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Celebrated Theater Director Fomenko Dies

Theater director Pyotr Fomenko, pictured in 2010.

Celebrated theater director Pyotr Fomenko passed away Thursday at the age of 80, after more than half a century of staging plays for Russian audiences.

Fomenko died of a heart attack in the early hours of the morning and will be buried Saturday, Interfax reported, citing the city's culture department.

A memorial service will be held in the Fomenko Studio, the theater that he founded in 1993 where he served as artistic director, to honor his passing, the news agency said.

Fomenko staged more than 60 plays over his career, many of which won awards, including the Crystal Turandot and the Golden Mask. He was also awarded the Order for Services to the Fatherland three times.

President Vladimir Putin and Mayor Sergei Sobyanin both sent official telegrams with their condolences to Fomenko's family Thursday. Putin praised the director's "unique talent and huge creative energy" in the message, according to RIA-Novosti.

Alexander Kalyagin, chairman of the Union of Theater Workers, described Fomenko's work as an "impossible, inconceivable achievement," in comments carried by Interfax.

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