Profile



Michael Smith studied acting with Hayes Gordon at the Ensemble Studios in Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Fine Arts at Sydney University. He began his acting career at the Ensemble Theatre in the plays Boy Meets Girl, Mrs. Grabowski's Academy, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and the world premier of the Australian play Lamb of God. On Television he appeared as a regular in Glenview High and Punishment but was most visible as Shane Archer in The Restless Years.


From the early 1980's he focused on musical theatre, commencing with a schools tour for the Australian Opera of the Offenbach operetta, Jet Lagged and Jilted followed by the musicals Candide for the Nimrod Theatre; Trafford Tanzi (Dean Rebel); Snoopy (Linus) and the Australian Operas' production of Fiddler on the Roof (Motel).


His operatic debut in 1985 as Nanki Poo in The Mikado for the Australian Opera led to an invitation to perform in the US with the Los Angeles Music Centre Opera. The LA production was directed by Jonathan Miller and starred Dudley Moore as Ko Ko. He then appeared with Placido Domingo in The Tales of Hoffman and went on to make regular guest appearances with the LA Opera.


In Australia he moved between Contemporary Music Theatre, Musicals, Opera and the development of new works: Roderick in The Fall of the House of Usher by Philip Glass for Chamber Made Opera; Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music for the Sydney Theatre Company; Don Ramiro in Rossini's La Cenerentola for Opera ACT and Almaviva in the Barber of Seville for Lyric Opera of Queensland.


In 1993 he created the role of Jason in Gordon Kerry's Medea for Chamber Made Opera. Medea was performed in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and at the Kennedy Centre Washington as part of Festival Australia. A live performance recording is available from ABC shops. For the Australian Opera he appeared as Piquillo in Pericole and Marco in The Gondoliers. For the Sydney Theatre Company he appeared as Dr Mendel in Falsettos. 


On the concert platform he sang as Tenor soloist with the West Australian, Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. 1994 engagements included concerts with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Jakarta as part of the Australia Indonesia Today Expo. He sang for the Australia Malaysia Foundation in Kuala Lumpur in the presence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.


In the mid 1990's Michael C. Smith embarked on a comprehensive exploration of the Contemporary Australian Singing Voice. His focus shifted from full time performing to teaching, writing and an investigation into the creative process. 


Theatre work in the late 90's included; the creation of the role of Lidgus in Elena Kats Chernin's debut opera Iphis; the Defendant in Trial by Jury for the Sydney Festival and Frankie in the musical Jolson.


From 2000 to 2017 he taught singing to professional singers, dancers and actors in the music theatre and recording industries from his studio: "THE CONTEMPORARY SINGING STUDIO" opposite the Capitol Theatre on George Street in Sydney. This provided him with access to the scores, vocal styles and workplace practice of the Australian Commercial Musical circuit; many artists visited him. 


In 2015 he walked the Camino de Santiago, and again in 2016, 2017, and The Portuguese Camino in 2018.


In April 2017 he closed "THE CONTEMPORARY SINGING STUDIO" and set off in another direction. In May 2017 he published "SUTRAS FROM A SINGER" from the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo. "YES CAMINO" documents his third Camino in 2017. He walked the Portuguese Camino in 2018 inder the title: "Pink Moon Camino”.


NEXT: ARIAS FROM THE EASTERN SUBURBS.

© Michael C. Smith 2018