Meet the Snow Queen Team

The Snow Queen ice ballet proposes top international talent in every aspect. Developed and produced by an interdisciplinary team of renowned creators, the project has been brought to life by an array of performing arts professionals.

The Snow Queen features an entirely original score composed by one of the most internationally renowned film composers of our time, Tuomas Kantelinen. Director, Reija Wäre, recognized for her outstanding musical and arena productions as well as stunning ice choreographies, is responsible for the direction and choreography of The Snow Queen.

The script and concept design are signed by Canadian writer Melissa A. Thompson, interdisciplinary arts specialist and long-time concept designer with Cirque du Soleil. The ballet’s Visualist and Lighting Designer is Mikki Kunttu, widely recognized for his international productions including Cirque du Soleil, The Royal Danish Ballet and the Boston Ballet.

Erika Turunen, whose distinctive signature in costume design has earned her international acclaim in the fields of both dance and opera, has designed the costumes of this production. Anu Oksanen, the 14-time world championship medal coach of Marigold IceUnity, is responsible for the synchronized skating choreographies. With its unique format of combining the worlds of live skating and dance, The Snow Queen features performances by top athletes and artists in both disciplines.

The Cast

The Snow Queen – Laura Lepistö
Gerda – Silja Dos Reis
Kai – Felipe Montoya
The Raven/Hobgoblin– Dmitry Semykin
Lemmy the Ermine – Julien Dulière
The Robber Girl – Mia-Mari Sinkkonen
Pond Hockey MC – Zabato Bebe
The Reindeer – Daria Perminova and Evgenii Belianin
The Twin Wizards – Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko
Snow Queen’s Counsel – Mila Kajas

The Storyteller (voice) – Jonna Järnefelt
The Pond Hockey Narrator (voice) – Jarkko Tamminen

The Snowflake Soldiers

Marigold IceUnity: Annemarie Ervasti, Oona Hakkarainen, Emi Iizuka, Heidi Karhumäki, Melina Karinen, Sani Kerttula, Veera Lindroos, Lotta Mäkelä, Anni Nikkilä, Aino Palosuo, Ella Pitkälä, Fanny Rautavuoma, Veera Rissanen, Vilma Rissanen, Josefina Salmiheimo, Eevi Siiki, Milja Sirén, Oona Tammilehto, Salma Teivaala, Heta Torkkeli, Sanna Tuomisto, Reetta Uusitalo

Snow Queen’s Entourage

Zabato Bebe, Evgenii Belianin, Yasmin Janatuinen, Jere Jääskeläinen, Kiira Kilpiö, Antton Laine, Hjørdis Lee, Godwin Otieno, Daria Perminova, Sini Parkkinen, Aino Päivike, Sofia Ruija, Etel Röhr, Mia-Mari Sinkkonen

The Roses

Yasmin Janatuinen, Jere Jääskeläinen, Kiira Kilpiö, Antton Laine, Godwin Otieno, Sini Parkkinen, Aino Päivike, Sofia Ruija, Etel Röhr, Mia-Mari Sinkkonen, Vuong Tran, Jesse Wijnans

The Robbers

Zabato Bebe, Yasmin Janatuinen, Jere Jääskeläinen, Kiira Kilpiö, Antton Laine, Hjørdis Lee, Godwin Otieno, Sini Parkkinen, Aino Päivike, Sofia Ruija, Etel Röhr, Mia-Mari Sinkkonen, Vuong Tran, Jesse Wijnans

Pond Hockey Players

Niklas Hagman, Jenni Hiirikoski, Pekka Saravo, Jaakko Heinonen, Max Lorentz, Toivo Rannikko, Elsa Sitari

The Villagers

Julien Dulière, Zabato Bebe, Yasmin Janatuinen, Jere Jääskeläinen, Kiira Kilpiö, Antton Laine, Hjørdis Lee, Godwin Otieno, Sini Parkkinen, Aino Päivike, Sofia Ruija, Etel Röhr, Mia-Mari Sinkkonen, Vuong Tran, Jesse Wijnans, Melina Ylitalo

Marigold IceUnity: Annemarie Ervasti, Oona Hakkarainen, Emi Iizuka, Heidi Karhumäki, Melina Karinen, Sani Kerttula, Veera Lindroos, Lotta Mäkelä, Anni Nikkilä, Aino Palosuo, Ella Pitkälä, Fanny Rautavuoma, Veera Rissanen, Vilma Rissanen, Josefina Salmiheimo, Eevi Siiki, Milja Sirén, Oona Tammilehto, Salma Teivaala, Heta Torkkeli, Sanna Tuomisto, Reetta Uusitalo

We reserve the right to changes.

