Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tribute: Margaret Juntwait Interviewed By Deborah Voigt At The MET

Margaret Juntwait (left) gets interviewed by Deborah Voigt.
"As the Met’s beloved radio host for more than ten years, Margaret Juntwait interviewed countless operatic artists for the company’s Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcasts and for Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius XM. A few months before Juntwait died, soprano Deborah Voigt turned the tables on her, interviewing her about what it means to be the voice of the Met. Listen to the interview from December, 2014." Read the Metropolitan Opera's full statement on the passing of Margaret Juntwait, and see a video of her singing 'I Dreamed a Dream' from Les Miserables, after the jump. Funeral services for Margaret Juntwait will be held Saturday, June 6, 11:15 a.m. at Church of the Presentation (271 West Saddle River Road Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. A memorial service in New York will take place at a date TBD. The family requests in lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Save the Met Broadcast Fund, the Manhattan School of Music, or New York Public Radio.

A portrait of Margaret Juntwait by Richard Blinkoff 
"The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of our radio host Margaret Juntwait, who passed away this morning after a long battle with ovarian cancer. For millions of listeners around the world, Margaret was the voice of the Met for the past decade.

She was appointed to the post in October 2004, and her first Saturday matinee broadcast was a December 11, 2004 performance of Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani. She went on to host a total of 229 live Saturday broadcasts, as well as 898 live broadcasts on the Met’s Sirius XM channel. Her final Sirius broadcast was the new production premiere of Lehár’s The Merry Widow on December 31, 2014. 'Margaret Juntwait was the soul of the Met’s radio broadcasts,' said 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 who she so deftly interviewed over the years, and by the millions of devoted fans who listened to her mellifluous hosting of our broadcasts three or four times a week, season after season.' Margaret was diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than ten years ago, but before January 2015, she missed only one Saturday matinee broadcast due to her illness. Even after she was unable to host live performances, Margaret retained her tremendous passion for the Met, and was in the building just a few weeks ago to pre-record content for future Sirius XM broadcasts.

Margaret, a trained singer and a former WNYC classical music radio host, loved opera and the Met. In her role as interviewer, she displayed a remarkable grace for putting artists at ease. Before and after the curtain went up for performances, her passion for the art form allowed her to convey to the audience the excitement of what would happen on the Met stage.

She was justifiably proud of her role as one of only three regular hosts of the Met’s Saturday broadcast series over the course of its 84-year history. She replaced Peter Allen as host in 2004 and joined the Met staff full-time in 2006, when the company’s Sirius XM channel launched.

We extend our sincerest condolences to Margaret’s family and friends, including her husband Jamie Katz; mother Florence Grace; and children Gregory, Bart, and Steven Andreacchi, and Joanna Katz; on behalf of all those who loved her, in the Met company and in the radio audience around the world." [Source]

1 comment:

  1. When Margaret Juntwait was a student at Manhattan School of Music, did she appear in the Hindemith opera "News of the Day"? I saw that production in the late 70s, when she would have been a student. One young singer stands out in my memory; it's so long ago that I don't remember which role she played, but she looked much like Ms Juntwait, and she was wonderful. Does anyone know if it may have been she? Thanks!