Finding himself out of work, weathering the COVID lockdown in an attic in Melbourne, Australian tenor Robert Macfarlane set to work on a new album called Catastrophically Ourselves. He has just released the first track on YouTube – a country song called My Opera Career’s Over, for which he enlisted the help of fellow tenor Kanen Breen. Not only is it a very funny parody that portrays “two pretentious opera stars” (as Macfarlane puts it) clinging on to their fading glories while scrubbing toilets, vacuuming, smoking, sculling beer and wine, it is also a protest song at the lack of support for the arts during the COVID-19 crisis. Robert Macfarlaneanswered a few questions from Limelight– with Kanen Breenadding a few delicious additions.

Robert Macfarlane and Kanen Breen in the video for My Opera Career’s Over

Where are you right now?

RM:I’m in an attic in Fitzroy, Melbourne – where I’ve been for the last nine months – very different to my usual itinerant lifestyle! I feel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but with a banjo.


How have...