Vale Michael Falzon

Michael-Falzon-photo-by-Kurt-SneddonWidely recognised as one of Australia’s most diversely talented entertainers, Michael Falzon has sadly passed away following a battle with cancer. He was 48.

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. The Times proclaiming “… with a panache (of which) Freddie Mercury would have approved, Falzon simply let rip.”

His stage appearances include Sydney Theatre Company’s The Wharf Revue, performing with luminaries Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) and Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) in Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds (Australia/New Zealand & UK/Europe arena tours), and with Rachael Beck and Geraldine Turner in Side by Side by Sondheim.

His performance in Adam Guettel’s Floyd Collins, prompted StageNoise to write “As Homer, Falzon underlines why he is a bona fide international musical theatre star”, and of his portrayal of ‘Judas’ in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sydney Morning Herald further reviewed, “Falzon’s performance is riveting, commanding the stage and traversing the fine line between villain and victim. It is a tour de force performance that compels engagement.”

Other notable roles include ‘Stacee Jaxx’ in Rock of Ages. ‘Jason’ in Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days, ‘The Arbiter’ in Gale Edwards’ new production of Chess, originating the role of ‘Leo Szilard’ in Atomic (Australia/USA co-production), and again garnering universal acclaim in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Falzon appeared as Magaldi in the 40th anniversary production of EVITA (Opera Australia, John Frost and David Ian).

Falzon appeared in solo concerts supported by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Perth Symphony Orchestra, among others. Since 2014, he had performed alongside fellow musical theatre stars Luke Kennedy, Ben Mingay, Matt Lee and Rob Mills in the band Swing on This. He was a featured artist too in the Queensland Ballet & English National Ballet production of Strictly Gershwin and starred alongside Kate Ceberano in The Music of James Bond for WASO.

Falzon’s Albums include Back to Broadway (ABC Classics), the self-titled EP and Atomic: The New Rock Musical studio album, recorded in New York and produced by Philip Foxman & Steve Margoshes. He is survived by his wife, violinist Jane Cho.

Image: Michael Falzon – photo by Kurt Sneddon