Peter Allen, a Voice on the Radio for the Met Opera, Dies at 96


Beginning in 1975, he delivered a kind of recitative, telling listeners what would happen as a given opera unfolded, and even what was happening before that, from the moment the lights went down to the moment the Met’s great gold curtain went up. “The bravos rise as he mounts the stand, smiling to the house, bowing to the house, now turning to conduct,” Mr. Allen said one Saturday in January 2000 as the Met’s artistic director at the time, James Levine, arrived for a performance of “Der Rosenkavalier.”

Peter Allen was born Harold Levy in Toronto on Sept. 17, 1920, to David and Lillian Levy, and grew up in Cleveland.

He served as commanding officer of minesweeping vessels in the Navy during World War II and stumbled into announcing after the war at Ohio State University. He had been the principal violist in the university’s…



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