New Zealand MP to become opera singer

8 October 2012, 10:25 | Updated: 18 September 2014, 14:45

Dr Lockwood Smith, MP and Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Zealand, is to perform alongside the New Zealand Pops Orchestra later this month.

Though he's better known in his native New Zealand as an MP and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Lockwood Smith is also a classically trained opera singer. He is due to take to the stage in a special concert this month.

After training with opera legend Donald Munroe at the University of Adelaide, Smith began his political career in the early 1980s and didn't sing in public for over 20 years. He has more recently begun performing again, but the forthcoming concert with the New Zealand Pops Orchestra is the biggest so far.

Smith, a bass-baritone, commented: "At home on Christmas Day my grandmother would sing grace, but it was Donald Munroe who developed my love of opera.  But then I wrecked my voice and that was the end of it."

Of the forthcoming performance (in which Smith will sing an operatic version of Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Boxer'), Smith also said:  "For me, this is a huge challenge. I thought 'can I really do this?' And I'm not even sure I can, but if I don't give it a go, I will regret it."

The concert is due to take place on October 21st in Auckland.