The Artistic Team

Reija Wäre – Director and Choreographer

Reija Wäre has made a uniquely versatile career for herself in Finland, working as a director-choreographer among many different types of performing arts – from opera to street dance, from television to live stage, and from sports to mass events.

Reija received the Finnish Cultural Fund’s award for cultural deeds in 2020. In the argument, she was called “boundary-crossing person, who makes others move in never-before-seen ways.”

Reija has been part of the production of over 80 dance performances, plays, and musicals for the biggest theaters in Finland, and also worked for many independent and international productions. 

Among her works as director-choreographer was Turku City Theater’s Tom of Finland, which was touted as one of the greatest cultural experiences of 2017 by the biggest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin sanomat.

Reija has also made a name for herself in the music industry, and has produced stadium shows for the likes of Antti Tuisku, Jenni Vartiainen, Robin Packalen, Kaija Koo, and Anna Puu, as well as Cheek’s farewell concerts at the ski jump pit in Lahti.

On television she has been a trailblazer for large-scale productions such as the New Music Competition, for which she was a stage director, one of the concept artists, and the main choreographer. She has also worked as a choreographer for many televised concerts as well as the shows Dance and Masked Singer.

The younger members of the audience may have seen Reija’s work in the two latest Risto Räppääjä movies. She was lured into the world of skating originally by her work with the synchronized skating team Helsinki Rockettes.

Tuomas Kantelinen – Composer and Producer

The score of the Snow Queen was composed by the award-winning Tuomas Kantelinen, who is one of the most internationally famous Finnish movie composers. During his career, Tuomas has composed music for nearly one hundred domestic and international movies. Among his repertoire, you can find powerful dramas, historical epics, animations, thrillers, Hollywood action films, and children’s movies.

Tuomas is also no stranger to the world of classical music. You could say Tuomas’ music speaks to the hearts of a nation, and every household can certainly hear his work daily, as the Channel 3 News comprise of his music.

The score of the Snow Queen is beautiful, heart-wrenchingly melodic, full of powerful emotions and large group shots – and of course not without its humor!

Mikki Kunttu – Visualist and Lighting designer

The show’s visualist and lighting designer is Mikki Kunttu, who has showcased his works in the biggest of arenas and as part of some of the biggest productions. Among other things, Mikki has worked as a lighting designer for Cirque du Soleil in Montreal.

Mikki’s fingerprints are all over television, art, and music productions. He has worked as a lighting, screen, and st designer for many large-scale productions and tv galas, such as the National Opera, Danish Royal Ballet, Boston Ballet, Tero Saarinen Company, the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, and the Eurovision song contests in 2007, 2013, and 2016.

Mikki has worked as a visualist for many concerts and tours. He is also a sought-after lecturer in the biggest events of his field.

Melissa A. Thompson – Scriptwriting

The Scriptwriter & Concept Designer of The Snow Queen is Canadian writer Melissa A. Thompson. Writer and interdisciplinary arts specialist Melissa first joined Cirque du Soleil as a Fine Arts Consultant and went on to found the Creative Intelligence team, an in-house think tank focused on identifying emerging cultural trends, people of interest and resonant new directions for the organization. She also held the position of Concept Designer/ Creative Lead at Cirque du Soleil where she developed a broad range of projects including installation-based exhibits, experiences and live theater concepts over her 15-year career with the company.

Her work has also been recognized through several collaborations with the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montreal where she has held the role of Creative Director of their annual ball (2018–2020) and has collaborated on a wide range of exhibits, installations and performances. Melissa holds a BFA in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts & Creative Writing from Concordia University and a MA in Visual Arts from Goldsmith’s College, University of London.

Erika Turunen – Costume Design

Erika Turunen has designed costumes for modern dance, ballet, opera, and theater since 1990. She is a costume designer for the Finnish National Opera and Ballet.

