V2055. MARTINA ARROYO, w.Leonard Hokanson (Pf.): Songs by Rossini, Dvorák, Schubert & Brahms; 4 Spirituals. (Germany) Hänssler 93.719, Live Performance, Schwetzinger Festepiele, 1968. - 4010276025160
“Born in Harlem, the daughter of a Puerto Rican father and an African-American mother, Ms. Arroyo made her début in 1961 in a small role, the Celestial Voice in DON CARLO. During the 1961-62 season, she proved a trouper at the company by singing various supporting roles in Wagner’s RING cycle, including the Third Norn, Woglinde the Rhinemaiden and Ortlinde the Valkyrie.
After a three-year absence, her Met breakthrough came in February 1965, when she sang her first Aïda. That October in DON CARLO she stepped way up from the Celestial Voice to Elizabeth of Valois.
In all, she would sing some 200 performances at the Met. Today, Ms. Arroyo still contributes to opera by running the Martina Arroyo Foundation, which presents young singers in thoroughly prepared and staged productions of central repertory works. She remains an inspiring role model to emerging artists.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 February, 2016
"The great soprano Martina Arroyo enjoyed an unparalleled career on the international stages of opera houses that lasted from the 1960s to the 1980s. Coming from a mixed African-American and Puerto Rican background, she was one of the early singers in the opera world to cross the racial line. Her youthful, dramatic soprano made her an ideal Verdi and Puccini heroine but she could also draw upon the dark, lyrical qualities of her voice to beautifully interpret intimate songs. In this Schwetzingen Festival recital she was at the height of her vocal abilities."
"One of the most enduring and memorable discoveries of my early opera-going years was this outstanding soprano, Martina Arroyo. Having heard her in recital, in concert and at the 'old' and the 'new' Met, in a great variety of repertoire, I can attest to her magnificence in any material she chose to sing, and that if it hadn't been for the Met's and Leontyne Price's iron grip on Aïda, Arroyo would have reigned universally supreme in this rôle. Price’s shimmering top, especially early in her career, was indeed unforgettable, but Arroyo had that as well, combined with a beautifully aligned voice and a true Verdi line. Whether it was in Verdi, Puccini, von Weber or Barber, she truly had the voice and style for it all!”
- J. R. Peters