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Arroyo, Martina

roles metropolitan opera sang

Arroyo, Martina, esteemed American soprano of Hispanic and black descent; b. N.Y., Feb. 2, 1936. Her principal teacher was Marinka Gurewich, but she also studied with Turnau at Hunter Coll. of the City Univ. of N.Y. (B.A., 1956). In 1958 she won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and made her professional operatic debut in N.Y. in the U.S. premiere of Pizzetti’s Assassinio nella cattedrale . On March 14, 1959, she made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera as the Celestial Voice in Don Carlos; she subsequently sang minor roles there until 1963 when she went to Europe, where she appeared in major roles in Vienna, Düsseldorf, Berlin, and Frankfurt am Main. From 1963 to 1968 she sang in Zürich. On Feb. 6, 1965, she scored a remarkable success at the Metropolitan Opera when she substituted for Birgit Nilsson as Aida. In subsequent years, she sang major roles there, and also appeared at London’s Cov-ent Garden (from 1968) and the Paris Opéra (from 1973). In 1989 she retired from the operatic stage. She taught at the Ind. Univ. School of Music in Bloomington from 1993. Arroyo was especially admired in Verdi spinto roles, but she also acquitted herself well as Donna Anna, Liù, Santuzza, and Cio-Cio San. She also proved herself technically equal to the complex soprano parts in the works of such avant-garde composers as Varèse, Dal-lapiccola, and Stockhausen.

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