Andrea Blain was born and raised in Minnesota but lived in Northern Ireland for 33 years, working as a freelance musician, teacher and journalist. She joined the BBC in 1998 and worked as a host and producer for classical music and current affairs and also wrote a classical music newspaper column. Andrea plays violin, viola, piano and organ. She was a member of the orchestra of Castleward Opera and was a founder member of the Avalon String Quartet. A lifelong interest in orchestral and choral conducting has been the catalyst for her involvement with a variety of ensembles including orchestras, choirs and theatre groups.
Andrea returned to the Twin Cities in 2014 to join the Classical Music team at Minnesota Public Radio as a host/producer. In addition to regular on-air duties, Andrea hosts and produces special programs and live broadcasts, including recent live broadcasts of Minnesota Opera.
Terry Blain was born in Northern Ireland, and educated at Coleraine Academical Insititution and Cambridge University. His interest in opera was ignited at Cambridge by the Wagner scholar Michael Tanner, and he is currently marking his thirtieth year as an arts journalist. In that time he has written for numerous publications including Classic CD, Opera Britannia, Opera Today, Irish Theatre Magazine, Culture Northern Ireland, and The Belfast Telegraph. He has also contributed to BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio 3. Terry is the classical music critic at the Star Tribune, and also writes regularly for BBC Music Magazine, Opera magazine and Classical Minnesota Public Radio.