Alan Smythe is the impresario behind long-running family concert Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park. His diverse CV includes being founding editor of the London Review of Books, playing cello for the Paris Opera, and hosting TV talent quest The Big Time. Behind the scenes, he adapted short stories for pioneering drama series Winners & Losers and About Face, and worked with director Roger Donaldson on some of his earliest films — including co-directing a film with him about motorcycle racer Geoff Perry. In 2001 Smythe became the founding head of Auckland University’s School of Creative and Performing Arts.
What they seemed to be looking for was a bridge between the university and the real world. In terms of audiences I have put together the biggest performing arts events in the country. Alan Smythe, on his appointment as head of Auckland University's School of Creative and Performing Arts (Scapa), The NZ Herald, 28 January 2001