Margaret Juntwait’s mellifluous voice reached more than eight million fans worldwide in live Saturday broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Many of those eight million encountered Juntwait via BBC Radio 3’s teatime transmissions.
Until 31 December, her last broadcast, her studio was nestled behind the Met’s Family Circle seats under the golden ceiling, in a space the size of an average walk-in wardrobe. A large monitor beamed in the stage action, replaced during intermissions by patrons’ chatter and the clanging of glasses in the nearby bar.
Born in New Jersey, she graduated from the Manhattan School of Music as a lyric soprano. Since 2004 she had been the voice of more than 200 broadcasts on New York’s WQXR-FM. She also hosted around 900 live broadcasts on the Met’s Sirius XM channel, heard three or four times a week during the opera season. In previous years she had worked at New York’s classical radio station, WNYC-FM.
“Margaret Juntwait was the soul of the Met’s radio broadcasts,” said the Met general manager, Peter Gelb. “She will be sorely missed by her loving colleagues here at the Met, as well as the countless opera stars she so deftly interviewed over the years, and by the millions of devoted fans who listened to her broadcasts season after season.”
Before last December, though diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than a decade ago, she missed only one Saturday matinee due to her illness. US listeners will still hear her – only a few weeks ago she was recording content for future broadcasts.
Margaret Juntwait, broadcaster: born Ridgewood, New Jersey 18 March 1957; married Jamie Katz (one daughter, three sons); died New York 3 June 2015.Reuse content