An opera singer due to perform in Norwich last night was killed on Tuesday in a car crash.

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Robert Poulton, a baritone with the Glyndebourne Opera, was set to sing the role of Gamekeeper in Antonín Dvorák’s Rusalka at the Theatre Royal.

He died late Tuesday night following the crash which is thought to have happened near his home in Sussex.

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.”

Mr Poulton began his professional career in the Glyndebourne Chorus and had performed a number of central roles.

In statement, the company said he was a valued member of the Glyndebourne family and would be “enormously missed” by everyone.

David Pickard, general director, added: “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.”

Mr Poulton’s management company, Athole Still Opera, also paid tribute to him, saying: “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.”

Last night’s performance of Rusalka was a mark of respect however tonight’s performance of The Marriage of Figaro and tomorrow’s of Rusalka will go on.

1 comment

  • I went to Norwich on Friday to represent my daughter Priti (who had sung with Rob Poulton in the Netherlands Opera production of 'Cunning little Vixen') at the memorial performance of Faure's Requiem at St Peter Mancroft. The singers from Glyndebourne Touring Opera were already assembled in the choir stalls, and when I asked if they wanted any more singers (not that they needed any) I was welcomed with open arms and invited to join the choir. It was a great honour, and a truly memorable performance, with added poignancy for me, because I had organised and taken part in a performance of the same work in Felixstowe only the previous Saturday, in memory of my wife Marian, who died in August. It was an extremely emotional occasion, as witness the liberal supply of tissues being passed along the stalls at the end. Thank you Glyndebourne and your inspirational conductor Jakub Hrusa.

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    Tony Coles

    Sunday, November 4, 2012





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