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Tania Opland & Mike Freeman

Upcoming UK tours:
September/October 2016

Soundclips:
Borderlands
, Katyusha and Fair and Tender Ladies
Tech spec and stage plan
www.opland-freeman.com
Downloadable promo pics, bio & press release

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

 

drum workshop

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, October 2015
"MAGICAL music played by two outstanding performers got the Dulcimer World Congress off to a stunning start at the Palace last Thursday (October 8). The duo, from Alaska and Ireland, were here to officially launch the biannual event, brought to this country by Redditch resident and dulcimer player Sally Whytehead. With Freeman playing rhythm, either on guitar or drums, multi-instrumentalist Opland was given full rein to show her expertise in both the hammer dulcimer and the smaller, violin shaped Appalachian version, as well as her virtuoso technique on the fiddle and flute. The concert closed with Opland and Freeman in fine form playing a nonsense Russian song – complete with audience participation – to the delight of all." - Redditch Standard

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.]
What a brilliant night! Eclectic isn't the word for this pair. Or, no, hang on yes, eclectic IS the word. Tania was brought up in Anchorage Alaska, and now has a house in a village on an Indian reservation called Squip... Squoo... er, near Seattle. Mike comes from Crumpsall, but maybe that seems exotic to Tania. From the start the audience was treated to a whirlwind trip round most of the northern hemisphere, starting "Somewhere in America" (-Bogle), ... visiting en route, Norway, Russia and Byelorussia, with a brief aside for an Inupiaq (let's say Eskimo) welcome-dance song. This might not be your usual diet when visiting the local club, but it was far from indigestible, leavened as it was with more usual contemporary and traditional tunes and songs, together with plenty of humour and anecdote. This was one of those evenings which occasionally comes to the more adventurous folk clubs, where the audience, not having quite known what to expect, finds itself having a really good time, and then wishing that they could instantly import all their friends who are missing out. So the message is, next time you have the chance to see Tania & Mike, go along. You might not get to sing "Byker Hill", but you won't be disappointed. -Jim Lawton, Tykes' News, England

"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

2016
For all Tania and Mike's gigs outside the UK, see their own website.

OCTOBER

10th Chesham
White Hill Centre, White Hill, Chesham, HP5 1AG

11th St Neots
The Priory Centre, St Neots PE19 2BH

12th Dorking
Dorking Golf Club, Deepdene Avenue, Dorking, RH5 4BX

14th Ushaw
Ushaw College, Durham

21st Stonehaven
Community Centre, Bath Street, Stonehaven, AB39 2DH

 

2017

APRIL

26th Pontyclun,
Llantrisant Folk Club, CF72 9EH

28th Edinburgh
Corstorphine Concerts
Old House, St Margarets Park Corstorphine

-o0o-

"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.