Presented by Van Diemen's Band, Theatre Royal & Theatre North

Songs of the Sea

Oceans are vast, deep and mysterious. Their waters contain more than simply  salt and marine life. For all of humanity’s existence they’ve sustained our  bodies, swallowed them whole and carried people vast distances to foreign  lands. Oceans connect us and keep us apart. Floating on the swell of an  ocean’s turbulent seas are grand, lyrical narratives that are forever evolving  – stories, myth and song. 

Steering the audience through Songs of the Sea is Mikelangelo (Michael  Simic of the folk quintet, Mikelangelo and The Black Sea Gentlemen) – a  raconteur, salt-crusted storyteller and bittersweet bard. In his deep baritone,  Mikelangelo explores the heart’s stormy reaches; indulges in absurd  overboard shanties; and catches secrets freed from the sea’s breaking tides.  Shipwrecked sailors, bewitching mermaids and wily fishermen are all  characters in Mikelangelo’s songbook. 

Joining Mikelangelo are Van Diemen’s Fiddles; and the internationally  renowned folk artists Luke Plumb and Dave McNamara on mandolin and  accordion. Together they draw on maritime folk music styles, experimental and classical composition to evoke in song the salty smack of open water.

Songs of the Sea has grown from a collaboration between Mikelangelo and Van Diemen's Band at the 2023 Australian Wooden Boat Festival

"Mikelangelo is one of the great showmen of the Australian indie music scene.”"
— Patricia Karvelas, ABC Radio National

Welcome to our special guest artists in each community!

We're so excited to be welcoming special guests onstage for this program, joining forces with local choirs and singing groups in each town that we're performing in:

nipaluna/Hobart - The Stranded Wailers

Triabunna - Maria Voices

Launceston - Choir in the Pub

pataway/Burnie - Crescendo Choirs

Queenstown - The Queenie Quior


Vocals and host


Artistic Director & Violin

Julia Fredersdorff


Rachel Meyers


Katie Yap


Luke Plumb

Piano Accordion

Dave McNamara

This project was made possible by the Australian Government Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia.

This project was assisted through the Strategic Touring Fund, an initiative of the Tasmanian Performing Arts Centres.


Mikelangelo - Emily Day

Van Diemen's Fiddles - Jonathan Wherrett

Old Reinlender from SØnndala - Trad. Norwegian arr. Danish String Quartet

Siren Song - Michael Simic arr. Rachel Meyers

Boat of Dreams - M. Simic arr. Meyers

Hooks & Fish - M. Simic arr. Meyers

Da Full Rigged Ship - Trad. Shetland arr. Meyers

Farewell to Nigg - Duncan Johnstone

Starry Eyed Boy - M. Simic

Mermaid Song - M. Simic

Captain O’Kane - Turlough O’Carolan

Boat of Dreams - Instrumental version

Am I a Sailor? - M. Simic arr. Meyers

The Hunt - M. Simic arr. Meyers

Ribers No. 8 “Sterrands Rand” - Trad. Danish arr. Danish String Quartet

The Parting Glass - Trad. Scottish

Set Sail - M. Simic arr. Meyers

Download or view the full program here.

Event and ticketing details

Date & Time

Ian Potter Recital Hall (The Hedberg) Sat 23 March
3.00pm, 7.00pm
Spring Bay Mill, Triabunna Sun 24 March
Princess Theatre, Launceston Mon 25 March
Burnie Arts Centre Tue 26 March
The Paragon Theatre, Queenstown Wed 27 March


Launceston, Triabunna, Burnie, Queenstown - Full $45.00 General Admission
Launceston, Triabunna, Burnie, Queenstown - Concession $38.00 General Admission
Launceston, Triabunna, Burnie, Queenstown - Child (12 and under) $25.00 General Admission
Triabunna, Burnie, Queenstown - 30 Under 30 $30.00 General Admission
Triabunna, Queenstown - Wheelchair/Limited Mobility Seat $38.00
Triabunna, Queenstown - Companion Card Holder Must be booked with Wheelchair Seat
nipaluna/Hobart - Full $55.00 Reserved Seating - choose your preferred seat
nipaluna/Hobart - Concession $45.00 Reserved Seating - choose your preferred seat
nipaluna/Hobart - 30 Under 30 / Industry Allies / Student Members $30.00 Reserved Seating - choose your preferred seat


Princess Theatre, Launceston

57 Brisbane St, Launceston TAS 7250

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Spring Bay Mill, Triabunna

555 Freestone Point Rd, Triabunna TAS 7190

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Burnie Arts Centre

77-79 Wilmot St, Burnie TAS 7320

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Ian Potter Recital Hall at The Hedberg

19-27 Campbell Street, Hobart TAS 7000

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The Paragon Theatre, Queenstown

11 McNamara St, Queenstown TAS 7467

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Wheelchair Access

Event notes

nipaluna/Hobart Performances

Please note - you can choose your preferred seat for these performances at The Hedberg. You have the option of flat-floor seating with direct entry (no stairs involved) or tiered seating (stairs involved). The sound is equally good throughout the venue but this option is being offered to ensure all our audience members are comfortable accessing different parts of the venue.


60 minutes no interval

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