Robert Hovencamp received extensive training at Chicago's Lyric Opera Center for American Artists.

He subsequently performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theatre and Grant Park Symphony. He premiered the title role in The Life Work of Juan Diaz at Chamber Opera of Chicago in 1990, recorded on the Albany label. He appeared as Don Attilio, Passarino, and the Auctioneer on the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera.