The music director and chief conductor of the Bolshoi theatre, Vassily Sinaisky, has quit, the theatre's spokeswoman said Sunday, the latest blow to befall the legendary theatre.
Sinaisky presented his letter of resignation to the Bolshoi's director, Vladimir Urin, and it was accepted, spokeswoman Yekaterina Novikova told AFP.
The decision is effective immediately, she said.
Sinaisky, who has been the Bolshoi's leading conductor since 2010, was due to conduct Verdi's opera "Don Carlos", which is premiering at the theatre in two weeks.
His resignation also comes on the eve of a verdict Tuesday in the trial of former Bolshoi ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, who is accused of masterminding an acid attack on Bolshoi ballet artistic director Sergei Filin, a scandal that rocked the ballet world and revealed frictions inside the theatre.
Sinaisky, 66, is originally from Russia's northern Komi republic, and had worked as chief conductor of the Latvian national symphony in the Soviet era. Besides the Bolshoi, he is a principal conductor in the Malmo Symphony Orchestra and chief guest conductor with the BBC Philharmonic.
Sinaisky's abrupt departure comes as a surprise. Only recently he enthusiastically talked about the theatre's production plans, and in October, he conducted the premiere of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" to mostly positive reviews.
His name was also listed recently among the people in the running for the post of chief conductor of the Saint Petersburg Symphonic Orchestra.