"Metropolitan Opera Radio" will debut on Sirius on September 25 with a live broadcast of the Met's season-opening performance: filmmaker Anthony Minghella's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, conducted by music director James Levine.
The full-time channel will feature an average of four live broadcasts each week throughout the Met's 2006-07 performance season, with Saturday matinee performances also featuring live interviews and intermission programs. The channel will also feature hundreds of re-mastered historic broadcasts.
Margaret Juntwait, the host of the Saturday matinee Metropolitan Opera Radio broadcasts, will be the announcer for the new programs. She joins the Met full-time later this month, having hosted its nationally syndicated Saturday matinee broadcasts since 2004.
Future broadcasts in the multi-year partnership will feature archival performances from the Met's 75-year recorded history as well as live performances.
Peter Gelb, the company's new general manager, who has taken a number of steps recently — including free outdoor simulcasts, an upcoming 'open house' and the live transmission of performances to movie theaters later this season — to widen the Met's reach, said, "This is a significant step in our plans to use digital technology to relay our extraordinary content. I look forward to working with Sirius to expand their listenership to include opera lovers throughout the US and Canada."
Scott Greenstein, Sirius president of entertainment and sports, said, "With Metropolitan Opera Radio, we will bring opera lovers the best performances of our day and an unparalleled and definitive collection of historic broadcasts. Sirius' broad reach and superb digital quality sound make us the perfect vehicle to help Peter Gelb and the Met fulfill their mission to both superserve existing opera lovers and create new opera fans nationwide."
Metropolitan Opera Radio will be heard around the clock on Sirius channel 85.