She was one of the leading Verdi sopranos in an age when black singers were still facing opera’s color barrier. She conquered the world’s stages, from the Metropolitan Opera to the “Tonight Show,” with a beautiful voice, keen intelligence, and an earthy sense of humor.
A diva at home . . . “Let’s talk about something else. You want dirty stories?” The operatic soprano Martina Arroyo is as down-to-earth as she is gifted. The recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors sits for a portrait in her New York apartment in November. Jesse Dittmar/For The Washington Post Buy Photo