Some of her latest works include Tampere Opera’s Carmen (2020), Finnish National Opera’s Das Rheingold (2019), Savonlinna Opera Festival’s The Abduction from the Seraglio (2017) and The Queen of Spades (2018), as well as Compania Kaari Martin’s dance performances in Anna Karenina (2018) and Tero Saarinen Company’s Third Practice (2019). Erika has received high praises for her costume design for modern dance.

Erika has worked with, among others, the choreographers Tero Saarinen, Kenneth Greve, Javier Torres, Jorma Elo, Susanna Leinonen, Kaari Martin, Jorma Uotinen, Jeroen Verbruggen, and Kenneth Kvarnström. Her unique style has also made her a sought-after partner for many international collaborations. She has designed costumes for the Nederlands Danse Theater, The Danish Royal Ballet, Korean National Dance Company, and Czeck National Theatre Ballet.

Minna Pilvinen – Makeup Design

Minna Pilvinen graduated as a hair stylist from the vocational institute in Rauma in 1996, and as a special hair stylist from the vocational institute in Turku in 1998. Minna graduated as a special makeup designer from the vocational institute in Turku in 1999, as a teacher from Helia polytechnic university in 2003, and as a beauty specialist from the polytechnic university in Turku in 2008.

Minna has worked for theater and television for over 20 years. Starting in 2014, she has worked as a permanent makeup artist for the Turku City Theatre, and she has worked as a freelance makeup artist for the Turku Castle Theatre since 2000. Her recent works include Turku City Theatre’s The Hobbit (2021), Amelie (2019), Hamlet (2019), The Lord of the Rings (2018), and Tom of Finland (2017). She also did makeup design for the Turku Castle Theatre’s revue MS Domino (2021), and for the Turku Music Festival’s opera Eerik XIV (2011), which was the culmination of Turku’s year as the cultural capital.

Some of Minna’s latest works for television and the big screen can be seen in the movies Sieniretki (2021) and Power of Love (2021),and the television series Kentän laidalla (2020). Minna’s hobbies include art, and she held her first art show in the summer of 2020.

Anu Oksanen – Synchronized Skating Choreography

Marigold IceUnity’s coach Anu Oksanen has led her synchronized skating team to five World Championship gold medals, and 15 National Championship gold medals. She was also responsible for guiding the junior team Musketeers to two World Championship gold medals and 11 National Championship gold medals. Anu is also the head coach for the Helsingin Luistelijat skating organization’s synchronized skating team.

Anu has a Bachelor’s Degree in sports science. She has been coaching Helsingin Luistelijat since 1993. Coaches of Finland has selected her the female team sports coach of the year three times in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Anu received Finland’s Golden Cross award for sports and culture in 2019. The award is given to people in sports and culture for their lifetime achievements. During the same year, the city of Helsinki awarded Any with the Golden Helsinki medal. This is the highest honor the city can grant. She was also anointed among the one hundred legendary sportspeople of Helsinki.

The Producers


Tampere Hall Ltd operates the biggest congress and concert centre of the Nordic countries, organizes events through Events Tampere to all kinds of client needs as well as functions as the largest promoter of performing arts throughout Finland. With its strong international networks, Tampere Hall produces more than 300 own productions annually, for example the works of the Tampere Opera, arena-sized concerts and international ballet and orchestra visits.

Kantelinen Company is a production company for performing arts. The company is owned by composer Tuomas Kantelinen, who internationally collaborates with Decca. In the production of The Snow Queen, Kantelinen Company is in charge of the artistic production and the composition.

The Production Team

Executive Producers

Paulina Ahokas

Tuomas Kantelinen

Suvi Leinonen

Mika Nevalainen


Technical Producer 

Vesa Sytelä


Producers, Production Designers, Assistants

Päivi Henttu

Kiira Kilpiö

Immo Kytölä

Antti Oksa

Sini Parkkinen

Maria Sahlstedt

Jyri Tervakangas

Katri Varjos

Annika Virtanen


Marketing and Communications

Tiia Välimäki

Anna-Kaisa Noki-Helmanen

Elsa Vähänen 

Micaela Röman 

Jaani Haapasalo 

Anne Sivula 

Marjut Heinonen

Ansku Karlbom 

Jutta Vetter Communications 

Creative Crue:

