Mike O’Connor is a nationally respected storyteller and musician. A Bard of Gorsedh Kernow he has been honoured for research of early Cornish music and is well-known for his work on the music for TV’s Poldark.
Mike was central to the creation of three iconic Cornish folk operas: The Cry of Tin, Unsung Heroes and Cornish Lads. As a storyteller he has a deep knowledge of Cornish folklore and mesmerising word skills.
He created the epic Cornish tale Return to Lyonesse. His Cornish Folk Tales is a best seller, his Cornish Folk Tales for Children is newly published, and there’s another book on the way … Droll Adro - Story Around – The natural resting place for old Cornish folk tales, urban myths, outrageous lies, and spooky stories.
Mike is a master wordsmith. Join him for an exploration of the funny, fabulous and downright impossible. If you wish, bring your own tales and add to the fun, both tellers and listeners are welcome.
Soloist: Mike is a prizewinning competition fiddle player, with a stimulating style & refreshing lightness of touch. He is a master of the concertina. His tunes are in print in 'Piran's Welcome'
Duo: Mike regularly works with harper & viol player Barbara Griggs, a magical combination of talents & instruments.
Stories: Mike tells spell-binding stories, many with musical accompaniment, for both adult & schools audiences. His tales vary from 5 minute fireside tales to epics such as Return to Lyonesse, Tristan & Iseult, Imravoe, the Tales of the Holy Rood, & Loki. He is one of the few in the land capable of delivering such epic tales and sagas. He is the author of the best selling 'Cornish Folk Tales' published by History Press. In 2013, with Barbara Griggs he won a British Award for Storytelling Excellence for 'Return to Lyonesse'.
Songs: Mike's vivid songs have been recorded & sung by artists such as Martyn Wyndham-Read, Johnny Collins, Kathy Wallis, Mike Nicholson, Sarah Morgan & many more. Mike produced & directed the iconic folk operas 'The Cry of Tin', 'Unsung Heroes' & 'Cornish Lads'.
Workshops: Mike is a friendly, approachable & very experienced workshop leader, used to working with adults & children in festival, educational & community work.
Accompanist: Over the years Mike has gained a reputation as a sensitive & responsive accompanist for Sarah Morgan, Johnny Collins, the Dunns, Jake Walton, Anne Lister & Martyn Wyndham-Read.
Research: Mike is the leading researcher of Cornish instrumental music. He has studied at the Institute of Cornish Studies, Exeter University & writes for learned journals & popular magazines on subjects relating to folklore. Mike is honoured to have been awarded the OBE & has been made a bard of the Gorseth of Cornwall.* In 2009 he was awarded the Henwood medal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall.
Performance History: Mike has worked as a musician since the 1970s & a story teller since the 1990s. He has worked in arts centres, at festivals, in schools, community halls & private venues. He has worked for English Heritage, and the National Trust and has been a resident storyteller for the Forestry Commission & has made many recordings & radio broadcasts. His recent gigs are listed on this site.