Mary Jo Heath, who has worked as a producer and guest host for the “Metropolitan Opera” over the past nine seasons, recently became the fourth full-time radio host in the company’s history.
Her responsibilities as the “voice of the Met” include hosting the Saturday matinee broadcasts — the longest-running classical music series in U.S. broadcast history.
Since the inception of the Saturday matinee broadcast series in 1931, the Met has had three full-time hosts: Milton Cross, Peter Allen and Margaret Juntwait, who passed away in June.
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Heath has produced nearly 1,000 Met broadcasts during her time with the company. In addition, she anchored the majority of last season’s broadcasts, when Margaret Juntwait’s illness made her unable to host.
She is also familiar to Met audiences from the behind-the-scenes interviews with Met staff and artists she has conducted for both radio broadcasts and “Live in HD” transmissions to movie theaters. She has worked for more than 25 years in various facets of the music industry, from radio stations to record companies to researching and writing. She earned a Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music and both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Oklahoma in her hometown of Norman, Oklahoma.
The current season of live broadcasts runs through May on WPR’s NPR News and Classical Music Network, and on the all-classical HD Network. See a listing of this season’s broadcasts, and learn more about the productions here.
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