Monday, October 10, 2016

Peter Allen 1920 - 2016

Peter Allen was the announcer for the Met broadcasts from 1975, when he succeeded Milton Cross, to 2004, when Margaret Juntwait took the mic. He had this cool delivery that, while not being stagey, made every plot synopsis, costume description, and singer bio its own bit of theater. His cadences might seem slightly old skool now, but I miss them when the scripted Saturday tag-team act gets a bit too precious. NYT obituary here.


  1. I thought I might be the only one who found the current announcers fatuous and annoying (as well as cloying and other adjectives).

    RIP Peter Allen

    1. On Saturday, yes. The weeknight Sirius version -- Mary Jo Heath and William Berger -- is much looser and they're not doing the tag-team shtick, and I think it works pretty well. For Saturday...I like Mary Jo Heath, and I like Ira Siff in other capacities, but the combination of them and the tightly-scripted-but-faux-spontaneous approach just does not work. I do not understand why the Met thinks that will sell the product in this day and age. Urgh!

  2. I grew up listening to Peter Allen, and yes, I've missed him. Not a huge fan of Siff's breathless fawning. (our classical station here is similar...too much telling me how I should feel about a piece, rather than letting me experience it for myself? if that makes sense.)