Art Works Blog

Sweet Sound of Success

Washington, DC

Martina Arroyo's career is so dramatic it could be an opera. Growing up in Harlem, she first worked as a teacher and social worker before auditioning at the Metropolitan Opera (unsuccessfully the first time; winning the radio competition the second). Her big break was replacing the legendary Birgit Nilsson in the role of Aida at the Met. From there she pursued a career most can only dream of, working with the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, among many others. In 2003, she established the Martina Arroyo Foundation, returning to her love of teaching to help prepare emerging artists for operatic roles.

Lest you think Arroyo the typical diva, listen to this excerpt from this week's Art Works podcast as she talks about her mom attending her first Met performance.

Hear the entire podcast as Arroyo---one of four artists who will be honored on October 22 at the  NEA Opera Honors ceremony at the Kennedy Center---talks about her stellar opera career.


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