George Michael pays tribute to Vienna hospital staff who saved him as he resumes Symphonica tour

'It's great to be alive': George Michael pays tribute to Vienna hospital staff who saved him as he resumes Symphonica tour

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UPDATED:

00:55 GMT, 5 September 2012

George Michael declared it was 'great to be a live' as he resumed his European tour in Austria last night (Tuesday).

The former Wham! star donated 1,000 tickets to medical staff at the Vienna hospital where he was treated after falling ill with pneumonia while in the city last November.

Now back to full health, the 49-year-old thanks the doctors and nurses who had helped him conquer the life-threatening illness.

Back with a bang: George Michael performs during his Symphonica tour concert in Vienna, Austria last night

Back with a bang: George Michael performs during his Symphonica tour concert in Vienna, Austria last night

Taking to the stage in a purple suit, George performedto thousands of fans in the Stadthalle Wien.

He told the crowd: 'I'd like to take the opportunity to say
that there are a number of people without whom none of us would be here
tonight.

'This is one of the greatest honours of my life, to sing to the
men and women who saved my life.'

Dapper: The former Wham! singer wore a purple suit and his trademark sunglasses

Dapper: The former Wham! singer wore a purple suit and his trademark sunglasses

Spectacle: George sang to 1,000 medical staff from the hospital that treated him

Spectacle: George sang to 1,000 medical staff from the hospital that treated him

He then went on to perform a cover of Nina Simone's Feeling Good – a request from one of the doctors which treated him.

Backed by the Czech National Symphony
orchestra, he also covered Simone's My Baby Just
Cares For Me, Rihanna's Russian
Roulette, Rufus Wainwright's Going To A Town and Sting's Roxanne.

And of course, some of his own biggest hits, including Father Figure, Waiting For That Day, Cowboys And Angels and Patience.

He ended the gig with his new single White Light, which he wrote about his brush with death.

Before the show: George and his boyfriend Fadi Fawaz in Vienna earlier on Tuesday

Before the show: George and his boyfriend Fadi Fawaz in Vienna earlier on Tuesday

He said: 'One last treat for you all before we go. I
think given the manner of men and women who did save my life, we could
not go without singing this song. Let's hear it for the people who saved
my life.'

George was forced to postpone his Symphonica tour last November after contracting severe pneumonia.

He ended up spending a month in Vienna's General Hospital under intensive care before he could finally return to Britain.

Last month, he performed White Light and Freedom at the Olympics Closing Ceremony.

George resumes the UK leg of his Symphonica tour in Birmingham on September 16.

Travelling in style: George arrived in Vienna via private jet

Travelling in style: George arrived in Vienna via private jet