Sheremetev in Love

Status: Ongoing

Key players

Graf/Count Nikolai Petrovich Sheremev (1751-1809) - Director of the Moscow Aristocratic Bank. [ophiel]

  • Musically talented himself, he is an established patron of arts, e.g. rigorous training of professional painters, actors and musicians amongst his serfs.
  • Currently doing restorative works on his estate Kuskovo.
  • By nature a romantic persona.

Key players

Praskovya Ivanovna Zhemchugova (1768-1803), serf actress and opera singer at Sheremetev estate. [anaischloedesoubise]

  • One of the rising stars in the theatrical scene.
  • Possesses incredible soprano voice and charisma, not to mention natural beauty.
  • Has excellent musical education thanks to Sheremetevs’ famed musical training regime.
  • Can never dream of rising in the imperial court as she’s only a serf in Sheremetevs’ estate.

Key players

Baryshnya Anna Ivanovna Vorontsova (1750-1800), an extensively educated courtier. [carolineapikian]

  • First cousin to the erudite Knyaginya Dashkova.
  • Being 26 y.o., she is considered a doomed spinster for her times.
  • An amateur singer with a clear soprano voice.
  • Rumoured to have “peculiar” interest in both men and women.

Key players

Graf/Count Pyotr Borisovich Sheremetev (1713-1788), general-en-chef, former Ober-Kamerger and senator. [withdrawn from court]

  • The founder of many ballet and musical schools, and Sheremetevs’ serf theatre.
  • During the imperial commission that involved all social classes, explicitly expressed willingness to completely eradicate serfdom.
  • However, after loss of his wife, then his favourite daughter Anna, became much more conservative and secluded, resulting in his request to retire from state matters entirely.
  • Always had a taste for expensive lifestyle.


  • The young Graf took over his father who was still recovering in his dacha as a host to a masked ball in their Ostankino estate.
  • Yet again, Graf Sheremetev seemed to be disinterested in starting any fling or affair with any of the masked ladies present, despite being still single and highly eligible!

10/03/1776 (continued)

  • But there was one lady that seemed to exude much charm behind her mask with her figure, occasional smile and graceful dancing. Who could she be?
  • According to early arrivals, the young host seemed to be acquainted, but they only exchanged one dance before separating from each other, as if deliberately, to go unnoticed.


  • The opera soirée was lively with several acts performed, most notably by the rising star of opera & theatre Praskovya Zhemchugova.
  • Her voice and talent moved even the Empress, who personally congratulated both her and Graf Sheremetev afterwards. It’ll definitely reflect in his favour with her!


  • The Chess Night enjoyed excellent company for the evening. Sheremetev was invited by the host - his friend Graf Razumovsky, Tzarevich’s best friend and a promising individual. In passing, for the first time, he noticed a rather quiet, fair but not entirely beautiful, 26 y.o. lady who was already branded as a spinster impressively playing chess with the host.

12/04/1776 (continued)

  • Her chaperone and cousin Knyaginya Dashkova introduced Baryshnya Anna Vorontsova to everyone. Apparently, the lady has recently been presented to the Empress and was also kept by Tzarevich in positive regard. Who knew at the time that this encounter would not be the last nor insignificant to both of them.


  • Sheremetev attended the Easter Vigil with his close friend Knyaz Belosselsky, although the holy occasion presented signs of grief, shock and disappointment with Tzarevna’s death.
  • Baryshnya Anna Vorontsova was seen sobbing by herself, whilst her chaperon stood before her next to the Empress. Graf couldn’t help but be concerned for her, and, in fact, other ladies who might, indeed, face the same fate.


  • While the hostess, the young Knyazhna Golitsyna, was comfortably “spilling tea” in her own salon, including speculations on the rushed clear out of the late Tzarevna’s apartment, other tensions arose in the Golitsyn stronghold, especially in regards to Knyaginya Golitsyna’s “legendary” singing!

25/05/1776 (continued)

  • Graf Sheremetev’s close friend and Belossersky noticed a few glances, mostly from Baryshnya Anna towards the Graf, on the other hand...


  • To celebrate the Savoyard Delegation, the Empress took the Ambassador for the first dance, and all joined in, including Graf Sheremetev who showed possibly signs of affection towards Baryshnya Anna Vorontsova by sharing their first dance!


  • With much speculation of courtship circulating between Mlle Vorontsova and Sheremetev (he is rumoured to appear at her music soirée), Yusupov’s event seemed to prove otherwise. Young Graf Yaguzhinsky was quite bold in his advances creating amusement for the other guests (except for her cousin and chaperon Dashkova).

03/07/1776 (continued)

  • Sheremetev seemed disheartened but not as affected as a lover should be… Perhaps, the courtship rumours are false? The two seemed to engage in pleasant conversation at the dinner table discussing the music program to be featured enthusiastically. In fact, Vorontsova suggested him to bring his opera protegé Zhemchugova then!


  • Whilst the guests discussed the role of Russian accomplishments in the grander scheme of Enlightenment, everyone was uneasy about Sheremetev’s very early and sudden leave on his father’s orders. The Count seemed pale and didn’t indulge to give his specific reasons but from what was heard, Sheremetev Sr. was near to enraged td the whole week.
Sheremetev in Love - Google Slides