Dame Malvina Major says her retirement from opera singing will lead to less pressure in her life.
The 72-year-old said as she had grown older, she had found it harder to cope with the stress she faced before a performance.
Dame Malvina said stepping down was the right decision.
"You got to be A+, and I've put that stress on myself, I know, because I don't want to do anything that isn't absolutely of the highest quality. I expect that of my students and I expect that of myself."
Dame Malvina, a Hamilton native, will continue to be a Professor of Voice at Waikato University.