time. She is a riveting stage figure, creating her own bold plastique yet always listening to colleagues’ words - never have I been shown so much about Cieca’s feelings for her long-suffering daughter.
The singing - firm, molten, with an utterly personal timbre- carried well. Podles’ kind of individuality and commitment bespoke what true operatic stardom used to be about. One prays Peter Gelb will ensure her swift return.

October 9, 2008

by David Shengold