Radio Host

Department: Media

Available: June 2021

Position Summary

The Radio Host is the voice of the Metropolitan Opera on the radio. The Met’s Media Department produces close to 70 live radio broadcasts each season between September and June – both for the Saturday Matinee radio series, currently in its 90th season and heard internationally, and for a 24-hour channel on SiriusXM. The Radio Host represents the institution as the lead voice for all of these broadcasts, providing the radio audience with information and insight in a warm and engaging manner that connects with listeners from a wide background. In addition to on-air duties, the Radio Host works with the radio team to plan and prepare all the radio broadcasts each season, live and pre-produced, and participates in department meetings and activities as a staff member. The ideal candidate will have meticulous attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and respect for professional discretion. The role requires a strong set of live broadcast and interview skills and a deep knowledge of opera.

Preparation and Planning:

  • The Radio Host must have a core knowledge of repertoire and artists, but is also expected to self-educate for each production presented by the Met, through familiarity with Met editorial materials, independent research, attending final dress rehearsals, etc.
  • Met radio broadcasts are produced by a team of writers, editors, producers, and engineers, and the Radio Host is an integral part of this team, working together to develop scripts, features, interviews, and other intermission content. The process includes research, planning meetings, group script reads, pre-broadcast run-throughs, etc.

Broadcast Duties:

  • The Host is responsible for setting the appropriate tone for each opera and must have an innate sense for audience engagement, storytelling, pacing, timing, and mood.  The Host must appeal to a wide audience that includes opera aficionados and newcomers to the art form. The Host works under the direction of the broadcast producers and must be responsive to feedback and instruction pertaining to on-air performance.
  • Hosting of the broadcast includes introductions, synopses, commentary, cast lists, production credits, interviews, and spontaneous fill – all to time.  Broadcasts typically run 3+ hours, and the host is live on mic for an average of one hour per broadcast.
    • Script: The broadcast scripts are often prepared 2-3 weeks in advance of air time, and it is incumbent on the Host to practice independently and with the commentator to deliver the script with a natural and conversational feel. In other circumstances, scripts are written close to air time, and the Host must be able to quickly absorb last-minute information and deliver new material. 
    • Commentary: The Host presents on air with different commentators, both scripted and unscripted.  The Host must work closely in preparation with the commentators and develop a warm, lively, and respectful conversational style on air.
    • Interviews: The broadcasts contain a variety of interviews with artists, guests, and company members. Interviews, which usually run 15-20 minutes, are both conducted live and pre-recorded. In a typical week, the Host will need to conduct multiple interviews for different operas. The Host is responsible for researching and writing draft questions to review with producers. Interviews can be scheduled with little advance notice, based on artist availability. The Host must be able to communicate with a wide variety of personalities and to encourage and direct conversations in a manner that is positive, informative, and engaging while adhering to time constraints and awareness of key topics to cover.
    • Cast lists & credits: The Host must be comfortable reading long lists of names live on the air with tight time constraints. The Host is responsible for researching the correct pronunciation of names and foreign words and must work with the producers to pronounce names, repertoire, and musical terms according to house practice.
  • The Host is responsible for voicing multiple weekly pre-produced features and promos for the broadcasts and network partners.

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Voice a variety of Met-related materials including TV spots, education features, public broadcasting presentations, etc.
  • Host and participate in fundraising and audience development events on behalf of the institution, both on and off-site.
  • The Host must speak with an understanding that they are representing the Metropolitan Opera – its mission and message – on and off the air. The radio broadcasts are a critical means for the Met to connect with its audience and expand interest in the art form.

Qualifications & Skill Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in live broadcasting, public speaking, hosting live events, moderating panels and discussions, and conducting live interviews
  • Extensive knowledge of opera repertoire, artists, performances and history
  • Ability to read music
  • Facility with foreign languages and pronunciations, especially Italian, German and French
  • Computer skills: Word, Outlook, Excel
  • Must work well in a team environment
  • Ability to work on tight deadlines and under pressure
  • Excellent judgement and adaptability in a live situation
  • Ability to work nights and weekends as broadcast and event schedule requires
  • Initiative to work independently and proactively
  • Respect for institution and public role

Physical Demands:

  • Regularly required to sit, talk, and hear
  • Frequently required to use repetitive hand motion and to stand, walk, reach, bend
  • Occasionally required to lift up to 20 pounds. 

To Apply:

Please follow this link to submit your application materials: https://form.jotform.com/200134406236139

Internal candidates should please contact the Human Resources department directly to apply.

The Metropolitan Opera believes that diversity is critical to our success and growth as a leading performing arts institution and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the communities we serve.

The Metropolitan Opera is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and existing employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, citizenship status, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.