Kalevala's Creative Team
New York-based production adapted from the national epic poem of Finland. The musical tells an enchanting story of the birth of Earth and battles between forces of nature through pop, folk, and rock-infused musical compositions.
The musical is written and composed by Johanna Telander.
I had a dream of a tree, a haunted, ancient tree whose leaves drizzled off one by one, shimmering gold in a deep sunset in late Fall. As I picked up it’s falling leaves, each leaf had words inscribed on its surface
Composer, Lyricist & Book
Johanna Telander is a decorated singer, composer, and lyricist, and the creative force behind Kalevala – The Musical. She currently splits her time creating music, continuing her very busy voice-over career (Volvo National), and mothering two delightful, very energetic, young children.
With a Bachelor’s degree from Capital Conservatory of Music, and after a decades-long career as a singer, where she has had the privilege of working in such extraordinary settings as the Finnish National Opera, Lincoln Center in New York, and The Bitter End in the heart of Greenwich Village, Johanna has diversified her skills and vocal style, drawing upon influences from jazz, pop, and folk, and now to the story-telling world of musical theatre.
Johanna left her homeland of Finland for the United States, to pursue her dreams, despite a lucrative record deal with Universal Music and a number one hit song. She now has a performance degree from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and has appeared in nearly fifty independent film projects (some of them featuring her original music). But, it is within the creative process of music where she feels most at home. Kalevala is her first large-scale musical production and, hopefully, the first of many to follow.
Kristi Roosmaa is a New York based Estonian born actress, singer and producer. Most recently, she has been gaining attention for producing and starring in the heartfelt indie short film “Wildflower,” about a young immigrant pursuing her dreams. Kristi was honored when the film was recently selected by the New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) to screen as part of their immigrant stories series.
Her career highlights include performing as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, and appearing in numerous off-Broadway shows and indie films. She has collaborated with world- renowned Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries, and performed in countless concert venues and projects with talented orchestras and musicians.
Kristi got her start at the age of 5 performing at a bakery and was immediately hooked. At the age of 14, she was a finalist at the wildly popular Estonian Television singing contest “Laulukarusell,” and had the honor of playing the lead in the René Eespere musical “Wild Swan.”
Kristi holds a law degree from Tartu University Institute of Law (Estonia), a diploma in performing arts from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (New York), and a dance certificate from the Broadway Dance Center (New York).
Kristi has received a letter of commendation from the Estonian Ministry of Culture for her contributions as a Cultural Affairs Coordinator in New York.
John Koski is a New York City-based actor, singer, and voice over artist with a long history in television, radio, and live theatre.
John’s NYC stage credits include POSTAL MADNESS (off-off-Broadway), HEARTS IN THE CITY (staged reading), and OF THEE I SING with MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall. In addition, he is a veteran singer with New York City-based The Yuletide Carolers and popular a cappella group 7th Ave. Sound System. Other stage credits include ANNIE (Warbucks), CHICAGO (Emcee), A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE (Jordanaire) and many more productions in Tennessee.
In television, John is a two-time Emmy winner (regional) including for the post-production broadcast of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s “Home for the Holidays” concert. He spent 14 years as General Manager of WHBQ-TV In Memphis.
With a Finnish heritage on his father’s side, naturally, John is thrilled to be a part of the creative team and cast of KALEVALA THE MUSICAL.
Valev Laube is an Estonian-born brand manager, artist, and designer currently based in New York. He's an enthusiastic creative mind whose digital designs have been the cornerstone of many New York-based festivals, events, and company brands. His holistic understanding of multimedia projects and digital media are rooted in his passion as an artist, musician, and graphic designer.
He has worked with companies such as Marquee Brand Builders, InProximity Theatre Company, EstDocs Documentary Film Festival, Janet Gordon Style, Grapple Media, Sacatelle, and enjoys projects that challenge his creative thinking. During his work at Sacatelle, he worked on promotional projects for clients including Kenneth Cole, Steve Madden, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.