Robert Poulton, an opera singer with Glyndebourne, has died in a car crash.

The Brighton-based baritone was killed in a collision on Tuesday evening.

He was due to sing in Norwich the following evening and as a mark of respect the performance at Norwich Theatre Royal was cancelled.

The news of his death has shocked the opera world and tributes have poured in for the singer, who started his professional career in the Glyndebourne Chorus.

David Pickard, general director at Glyndebourne said: "The news of Robert’s death is devastating for his family – and for all of us at Glyndebourne who have so valued him over many years.

“It is testament to Robert’s generous character and amazing musicianship that he had such a distinguished operatic career, not just at Glyndebourne but also at many of the leading international houses.

"Our thoughts at this time are with Robert’s family, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.”

Peter Wilson, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, said: “Our deep sympathy goes to Robert’s family, and we have conveyed our condolences to his colleagues in the Glyndebourne company.”

Antonio Pappano, Music Director, The Royal Opera, where Robert made his debut in the role of Sciarrone in Tosca in September 2000, said: “Together with the whole ROH family I express my shock and sadness at the news of baritone Robert Poulton’s death due to a car accident.

“He was a wonderful colleague blessed with a superb voice. He and I recently worked together in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, where we laughed all day long, and in Golden Story, a Shakespeare music and drama event at which he sang a compelling Macbeth. Our sincere condolences to his entire family for this most tragic loss.”

Roberts agency, Athole Still, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that Athole Still agency must convey the news of baritone Robert Poulton's passing on 30 October 2012. Robert will be greatly missed by his friends, family and the entire opera community.

"He was an exceptional artist, but more than that, truly a wonderful person and a joy to work with every day; we were honoured to represent him.

"His immense contribution to the opera world will not be forgotten. We extend our sincerest condolences to his wife and children.”

The crash happened at 8.50pm on Tuesday, on the B2102 at Cross-in-Hand, near Heathfield.

Sussex Police released a statement this afternoon saying: "Jessica Christie-Sturges, 19, of Wayside Walk, Heathfield, died at the scene after her blue Ford Ka was in collision with a blue Fiat Multipla driven by Robert Poulton, 55, of Lime Way, Heathfield, who died from his injuries at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton."

Anyone who saw the crash or remembers seeing the cars on the road is asked to call Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Walland, or e-mail

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