Upcoming UK tours:
Mike's irreverent sense of humour and Tania's stunning vocals provide the springboard for a rollercoaster musical ride. Strap yourself in and enjoy! Hamered dulcimer, guitar, violin, cittern, octave mandolin, hurdy-gurdy, Native American flute, percussion. An eclectic mix of songs from both sides of the Atlantic and rhythmic roots from Siberia to Morocco. This Anglo-Alaskan duo have been on the road together since May '95 in a unique collaboration which combines their distinctly separate musical backgrounds, bringing their exuberant music and wild tales to audiences around the world.
Tania and Mike divide their time between Suquamish, Washington State and Inistioge, Ireland, because anyplace else would be too easy to spell. They have recorded eight albums between them (including two collaborations with best-selling author Anne McCaffrey, in Ireland). They have toured extensively across the UK, the USA and Canada
In addition to their concert performances for adults, Tania and Mike also deliver excellent workshops for schools with a variety of topics designed to complement National Curriculum. Before leaving the UK for Seattle, Mike taught for several years in Norfolk. His teaching experience and the duo's natural exuberance make them ideal for classes of all ages. Before a workshop Tania and Mike will discuss options with the school to maximise educational and entertainment potential. See the education page on their web site for full details. It is also possible to combine a day of workshops with the children and a fundrasing concert in the evening.
Review: Tania Opland and Mike Freeman, Palace Theatre, Redditch
Tania: Tania's voice has been described as "smooth, powerful and tremendously versatile". Originally from Alaska, she has travelled extensively in the U.S., Canada, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Britain. She now lives on an Indian reservation in Washington State, her vast repertoire reflecting the diversity of the communities whose music she has shared. She has appeared on radio and television in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Uzbekistan, Scotland, Ireland and England. Her five solo albums have received excellent reviews in acoustic music magazines on both sides of the Atlantic.Tania's early classical training on piano, cello and violin is broadened by experimentation with such exotic instruments as chang, gidjak and doira, giving her a style rich in techniques and traditions. Her unusual blond violin, which she has played since she was nine years old, is a handmade instrument by Eskimo craftsman Frank Hobson. Other instruments include an early handmade Larrivee guitar, Flatiron octave mandolin, hammered dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy, Kiowa Native American flute, recorders and a tiny ocarina.
Mike: Though born and raised in Manchester, England, Mike's family roots are in Eastern Europe. He spent many years in Norwich working as a designer, cabinet maker and teacher before moving to Kilkenny, Ireland. He has played guitar and percussion with an assortment of bands, accompanied Middle Eastern and African dance troupes, performed at countless festivals throughout Britain, and featured on recordings in the roles of musician, arranger and producer. Mike's main instrument is the Gambian djembe, from which he draws an amazing variety of sounds, but he plays everything from dholak and darabuka to bones, bodhran and congas, and composes tunes on guitar and mandolin.Mike has also built a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic as a dance caller and concert M.C., with a charming, irreverent stage presence.
REVIEW: TANIA OPLAND & MIKE FREEMAN - at Otley Folk Club [U.K.]
"Very talented musicians with an eclectic selection of tunes and songs... As diverse as Mike and Tania's programme was, it was surpassed by the bewildering array of instruments which they played to deliver it..."-Folk Northwest, England
For all Tania and Mike's gigs outside the UK, see their own website.
"A wonderful stage presence. Their repertoire is vast." - Whidbey Island Folk Festival, Washington, USA
"Tania and Mike... are definitely a partnership made in heaven. They are quite simply one of the most original and interesting musical combinations you're ever likely to see! Between them they weave a fascinating musical tapestry." - Chester Folk Festival, Kelsall, Cheshire, UK
"A remarkably fine duo ... if you get within 100 miles of a gig - don't miss them!"-StortFolk, England
"Talented performers across a range of instruments, & Tania has a terrific voice which she uses to full effect in a rich variety of songs." - Mad Nanny Folk Club, Letchworth, England
"Tania Opland and Mike Freeman provide multinational, multi-instrumental music of a high order." -Huntington Folk Music Society, Long Island, New York, USA
This page was created by Jacey Bedford.