June LeBell Selected to be Panelist on
The Metropolitan Opera Quiz
The longtime announcer with WQXR, and host of “June LeBell’s Musical Conversations” on Classical WSMR, will appear on April 4 during a live broadcast.
(Sarasota-Manatee) June LeBell, a former professional soprano, 30-year staff announcer with WQXR and host of “June LeBell’s Musical Conversations,” on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 FM, has been selected to be a panelist on The Metropolitan Opera Quiz, during the first intermission of the Met’s live broadcast of Verdi’s “Ernani,” on April 4. This live, international broadcast will be heard in the United States on National Public Radio, as well as commercial classical stations. In the Tampa Bay area, the broadcast will be on WSMR 89.1 in Sarasota, and 103.9 in Tampa.
LeBell, who is also an award-winning music critic for The Observer Media Group, says this will be her first stint as a panelist on this illustrious intermission feature.
“It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time,” she says. “Just being asked is a tremendous honor. So many brilliant musicians and musicologists have appeared in this spot in the past, I can only hope I’m both entertaining and enlightening, not to mention smart.”
A noted lecturer on classical music and opera, LeBell was the first female announcer on a major commercial classical music radio station. For 30 years, she was a full-time, on-air presence on WQXR, the country’s largest and oldest classical music station. She has received more than 18 awards for outstanding broadcasts with prestigious arts organizations, including the New York Philharmonic and the Marilyn Horne Foundation. LeBell has produced and hosted her “Musical Conversations,” at numerous venues, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Santa Fe Opera, and, in Sarasota, at “Music Mondays” at SILL.
In 2014, LeBell launched a new classical music series on WSMR 89.1 FM, the 24-hour NPR classical music channel covering the west coast of Florida. The program, “June LeBell’s Musical Conversations,” which airs on Sundays, 4-5 p.m., and is repeated on Tuesday, 6-7 p.m., features conversational interviews with well-known international musicians and performers, interspersed with recorded and live music relating to the conversations. Her guests have included Marilyn Horne, Leonard Slatkin, Olga Kern, Dick Hyman, and Anu Tali.
Before becoming a radio personality, LeBell was a professional concert and opera singer. She attended the High School of Music and Art in New York City, the Mannes College of Music in New York City and the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, and was a private student of Adele Addison. LeBell lives in Sarasota with her husband Edward Alley (a conductor and arts administrator), and their dog, Rosy.
For more information about June LeBell, visit www.junelebell.com.