Margaret Juntwait (born 1957) is an American radio broadcaster who is the voice of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. She debuted in this position on December 11, 2004, replacing Peter Allen upon his retirement after twenty-nine years.
Life and career
Raised in Ridgewood and Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Juntwait attended Northern Highlands Regional High School, where she first developed an interest in choral music. Later, she studied to be an opera singer — she was a lyric soprano — and received a degree in voice from the Manhattan School of Music in 1980. After marrying, she resigned from pursuing an operatic career for the sake of raising her three children. In 1991, she began her career as a classical music radio announcer at WNYC-FM radio in New York City.
Juntwait began at the Metropolitan Opera in 2000 as the back-up announcer for veteran radio host Peter Allen, who retired from the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts in May 2004. With the 2004-2005 broadcast season, she took to the air on her own, introducing a performance of Verdi's I Vespri Sicilani. She became only the fourth person ever to announce the broadcasts in their seventy-three year history, following Milton Cross, Allen, and Lloyd Moss (who substituted just twice).
On September 20, 2006, the Met announced that Juntwait would become a full-time Met employee, having been appointed as announcer of all programs on Sirius Satellite Radio's new Metropolitan Opera Radio channel. On Sirius, Juntwait hosts three or four live broadcasts a week during the opera season and records introductions for the hundreds of archive performances aired on the channel.
Juntwait is also an actress and has performed in radio theater plays, produced by NPR veteran Joe Bevilacqua, including The Whithering of Willoughby and the Professor. In episode 16, Juntwait essays three roles in a parody of the cult British 60s show: The Prisoner. In episode 17, Juntwait portrays Willoughby's mother, a mermaid and god. The plays are airing on THE COMEDY-O-RAMA HOUR, heard five times per week on XM's Satellite Radio's Sonic Theater Channel 163.
- Beckerman, Jim. "Ridgewood native is the voice of the Met"[dead link], The Record (Bergen County), July 28, 2008. Accessed July 29, 2008.
- Wakin, Daniel J. "Met Picks New Voice for Opera Broadcasts", The New York Times, September 29, 2004. Accessed July 29, 2008.
- "The Metropolitan Opera and SIRIUS Satellite Radio to Create Historic New Radio Channel", Sirius Satellite Radio press release, September 20, 2006. Accessed July 29, 2008.