The audience at the splendid High Standards concert knew something special was happening when Michael Falzon sang My Funny Valentine. It resulted in an emotional standing ovation.
"He was a leading man and producer," David Campbell tweeted. "He loved the arts and he loved what we do. He had a smile that could light up a stage and the first ten rows".
Michael was just 48 but he had crammed a very full and celebrated career into those years. It was during Evita, in which he played Magaldi in the 2018 Opera Australia/John Frost production, that he connected with ABF. He delivered the curtain speech for the ACTober bucket collection. Following the performance he contacted ABF and said he would like to organise a benefit concert. The result was High Standards a year later, which he produced with his colleague Fraser Orford at the beautiful City Recital Hall. It was a spectacular line up of artists but the show was stolen by Michael's elegant and heartfelt delivery of a simple song.
Michael Falzon came to prominence when he was cast by Queen and Ben Elton to star as Galileo in We Will Rock You. He reprised the role in Japan and the UK, breaking box office records and playing the show's first-ever arena venue. His other theatrical credits include The Wharf Revue (STC), Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Floyd Collins (CRH), Rock of Ages, Sondheim's Side by Side, Chess, Jesus Christ Superstar and The War of the Worlds (Australia/NZ and UK/European arena tours).
On screen Michael played Kyle in BBC1’s The Wright Way, Jose DeSousa in Blue Heelers (ITV and Network 7). He performed live with Queen in an ACA TV special and on The Late, Late Show. His concerts include The Music of Queen (Sydney Opera House, Perth Convention Centre, Hamer Hall), Swing On This (Adelaide Festival Centre, QPAC, Theatre Royal, Perth Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House) and Painted From Memory – The Music of Bacharach and Costello (CRH, Australian tour) with further engagements as a soloist in English National Ballet’s Strictly Gershwin (QPAC, QSO & Queensland Ballet) and A Friday Night at The Opera at London Coliseum (BBC Concert Orchestra for BBC Radio2). Along with I Dreamed a Dream - Hit Songs of Broadway for ABC Music, Falzon recorded the lead role in Atomic - A New Rock Musical in NYC, produced by Steve Margoshes (Fame, Tommy) and returned to New York to lend his vocals to the world premiere of Get Jack, a new musical by Damien Gray, composed by Grammy Award nominee, Kip Winger.
Following Evita, Michael had months of hospitalisation and treatment for his cancer but through all that time he continued to organise the benefit concert to help those colleagues in need. He was a guest presenter for the Cause Celeb 70th Anniversary Celebration cabaret and picnic for ABF in 2019 and in October he and Fraser Orford produced and staged the spectacular High Standards concert fundraiser. This was to be the last time he would sing for an audience. He is survived by his wife, violinist Jane Cho. Vale Michael - he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.