The Canadian tenor, Robert MacLaren, studied at McGill University earning a diploma in Education and he took several courses toward a degree in Theology Studies. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Music from Sir George William's University before studying with L'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra Montréal; Opera Piccola in Victoria; McGill Opera Studio, and the Banff Opera Program. He trained with Leopold Simoneau, the great Canadian Mozart tenor, and Professor Margert Kalil, a Metropolitan Opera soloist.
Robert MacLaren spent 17 years living in Germany as an opera soloist, recitalist, and oratorio singer. Theatres and concert halls performances include: Saarbrücken, Cologne, Hannover, Bremen, Bern, Vienna, and Berlin, as well as Beijing and Tokyo. Orpheus (Berlin) defines him as "a sweet loveable performer with the fine acting ability to be totally convincing in serious as well as cheerful moments. He is also an unusually good lyric tenor possessed of a rich mellowness, a voice capable of producing many contrasts, and expressive phrasing, an ability to create all the nuances of the voice from mezza-voce to radiant high notes." The South German Press declared him to have a "well focused voice and very youthful timbre." Das Opernglas described him as "warm, gentle, never over-aggressive, a tenor with wonderful tone colour" and his phrasing as "exquisite."
Favourite repertoire includes Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at Kassel Staatstheater and Hannover-Würzburg; Werther in J. Massenet's Werther, performed in Stadttheater Görlitz, Dortmund, Saarbrücken, and Würzburg; Don José in Georges Bizet's Carmen at Mainfranken Theatre; Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffman; and Rodolfo in La Boheme which he performed in Bejing, Bremen, Hannover, Bern, Saarbrücken, Linz, and Kassel.
Robert MacLaren's favourite Oratorio work is J.S. Bach's Johannes Passion (BWV 245), which he performed in Stadtisches Orchestrer in Trier, Saarbrücken, Montréal, and Québec City under Charles Dutoit. He cites Verdi's Requiem (performed with the Orchester des Stadttheaters Trier) as his most dramatically challenging work, and Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio (performed with the Filharmonia Dolnoslaska and Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie at the Schlesischemusikfest) as the most fun. He also enjoyed performing recitals for the Wagner Association of Saarbrücken, including Schumann's Dichterliebe.
Currently Robert MacLaren teaches Voice studies and Performance Skills at the University of Manitoba in Canada. He is Committe Member: Facilities and Equipment Use Committee, Faculty Artist Performance Series Committee. Beyond teaching music, he has also taught through Frontier College in Northern Ontario and Gillam, Manitoba. He taught high school for four years in the Gaspé Region, and spent five years with the Tudor Singers of Montréal.