Robert Poulton, a baritone with Glyndebourne opera, was tragically killed in a car accident in Sussex late last night.
He had been due on stage tonight at the Theatre Royal, Norwich in Dvorak's Rusalka as part of the company's 2012 tour.
But as a mark of respect to his family and colleagues the performance has been cancelled.
Glyndebourne published a statement on its website confirming the news and describing Poulton as "a very valued part of the Glyndebourne family" and expressing deep regret and sadness at his death.
David Pickard, General Director 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.”
Born in Brighton, he began his career in the Glyndebourne chorus after studying at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. He made his debut in Curlew River for BBC and spent much of his early career at Glyndebourne‚ winning the John Christie Award and the Esso/GTO Award.
He was a regular guest with the English National Opera and recently starred in an ENO and Opera Holland Park production of La Traviata, in Aida at the Royal Albert Hall and in Tosca with the Scottish Opera.
His agent Athole Still Opera released a statement which read: "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 honored to represent him. His immense contribution to the opera world will not be forgotten."
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