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WRTI's Debra Lew Harder is the new host of Metropolitan Opera broadcasts / The Philadelphia Inquirer

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Peter Dobrin writes......When the Metropolitan Opera's international radio series resumes this season, the voice of its new host will sound familiar to Philadelphians. Debra Lew Harder, the popular WRTI-FM (90.1) classical personality, is leaving Temple's radio station to become only the fifth host in the history of the Met radio broadcasts. Tuesday is her last day on the air at WRTI. "It's a little unexpected, honestly," said Harder, who landed the job after sending in a resume and cover letter "on a lark."

Her tryout involved several rounds of interviews, reading a synopsis of La bohème and conducting an impromptu interview on Verdi's Requiem.

A pianist with doctorates in both music and medicine, Harder is host of WRTI's Midday Classics and creator, producer, and host of Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse. Her shifts will be covered by current WRTI on-air talent for the next few months, said general manager William Johnson.

Harder, who joined WRTI in 2016, said she had expected to stay at the station long enough to become the classical answer to jazz host Bob Perkins. He is 87 years old and still going strong.  PHOTO: Jessica Schultz/WRTI

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