This most recent interpretation of Kullervo (13th Feb – 14th Mar 2015) celebrates the birthday of composer Jean Sibelius 150 years ago (1865-1957) and is a joint project between the National Opera, the National Ballet, the Tero Saarinen Company and the Philharmonic Choir.

In the timeless tale from the Finnish national epic, Kullervo unknowingly seduces and rapes his own sister, kills his enemies and finally falls on his own sword. The tragic tale is told in five movements; each of the movement presenting a part of Kullervo’s life, based on the Kullervo cycle from the Kalevala. Movements one, two, and four are instrumental. The third and fifth movements contain sung dialogue from the epic poem.

We asked Mikki about some of the challenges this project held for him “Kullervo is a ‘black box’ piece, where the only sets are lights and LED screens. Basically everything is flying, so there are no static stage elements. Also the revolving stage is woven into the choreography which makes a big statement. I used 48 x Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20s and 52 x Clay Paky Mythos to create the piercing lighting effects on stage. The opera house’s normal lighting rig is switched off for the production.” Mikki went on to explain some of the choices he made when choosing the tech he would use for this production. “I chose to use the tools that I know will perform and live up to the standards I need for a production like this”

“I chose to use a Hippotizer Boreal V4 media server along with grandMA2 and MA 3D. These were the perfect tools for the production all the way from design table to the final cue lists. The Hippotizer Boreal was used for pre-visualizing and pre-programming using the new Visualizer software and then the final show was also run on the V4 Boreal too.” “The end result was fantastic and the show will return to the Finnish National Opera in 2017.”

Equipment list:


  • 1 kpl Hippo v4 Boreal DVI, 2 kpl 16 layer mix tot 32 layer, single FullHD out.
  • 1 kpl Hippo v4 Karst DVI (Backup)
  • 1 kpl Barco PDS as switch
  • 2 kpl HP Procurve Giga Switch (1xHippoNet ja 1x MANet2)
  • Led Screen Front (6×8 panels)
  • 48 kpl RGB C30, 30mm SMD seet hrough, 2500Nit
  • 1 set custom curved flybar
  • RearScreen (20×4 panels, 19.2 x 3.84m)
  • 80 kpl RGB C30, 30mm SMD see through, 2500Nit
  • 3 set custom curved flybar



  • Choreography Tero Saarinen
  • Music Jean Sibelius
  • Director Tero Saarinen
  • Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste / Harri Karri
  • Sets Mikki Kunttu
  • Costumes Erika Turunen
  • Lighting design Mikki Kunttu