Cast in Past Concert Readings
The musical has had several concert readings between 2017-2020. We would like to dedicate this page to feature the wonderful group of talent who have lent their voices and creativity to our development process along the way! The New York-based Finnish-American composer Johanna Telander has always found it her mission to create opportunities for international talent and immigrants in New York City. Therefore, Kalevala, the Musical has proudly featured a cast reflecting this desire in its previous incarnations. We love our Finnish, Japanese, Israeli, Estonian, Chinese-Hawaiian American, Brazilian, and Latino talent! While the show may be based on Finnish Folklore, the musical is set in a fantasy world, creating the perfect blank space to easily showcase this sort of cultural diversity and tell this unique story. We plan to continue to employ artists from all backgrounds by providing opportunities specifically designed to include talent in a globally progressive way.
Mother Ether | Mother Nature
A New York based Estonian born actress and singer, Kristi got her start at the age of 5 performing at a bakery. She holds a law degree from Tartu University Institute of Law, a diploma in performing arts from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and a dance certificate from the Broadway Dance Center. She has performed at Carnegie Hall as a soloist, but still needs to cross off learning to swim from her bucket list.
John Koski is a veteran singer and actor, and a two-time regional EMMY award winner as a broadcaster. New York stage credits include OF THEE I SING with MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall, POSTAL MADNESS (off-off-Broadway), and HEARTS IN THE CITY (staged reading). He has also been seen with NYC based The Yuletide Carolers and popular a cappella group 7th Ave. Sound System. Other stage appearances in Tennessee include ANNIE (Warbucks), A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE (Jordanaire), CHICAGO (Emcee), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (M. D’Arque), THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE (Aslan).
Raissa Katona Bennett
Raissa Katona Bennett
Raissa Katona Bennett lives in NYC and Norwalk, Connecticut with her husband, Dr. Garrett Bennett, and four tiny senior rescue dogs. Her professional credits include "Christine" in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, the first national tours of CATS and PARADE, and an Award winning Headliner at Feinsteins, The Iridium and The Laurie Beechman Theater. She is passionate about dog rescue and volunteers extensively in this area, especially with senior and hard to place dogs, at Shih Tzu and Furbaby Small Breed Dog Rescue. (www.stfbr.org)
Finnish actress Reeta Vestman was trained at the Royal Academy of Music, London and Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. Her professional credits include Maria in The Sound of Music, Janet in Rocky Horror Show, Stephanie in Saturday Night Fever and Betsy in Honeymoon in Vegas. She has performed for Mr. Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown and the President of Finland. As a former skydiver and a person who loves the heights, Reeta is thrilled to perform in the city of skyscrapers and and feels comfortable ”sitting on a rainbow”.
Conor Ryan recently made his Broadway debut as part of the ensemble and as the understudy for Prince Topher in the Broadway production of Cinderella. Most recently, Off-Broadway audiences have seen him in The Fortress of Solitude at The Public Theater. His regional credits include West Virginia Public Theatre. His training includes a BFA in Musical Theatre from University of Michigan, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School. One of his professional credits include, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC.
Quentin Garzón has had the honor of professionally performing in both California and New York! Some of his professional credits include Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party (Burrs), The Welk’s Jesus Christ Superstar (Pilate), Center Stage's Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit), Worldwide Theatrical's Production of Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), in which he won an ITL Award, Candlelight's Production of Evita (Ensemble), Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center's Les Miserables (Jean Valjean) and Plan-B Entertainment's Les Miserables (Javert).
A Finnish composer/lyricist and international globetrotter residing in NJ/NY. After a career in performance including a record deal under Universal Music in 2003, small speaking roles on television (30 Rock, White Collar), and continuous voice over work for, among others, Volvo, she has finally come back to her composition roots, where she creatively feels more at home than ever.
Lemminkainen | Ensemble
Joe Boover is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts. He has been working as an actor, musician, songwriter, and comedian in NYC for 9 years and recently has been delving into work as a Theraputic Crisis Intervention Trainer where he works with teachers in different schools to assist them in developing better tools to commune with young people. He is sometimes okay at it. His professional credits include playing Elvis Presley in Million Dollar Quartet all over North America. He loves writing music and stories.
Kelly Delaveris is originally from Columbus, Ohio and is currently living in York, Pennsylvania. Her biggest credit is opening for Tony Bennett in concert.
Omer Shaish is originally from Tel Aviv, Israel. His professional credits include performing in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Feel free to ask Omer about his many personas that he does with impersonations from famous Israeli singers to Celine Dion!
Swan | Ensemble
Amanda Yachechak is a stage and film actress, a lyric coloratura soprano, and a classical ballerina from New Jersey. She is a graduate of Franklin University Switzerland, where she got to practice her Julie Andrews impression amongst the alps. She was most recently seen as Lena in "The Lady of the Castle" at the National Opera Center and on television broadcasts in New York and Washington DC.
Elina Miettinen is originally from Finland and performed as a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She was the first ballerina from Finland to be accepted into ABT. Besides dance, she is also pursuing acting roles in NYC.
Kalevala Spirit | Ensemble
Petra Haapamäki is originally from Helsinki, Finland and performed in an ensemble with Finland's best known singer, Kaija Koo at the Finlandia concert hall in Helsinki. She is an aspiring singer-songwriter.
Kalevala Spirit | Ensemble
Catrina Teruel is originally from San Diego, California, but has been working and living on both coasts for a decade. She is a vocal coach at Walker Clarke Studios and has successfully coached many clients to Broadway stages. She and Johanna often cheer each other up with impromptu coffee get togethers and believes that pie is a perfect lunch alternative.
Kalevala Spirit | Ensemble
Mary Baron is originally from Michigan, and is excited to be part of the Kalevala cast. Most recently, she understudied Christine in Yeston's Phantom. Mary graduated from the Eastman School of Music and University of Rochester, obtaining both music and business degrees.
Choreographer | Mother Ether Dancer | Ensemble
Natsuko Hirano is originally from Japan. Her professional credits include the musical "Sayonara" in the lead role of Katsumi, presented by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. She also loves ice cream.
Marika Abe is originally from Yokohama, Japan, and her professional credits include performing in the King and I, at the Malta Jupiter Theatre in Florida. She is an avid believer in peace and love.
Tsubasa Ogawa was born and raised in Japan but has been in NYC for 15 years now. She performs at various venues in Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan. She often goes by the name Tsubie or Subie.
Jennifer Hiemstra is originally from Modesto, California and grew up on a healthy dose of Disney movies! Before coming to NYC she was in Williamsburg, Virginia performing at various venues around the Hampton Roads area such as Busch Gardens and Virginia Musical Theatre.
Anthem Voice | Ensemble
Markus Kaitila is originally from Helsinki, Finland, and started playing piano from age six. He has performed as a soloist with the Joutseno Art Summer chamber orchestra, Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra, Festival Orchestra at St. Peter’s and the Queens College Chamber Orchestra under conductors such as Tong Chen and Charles Neidich, and conducted J. S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1053. He has won the Köhler-Osbahr piano competition in Duisburg, Germany, has won First and Second Prizes in national chamber music competitions, and remains an active and widely experienced chamber musician.
Sean Ferguson, Carol Ma, Christopher Telander, Ian Ross, David Fletcher, Arei Sekiguchi
David Fletcher is originally from Connecticut. He holds a Master of Arts in African History, and was formerly the Director of Bands and Choruses at Georgetown University.
Arei Sekiguchi is originally from Tokyo, Japan. His professional credits include Curvy Widow, an Off-Broadway musical in 2017. You only live once.