MOSCOW, August 9 (Itar-Tass) — Famous artistic director Pyotr Fomenko, who was Chief artistic director of the Pyotr Fomenko Theater, died in Moscow at the age of 80, spokeswoman for the Moscow government's culture department Alla Semenysheva told Itar- Tass on Thursday.
Director of the Pyotr Fomenko theater telephoned the Ministry of Culture on Thursday morning to break the tragic news, the spokeswoman said. She expressed condolences to Pyotr Fomenko' s family and friends.
Pyotr Fomenko was one of the most prominent theater directors, who enjoyed great respect. The repertoire of the Pyotr Fomenko theater mainly included classical plays, which under his guidance were given a touch of the realities of the present day. All the plays staged by Fomenko invariably drew a full house.
"The maestro died at the hospital, where he was undergoing a medical check-up,” a source from the Pyotr Fomenko theatre told Itar-Tass. On July 13 Pyotr Fomenko celebrated his 80th birthday at a sanatorium in the Moscow countryside.
Chairman of the Union of Theatrical Workers of the Russian Federation Alexander Kalyagin expressed his condolences. "Fomenko's death dealt a blow to the whole of the Russian theater," Kalyagin told Itar-Tass. "This was a blow to each of us. The great and the last of the Mohicans, who dedicated all his life to make people believe in our cause, our theater, is gone. Along with my condolences to the widow I share my deep sorrow with the company of the theater of Pyotr Naumovich. They should keep together and do all they can so that all that Fomenko has achieved, should not die with him," Kalyagin said.
Chief Artistic Director of Moscow Chekhov Theater Oleg Tabakov said he had always thought of Pyotr Fomenko as "a frontman". “All his achievements, which were obvious, were not always up to my artistic taste, but I always appreciated his boldness, his serious attitude to art and I called him “the frontman," Tabakov said.
Mark Zakharov - Chief Artistic Director of Moscow Lenkom theater, told Itar-Tass that Pyotr Fomenko was a great professional. "Pyotr Naumovich has gone in the wrong time - despite his advanced age he was a lively and vigorous person and surprised everyone with novelties he demonstrated in his every work," Zakharov said.
Pyotr Fomenko raised dozens of talented followers. For thirty years Fomenko taught at the Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts (GITIS). For several years Fomenko worked at Paris Conservatoire and staged plays at Comedie Fran·aise, but working in Russia was always most important to him, his followers said.