Catherine I

Ballet by Thomas Edur to the music of Tauno Aints
World premiere at the Estonian National Opera on March 15, 2018

How often does His Highness Chance determine the fate of a person? The topic fascinated the creators of the new ballet and the audience is given the chance to witness the birth of a stunning miracle. The ballet takes the viewer to a real fairy-tale world and tells the wonderful love story of a simple maiden from Estonia and the charismatic Russian emperor, Peter I.

Catherine I was born as Marta Elena Skavronska, most likely in the region of Latgale or Courland in Latvia, but perhaps even in Lithuania. Her Estonian origin has also been speculated on. In her youth, she worked as a maid in the house of Ernst Glück, Lutheran vicar and intellectual, whose widow was given the Ahja Manor in Estonia by Peter I. In 1724, Peter crowned the woman as the Empress of Russia and a year later, after Peter’s death, she became the first reigning Empress of Russia until her death in 1727.

Miracles do happen – you simply must believe in them. A chance offered by fate should not be thrown away. What will it offer and what will it expect in return? The exciting riddle brought to life in Toomas Edur’s new ballet “Catharine I” is left for the viewer to solve.

Staging team

  • Choreographer and Stage Director: Thomas Edur
  • Conductors: Jüri Alperten, Vello Pähn, Andres Kaljuste
  • Libretto: Irina Müllerson and Thomas Edur
  • Designer: Liina Keevallik
  • Lighting Designer: Rasmus Rembel
  • Video Designer: Alyona Movko


  • Approx running time 2 h 15 min, one intermission

See Also

Coming soon