Yevgeny Kolobov, 57, artistic director and chief conductor of Russia's Novaya Opera Theater, died of a heart attack Sunday in his Moscow home.
A graduate of the Urals State Conservatory, Kolobov conducted the opera and ballet theater in that city from 1974 to 1981. For the next six years, he was a conductor at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater (the Kirov during Soviet rule). In 1987, he moved to the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater in Moscow.
Kolobov, honored as a People's Artist of Russia, helped found the Novaya (the Russian word means "new") Opera Theater in 1991 as the Soviet Union and its traditional opera groups were collapsing.
The conductor's creed, according to his theater's Web site, was "to revive undeservedly forgotten works and deliver new, modern interpretations of well-known compositions."
An example of his innovative presentations was a production of Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" with musicians in the rafters, no intermission and only two chairs as scenery.