(Born February 2, 1937)
Martina Arroyo is an operatic soprano of Puerto Rican and African-American descent who had a major international opera career during the 1960s through the 1980s.
She is often credited as being part of the first generation of black opera singers to break down the barriers of racial prejudice in the opera world.
She debuted at the Zurich Opera in 1963–1965, and then became one of the Metropolitan Opera's leading sopranos between 1965 and 1978.
She was also a regular presence at the world's best opera houses, performing at La Scala, Covent Garden, the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Colón, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Vienna State Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the San Francisco Opera to name just a few. She is best known for her performances of the Italian spinto repertoire.
She has also recorded important 20th century music, including Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder and Carlo Franci's African Oratorio and two works she "created" in their world premieres: Karlheinz Stockhausen's Momente and Samuel Barber's "Andromache's Farewell".