The Australiasn tenor, Robert Macfarlane, obtained his Bachelor of Music degree (Grade 1st Class Honours) from the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide and huis Bachelor of Music degree with Honors in Vocal Performance from the University of Adelide (2004-2007). He subsequently studied Opera Singing at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (HMT) Leipzig ‘Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy’ with Professor Dr. Jeanette Favaro-Reuter, as recipient of the prestigious Thomas Elder Overseas Scholarship (October 2012-July 2013). He undertook extensive study of the Baroque repertoire with tenor Howard Crook and has also studied and performed with world-renowned accompanist Malcolm Martineau. He was also one of the final students of the great tenor Peter Schreier. He was the winner of the Adelaide Critic’s Circle award for best individual performance in 2012 (J.S. Bach's St. John Passion (BWV 245)), a finalist in the Lortzing Competition in Germany in 2013, and winner of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria competition in 2009.
Robert Macfarlane is a free-lance singer since 2004. He made his European Opera Debut in the virtuosic role of Ircano in Johann Adolf Hasse’s Semiramide in Graz and Leipzig in 2014, for which he was highly acclaimed by the Austrian critics. On the opera stage, he has also sung Monostatos in W.A. Mozart's The Magic Flute for West Australian Opera; Orfeo in Peri’s Euridice for Woodend Winter Arts Festival; the title role in Rameau's Pygmalion for the Peninsula Festival; Notary in La Sonnambula, Parpignol in La Boheme, Beppe in Pagliacci and 3rd Jew in Salome for State Opera of South Australia; Acis in Acis and Galatea in Malaysia and Singapore; the roles of Echo and Pastore (and understudying the title role) in L'Orfeo with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for Brisbane Festival and in Sydney and Melbourne; and he has also performed with Pinchgut Opera, Lyric Opera of Melbourne and Co-Opera.
Robert Macfarlane is known internationally for his performances of J.S. Bach, in particular the Evangelist of the St. John Passion (BWV 245) and St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244), and was the 2008 and 2009 J.S. Bach Scholar in the St. Johns Bach Cantata program in Melbourne. He made his debut in Leipzig’s Thomaskirche in 2013 as the tenor soloist in J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor (BWV 232), with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Thomanerchor Leipzig under the direction of Georg Christoph Biller, returning the following year to perform Wär Gott nicht bei uns diese Zeit. Other acclaimed concert performances include soloist in semi-staged performances of St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) for Opera Queensland; Benjamin Britten St Nicolas with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; W.A. Mozart's Great Mass in C minor at St George's Cathedral, Perth; George Frideric Handel's Messiah and Solomon; Monteverdi’s Vespers at the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Adelaide Festival; B. Britten's Serenade and Les Illuminations; recitals of Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin, Winterreise and Schwanengesang and Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe and Liederkreis with pianist Leigh Harrold, Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with Anthony Legge, and for ArtSong Canberra and The Firm in Adelaide.
Robert Macfarlane also performs in the new music ensemble Duo Trystero with guitarist Aleksandr Tsiboulski, which has given the Australian premieres of works by Alec Roth, Wolfgang Fortner, Alexander Goehr and Paul Dessau and world premieres of works by David Kotlowy, Luke Altmann and Anne Cawrse.
Most recently Robert Macfarlane made his debut with Opera de Lyon performing Tybalt in Boris Blacher’s Roméo et Juliette (November 2014), and with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in the role of Pong in Turandot. He also performed G.F. Handel's Israel in Egypt for the Halberstädter Domfestspiele (March 2013), J.S. Bach's St. John Passion (BWV 245) in Belgium and Rossini’s Petite Messe for Canberra International Music Festival along with his return to the Halberstädter Domfestspiele for Haydn’s The Seasons. His 2017 engagements include St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) (Evangelist) with Sydney Philharmonia, the role of Kornelius in Camille Saint-Saëns’ The Japanese Princess for Lyric Opera, Carmina Burana and William Walton's Belshazzar’s Feast with Adelaide Philharmonic Chorus and his debut with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the Kats-Chernin version of the prologue to Monteverdi’s Orfeo (May 2017). He will also return to Germany and Japan for concert performances and will reprise the role of Renaud in Lully’s Armide on tour in Europe. He currently lives in Leipzig, Germany.