Podles’s voice is one of the wonders of the world: a 3 ˝ octave instrument that can toss off dazzling coloratura in the soprano range - there were plenty of high Bs at Friday’s recital - then dive into low notes you’d swear belonged to a male voice. But forget this male-female business: The sound that pour out of Podles’s mouth seem to come from the core of the Earth, channeled through her body, which Podles plants on the stage with both the strudlness of a peasant and the dignity of a prince. In between the extremes of her range, there seem to be at least four other arresting voices, including an earthy, slightly breathy mid-range,capable of caressing suaveness. But those low notes, often startling tones - are the ones that make your hair stand on end.

January 28, 2002

by Tamara Bernstein