Michael Falzon at Arts Centre Melbourne
Joined by his big band, comprising some of Melbourne’s finest musicians, Michael Falzon takes Centre Stage to celebrate music from some of the greatest performers and writers of the last 50 years. From Frank Sinatra to Freddie Mercury, Michael seduces the audience with classics from Tony Bennett, Stephen Sondheim, Burt Bacharach and many more. Carly spoke with Michael about his career highlights and some of the songs that have inspired him. Check out the full interview below:
Said to feature songs from a variety of other great performers including Tony Bennett, Stephen Sondheim and more, what has inspired the set for this particular show? And how do you go about putting together each of your shows?
In piecing together the song list for this concert, I’m drawing on various genres from a career of more than a couple of decades now. Eek. Audiences will enjoy a fun, eclectic mix of songs and styles (something for everyone!), though it is difficult to pick favourites from so many highlights.
Of all the songs that you’re singing in this performance, which is your favourite to sing and why?
Ah, tricky... there are many. I have a lovely arrangement of ‘Send in the Clowns’ that I’m very fond of, reminiscent of Chet Baker. I also can’t go past the wonderful Tango I sing in Evita - I’ll have a slightly different take on that song for those who have seen me perform it in the show recently.
Coming straight off of Evita, what prompted you to get the big band back together and what can audiences expect from this show?
Over the last few years especially, I’ve been enjoying performing in concert singing so many genres - from James Bond with Kate Ceberano, swing hits with my mates in Swing on This, and of course the Bacharach/Costello tour from a couple of years back... When I’m not in a theatrical production, I love performing in concert. It really is a chance for me to reintroduce myself to audiences - just me, a band and the music I love singing.
Throughout your career, what has been a highlight for you and what is something that you would still love to try? Be that a role or a performance genre, etc.
Performing with Queen is hands down the highlight of highlights. More recently taking my friends to Sydney Opera House in ‘Swing on This’ with SSO was supremely enjoyable; and I’ve recorded a new symphonic rock musical at Jimi Hendrix’ famed Electric Lady Studios in New York - based on the story of Jack the Ripper, this was quite the experience too; There are a couple of roles I’d still like to sink my teeth into, but one that springs to mind is Guido Cantini in ‘Nine’.
Who would you say have been your biggest musical inspirations and influencers over the years?
Oh wow, there have been so many. I grew up listening to Bowie, George Michael, Queen, Peter Gabriel so many artists - all amazing writers and story tellers... I’m encouraged by the accessibility of so many world artists now and an inspired by many new artists and the reemergence of singer/songwriters. I draw more on such artists perhaps more than on musicals.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Favourite production you have ever seen?
It’s too hard to pick a favourite but the original production of Jersey Boys when it was fresh was electric. I also saw Dear Evan Hansen Off-Broadway, before it was famous. It was invigorating and such a surprise.
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
I’m yet to see South America... a few weeks there would be amazing. But anywhere - I’m assuming all expenses paid? Antarctica.
Dream role to perform?
I’ve been fortunate to play a couple of dream roles already... The Phantom would be fun, and Valjean in Les Mis would be a great challenge.
Plays or musicals?
Plays AND Musicals!!
What’s next for you after this show?
A couple of projects will be announced in the next few weeks and of course Swing on This is always up to no good!
Morning Melodies is on for one day only at Arts Centre Melbourne on Monday 18 March, with sessions at 11am and 1:30pm. You can get your tickets here.