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BOLSHOI artistic director resigns

MOSCOW (AP) _ The artistic director of the Bolshoi Theater, renowned conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, has resigned after just one season on the job, the theater said Thursday.

Rozhdestvensky was appointed to the post in a shake-up last fall, when President Vladimir Putin placed the 225-year-old ballet and opera theater under direct control of the Ministry of Culture.

The ministry sacked the theater's then-artistic and general director, Vladimir Vasilyev, and divided his position into two posts.

In a press statement, the theater said Rozhdestvensky might continue to conduct at the theater even after he had left the artistic director's post.

The theater has not yet picked a replacement, it said.

Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi said he had received Rozhdestvensky's letter of resignation, but wanted to speak to the conductor before signing it.

The daily Izvestia suggested Rozhdestvensky resigned because he was insulted by the bad reviews given his production of the Sergei Prokofiev's opera ``The Gambler.''

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