Malla Ferreira

Riina Rautiainen

Sami Nieminen

Janne Keränen

Anna Salminen

Eero Sundvall


Group Sales and Related Products

Mervi Pentikäinen

Mari Äijälä-Aatamila 

Saara Nurmi



Marko Koivisto 


Pictures, Videos and Graphic Design

Saara Salmi 

Irina Kauppinen

Heidi Mäenpää

Matias Ahonen

Ville Haapakoski

Annaleena Haapasalo

Ville Hautakangas

Jimi Sipilä

Pekka Martti

Punamusta Oy

Tampereen Offsetpalvelu Oy

Tuotantoyhtiö Legenda Oy:

Tommi Lepola

Anne Nieminen

Tero Molin



Emma Kaustara

Hilkka Kaustara

Satu Rasila

Micaela Röman

Kerttu Vähänen


Accounting, Payroll, HR

Heidi Rehakka

Minna Kiviranta 

Jenni Palovaara 

Marja Virta

Birgitta Kouhia

Heidi Tapaninaho-Pitkänen 


Legal Advice, Contracts

Kari Karjalainen


Insurance and Advice

Maarit Ehrama, Lähitapiola



Reija Wäre

Anu Oksanen

Suvi Leinonen



Budapest Art Orchestra


Music Recording and Orchestral Arranger

Miklos Lukacs



Peter Pejtsik



Sanna Salmenkallio, violin

Karoliina Kantelinen, singing

Lassi Lohgren, keyed fiddle

Johan Hedin, keyed fiddle

Naveen Kumar, flutes


Puvustustuksen toteutus

Ateljee Hurma:

Johanna Vehmas

Taru Hahle

Ilkka Salakari

Aino Aho

Anita Penttinen

Työhuone Osk Hengari:

Sari Vaittinen

Ella Kauppinen

Jonna Nurmi

Senni Tähtinen

Salla Ilmarinen

Laura Lipiäinen

Julia Litjo

Katri Innanmaa

Vilma Nurmi

Linnea Kuusisto

Ronja Vähätiitto

Anni Kotiranta

Aida Depner

Riikka Lindroos

Rauman kaupunginteatterin puvusto:





Minna Pilvinen

Anna Kulju

Saara Tawast

Meeri Saukkoriipi


Valojen ohjelmointi ja operaattori

Alex Hautamäki


Projisointien ohjelmointi

Saku Väänänen



Mikko Linnavuori

Sisältöjen kuvaus ja valaisu: Joonas Pulkkanen



Jaakko Sirainen


Näyttämömestari ja backstage-koordinointi

Kari Reini, Mañana Productions


Lavasteiden ja tarpeiston toteutus

Pågå Tampere Oy


Ville Pastell

Niko Hämäläinen

Juuso Lindberg



Juho Fabrin

Markus Haavisto

Eetu Korhonen

Joona Lindberg


Erikoistehosteet ja pyrotekniikka

Oy Pyroman Finland Ltd

Markku Aalto

Markus Reijonen

Kari Halio


Lennätysten turvallisuus ja koulutus

Stunt Rigging Tampere Oy

Jouni Kivimäki

Iitu Kivimäki


Lentojen toteutus

Helsinki Rigging Company Oy

Juki Tuominen

Jaska Erkinheimo

Timo Kesonen, Capital AV Oy


Tekniikan toimittaja ja toteutus

Akun Tehdas (Aku’s Factory Ltd Oy)


