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Met Opera And Public Radio Host Margaret Juntwait Dies

Behind the Met microphone: host Margaret Juntwait, who died Wednesday at age 58.
Jonathan Tichler
/
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
Behind the Met microphone: host Margaret Juntwait, who died Wednesday at age 58.

Margaret Juntwait was the mellifluous voice of the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday live radio broadcasts. She was also a longtime host at NPR member station WNYC in New York. Juntwait died Wednesday at age 58 of complications from ovarian cancer. The Met and WNYC have each offered tributes.

Juntwait was trained as a lyric soprano at the Manhattan School of Music. But in 1991 — with no radio experience — she wrote a fan letter to WNYC host John Schaefer, who promptly hired her as an assistant. She went on to host two music programs on the station.

In 2004 she became the first woman to host the Met's Saturday broadcasts. That same year, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but continued to host the Met broadcasts for a decade. Her last broadcast was New Year's Eve.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.