Sydney Opera House

Stephen Smith dreams of a ticked off to-do list


The Operative Word with Stephen Smith

Is there any profession besides that of opera singer that you would have liked to have followed? I was a wild kid who had no interest in working or careers. If it weren’t for singing I probably would have ended up in jail. Having said that, now as an adult, I would happily pick up a trade. Building and fixing stuff is great fun!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Having everything on my to-do list completed. I don’t think it’ll ever happen no matter how much I get done, but it’s a lovely thought.

What is your greatest extravagance? Clothes. I love good clothes. I’m often seen in my exercise or bumming-around clothes, but I love dressing up.

One thing you regret is… No regrets. I’m happy with who I am and where I am, and the decisions that I have made, good or bad, have contributed to that.

What is your favourite way to spend an evening? Playing squash or rock climbing, then coming home to my wife and a gin and tonic.

Who or what is the love of your life? My wife.

You would like to devote more time too… Exercise

What is your favourite food?  Chicken.

What is your most treasured possession? Right now, my apartment.

Which is the opera that got you hooked? La bohème. Tore my guts out.

Which opera do you never need to hear again? Anything by Handel. Sorry to those who love it. Bores me senseless.

What is your idea of misery? Having nobody to talk to. It’s nice for a while but then I go crazy.

You still hope to… Sing better.

Which characteristics do you most admire in others? Intelligence, competence and people skills.

You feel guilty when you think about… My kids.  They live in Melbourne and I live in Sydney.  I’m good at compartmentalising but every now and then it jumps up and grabs me.

What type of holiday do you most enjoy? Holidays at home. I like having time to do whatever I feel like in my own environment.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’m an all or nothing person. I’ve learnt to work with it but it’d be nice to be able to find the middle ground.

Who is your favourite band? Beethoven. I know he isn’t a band but there you go!

You spend too much money on… Electronics and food

Who is your favourite character from the opera world? Schmidt from Werther. Laid back, no problems.

The book everyone loved but you could not finish was... Ummm....I used 16 volumes of my wife’s New Grove Dictionary of Music as a prop to mount some wall cabinets the other day. It was the first time I ever used them.  My attention span doesn’t allow for books, though I read a huge amount online.

What is your favourite kitchen appliance? Does the fridge count? It’s the home of everything yummy. 

If you could be anyone, who would you be? Me.

Who is your favourite heart throb? It changes every day!