Olli Pörhölä

Ahti Impola

Mikko Nyman



Hannu Mäki-Laurila

Samuel Merisalo

Klas Granqvist

Mikko Karpansaari


Valot ja rakenteet

Pete Jaako

Mikko Leskinen

Pekka Suikkari

Waltteri Wahlroos

Ella Väisänen

Oskari Nykänen

Jouni Järvinen

Eetu Vesamo

Esko Ansami

Jyri Kuosmanen

Sanni Kallioinen



Teemu Lehtonen

Matias Palo



Kari Wikström

Joni Heininen

Niilo Paukkunen

Samu Satta

Marja Kuokkanen

Kimmo Mäki

Roosa Kulju

Katriina Laitila

Joona Hinkkanen

Pirita Kervinen

Tommi Kuisma

Samu Satta

Vili Perälä

Soul Jaah

Kristian Kuronen

Björn Van Meel


Tekniikan ja Lavasteiden kuljetukset

Ajomestarit Oy


Korpin rakennus

Juha-Pekka Tamminen

Ville Juurinen


Turvallisuuden suunnittelu ja koordinointi

Mika Mäki

Antti Saimaja

Pasi Uhtakari


Creative Europe

Heikki Kovalainen

Anna Hildur 

Erna Kaaber

Jens de Gruyter 

Lauri Laukkanen

Thierry Heldenberg

Pietro Chiovaro

Raul Jurgenson

Art Schneider

Georgia Taglietti 

Sofie Schäfler

Søren Brønserud

Financiers, collaborators and special thanks


Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö

Svenska Kulturfonden

Tampereen kaupunki

Tampere-talo Oy

Tuomas Kantelinen Company 

Suomen Kulttuurirahasto, Pirkanmaan rahasto 



Icehearts: Teemu Vartiamäki, Adel Abdalla, Petri Pätiälä, Arto Tukio, Katja Hautakoski

Elämys Group: Jami Palsa

JCDecaux: Klaus Kuhanen, Krista Kivikoski, Jenni Heinonen

Lapland Hotels Arena ja Tampere: Janne Mönkkönen

Lippupiste: Ari Palhamo, Maria Penttinen, Siiri Krouvila

Nokia Arena: Marko Hurme, Elina Tikkakoski, Eini Inha, Alex Regan

NOHO Partners: Miko Helander, Anna-Liisa Vuokko

Sanoma: Marko Salo, Jari Rask 

Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto ry: Tuula Puputti, Petteri Hietanen, Suvi Aherto, Matti Nurminen 

Suomen Taitoluisteluliitto ry: Outi Wuorenheimo, Katariina Kivimäki, Marita Kokko, Mila Kajas, Emma Ahonen, Salla Mäkelä 

YLE: Miikka Maunula, Tiina Laitinen, Jussi Buckbee, Jukka Kaivola, Maria Kivinen, Merja Maasalo, Anne Varis, Anna Sirén, Jari Väisänen, Henrik Häggblom, Jukka Lihavainen, Riku Kaminen, Sinna Borgstrom, Arto Nuppola

Suomen Kansallisooppera ja -baletti: Maria Kuosmanen 

Tampereen kaupungin tapahtumayksikkö: Perttu Pesä, Saara Saarteinen

Visit Tampere: Noora Heino, Olga Javits, Heli Jokela, Pirjo Tuominen

Pure Represents: Angus Baskerville

Schwarzkopf: Päivi Korelin

Ole Hyvä Luonnontuote: Elli Unger

Banijay Finland Oy: Katja Price, Irene Kangasniemi, Liisa Kaartinen, Emma Delany

Bright Group: Tero Kärpijoki

Kisakallion Urheiluopisto: Jenni Korhonen, Anita Hellsten

Espoon Jääurheilun Tuki ry: Seidi Saarela

Sentteri Tampere Oy: Elina Penttinen

Lempäälän Jäähalli Oy: Sami Pursiainen

Tuusulan Jäähalli Oy: Teijo Jalonen


The board of Tampere-talo Oy

Martti Silvennoinen

Kristiina Michelsson

Väinö Friman 

Jukka Gustafsson 

Leena Kostiainen 

Leena Rauhala 

Pia Viitanen 

Sirkkaliisa Virtanen 


Special thanks to

Kalervo Kummola

Lauri Lyly

Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki 

Sören Lillkung 

Riikka Koivula

Oula Jääskeläinen 

Risto Juvonen

Mika Sulin

Marika Makaroff

Jorma Uotinen

Sirpa Räsänen 

Iiris Autio

Rosa Meriläinen

Mirva Meriläinen

Tiina Vihtkari

Kaisa Rönkkö 

Rauha Kyyrö

Tuomo Tähtinen

Helen Sildna

Chris Prosser

Chris Hewlett

Hannu Sinisalo

Annukka Hirvasvuopio-Laiti

Elna Nykänen-Andersson

Johanna Kotkajärvi